Once again one of the World's most persecuted peoples is raising their head again in the face of torture and oppression. The Muslim minority Rohingya's were attacked and killed and their homes were burned by the Buddhist majority of Myanmar after an alleged rape on a Buddhist woman by some Rohingya's. This violence is normal as the Rohingya's in Myanmar face this kind of violence, threat, intimidation, and torture from the Buddhist civilians and the Myanmar army and security services on a daily basis.
This violence comes at a time where the Myanmar junta leadership are coming out of the cold after years of international isolation. Sanctions were lifted by the US and the European Union as the country moves towards democratisation. The junta wants to show the World that it is changing and can deal with the issue of the different ethnic groups in Myanmar. The west has been keen to open up Myanmar and investors are already on the ground surveying the potential of the country after years of military rule. Myanmar is another stepping stone for the US in curtailing the rise and ambitions of China, who for many years protected and supported the military junta in Myanmar. Many ethnic groups are recognised by the government in Myanmar unfortunately the Rohingya's are not one of them. The government of Myanmar want to end this violence and riots as this will put off investors and hamper the country's shift towards democracy. So a media blackout exists in the areas where the Rohingya Muslims reside in the Rakhine state.
One shameful act from this incident has been how the government of Bangladesh has treated its fellow Muslim brothers and sisters from Myanmar. After the outbreak of violence in the Rohingya stronghold of Rakhine state. Many Rohingya Muslims got into boats and set sail for Bangladesh which neighbours Myanmar. What they witnessed on arrival on the shores of Bangladesh were not their Muslim brothers and sisters giving their fellow Muslims shelter and protection. Rather the orders from the government was to make sure all Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar were sent back into the sea, back to Myanmar, back to oppression and violence. Many on the boats were women and children travelling for 9 hours with lack of food and water. The boats were sent back to sea, what the Bangladesh government did was the same what the Thailand government did a few years ago, when the Rohingya Muslims wanted to seek asylum there. The Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told reporters in regards to this incident that: "It is not in our interest that new refugees come from Myanmar"
So this clearly shows the intentions and actions of the government of Bangladesh that they do not care about their Ummah but uphold and protect the false borders that surround the country. But what is very interesting in regards to this incident is that the Bangladesh government has put a lot of resource and effort in making sure their border with Myanmar is secure holding back a few hundred Rohingya's. Whilst it has not been so careful and forth coming on securing its border with India, where many Bangladeshi's have been shot and killed and degraded by Indian BSF guards. This kind of enthusiasm and motivation is lacking when it comes to dealing with India, this shows the double standards and hypocrisy of the Bangladesh government.
In Islam we have concepts of brotherhood and Ummah. We know about these concepts as they are an innate part of our psyche. Islam defines how we should view the concept of Ummah and brotherhood:
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ
"The Believers are but a single Brotherhood" [Al-Hujurat, 49:10]
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
وَإِنَّ هَٰذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَأَنَا رَبُّكُمْ فَاتَّقُونِ
"And verily this Ummah of yours is One Ummah and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore fear Me (and no other)." [Al-Mu'minun, 23:52]
The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He does not oppress him, nor does he leave him at the mercy of others." [Sahih Muslim]
The Islamic position is a Muslim does not forsake another Muslim. As we have many insincere rulers who do, we find external powers use divisions amongst the Ummah to fulfil their own agenda.
We hope Allah unifies the Ummah into one body, which will end the occupation of our lands and the oppression by our own rulers and those from beyond the Muslim lands.