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A Statement On The Crisis In Myanmar (aka, Burma)

03 November 2012

El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan

Assalaamu Alaikum (Greetings of Peace): 

Earlier this evening I gave a short (approximately five minute) interview to Press TV on the genocide facing our brothers and sisters in Myanmar (aka, Burma). Even though it was brief (or perhaps because it was brief), I was very dissatisfied with how it went. There was a distracting echo in the line, and I just wasn't as focused as I like to be when I'm being interviewed on an important topic. 

With that being said, in the tradition of our beloved Prophet's instruction (may peace be upon him) - to follow a bad deed with a good one - I hope to follow a bad interview with a good piece of commentary.  

After receiving the request for the interview this evening, I pulled up the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to see which Articles the Myanmar government, and rogue elements within the Buddhist population, were most in violation of (in their genocidal campaign against Myanmar's Muslim population). The Articles that are clearly evident (in my humble opinion) are the following: 

  • Article 3: Right to Life, Liberty, and Personal Security.

  • Article 9: Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest and Exile.

  • Article 18: Freedom of Belief and Religion.

  • Article 30: Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the above Rights. 

The genocide against Muslims in Burma/Myanmar is increasing at a rapid rate, while the world looks the other way. The satellite images of Human Rights Watch unquestionably document the religious and ethnically-driven destruction taking place to Rohingya lives and infrastructure. 

Reportedly, a source in Sittwe, a city in the Rakhine state, has sent tweets which indicate more attacks are being planned. One tweet reads: "According to plan, Rakhine authority and Myanmar military will burn all villages, mosques, quarters, wards of Rohingya to make them refugees." 

The Burma Task Force USA is calling on people to contact the U.S. Department of State to demand that Secretary of State Clinton put pressure on the president of Myanmar. (Please go to the Burma Task Force USA website for more information: www.BurmaMuslims.org ) 

We strongly advise that Muslims in America genuinely concerned about this growing crisis consider organizing a national demonstration in Washington, DC (as was done late into the Bosnian crisis) to demand an end to the genocide!  

Pressure should also be applied on the most well known activist from that part of the world, the Nobel laureat Aung San Suu Kyi, who appears to be following in the footsteps of Elie Wiesel. Mr. Wiesel has eloquently and selectively raised the banner of human rights on a number of fronts over the years - except where it applies to his own brethren's heinous human rights violations of the Palestinian people! If followed to its illogical conclusion, It is a path that will soon mar Suu Kyi's otherwise sterling reputation. 

A demonstration that draws attention to the contradictions surrounding Buddhist behavior in Myanmar (as regards Buddhism's non-violent image) may also prick the conscience of prominent American Buddhists (such as Richard Gere and other actors, singers, and well known artists) into taking some action to address these contradictions. ALLAH knows best. 

And finally, something should be done to SHAME (if necessary) Muslim governments into taking action in a unified, substantive way. If a serious call is made for such a demonstration it will have our FULL SUPPORT, insha'Allah. 

In the struggle for peace thru justice



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