Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Muslim group ‘regrets’ rejection of OIC office

Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:04 Mizzima News

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has expressed “regret” over a Burmese government decision not to allow the opening of an OIC liaison office in Burma’s western Rakhine State.

“We regret this decision because the office that we intended to open was purely for humanitarian purposes for the benefit of all those affected by the violence and without discrimination,” Talal Faous, director of the Muslim Minority Department within OIC, told IRIN, the UN humanitarian news service, from Jeddah.

Buddhist monks and supporters protest in opposition to the opening of an Organization of Islamic States office in Burma. Photo: Bo Bo / Mizzima

The OIC, an association of 56 Islamic states promoting Muslim solidarity in economic, social, and political affairs, based in Saudi Arabia, has requested an official explanation from the government, which announced its decision following widespread demonstrations by Buddhist monks.

Faous’s comments come a day after the President's Office announced that “the opening of the OIC office will not be allowed as it is contradictory to the aspirations of the people.”

Thousands of Buddhist monks marched in Rangoon and Mandalay this week, voicing opposition to the opening of the Islamic office, which was intended to support the distribution of humanitarian aid to victims of the community arrest in Rakhine State.

Sectarian tension has been running high in Rakhine State since up to nearly 100 people were killed and tens of thousands were displaced in June.

According to aid workers, nearly 75,000 people are currently in temporary camps and shelters in Rakhine where they face deteriorating living conditions.

In September, an OIC delegation visited Rakhine State and announced that it would support the Rohingya Muslims in an effort to gain their legitimate rights as citizens.

Leave a Reply