A child of Rohingya refugees plays in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia, Bangladesh, on Aug. 26. (Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images)

The  Aug. 31 editorial “Call it genocide” accurately described the wretched conditions and treatment of the Muslim Rohingya people, most of whom have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh to escape more persecution. They are the most deprived of the peoples of Asia living in abominable conditions in camps, and their inhumane treatment by the military and civilian leadership of Myanmar is indefensible. The prejudice against them by the general Burmese population is also deplorable.  

Obvious crimes and ethnic cleansing have been evident. But are these acts genocide? There is no indication that the Burmese leadership or people want the Rohingya to be eliminated, as Hitler did to the Jews in the Holocaust. Rather, they want them to leave Myanmar, in part because the Burmese erroneously believe Muslims threaten the dominant Buddhist culture of that state. Aung San Suu Kyi’s defense of her government’s actions at The Hague was both to placate her military co-authorities and with an eye on dominating the forthcoming elections in November.

Keeping up pressure on Myanmar on the Rohingya issue is important and necessary, and The Post took the right action. But is it genocide? The term should be more carefully used.

David I. Steinberg, Bethesda

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