- Published on Friday, 03 August 2012 15:08
- Written by BC-Stuff
As state-sponsored persecution of Burmese Muslims continues unabated, a global Muslim body has called for rallying efforts to provide political, humanitarian and financial aid Rohingya Muslims.
"This is a large humanitarian crisis but unfortunately the international and Muslim communities are mostly unaware of the dimensions," Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), told a news conference cited by Reuters on Tuesday, July 31.
"In this holy month I call upon all the Muslims...to extend aid for this issue," without elaborating who are "all the Muslims" that need to respond to his call.
Meanwhile ethnic-Bengali Muslims, generally known as Rohingyas, are systematically being prosecuted, expelled and killed in Burma.
Thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled their homes in June after ethnic violence rocked the western state of Rakhine after the killing of ten Muslims in an attack by Buddhist vigilantes on their bus.The vigilante attacks came following the alleged rape and killing of a Buddhist woman, for which three Rohingyas were put to death.
Since then, the unknown number of Muslims people were killed in the violence and thousands of their homes were burnt and hundreds of thousands of women, children and men were displaced. Some of them were just placed on unpowered vessels and left at sea to die .
Human rights groups have accused Burmese police and troops of disproportionate use of force and arrests of Rohingyas in the wake of the riots.
“The government claims it is committed to ending ethnic strife and abuse, but recent events in (Rakhine) state demonstrate that state-sponsored persecution and discrimination persist,” Brad Adams, Human Rights Watch’s Asia director, said in a statement.
The New York-based group said police and paramilitary forces "opened fire on Rohingya with live ammunition" for no reasson.
It quoted one Rohingya man in the Rakhine state capital Sittwe as saying that security forces watched as a Buddhist mob started torching houses.
"When the people tried to put out the fires, the paramilitary shot at us. And the group beat people with big sticks," he said.
Another Rohingya Muslims gave similar accounts.
"I was just a few feet away. I was on the road. I saw them shoot at least six people -- one woman, two children, and three men. The police took their bodies away."
As usual, the OIC issued a bleak statement which called for Muslim countries to join hands to provide humanitarian and political aid the Muslim minority in Burma. Ultimately saying that the plight of those desperate peoples and ongoing genocide against them is not the issue of any of the Muslim dominated countries, but something that Muslims individually should care about. However, the UN human rights chapter authorizes only countries -- and not individuals -- to respond in case of ongoing genocide, as it is now in Burma.
"There is displacement where tens of thousands of people lost their homes. There is a great need to house them, feed them, help them medically,” Ihsanoglu said.
“There is a need for political and humanitarian aid. There is also a need for financial aid.”
The "political aid" would consist of diplomatic representations to the Burmese government on behalf of the Rohingyas, he said.
"We asked member states, who have embassies in Myanmar (Burma), to call the government and ask them to improve their treatment of those people."
The OIC will hold a consultative meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 3 to determine possible ways to deliver aid to affected people in Myanmar and refugees from the violence who fled to neighboring countries, Ihsanoglu said.
The OIC plans to discuss the issue further during its extraordinary summit in Makkah on Aug. 14-15.
Described by the UN as one of the world's most persecuted minorities, Rohingya Muslims are facing a catalogue of discrimination in their homeland.
They have been denied citizenship rights since an amendment to the citizenship laws in 1982 and are treated as illegal immigrants in their own home.
The Burmese government as well as the Buddhist majority refuse to recognize the term "Rohingya", referring to them as "Bengalis".
Last month, Burmese President Thein Sein said that Rohingyas should be settled in a third country. Suprisingly, the Burmise Nobel peace prize laurate Aung San Suu Kyi is absent from all these public discussions. So much for her and so much fo Nobel Peace prize committee.
Meanwhile the genocide against Burmese Muslims going unabated, during the Muslim holly month of Ramadan.