Tuesday 31 July 2012

Joy of rozadars


Abû Hurayrah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah says: ‘Every deed of the child of Adam is for himself, except for fasting. It is for Me and I shall reward it.’ Fasting is a shield, so if it is a day of fasting for any one of you, then he should engage in no obscenity or shouting. If anyone belittles him or fights with him, he should just say ‘I am a person who is fasting’. I swear by Him in whose hand is Muhammad’s soul, the smell of the fasting person’s breath is sweeter to Allah on the Day of Judgment than that of musk. The fasting person has two occasions for joy, one when he breaks his fast because of his breaking it and the other when he meets his Lord because of the reward for his fast.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (7492) and Sahîh Muslim (1151) with the wording being that of Muslim]

Saturday 28 July 2012

Aamir Khan & 'Truth Alone Prevails': Bollywood Star Takes On India's Taboos In New Show


 A Bollywood megastar is making India confront its dark side.
Shining light on inequities like the rampant abortion of female fetuses, caste discrimination and the slaying of brides in dowry disputes, actor Aamir Khan has reached an estimated one-third of the country with a TV talk show that tackles persistent flaws of modern India that many of its citizens would prefer to ignore.
"Satyamev Jayate", or "Truth Alone Prevails," is a clever blend of hard news and raw emotional appeal – part "60 Minutes," part Oprah Winfrey. Its influence has even prodded the notoriously lethargic government machinery into action, though it's too soon to know what policy changes may be in the works.
After an episode exposed rampant medical malpractice and championed giving cheap, generic medicine to millions of India's poor, Khan was invited to address a Parliament hearing on health care.
Indians haven't seen anything quite like this. Hard-hitting talk shows are rare and certainly none has acquired even a fraction of the popularity and buzz Khan's has generated since it debuted 11 weeks ago. And Bollywood superstars have ventured into television only to host glitzy game or reality shows.
For many middle-class Indians – comfortable in their belief that their country had moved beyond most of these problems – Khan's show has been a gut-wrenching and poignant dose of bitter reality.
"Definitely it's reminding people that there are problems within our society," said Narendra Kumar, an environmental researcher in New Delhi. "It's also creating discussions and sometimes helping people find solutions to the problems."
The show forced Paromita Dey to confront an act she had tried to bury.
Four years ago, Dey and her husband Souporno – already parents to a teenage daughter – ended a pregnancy because she was carrying another girl. Like millions of Indian families, they wanted a son.
In the opening episode of Khan's program in May, Ameesha Yagnik haltingly recalled how her husband forced her to abort six female fetuses in eight years. How he threw her out of the house but refused to let her meet her infant daughter for months until she agreed to divorce him.
Both Khan and his audience were in tears.
So were the Deys when they watched the show.
"Yes, I killed my baby because she was a girl," a shaken Paromita Dey said, sitting in her home in a posh neighborhood in the northern city of Lucknow.
That India's highly skewed gender ratio is a cause for concern isn't new. Census after census has revealed that fewer and fewer girls are being born, despite strict laws against sex-selective abortions and a slew of failed government incentives and programs.
Yet Khan's show created such an outpouring of outrage that the government of the western state of Rajasthan, with one of the worst gender ratios, promised action, and a village head there formed a committee to check against the practice.
"It's both ironic and amusing that it took an actor from Bollywood to shine a light on the yawning gaps in Indian journalism," political commentator Tavleen Singh wrote in a recent column.
The show has done "what us hacks should have been doing over and over again," she wrote.
Khan, 47, began his career in Bollywood as a romantic hero in the late 1980s. But over the last decade he has broken new ground in Bollywood, fashioning a career path combining the social consciousness of George Clooney with the hero appeal of Tom Cruise.
Now one of the industry's very biggest stars, he has the cachet to push through any project he chooses. He produced, directed and acted in a film about the journey of a misunderstood dyslexic child. His film "3 Idiots" examined the sorry state of India's education system. He's thrown his weight behind social causes – joining anti-dam protesters and embracing an anti-corruption activist. The talk show has cemented his status as Bollywood's first true activist-star.
Khan initially was asked to host a TV game show. He refused.
"I want to do something dynamically different," he told Open magazine. "I continued to think about it, and slowly this idea was conceived."
"Satyamev Jayate" has tackled many horrors unique to India: the torture and murder of young brides for bringing insufficient dowries to their in-laws; the shunning and degradation of those at the bottom of Hinduism's caste hierarchy.
Others are more universal – alcoholism and child sexual abuse – but made worse by a conservative culture unwilling to deal with them.
The program is broadcast on several networks estimated to reach about 400 million people in India. Since its debut, more than 13 million people have posted suggestions and messages of support on the show's website. The alcohol abuse episode sent 60,000 phone calls flooding the Alcoholics Anonymous helpline, said the show's co-director Svati Chakravarty.
"It was unprecedented in the history of AA worldwide."
Rights workers say Khan has used his celebrity with remarkable effect.
Stalin K, a rights activist and documentary filmmaker who appeared in the caste episode, said none of the issues raised were new, but that Khan's show was giving them far more attention than the glancing treatment they usually get in India's media.
"It's a different level of engagement," he said. "The conversations are much deeper."
Khan's reputation as a thinking person's superstar adds to the show's credibility, but for the most part he keeps to the background – only speaking when someone looks lost for words or to explain something to his audience.
In a recent episode, Khan interviewed a university professor who had battled years of discrimination for being a dalit – the lowest Hindu caste. Kaushal Panwar spoke about being taunted in her village school, about not being allowed to drink water from the same clay pot as upper caste children.
Khan interjected only a few times, mostly to give Panwar time to hold back her tears, and once to admonish his audience and viewers that "if I believe an accident of birth makes me superior to you, that is a mental illness."
It remains to be seen whether the show's momentum can translate into substantial reforms. But Stalin says Khan's work is vitally important.
"This amount of discussion in such a short amount of time is unprecedented," he said.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Afghan teen murder spotlights growing violence against women


