OPEN LETTER TO THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF NEW ZEALAND
We begin this letter in the name of Allah (God), the most merciful, the especially merciful.
In the last few months the plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has gained much attention. We feel that it is important to continue raising awareness of the genocide that is currently being carried out against the Rohingya. Day by day their situation grows more dire and they are greatly in need of assistance.
For years there has been systematic oppression of the Rohingya people by the military in Myanmar. They have been subjected to severe economic, social, education, employment and travel discrimination. At least 800,000 of them have become stateless since the adoption of the restrictive Burmese citizenship law in 1982. Despite years of persecution, it appears that little has been done to help. Over the last few months, violence against the Rohingya has been rapidly escalating.
There have been numerous alleged atrocities documented by the U.N office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights. There have been reports of serious human rights violations including gang-rapes and extrajudicial killings. There have been reports of crimes being committed against children and even babies.
Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de-facto leader and Nobel peace laureate, has so far done nothing to help stop the violence. There are many world leaders who have condemned what is happening in Myanmar but no decisive actions have been taken.
We hope that the people of New Zealand will generously support the organizations that are providing aid to the Rohingya. At the moment, it is understood that the government of Myanmar has blocked all aid from reaching the Rakhine state. However, there are thousands who have fled to the borders and are currently living in refugee camps. They are in great need of assistance.
We would like to thank the Government of New Zealand for playing a significant role in accepting many Rohingya refugees into New Zealand. However, we hope that more can be done by New Zealand and the international community to put more pressure on the government of Myanmar to stop the ongoing persecution of the Rohingya.
“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allâh is that (believer) who is one of the pious. Verily, Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” — Qur’an (Chapter 49, Verse 13).
Muslims in New Zealand
At-Taqwa Trust (www.masjidattaqwa.co.nz)
New Zealand Islamic Information Centre (NZIIC) (www.nziic.org)