By Rachid Acim
By Rachid Acim
Morocco World News
Beni Mellal, Morocco, August 14, 2012
Saa’di, the great Persian poet wisely said once:
Human beings are members of a whole
In creation of one essence and soul
If one member is afflicted with pain
Other members uneasy will remain
If you’ve no sympathy for human pain
The name of human you cannot retain.
Clearly, the pre-mentioned Persian verses are addressing humanity. Sympathy is what distinguishes us from animals. But even some animals can prove to be far more sympathetic and helpful than some humans. At least, they don’t keep watching, but they move on the spot to give a hand to each other even in circumstances of abysmal danger.
I’m wondering what will be the first prayer the Muslim community worldwide will offer in the Night of Power – Laylat al-Qadr – of the Blessed month Ramadan. Are they going to pray towards Syria or Burma? As for myself, I will stay up till dawn and beseech the Lord to protect the Rohingya Muslims in Burma. Will you do the same?
What is happening in Myanmar to the Rohingya Muslims is verily an unprecedented heinous crime, a tragedy impinging upon Human Rights and encroaching upon all international laws. The world community should not keep watching, but should act immediately to dispose these miserable people of such injustice occurring to them by the extremist Buddhists.
As a matter of truth, certain Search Engines like Google and Yahoo and Social Media Networks like Twitter and Facebook become almost abuzz and overloaded with video snapshots depicting the Rohingya Muslims killed, raped and persecuted.
Albeit these videos might be magnified sometimes, they unquestionably speak at least for the continuing miseries and sufferings of these people.
Many media experts argue that ethnic cleansing is taking place in Myanmar. The Muslim minority cannot move freely and do anything about the issue at hand. They are denied their basic rights in this country ruled by the Buddhist majority. Dignity is the last thing one can speak of there.
Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society has condemned the repetitious massacres and called for an urgent intervention. It has appealed to the international community, including the United Nations and all NGOs to urgently act in solving the critical situation of the Rohingya Muslims, emphasizing their humanitarian responsibility.
The Arabian news outlet Saudi Gazette spoke of the “Ignored Genocide”. Its news reporter, Khaled M. Batarfi wrote two weeks ago that what is happening to the Rohingyas is similar to events in the Muslim south of the Philippines, Eastern China, Chechnya, Bosnia and Kosovo.
Nearly, in all these countries, Muslim states were overtaken by larger non-Muslim nations. When the latter gained their independence, the Muslim minority were suppressed by the stronger majority. Genocides as well as deprivation of fundamental national human rights culminated in ethnic cleansing and massacres.
Just recently, Greg Constantine, an award winning photojournalist from the United States, authored a book of black and white photography titled Exiled To Nowhere: Burma’s Rohingya. The book unveiled that the Rohingya Muslims have been excluded, maltreated and denied their citizenships.
According to Constantine, The Rohingya Muslims are unwanted, persecuted, stateless, unwelcomed, oppressed and almost forgotten. Worse, they are subjected to forced labor, extortion and arbitrary land seizure. They cannot travel. They cannot marry. As a result of this, hundreds, if not thousands, fled to swampy marshlands of Bangladesh.
“We came to Bangladesh and became refugees,” Rahul, 43-years-old, told Constantine. “Here we live under plastic sheets. In daytime it gets very hot. And in nighttime it is very cold, sometimes at night dew drops form on the plastic sheets of our roof. We eat once but starve twice. We are able to work very little and it’s not enough to buy food. Despite this suffering, when we remember the abuse in Myanmar, we think it is better here than in Myanmar,” Rahul adds sadly.
Constantine also recounted the story of a young woman in her twenties called Kashida. She had to flee to Bangladesh with her husband, a place wherein she felt most disenchanted. The Burmese authorities stripped her of her right to marriage. Yet, when they figured out that she was expecting and that she had already married in secret, they dispossessed her of her money, all her goats and cows. Even worse, they forced her to commit abortion telling her sarcastically: “This is not your country; you don’t have the right to reproduce here.”
In one of the panel discussions held at the School of Economics in London, Constantine made it clear that the Rohingya Muslims are denied the right to an identity, the right to belonging, the right to practice their religion, the right to speak their language. They are viewed as illegal immigrants.
Reports, however, indicate that the Rohingya Muslims were natives of the regions from the 7th century A.D.
Now, in Facebook, calls for demonstrations are being given to stop the violence and massacres against the Rohingya Muslim minority group, two of which will take place in England, one in Manchester City on Oxford Rd and the other in London City at Myanmar Embassy. Other demonstrations shall be held elsewhere.
The objective is to bring the issue to a wide public and urge world leaders to be more responsible vis-à-vis the crimes befalling the Burmese Muslims.
Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people and one leading figure whom the Buddhists revere so much had three major commitments for his doctrine: First, the promotion of human values. Second, the fostering of inter-religious harmony. And third, the welfare of the Tibetan people.
What interests us is the second commitment: the promotion of religious tolerance and understanding amongst the world’s major religious traditions: Islam, Judaism and Christianity. In Dalai’s view, it is important to respect all religions regardless of the differences of belief and practice because they struggle to produce good human beings who are peaceful, tolerant and harmless to each other.
What we see, however, contradicts Dalai’s reason. Is this religious hypocrisy?
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