While we are breaking fast at the plentiful tables of Ramadan, which inspires tranquility in our hearts with its particular profound spiritualityenjoyed by about 1.5 billion Muslims, we must not fail to recall our brothers of faith who are being oppressed in every corner of the world.
Without a doubt, the Rohingya Muslims are among our brothers we call to mind in every bite.
The world has come to such a state that innocent people are amassed in boats and left to die on the high seas, on one hand, while millions of people are attending meetings in their offices during the day, messaging each other via social media, watching television, eating with friends at a restaurant or sipping their coffee, on the other.
These people, who are struggling to stay alive for years and have been on the international agenda time and again, are the Rohingyas, one of the most persecuted communities in the world.
The Rohingyas have been denied citizenship since 1982 in their own countries and were given refugee status on that account. They have been living as stateless persons ever since and have been taking shelter in camps where eight to 10 families are forced to reside one within the other.
The Rohingya people were impelled to set out on a dreadful journey to save their lives due to the overwhelming oppression by the Buddhist Myanmar administration; hundreds of them have been set on fire alive, beaten by the dozens, their wives and daughters raped and their property seized.
The entire world bore witness to the humanitarian plight of these unguarded human beings in the 21st century, in a way beyond words, while they remained stranded at sea for two months on the brink of hunger and starvation.
What is more, the number of Rohingyas that were tortured by the human traffickers, and lost their lives on these boats, is estimated to reach over one thousand. Reactions from the international arena grew and Malaysia and Indonesia agreed to take in the adrift Rohingyas and offer shelter to them.
On this basis, we have to be mindful of the fact that Islam is a religion commanding all Muslims who have faith in God, a love of God, and who act in the way of God to come together in unity like “a well-built wall” and be guardians of one another.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of all Muslims in the world to protect and take care of the Rohingyas who are so ruthlessly persecuted in their own land, whose villages and homes are set on fire, whose mothers, fathers and children are tortured, whose men are slain in cold blood, and who are forced to take shelter in other countries in difficult conditions.
The Rohingyas held high-ranking offices as grand viziers, scribes, governors, generals and ministers and contributed significantly to the political history of their country for more than 350 years.
However, their Muslim identities were denied following the 1962 coup, and they were declared to be “foreigners” by means of various propaganda methods, expelled from their offices and all their rights and freedoms were restricted. Turning a blind eye to the plight of our Rohingya brothers, whose very right to exist has been denied to them, would mean assenting to the oppression of ruthless rulers.
For that reason, the responsibility falling upon all believers with good conscience, in every part of the world, is to defend the rights of our brothers of the Rohingya Muslims, just like all the other innocents who suffer at the hands of oppression and tyranny, and we must make the utmost effort in order to put a halt to their maltreatment and improve their living conditions.
It is obvious that taking a step to that end, in order to establish public opinion so that they may win their rights and carry out the most influential efforts in that regard, is an obligation for all Muslims.
We are gratified with joy as our love and devotion to God, our Lord, is strengthened by means of this holy month of Ramadan, and we pray and ask God for the salvation of all persecuted Muslims and our Rohingya brothers during our fast.
Thus, we must never fail to remember that we need to make the utmost effort to hasten the Islamic Union, which is the essential principle for the serenity and security of the Islamic world. This is how our prayers must be so that we can put behind us the separation and resentment between Muslims and establish unity as soon as possible.
The writer has published over 300 books on political topics,
morals of the Qur’an and Islam and Science topics translated into 73 languages.