The Muslim Council of Britain today called on the government to move ‘beyond tepid statements of concern’ and be more pro-active in saving the Burma’s Rohingya community from further persecution, ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Described as the most ‘persecuted minority on earth’, Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim community have endured mass murder – including of women and children – rape and expulsion. Burma’s de facto political leader, the Nobel laureate Aung Sun Suu Kyi, who herself was feted in our Parliament for upholding human rights, now dehumanises the community by denying them their right to be citizens of their own land.
Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “We face a humanitarian catastrophe in Burma and it is imperative now for our government to act. It should exercise the UK’s leverage to stop further bloodshed, allow observers in, and humanitarian aid to pass through. Though they are appreciated, we need to move beyond tepid statements of concern and regard Burma as countries that persecute their own people. As we do with Zimbabwe or Syria, we must act as well in Myanmar by calling for sanctions and embargoes against its leadership and state. Ahead of the UN General Assembly session next week, we hope our government leads the way to secure international action.”
“Today, in mosques around the country, British Muslims will be holding special prayers for those affected by the violence. There is cross-community revulsion at what is being done to minorities who happen to be Muslim. But this is not just a Muslim issue, it is a humanitarian crisis. I am struck by how many people across the world are in solidarity with the Rohingyas, saddened by their plight and keen to assist. World leaders including the UN Secretary General, the Pope, Bishop Desmond Tutu, fellow Nobel laureates and even the Dalai Lama himself has spoken out. The British public is doing what it can, including generous donations to charities working in the refugee camps, many of whom are MCB affiliates. There is concerted action from right thinking people everywhere. It is time now also for those in government to take action as well.”