by Dr Rifai Naleemi
( August 03, 2012, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Bangladesh is a predominantly a Muslim country and the majority of its people are devoted Muslim and prefer to live in according to Islamic teachings and indeed, this nation has produced some excellent Islamic scholars and its citizens have done great service for the cause of Islam and Muslims. Yet, actions of some political leadership of this ruling party are deplorable and unacceptable at all. Particularly, this government has been persistently denying humanitarian access for the refugees fleeing from ethnic violence from neighbouring Burma: according to some historical accounts Arab traders settled in Arakan and Chittagong and it was reported that the term Rohingya comes from Arabic term Rahma: Meaning mercy in English. It was reported that an Arab Ship was wrecked near an Island in the Bay of Bengal and Arakanese king ordered to execute people in the wrecked ship and they shouted to show them Rahma.
File Photo: Bangladeshi children carry empty water pots as they perform during a roadside dance drama to observe World Water Day in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The banner in Bangla reads “Safe water right for all.” Photo by AP / Pavel Rahman
It was reported that the term rahma was changed into Rhohang and from this term Rohingya comes. Whatever origin of this ethnic group, it is very much clear that Rohingaya people today constitute from two ethnic groups: They constitute from Bangladesh origin and indigenous Arakan origin people through inter marriage between Muslim and Buddhists people of that area; it is not origin or race of these people that bothers us today rather suffering of our fellow human beings at the hands of ruthless military governments of Burma and merciless so called Muslim government of Bangladesh that should bother not only Muslim community worldwide but also humanity at large.
In an authentic tradition beloved prophet Muhammad said that you get success and your provision because of weak among you. Helping needy, weak, refugees, sick, poor and elderly is part and parcel of Islamic teaching and indeed, prophets were sent to protect people against all sort of aggression and injustice and violation basic human rights. Prophet Musa struggled to save people from aggression of Pharaoh and Prophet Muhammad always fought for the cause of weak and poor among Arab tribes. The Quran repeatedly call and encourage people to fight against social aggression and injustice and hundreds of traditions instruct Muslim to protect weak and poor in the society yet, all these divine instructions and admonishment were ignored by Bangladesh so called Muslim government in case of Rohingya Muslims: Why is this discrimination against this Muslim minority? Why is this discrimination against its own ethnic group and most probably most of Rohingaya Muslims hail from Bangladesh ethnic origin?
It is a moral duty of Burmese government to protect its own citizens irrespective of their colour, ethnicity and religions. It is against all international norms and laws Burmese military has been killing innocent Muslim people because of their religious belief and way of life. Though, most of them come from same indigenous ethnicity. Today, we live in a modern civilised world. Whether these people are Muslims or not whether they hail from Bangladesh or Burma. They are first and foremost human being like all other human beings. They all hail from human family and them all share human qualities and them all have human feeling like all others. Where is this sense humanism in the hearts of ruling people in Burman and Bangladesh governments respectively? Are not these people human beings like that of Bangladesh and Burmese people? Are not they hail from human race? Where are UN and other human right groups in the face of these gross violations of basic human rights? I wonder whether these people get justice from these so called international organizations.
One could assume that Burmese military and rulers are predominantly Buddhist and they have been manifesting their religious hatred towards Muslims and yet what is wrong with Bangladesh government and military. How could they return innocent Muslim people who come in boats without any sense of remorse and any sense of Islamic brotherhood and Iman? What more striking is that Sheikh Haseena openly told al-Jazeera that Rohingya Muslims are not responsibility of her government? Can she tell this in front of Almighty Allah in the Day of Judgement? Allah gives calamity and difficulties in order test people. This Rohingya Muslim problem may a test for the Muslim community in Bangladesh to test them whether they are supporting their bothers in need in times of hardship? it is not mistake of Bangladesh Muslim people rather it is a wrong policy of Bangladesh government. More than 80% of People will be happy to help these Rohingya Muslim people yet; Government does not allow them do charitable works for these people. Today, government of Bangladesh has asked three international charities not carry out their charitable work for Rohingya refugees.
This raises the question of Islamic brotherhood. How could nay Muslim inhumanly like this? We see in Syrian war, all neighbouring countries open up its door for refugees coming from Syria: it is not doubt a big burden on these countries and yet, in times of difficulties one has to help needy and vulnerable. This is a temporary measure until find some solutions. In this Rohingaya Muslim problems Bangladesh government should play a positive role either they should discuss this issues with Burmese government or should help these refuges for the time beings. Islam give high regards for human life: if you save one life as if you have save humanity and yet, one wonders why Bangladesh government got blind eye on this issue. According to some classical Muslim scholars if any one dies out starvation or hunger in any part of Muslim village and the entire Muslim village will be responsible in the Day of Judgment for such death. I do not know how these so called Muslim rulers are going to get away from their social responsibility in the Day of judgement? Or do not they think that they are going to die one day and face court of divine judgement?
Today in modern world we have more and more international human right organizations, and more and more international criminal courts and international body to speak for human rights and human projects and yet, weak and vulnerable people are subjected to more aggregation and violence today than ever before in human history. Minority ethnic and religious groups all over the world are subjected to social, economic, political and religious discrimination than ever before. Whether it is in African continent or Asian countries or European countries the minority groups face many challenges, discrimination and problems. In the face of these increasing problems and conflicts, the role of UN and similar international bodies become a big joke and mockery. It is argued that UN and international criminal courts are instituted to protect people against aggression of states against people yet, one could question role of these international organizations in today’s modern world: today human rights of weak and vulnerable people more violated than ever before. Then what is the point having all these international originations.
Problems of Muslim minorities all over the world beg one big question. That is to protect Muslim minority rights Muslim minority needs an umbrella international organization to speak for them. Today, more than one third of Muslim people live as minority all over world. The large numbers of Muslim minorities live in African and Asian countries without proper protection at mercy of political parties and militaries: most of Muslim minority rights are violated: but Muslim minorities do not have voice to make their complaints in any proper legal channels. It is high time that Muslim minorities’ subcontinent and African continent get together and form some regional organizations that speak on behalf of them. At least Muslim minorities in European nations are protected with laws of equality and racial discrimination laws. In the absent of such laws in other countries Muslim minority should form regional organizations to speak for them self. Today, though they are minority when they are formed as formidable force under one uniformed organization they could influence many governments.