RUTHERGLEN, South Lanarkshire – A Scotland mosque in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, has raised over £4,500 for Rohingya Muslim refugees escaping ethnic cleansing in Burma.
“Once again after October 2016 Rohingya is facing a massacre, but this time on a far greater scale from the Myanmar state,” Rehan Ahmed Raza, a member of the Rutherglen mosque, told Daily Record on Friday, September 29.
Raza is strongly committed to raising funds to provide as much food and water, medicinal assistance, and shelter for “forgotten” Rohingya Muslims.
Nearly 429,000 members of the Rohingya Muslim minority have fled from western Rakhine state to Bangladesh to escape a military offensive that the United Nations has branded a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
More than 1,000 people may already have been killed in Burma, mostly minority Rohingya Muslims, a senior United Nations representative told AFP.
Thousands are making their way across the Naf River in extremely dangerous conditions arriving at the borders of Bangladesh completely exhausted and traumatized, having not eaten for days and surviving on rain or groundwater.
“The Rohingyas have lived in Myanmar [Burma] for centuries but they have been denied basic human rights and citizenship.”
Over the past few months, members of the Minhaj-ul-Qur’an on Greenhill Road have collected thousands of pounds worth of donations through Friday prayer appeals and generous donations.
Many volunteers of the group are working on the ground in Burma to deliver aid to the displaced refugees.
Raza, one of the youngest imams in Scotland, spoke at a protest outside the Scottish Parliament building earlier this month.
The protest was attended by politicians and other Muslim leaders.
“The importance of the international community to take practical measures beyond mere condemnation, declarations or publishing reports is appalling,” he said.
“The international criminal silence by world leaders in Burma, Palestine, Kashmir, Yemen and other issues is a threat to global peace and security and raises some serious questions on the global war on terrorism.
“In order to fight the war against terrorism, the international community should adopt a universal approach to world issues rather than being selective.”
According to Human Right Watch, new satellite images show that 99 percent of the villages in Rakhine have been destroyed.
Last Friday, Amnesty International said Burma’s military and vigilante Buddhist mobs continue to set fire to Rohingya Muslim villages in Rakhine, despite the claims by Suu Kyi that army operations have ended there.
The government forces in Burma do not even spare the fleeing Rohingya refugees.
Recent reports by Amnesty International and Bangladeshi officials say the military plants landmines on the path of those trying to cross into Bangladesh, causing them to sustain serious wounds or lose their limbs.