Persistent Attacks againts Muslims in the Arakan Province of Myanmar

OIC Press Release

17 June 2001

Persistent Attacks againts Muslims in the Arakan Province of Myanmar

The Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has been following with deep concern the news of the continuing inhuman attacks perpetrated by extremist Buddhists against Muslims in the Republic of Myanmar (Burma). Provoking ethnic tension and persecution, displacing people from their homes, burning houses, and murdering women and children, the attacks have, in recent days, even escalated with extremist Buddhists burning down eight historic mosques in the region of Tunju and twenty mosques in Mindano and Arakan. No intervention has been noted on the part of the government authorities to stop these brutal onslaughts. Reports from the area have confirmed that the situation is fuelling fears of continued aggressions and acts of destruction seeking to obliterate the Islamic identity of the Muslim community.

While strongly condemning these criminal acts, the OIC Secretary-General calls on the international community, human rights organizations, and peace-loving groups around the world to denounce them and intervene with the government of Myanmar to bring a halt to the destruction of mosques and historic Islamic places, end the aggressions against Burmese Muslims (Rohanjia), and provide these people with protection. It is also imperative that Burmese Muslims should be given their full rights and allowed to preserve their Islamic identity and exercise their political, social, and cultural rights on an equal footing with other citizens of Myanmar and in accordance with international covenants and agreements. Finally, the government of Myanmar should abolish the discriminatory laws it has enacted against them.