Pressing her cheek against the fresh grave of her newly married teenage daughter, Sabera yowls as she gently smears clumps of dirt over her tear-stained face.

"My daughter! Why did they kill you so brutally?" the mother screams in the sparsely filled cemetery in Parwan province, 65 km (40 miles) north of the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Sabera says her daughter Tamana was killed by a relative in a so-called "honour killing", in what officials link to a wider trend of rapidly growing violence against women in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan's independent human rights commission has recorded 52 murders of girls and women in the last four months, 42 of which were honour killings, compared to 20 murders for all of last year.
Activists and some lawmakers accuse President Hamid Karzai's government of selling out to the ultra-conservative Taliban, with whom it seeks peace talks, as most foreign troops prepare to leave the country by the end of 2014.
During their 1996-2001 reign, the Taliban banned women from education, voting and most work, and they were not allowed to leave their homes without permission and a male escort, rights which have been painstakingly won back.
But there are signs the government is backsliding on women's rights. Earlier this year, Karzai appeared to back recommendations from powerful clerics that stated women are worth less than men and can be beaten.
"Karzai has certainly changed, and women's issues are no longer a priority for him," said outspoken female lawmaker Fawzia Koofi.
Last week, Hanifa Safi, head of women's affairs in eastern Laghman province, became the first female official to be killed this year when a bomb planted on her car exploded.
A spokesman for Karzai said the government is committed to women's rights. "Unfortunate incidents against women do occur. The government is doing what it can," said Siamak Herawi.
FORCED MARRIAGE
Fifteen-year-old Tamana died not far from where a young woman was publicly executed for alleged adultery last month, touching off an international outcry.
Tamana's parents say she never returned from a trip to the local bakery in March, located near their home in Parwan's capital Charikar.
The next time they saw her was one week ago, lying dead on a hospital bed. A video filmed on their mobile phone last Monday at her funeral shows the teenager's bruised face swathed in white sheets.
"My daughter always said she wouldn't stop studying, and would one day become important, having to travel to work in a convoy of cars," Sabera told Reuters in her spartan living room, where flies buzzed over ruby red carpets.
"But now she is under a tonne of clay," she said, prompting her husband, retired intelligence official Abdul Fatah, to wipe a tear from his wrinkled eyes.
Tamana was forcibly married to her cousin after refusing his advances for months, they say, adding she was beaten and killed for being a "disobedient" wife, unable to hide unhappiness at her plight.
Reuters could not independently verify the family's claims, but police in Charikar said they believe Tamana was intentionally poisoned, although cannot say with certainty until the results of the autopsy come later this month.
No one has been arrested over Tamana's killing, but the alleged killer's sister was given as a bride to Tamana's brother as compensation, abiding by the brutal Afghan practice 'baad', which is widespread despite Karzai criminalising it in 2009.
She is one of eight women killed in Parwan since March including two in Bagram, home to a major U.S. base, who were shot to death. 

