Arakan Rohingya Union Joins the Rally; Director General Speaks on Persecution of Rohingya and National Election
Washington, DC. On the day of National Election in Myanmar, November 8, 2015, the Interfaith Community in Washington organized a rally in front of the Embassy of Burma/Myanmar. The rally included the B’nai Israel Community Center, World Christian Church, ADAMS (All Dulles Area Muslim Society) Center in Northern Virginia, Centre County Interfaith Community in Pennsylvania, MSA (Muslim Students Association of the Pennsylvania State University, Islamic Society of Central Pennsylvania, United to End Genocide, US Campaign for Burma, Islamic Society of North America, and Arakan Rohingya Union.
A number of speakers spoke at the rally. Dr. David Schoenbaum, a retired professor of history at University of Iowa and the author of “Hitler’s Social Revolution”, opened with his speech with the headline “Never Again”, recounting the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. Dr. Schoenbaum emphatically declared at the rally that the global community will never let the same to happen to Rohingya in Burma that has happened to Jews in Nazi Germany in 1940s. “In practicing history, my checklist of what is inflicted on Rohingya (in Myanmar) today is almost identical to what (Nazi) German has inflicted on central European Jews in Germany” Dr. Schoebaum emphatically stated.
The Rabbi of B’nai Israel Jewish Community Center, Michael Safra, spoke on disenfranchisement of Rohingya, and he questioned the democratic system in Myanmnar. “The state (Government of Myanmar) sponsored discrimination and popular hatred created the climate for racism, xenophobia, and hate. The Rabbi echoed on “Never Again” referring to persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany and to Rohingya in Myanmar.
Dr. Wakar Uddin, the Director General of Arakan Rohingya Union, spoke on the persecution and basic human right violation against Rohingya by the Government of Myanmar, with the most recent violation of disenfranchisement of Rohingya from the National Election for the time in the history of Myanmar. “The 1935 Nuremberg Law is revisiting Myanmar”, referring to the religious conversion law, marriage law, and others in Myanmar that are targeting the Muslim and Christian minorities.
Jamie Ruskin, Maryland State Senator, condemned the persecution of Rohingya in Myanmar. Senator Raskin directed his speech at the genocidal policy of the Government of Myanmar,and made it clear that the international community stands by the Rohingya people of Myanmar. “We got to work together to stop what is happening there (to Rohingya) in Myanmar” Senator Ruskin has vowed. “It is not a moment of celebration when a quarter of the seats are set aside for the military and the whole election is based on exclusion and disenfranchisement of citizens who has been rendered stateless by illegitimate practices violating human rights of the Rohingya people – so we cannot celebrate this election” Senator Ruskin declared at rally.
Dr. Sarah Malone, the Minister and the Centre County Interfaith Community leader, called on the radical Buddhist monks in Myanmar to respect the very ideals of their Lord Buddha, to choose peace over violence. “The persecution of Rohingya people by extremist and nationalist Buddhist is not in accordance with the teaching of Buddha – they need to listen to what their Lord Buddha teaches” Dr Malone stated.
Nasir El Said, the Imam of Islamic Society of Central Pennsylvania, spoke on peace and teaching of Islam which denounces violence against any religious and ethnic minority. Imam Nasir explained how Islam forbid the violence citing Surah from Qur’an, and conveyed the message of support for each other on noble efforts and non-cooperation with each other on animosity, hatred, genocide, and destruction of others. “There is no revelation, no book, and no teaching (of religion) that promote what is happening over in Burma, Syria, and many other places in the world” the Imam has added.
Simon Billenness, Director of US Campaign for Burma, spoke about the disenfranchisement of Rohingya people from the National Election in Myanmar. Mr. Billenness has unequivocally told the audience that Rohingya are a true ethnic minority of Myanmar, and squarely put the blame on the Burmese military regime for plights of Rohingya. “It is the Burmese military that has revoked the citizenship of Rohingya, using policy of ethnic cleansing, forcing them out of the country, encouraging Ma Ba Tha, …” Mr. Billenness has stated.