Monday, August 6, 2012

Muslim gov’ts, groups react to Rakhine State unrest

Monday, 06 August 2012 14:35 Mizzima News

Thousands of Malaysian Muslims and Rohingya refugees marched to the Burmese embassy in Malaysia on Friday to protest the violence against Rohingya Muslims in Burma that left at least 78 dead.

Burmese ethnic Rohingya Muslim living in Malaysia clash with anti-riot police during a protest against the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Burma outside the Myanmar embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, August 3, 2012. Photo: AFP

Emotional protesters chanted slogans before handing a protest note to an embassy security guard.  The protesters said the embassy had refused to meet them, according to wire reports on Monday.

There were an estimated 30,000 Rohingya refugees living in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s foreign ministry on Saturday denounced attacks against Burma’s Muslim minority, saying its envoy in the Buddhist-majority Burma had seen extensive damage caused by sectarian clashes during a tour of Rakhine State last week.

The ministry statement came a day after protesters in Cairo burnt the flag of Burma’s mission.

Ministry spokesman Amr Rushdi “condemned the violence Muslims have been subjected to in Myanmar."

Egypt’s envoy in Burma witnessed “a big disparity in the extent of damage that afflicted each community, as it was clear the Muslim areas were subject to more violence and damage,” the statement said.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said that the number of dead and injured appeared “grossly underestimated,”and accused security forces of opening fire on Muslims and committing rape.

Hundreds of Rohingya men and boys have been rounded up and remain incommunicado in the western region of the country formerly known as Burma, HRW said in a report last week.

Members of both the Muslim and Buddhist communities committed horrific acts of violence with reports of beheadings, stabbings, shootings and widespread arson in Rakhine, also known as Arakan state, the report said.

In related news, Iran has offered financial help to a group of Muslim refugees in Hyderabad, India, UPI reported on Friday.

It said a group of 250 Rohingya Muslims fled to Dargah Ali Shah Qadri in Hyderabad to escape persecution in their Burma.

Mahmoud Safari, Iran’s consul general at Hyderabad, delivered a check for 6,500 Indian rupees (about US$ 1,166) on Thursday to the Confederation of Voluntary Organizations, which works with the UN Human Rights Commission, to help the refugees.

He urged Burmese government officials to work for a fair solution to the unrest, including a permanent solution for the hundreds of thousands of stateless Rohingya Muslims he said were living in makeshift refugee camps.

In Indonesia, jailed Islamist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir threatened to wage war if Burma continues to harm Muslim Rohingyas, in a letter to the Burma’s President Thein Sein posted on a website on Friday, according to wire reports.

The 74-year-old cleric is widely regarded as a spiritual leader of radical Islam in Indonesia – the world's most populous Muslim country – and is currently serving a 15-year-jail term for funding terrorist acts.

“We've heard Muslims screaming in your country because of your acts of have taken them out from their homes and are killing them,” he wrote in a letter dated July 22, which was passed on to followers and published on the website

An outspoken supporter of violent jihad, Bashir was convicted in 2010 of financing a terror cell in Aceh Province.

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