Myan­mar: Who are the Ro­hingya?

The Miracle - - Front Page - May the allmighty bless and keep us all.

In­ter­fatih fo­rum on racism and ex­trem­ism at Al Jamia Masjid Van­cou­ver On Sep­t10th an in­ter­faith fo­rum on racism and ex­trem­ism was hosted by the Al Jamia Masjid Van­cou­ver. This long planned pro­gram pro­gram was reded­i­cated as a di­a­logue and call to ac­tion to ben­e­fit the Ro­hingya peo­ple fac­ing per­se­cu­tion, star­va­tion and geno­cide in Myan­mar. The event was at­tended by a di­verse as­sem­bly of men, women, chil­dren, so­cial ac­tivists of all faiths and back­grounds who have come to­gether to stand up to racism and stand up for peace. The pro­gram was em­ceed and mod­er­ated by Ha­roon Khan and in­cluded first per­son ac­counts from Ro­hingya na­tives now liv­ing in Canada in­clud­ing Sis­ter Yas­min Ul­lah and Brother Nasir Khan who re­layed sear­ing and heart­break­ing sto­ries of the con­flict and how it con­tin­ues to af­fect them and those in dan­ger back home. Com­mon sen­ti­ments among speak­ers and at­ten­dees in­cluded a call to re­voke the hon­ourary Cana­dian cit­i­zen­ship and No­bel lau­re­ate sta­tus of Myan­mar leader Aung Saan Suu Kyi, in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions against the regime and mil­i­tary of Myan­mar, UN peace keep­ing forces on the ground and as­sis­tance to NGO’s de­liv­er­ing emer­gency aid and sup­port for Ro­hingya refugees flee­ing the re­gion. Why the in­ter­faith and so­cial jus­tice ad­vo­cacy is so im­por­tant on this and other mat­ters that af­fect hu­man­ity. Speak­ers in­cluded: Ih­san Malik: Chair­man, Is­lamic Trust, Pak­istan Canada As­so­ci­a­tion who greeted the as­sem­bled au­di­ence on be­half of the PCA and Masjid and gave a state­ment con­demn­ing the atroc­i­ties fac­tor Ng the Ro­hingya peo­ple in Myan­mar. Sis­ter Fa­tima Ben­hatta: BC Chair, Is­lamic Re­lief, Canada, spoke of the sit­u­a­tion un­fold­ing in Myan­mar, the mis­treat­ment of the Ro­hingya and on­go­ing re­lief ef­forts by Is­lamic Re­lief, an es­teemed re­lief agency cur­rently in the con­flict zone de­liv­er­ing needed emer­gency aid on the ground. Sikan­dar Khan: Past Pres­i­dent, BC Mus­lim As­so­ci­a­tion gave greet­ings on be­half of BCMA, spoke of the his­tor­i­cal im­por­tance of Al Jamia Masjid Van­cou­ver, and founder Ri­asat Ali Khan’s im­pact and ded­i­ca­tion to the Is­lamic and mul­ti­cul­tural com­mu­ni­ties and gave his views on the sit­u­a­tion in Myan­mar. An­nie Ohana - Stand up to racism metro van­cou­ver co-chair and a BC teacher gave an ad­dress and de­liv­ered a sys­tem­atic set of points re­lay­ing as to why the sit­u­a­tion in Myan­mar has es­ca­lated from Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, to Os­tracism, Con­fis­ca­tion, Con­cen­tra­tion, and An­ni­hi­la­tion of the Ro­hingya peo­ple. Rabbi David Mi­vasir spoke mov­ingly by not speak­ing at all at first by us­ing tonal hums and then spoke re­lat­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of the holo­caust of the jews and the par­al­lels oc­cur­ring today and echoed An­nie Ohana’s call on why the phrase Never Again ap­plies to all and most es­pe­cially to the Ro­hingya who are fac­ing a geno­cide here and now. Im­tiaz Popat: co-op Ra­dio, Anti-Big­otry Coali­tion - long stand­ing sup­porter of hu­man rights gave voice to an ap­peal for UN Peace Keep­ers to in­ter­vene and take charge of the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in Myan­mar. Jesse Kaur: gave a mov­ing read­ing of her work si­lence vi­o­lence Tarek Ra­madan: Mus­lim As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada chair­man and long stand­ing com­mu­nity ac­tivist gave an im­pas­sioned speech on the sit­u­a­tion in Myan­mar and gave an hon­est as­sess­ment of the fail­ures by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to bring peace there and other re­gions af­fected by war and sec­tar­ian vi­o­lence. Furquan Gehlan: Canada Peace Ini­tia­tive BC Chair gave a talk and call to ac­tion about the im­por­tance for Canada to es­tab­lish a Min­istry of Peace within the Cana­dian Gov­ern­ment. Mufti Aasim Rashid of Al Ih­san Ed­u­ca­tional Foun­da­tion and Is­lam Un­rav­elled lead us in prayer and gave an in­sight­ful take on the sit­u­a­tion in Myan­mar, Ex­trem­ism and racism and pre­sented an im­por­tant talk on Is­lam Un­rav­elled an ed­u­ca­tional ini­tia­tive that now more than ever is needed to counter the mis­in­for­ma­tion and Is­lama­pho­bia that ex­ists today and that has im­pacted the sit­u­a­tion in Myan­mar and has con­trib­uted to the rise of ex­trem­ism today. Musa Is­mail: Past Pres­i­dent, BC Mus­lim As­so­ci­a­tion, Is­lam Un­rav­elled co-chair de­liv­ered his re­marks on the tragedy fac­ing the Ro­hingya and why it is so im­por­tant for all faith based groups to come to­gether for hu­man­ity. Ha­roon Khan gave his clos­ing re­marks and re­layed a mes­sage from Brother Kwan of the Bud­dhist com­mu­nity, too heart­sick to at­tend the fo­rum but who passed on the mes­sage that the Bud­dhists com­mit­ting atroc­i­ties in Myan­mar do not rep­re­sent Bud­hists or the teach­ings of the Bud­dha. Ha­roon Khan con­cluded that Ex­trem­ism and Racism ex­pressed by those claim­ing to rep­re­sent, Mus­lims, Jews, Chris­tians, Sikhs, Hin­dus, Bud­dhists, ag­nos­tics and oth­er­wise must be seen as fanat­acism and mur­der­ous ex­trem­ism un­der the guise of re­li­gion and not rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the teach­ings and ex­am­ples of our prophets and faiths. This is a re­minder to heed the com­mand of the allmighty to not hate and mis­trust one an­other but for us to un­der­stand and know one an­other. The fo­rum con­cluded with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of all com­mu­ni­ties at­tend­ing and sup­port­ing the fo­rum to come to­gether to con­tinue the work to­wards peace and to or­ga­nize fundrais­ing ben­e­fits for the Ro­hingya peo­ples and to di­rect our fed­eral lead­er­ship to match funds dol­lar for dol­lar to de­liver des­per­ately needed aid. Ha­roon Khan, Yousef Barakat and Bi­lal Cheema were given di­rec­tive to lobby in this re­gard and all af­firmed to push for diplo­matic pres­sure in keep­ing with our na­tional iden­tity as ad­vo­cates for peace and peace keep­ing in the world. The peo­ple united will never be de­feated. Stand up to Racism Stand up for Jus­tice.

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