As the second-largest Muslim nation, Pakistan is 96 percent Muslim, with the remaining population comprised of Christians, Hindus, and Ahmadis. However, convictions of this small percentage of religious minorities under Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws frequently make international headlines. These laws allow the death penalty for anyone convicted of insulting the Prophet Muhammad or his companions. More concerning is that even before courts can convict someone, Islamist vigilantes murder many of those accused of blasphemy, and the head of the leading political party, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, encourages these murders. Recent laws have further protected Islamic teachings with strict censorship rules. However, if Pakistan will take such great lengths to “protect” Islam and its Muslim citizens, it should also seek to protect fellow Muslims abroad who are the victims of ethnic cleansing, oppression, or persecution. Here, I name the Rohingya, the Uighurs, and Palestinian Muslims.

Rohingya

Though relatively unknown in the West before 2017, the Rohingya are a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority in Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh. Their tumultuous history reaches back to British colonization. Some have lived in Myanmar (specifically in Rakhine State) for centuries and converted to Islam via Islamic traders. Encouraged by the British, others came from Bangladesh into Myanmar as migrant laborers. After World War II, the British did not fulfill their promise to create the Rohingya’s own state, and Myanmar stripped them of citizenship in 1982. Thus, termed as “illegal immigrants,” the military-controlled government has held thousands in camps in inhumane conditions for years.

Myanmar has not allowed journalists, either national or foreign, in Rakhine State since the conflict between the Rohingya and Myanmar’s security forces, also known as the Tatmadaw, escalated in 2017. As a result, determining the severity of the situation is near impossible. However, most agree that Rohingya militants (the Arakan Rhakine Salvation Army or ARSA) attacked 30 police posts and killed 12 security force members on August 25, 2017. Amnesty International has compiled significant evidence that Rohingya militants massacred at least a hundred Hindus in Rakhine State that same day. These events prompted a brutal crackdown by the Tatmadaw that resulted in 288 burned Rohingya villages, approximately 6,700 Rohingya dead, and hundreds of thousands fleeing to Bangladesh. …

This article was originally published in Providence Magazine. To continue reading, please click here.

By Isabella Meibauer

RASHEEDA’S STORY

RASHEEDA’S STORY

Rasheeda, who belongs to a poor Christian family, lives near RAM. She is diabetic and suffers from hypertension. Her husband brought her to our medical clinic. She could not walk or stand properly because of many wounds on her feet. Our medical staff quickly...

Shumaila and Maria’s Story

Shumaila and Maria’s Story

Sisters Shumaila and Maria are two brilliant students in our sewing class at the Sablone House. Their family takes care of animals that belong to Muslims, and in return they get food and a living place, which they share with the animals. Their own mud house was...

ZEESHAN’S STORY

ZEESHAN’S STORY

  Zeeshan is a young Christian enrolled in our 3-month computer training course. Zeeshan belongs to a poor family and is the only earner in the house. He works as a photographer, but he does not have editing skills. He has been paying a editor most of his...

0 Comments

error: Content is protected !!