“The most persecuted minority in the world” that is how back in 2013 the United Nations described the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar. Estimated to be around 1.3 million in number, in their homeland of Myanmar, the ethnic group is quite simply the world’s most unwanted people. They are not welcome in Myanmar, neighbouring Bangladesh, and a host of other South-east Asian countries where they have tried to flee for their lives. The community has been facing discrimination and second class treatment in Myanmar for years under the military rule. Their position did not change even under the first democratic government under the so-called democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, who rose to the power last year. These Muslims are being subjected to murder, arson, displacement and deprivation on daily basis. Rape of women and deaths by burning alive is the most common the method the Buddhist fanatics are committing against them. The worst part of it is that such crimes are being carried out with clear support of the government. Most of the crimes committed against them have been carried out by the military. The latest reports say that the Myanmar army killed and the Buddhist monks have killed between 2,000 and 3,000 Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine quarter of the country in the last three days. The number of massacres carried out by the army against Muslims in Rakhine exceeds the one in 2012 and those in October last year. The fleeing Muslims bring with them harrowing stories of murder, rape and burned villages. Video footage uploaded on social media showing harrowing pictures of slaughter of Muslims by axes, cleavers and hatchets. In one such terrifying image, five Muslim boys are laid on ground with faces down. Their hands tied to their backs. A group of 10 to 12 Buddhists, some of them in army uniform, chop off their heads with axes. The Myanmar government classified Rohingya Muslims, who are oppressed in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, as “terrorists” due to the footage of them performing their prayers. Rohingya Muslims’ houses were burnt and destroyed, and they were forced to leave their villages. What adds to their pain is the criminal silence of the world, in general and Muslim countries in particularly, regarding the oppression on Rohingya Muslims, who are subjected to all kinds of cruelty. Gang-rape of a 13-year old girl Tasnim by 15 Buddhist criminals is all to tell about the horror and terror against Rohingya Muslims. The hapless girl witnessed the brutal murder of her father before being raped. The United Nations has described the situation in Myanmar as “ethnic cleansing”. The Myanmar army and Buddhist priests initiated a massacre campaign against Muslims and are killing anyone and everyone that comes their way. Pope Francis has decried the persecution of Rohingya Muslims prayed that they receive “full rights.” The pontiff said Sunday there was “sad news about the persecution of the religious minority of our Rohingya brothers.” Francis asked the faithful in St. Peter’s Square to pray that God “saves them” and they receive help. Rohingya Muslims have been under the oppression of the Myanmar government since 1948 when the country declared its independence. Added to this disturbing situation is the reluctance of the neighboring countries — particularly Bangladesh which is members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC)—has shut its borders for the fleeing Muslims. The Bangladesh border police are not allowing them to enter into their territory. India, which houses around 15000 Rohingya refugees, also said that they would send back the refugees to Myanmar. This speaks of the indifference and apathy Myanmar Muslims are facing from the so-called civilized world. Muslim countries has it responsibility to see the interests and rights of Muslims protected everywhere in the world. But their conduct is the most shameful. The united platform of Muslim countries OIC should immediately step in and use their influence in every possible way to make Myanmar government accountable for its bloody actions against Muslims. Pakistan, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia should take the lead and tell it in no uncertain terms to Myanmar government to behave or face action. The Muslim world should devise an action plan against Myanmar government if the persecution of Muslims did not end and their rights not restored immediately.
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