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Scant compassion for Muslim Rohingya refugees



Entering the Rohingya camps along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border is restricted.
Officially they don't even exist, but in reality authorities tolerate their presence. Bangladeshi official say there are about 300,000 unregistered Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar living in dismal and squalid conditions with no electricity or drinking water and restricted from access to hospitals or schools. Leaving the camps is prohibited, but many find a way out anyway.
Visitors are not welcome, especially ones with cameras. Police informants are placed inside and out to keep an eye on unauthorised visitors. We managed to sneak in during a sudden spell of heavy monsoon downpour. The rains were a blessing; the police informants ran for cover and we walked unnoticed into the camp. As we climbed up the narrow muddy lanes, an eerie silence hung thick in the air. Behind each improvised tent we passed, we could see the eyes of men, women and children peering out. They were all quiet, as if in hiding. Some were shaking. They were scared.
Last month, sectarian violence between the Rohingya Muslim minority and the Buddhist majority left about 80 dead and many more injured in Myanmar's Rakhine state bordering Bangladesh. The violence was taken as a sign of more to come; thousands tried to flee across the border into Bangladesh and they continue to do so.
Authorities in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka do not see these fleeing Rohingyas as refugees but as illegal asylum seekers, and the country's border guards are under strict order to send them back to where they came from. Still, many make it across.
Huddled in a dark makeshift tent made of mud and plastic sheets, I tried to speak to a group of them. It took time to build trust, to get the conversation going. Their silence speaks much louder than words. Some wept. A 14-year-old girl broke the silence.
She said one word.
"Rape".
The others followed suit. They told us the Myanmar army and police go house to house, abducting men and sexually abusing women. One of the elders described what was happening in his homeland as state sponsored sectarian violence. And it is escalating, he said.
For decades, Muslim Rohingyas have suffered extreme discrimination. Their dark skin and religious difference are a source of deep prejudice amongst Myanmar's Buddhist majority.  They are prohibited from owning land, running businesses, practicing their religion or getting married.
Myanmar's move towards democracy last year instilled many Rohingya with a new sense of hope. Most are supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi, but she has remained uncomfortably quiet on their plight.
Roughly 29,000 Rohingya are recognised as refugees by the Bangladeshi government and UNHCR. In the eyes of the Bangladesh authorities the 300,000 others don't exist, so they do not receive any UN aid.  A handful of aid agencies work with them, but none of them want to be filmed or named.
They say if we film these camps, the Bangladeshi authorities could shut their aid programmes down. Authorities have already refused $33m in UN aid money for the Rohingya and local Bangladeshi community in the area, saying that this would make life too comfortable and may risk attracting more refugees to Bangladesh.
As the downpour turned to a drizzle we made our way out of the camp before the informants showed up. The monsoon weather kept us safe, before it stopped we had to move. As we hurried out, a group of Rohingyas hurried in, like us, using the rain as the only source of cover.

