Why is it that many Muslims never even noticed the Rohingyas until the recent attempts to cleanse them ethnically from Myanmar soil? How is it that the Myanmar opposition leader, recently triumphant in her release from House Arrest, wears a pretty white flower in her hair while she condones the killing of thousands of Rohingyas?
We cannot dictate legislation changes to Myanmar. But the United Nations must surely take notice of this ethnic cleansing, since the next step would be genocide itself. If Myanmar is a member of the UN, she may not behave criminally. Here we have a clear case of ethnic cleansing (freely admitted by the Myanmar government) which borders on genocide.
And who will be responsible for such genocide? The Muslims. If they do not aid, help, and protect the Rohingyas, regardless of Myanmar legislative changes to either grant Rohingyas citizenship or else relinquish the soil in Arakan that they live on. In the absence of such UN pressure, the Muslims themselves must be held accountable for this immense suffering.
The United Nations has published the statistic that 80% of the refugees in the world are Muslims. Many are stateless, like the Rohingyas, without citizenship or rights of citizenship. Even within Muslim countries, our own “visiting” refugees are treated as third-class residents in waiting. What does that say about our so-called Ummah? About helping our brothers either as individuals or communities?
It is time for Muslims to wake up, stand up, own up, or else shut up, or else they cannot claim to be Muslims themselves. Please support the call for Global Day of Action on 8th of November 2012.
AZRIL MOHD AMIN is vice president, Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia.