We all should be reminded of the command of Allah,
وَإِنِ اسْتَنْصَرُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ فَعَلَيْكُمُ النَّصْرُ
“and if they seek your help in the Deen, it is your duty to help them” [Al-Anfaal 72]
I’d like to start by talking of the Hurricanes, Harvey and Irma. They brought great havoc and devastation. But, we were aware of them and much planning went into alleviating the suffering. Irma was tracked and studied all the way from Ethiopia. Evacuations in the Caribbean and Florida were thought out and planned. Literally millions were affected and enormous numbers evacuated to safe areas. Despite this dozens died, and many lost their homes. A tragedy.
However, I’d like you to ponder for just a moment. Can you imagine, and we have had blanket news coverage of these hurricanes in recent days. Can you imagine the response if the neighbouring States – Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina had just closed their border, refused to help. Pleaded there is too many. We can’t help and won’t help. Just imagine the outcry in the US and worldwide to such an outrage. “Go back to your hurricane, tough it out in the streets, we don’t want you”
Yet, in this completely man made atrocity. The genocide of a people in Burma (Myanmar) this is the response and not just from neighbouring Bangladesh. This is the appalling state of affairs in the Muslim world today – we do nothing. The regimes ruling over us – do nothing – in fact worse – they are complicit in the genocide. They block their borders. They ignore the pleas for help.
“and if they seek your help in the Deen, it is your duty to help them”
Amidst the blanket Hurricane news reports the head official of the United Nations Human Rights (Zeid Raad Al Hussein) a couple of days ago said it appears to be “a text book case of ethnic cleansing”. As if it’s something to study! Academics will look back at this example in the fullness of time. Too bad, where is the next news item. Dozens killed by a hurricane, and Oh by the way, there is a genocide of thousands of people going on. Next news item please.
It is not as if this was unforeseen. Like the hurricane we have seen it so many times when it comes to this region.
The historians mention that Islam first entered the country in 788 CE at the time of the Khaleefah Harun al-Rashid, when the Islamic Khilafah was the leading state in the world and had been for many centuries. Islam began to spread throughout Burma, when the Burmese saw its greatness, truth and justice. The Muslims ruled Arakan province for more than three and half centuries, between 1430 CE and 1784 CE. Before the supposedly peaceful Buddhists occupied it and wreaked havoc in the province, killing many Muslims in the process.
In 1942, the Muslims were exposed to massacres at the hands of the Buddhists, which claimed the lives of around one thousand Muslims and led to the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of them out of the country. In 1948, Britain granted Burma formal independence and one year earlier Britain had held a conference preparing for independence and called on all the groups and ethnicities in the country to the conference, with the exception of the Muslims.
More than half a million Muslims were expelled from the country in 1978, with more than forty thousand of them, including elderly, women and children, dying due to the harsh conditions imposed on them, according to statistics of the refugee agency of the United Nations.
In 1988, more than 150 thousand Muslims left, and more than half a million Muslims became subjected to forced expulsion from the country.
On June of 2012, a group of Buddhists attacked a bus carrying Muslims killing nine of them. In the wake of this, mass attacks including the torching of houses and further expulsions ensued. Tens of thousands of Muslims were forced from their homes.
For decades, the Rohynga Muslims have faced killings, displacement and expulsion from their homes, as well as demolition of their homes and communities at the hands of spiteful Buddhists. All with the support of successive Burmese regimes.
Decades of living in apartheid squalid conditions and abject poverty, deprived of basic rights to education, healthcare and work, subjected to draconian marriage and child-bearing regulations to curb their numbers, and denied citizenship by the brutal Myanmar regime. Rendering them stateless in a land that they have lived in for generations.
And we haven’t learn from this sorry history.
“and if they seek your help in the Deen, it is your duty to help them”
What is the text book? Rape, Burning villages, Mortaring, Burning people alive, Beheading children, Landmines. The tools of tyranny. The world is ignoring it as the recipients are Muslim. There is no other reason.
You may have seen the tortured images of a young Muslim mother on the news last night in a makeshift hospital. She had asked Allah (swt) for a son, had been blessed with one. But now pleaded with Allah to take her son as he was in such pain, having lost both legs to a landmine whilst fleeing persecution.
What about the response of the regimes and rulers of the Muslim world to this genocide against Muslims. The Hasina regime in Bangladesh, instead of welcoming these persecuted Muslims to its shores and providing them sanctuary has either ordered its border guards to push them away leaving them to drown in their boats or to return to Myanmar’s killing fields, or it has placed them in squalid camps that lack basic necessities, even refusing to recognize them as refugees.
Where is there a state in the world that truly represents the interests of the Muslims and that will strike fear into the hearts of the Myanmar military and Buddhist butchers such that they will not dare to harm a single Rohingya Muslim man, woman or child?
We know that there is NO such state, no such system, no international body in the world today which will do this because we have seen the massacres of Muslims in Syria… and the world did nothing; the massacres of Muslims in Central Africa… and the world did nothing; the mass killings of Muslims in Kashmir, Somalia, Afghanistan, and elsewhere… and yet the world does nothing!
And Allah (swt) says,
وَمَا لَكُمۡ لَا تُقَـٰتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡمُسۡتَضۡعَفِينَ مِنَ ٱلرِّجَالِ وَٱلنِّسَآءِ وَٱلۡوِلۡدَٲنِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَآأَخۡرِجۡنَا مِنۡ هَـٰذِهِ ٱلۡقَرۡيَةِ ٱلظَّالِمِ أَهۡلُهَا وَٱجۡعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّ۬ا وَٱجۡعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ نَصِيرًا
“And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, “Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?” [An-Nisa: 75]
Messenger ﷺ said,
«إِنَّمَا الْإِمَامُ جُنَّةٌ يُقَاتَلُ مِنْ وَرَائِهِ وَيُتَّقَى بِهِ»
“The Imam is but a shield, behind whom the Muslims fight and by whom they are protected.”
Security will not return to the Muslims in that land unless the Khilafah returns under which they took refuge and sought protection, since the time of Khaleefah Harun al-Rashid and for more than three and half centuries. It is only the Khilafah which will provide them security. The solution required is political, to change the regimes which blight the landscape throughout the Muslim world.
“If this world were to be destroyed, that would be less significant before Allah (SWT) than the unlawful killing of a believer.” [Ibn Majah]
Speech given by Jamal Harwood on 12th September 2017 at the ‘Deafening silence on Rohingya Muslims’ Seminar organised by The Open Discussions and The Gulf Cultural Club