They want to cleanse Myanmar of all Muslims.”
“Rohingya Muslim women are being raped.”
“A boat carrying 727 migrants has been found in Myanmar waters.”
“Rakhine Muslims are being sold as slaves.”
We have been seeing such reports frequently about Myanmar, one of those countries guilty of grave humanitarian crimes, for many years now. The list of humanitarian crimes against Rakhine Muslims in the country is a lengthy one. Rakhine Muslims are deprived of numerous natural rights, such as rights to citizenship, education, marriage, to have children, to be out on the street after 9 pm and the ability to visit their friends or neighbors without police permission. They are tortured in prisons because of their beliefs, sentenced to death and subjected to the most appalling discrimination and maltreatment.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of our brothers have lost their lives in ‘ethnic cleansing’ campaigns against Rakhine Muslims in 1942, 1948, 1954, 1978 and 2012. Yet this ethnic discrimination and violence, a dark page in the history of mankind, is by no means limited to those dates. Violence continues and has been literally implemented as official policy in Myanmar. Numerous human rights organizations, and particularly Amnesty International, have written detailed reports on these humanitarian crimes. These reports are full of descriptions of people being maltreated, raped, despised, seeking asylum elsewhere because of the persecution in their own country but being unable to find so much as an inch of safe land in the countries where they seek refuge.
Neither Rakhine Muslims, nor Muslims oppressed in any other part of the world – nor anyone else in the world, for that matter – should have to live like that, no matter what their religion or ethnicity is. That is because violence and slaughter are incompatible with the spirit of the century. Indeed, this century is a most extraordinary one, coinciding with the greatest rise of Islam. This century is an important epoch in which values such as social solidarity among Muslims, brotherhood and unity are growing stronger. For Muslims given the glad tidings of such an important time, making great efforts to attain it should be inevitable.
Looking at the conflict, turmoil and division within the Islamic world, one might think that reconciliation and unity are impossible. Yet in the same way that the countries of the world manage to come together for the sake of oil, or even football, Muslims can also remember that God commands them to be brothers and thus unite. The European Union, based on economic cooperation, is one of the first examples that come to mind. In addition to economic solidarity, this union is also based on the principle of a spirit of joint activity in political, military, cultural, social and other spheres. Similarly, Islamic Union can also be established on these globally recognized conditions. In addition, since that union will be based on God’s command, spiritual unity and a brotherhood of faith, it will be much stronger than the European Union.
The only precondition for such a union is for Islamic countries to be strong, stable and determined. If Islamic countries wish to guide and illuminate the world in all respects, they must establish that union as soon as possible. That is because their acting together will enable helping hands to be stretched out to Muslims who are oppressed in places such as Myanmar.
Innocent Muslims all over the world, like our brothers from Rakhine, are defenseless because of the failure to establish that union. Of course that union is certainly not intended to violate Myanmar’s right to independence and national sovereignty; however, it will be a deterrent force for freeing women, children, the elderly and the needy who are waiting to be saved all over the world, and for reminding people that they are not devoid of protection.
Muslims must not forget that being united is one of God’s commands revealed in the Qur’an. Almighty God commands Muslims to be united in these words:
“Those who are unbelievers are the friends and protectors of one another. If you do not act in this way there will be turmoil in the land and great corruption.” (Surat al-Anfal, 73)
In the light of this verse, we remind all Muslims, and especially our brothers from Rakhine, that the time has come to demand unification, and we call on our Rakhine brothers to pray for that union without delay.
Adnan Oktar's piece on Burma Times: