Rohingya suffering human rights abuses and slavery in Muslim countries!

You are going to get weary of me saying I can’t believe what I am reading.  Earlier today it was about the Russians teaching Christianity in public schools and now a Rohingya Muslim organization is condemning Muslim countries for abusing Muslim refugees and enslaving them.  Yikes!  What is happening to the religion of peace!

Here is the entire statement from the Rohingya Youth Development Forum [editor: emphasis below is mine]:

Today, the 20th June 2008, refugees in all over the world are celebrating the World Refugee Day in order to show their solidarity with African refugees. In this day, refugees get opportunity to express their feeling and views in order to seek sympathy from concerned quarters to have a home for them.

There are over 50 million refugees in the world. Most of them are religiously Muslim from different Muslim countries or Muslim minority states of the world but all possible measures are taking by non-Muslim organizations, states and parties. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is the main actor for the protection of refugees and doing its utmost for the betterment of refugee communities of the world. But, sometimes, we find that some of its staffs play a kind of discriminatory role in treating the refugees, which is merely based of religious on cultural background.

On the other hands, almost all of the Muslims states are not party to the UN’s 1951 refugee convention relating to the status of refugees and its additional protocol of 1967. Due to lack of their ratification, concerned refugee agencies face problem to share refugee burdens with Muslim countries.

It may be noted that most of the refugees in Muslim states are the worst victims of human rights violation and constantly facing maltreatments in the hands of authorities, as they do not recognize refugees in their legislation.

We are sure that all of the Muslim countries are the member States of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) that is considered as an alternative United Nations for Muslim population of the world. All of these states are bound to practice Islamic Obligation to respect the rights of Muslim refugees who take shelter in their countries for a time being.

Rather playing an obligatory role for the protection of refugees (Muhajireen), they deny the acknowledgement of refugee recognition. Due to their irresponsibleness, refugees from Muslim communities are facing brutal human rights abuses.

Being main body of Muslim, OIC would pave a vital role for the protection of refugees that accorded in the peaceful religion of Islam.

We find that Muslim Rohingya refugees from Burma are scattered in many different parts of the world. Most of them are now languishing in Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Middle East and Malaysia. They are passing their lives under modern slavery. These refugees do not have chance to escape from the inhumanities and so seeking international supports to find durable solution.

Based on the irresponsibleness of Muslim world, UNHCR dare to marginalize some groups of Muslim refugees, particularly the Rohingyas of Burma, as OIC does not pay attention to the matter of suffering Rohingyas.

Nevertheless, the UNHCR has its mandates to find permanent solution to refugee crises through repatriation, local integration and resettlement. As both of repatriation and local integration of the Rohingya refugee becomes impossible, the only option of resettlement in a third country is left for the unfortunate Rohingya refugees.

In these circumstances, we appeal to the member states of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to take effective measures for the protection of Rohingya refugees and to end slavery, while negotiating with the UNHCR and refugee resettling countries to make paces for them. We appeal OIC to take step to ratify refugee convention and other international instruments in order to improve human rights in the countries.

We also appeal to the UNHCR and other concerned quarters, particularly the Government of United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Finland and etc. to kindly extend more assistance for the resettlement of Rohingya refugees in order to find a permanent solution to their long-standing problems and miseries of modern slavery

Central Executive Committee

Rohigya Youth Development Forum (RYDF)

I have to give this group credit for being truthful.   Of course, in light of the fact that the Rohingya are not being taken care of by their fellow Muslims (some very rich countries like Saudi Arabia could do more), they are looking to benevolent non-Muslim countries like the US, Canada, Australia etc. for resettlement.

Want to be a volag?

Last week the State Department released the FY2009 ‘Funding Opportunity Announcement’ which is all the rules and regulations for being chosen as a government contractor to resettle refugees.   It is very instructive and demonstrates too how the same volags (some are non-profit church groups) have a lock on the contracts year after year.   One has to have experience and have been a non-profit for three years among other requirements.   How would some new outfit ever get experience?   I doubt anyone is giving newbies a few refugees to practice with! 

Although now that I think about it, maybe that isn’t such a bad idea.  I doubt they could mess up any worse then some of the long-time contractors have recently.

Russia: Christian education in public schools will help immigrants assimilate

Wow!  I would never have guessed this:  The Russian government is allowing Christian education in public schools as a way to assimilate immigrants, especially Muslims, to Russian society.

Here is how the Los Angeles Times report begins:

KOSTROVO, RUSSIA — Today they would learn about drawing, Russian Orthodox saints and God. The 7-year-olds sat straight at their desks, sun pouring through lace curtains and cherry trees blooming in the fields beyond. The teacher set a birch branch before the children and told them it was fragile and unique, just like their souls.

“If you think you can’t draw properly, who will help you?” she asked.

“God will help us,” a boy called out.

“Yes, God will guide your hand, so be confident, have faith.”

This is Tuesday, one of the two days a week dedicated to Orthodox education at this sleepy public school in the lush forests outside Moscow. All the girls and women have forgone pants in favor of skirts, and every student is learning Christian catechism along with reading, writing and arithmetic.

It’s an unlikely scene, not least because this is a public school in a country that, just a few decades back, prided itself on institutional atheism. It’s also a strange sight because as many as half of the pupils are Muslim, with a few Jews, Buddhists and nonbelievers mixed in. Many of their families arrived recently from Central Asia and the Caucasus in search of better schools and jobs.

At school, the students paint massive murals of Jesus, memorize myriad details about Orthodox saints and discuss New Testament stories with the local priest, who barrels into class in flowing black robes to oversee the students’ spiritual formation. At home, some of the children are learning to read the Koran in Arabic.

Unbelievable!  Did you ever think you would see something like this in your lifetime!  Most European nations are running from their Christian roots and Russia is embracing them. 

The government has so far avoided entanglement in a growing debate over whether the classes are appropriate for public education. The decision over whether to add them — and the nebulous question of where culture ends and theology begins — has been left in the hands of local school officials.

 The Russians are basically saying that multiculturalism stinks!

….. supporters believe that the courses in Orthodox history and culture will unify Russia by filling an ideological void left by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Orthodox Christianity is the defining core of Russian history and identity, they say, and should be a compulsory subject for every student. Muslim immigrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus are in particular need of Orthodox understanding, they contend, so they can grasp the culture of their new home.

Unbelievable!  I’m so stunned I don’t know what else to say!