Thursday 19 July 2012

Indian campaign confronts prevalence of female foeticide



Elsewhere, it would have been front page news: a couple on the run after being caught trying to bury their newborn baby girl alive. But in India, where there are now 914 girls for every 1,000 boys, the case this week in Dausa, Rajasthan, warranted just 300 cursory words on an inside page. "Yet another incident of apathy towards the girl child", said the Deccan Herald.
Call it apathy, call it attempted murder. The fact is, said Zaheer Abbas, "most Indians are preoccupied with trying to eat two meals a day" – and not fretting about how the country's sex ratio has become the worst since independence in 1947.
Abbas, the editor-in-chief of the Udaipur Times, an online newspaper in southern Rajasthan, last year tried to jolt his readers into action by printinga picture of a three-month-old female foetus found in a sewage canal near the city centre.
"But look," he said last week, scrolling down his computer screen to look below-the-line on the article. "One comment. Just one. We want people to be angry about this. But they don't want to be seen by their parents and friends talking about such an issue."
Female foeticide has shot to prominence here largely thanks to Satyamev Jayate, a hugely popular campaigning TV show fronted by the Bollywood megastar, Aamir Khan.
One episode was dedicated to the widespread practice of aborting female foetuses, focusing particularly on the western state of Rajasthan, which has one of the worst sex ratios in the country, having dropped to 883 girls per 1,000 boys in 2011, from 909 in 2001.
Within days of the programme airing, Rajasthan's government sprang into action. Officials vowed to set up fast-track courts to punish those who practise sex-based abortion. They also cancelled the licences of six sonography centres and issued notices to 24 others for their suspected involvement in female foeticide.
A drive is also under way to install trackers at all sonography centres in the state within four months, which will allow inspectors to check how many female foetuses make it to birth and beyond. These clinics are the battleground for campaigners fighting against sex selective abortion.
"There's substantial reason to believe that the decline in sex ratio is directly related to the increase in sonography clinics in the region," said Shabnam Aziz from Action Aid in Rajasthan.
Dr Arvinder Singh is the Mr Big of antenatal scanning in Udaipur. The calm waters and Rajput palaces of this pretty lakeside city hide a murky secret: Udaipur is one of the Rajasthan districts which "lost" girls between the 2001 and 2011 censuses: there are now just 920 girls per 1,000 boys; 28 fewer than 10 years ago.
Every day his clinic carries out around 50 antenatal scans. A routine test costs 450 rupees (£5.30) – a not insignificant amount in a country where the average annual salary is about 61,000 rupees (£715).
Welcoming the Guardian into his office last week, Singh said that not one of his patients in the past six months had asked the sex of their unborn child – it was now well known, he insisted, that to ask (or tell) was illegal under Indian law.
But Manisha Bhathnagar, a local watchdog, said that the state of Rajasthan plans to file a complaint against Singh after undercover inspectors discovered that not all women at his clinic were filling out the compulsory form detailing how many children they have, what gender they are and who has referred them for a scan. "If we see from the form that a woman has already got two girls and has referred herself, we investigate," said Bhathnagar. Her office phones up women after their due date and if they say they had an abortion or miscarriage, the office investigates.
Kirti Ayengar, managing director of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Udaipur branch of Aarth, an NGO which tackles women's health issues, says there is only so much the state can do to crack down on female foeticide. "Technology is developing so fast – you can already predict the sex of a foetus at 12 weeks just using blood tests," she said, adding that what was needed was a huge societal, ideological shift.
"In my opinion, the tradition of dowry must stop, otherwise people will always find ways around the law," she said, showing us a poster in Hindi which ARTH distributes, depicting the first meeting of potential in-laws. "Don't ask for a dowry" runs the legend, above a picture of a groom's family looking at the bride-to-be and imagining money, a car and a house.
Pragnya Joshi, an expert on female foeticide from the department of women's studies at Janardan Rai Nagar Rajasthan Vidyapeeth University, in Udaipur, said the dowry culture was primarily to blame for the ever-worsening gender ratio among children in the city and beyond.
Though prohibited by law since 1961, dowry is ingrained in Indian culture, she said. A traditional Hindu wedding blessing was, "May God give you eight sons", she said.
What Joshi finds particularly alarming is that statistics show that better educated, urban women are more likely to abort a female foetus. "Literate women are becoming more prone to female foeticide," she said, explaining that they could afford a scan and understand the notorious adverts for sonography clinics which urge: "Invest only Rs. 500 now and save your precious Rs. 50,000 later".
Although the law against sex selection appears to be easily flouted in Udaipur, not everyone has an abortion. A disturbing number of parents are now abandoning baby girls, some of whom are taken in by Mahesh Ashram,an orphanage on the city outskirts, run by Yogguru Devendra Agrawal, a holy man with a long beard and a soft voice. The ashram has distributed posters around the city with the slogan: Don't Throw Away, Give Them To Us. "See that little girl, the cheerful one?" said Agrawal, pointing out a tiny girl with sparkling eyes lying in one of 16 metal cribs. "She was found in a gutter with only her head poking out two weeks ago. She was only half an hour old." He points out another baby who had to have an operation to remove spikes from all over her body after she was dumped in a prickly bush.
They are the lucky ones. Agrawal's team cannot always reach the babies in time. "One was abandoned in winter, right next to a dripping tap," he said.
Of the 71 babies to pass through the orphanage in five years, 48 have been adopted. However, the building site next door is testament to the pessimism Agrawal feels about the future: he is constructing what he says will be the largest neonatal intensive care unit orphanage in India, with places for 100 abandoned babies.
It is not unusual for an unwanted baby girl to be given a horrible name, said Usha Choudhary, programme director of Vikalp ("Alternative"), an NGO supported by Action Aid, Unicef and Oxfam. "I've met girls called Mafi, meaning sorry, and another called Dhapu, which translates as 'enough' – she was the fifth girl in her family," said Choudhary.
As part of an effort to encourage villagers in Rajasthan to celebrate, rather than mourn, the birth of a girl, Vikalp carries out alternative christening ceremonies, giving babies names such as Khushi (Happy) or Pari (Angel).
"When a boy is born, traditional Rajasthani villages erupt in celebration, with drums banged and sweets distributed, but when a girl is born then the village is quiet," said Choudhary.
Vikalp undertakes outreach work in schools and villages, concentrating particularly on young boys and village elders in an attempt to make them reassess their views on women's worth. "We say to them: if this female foeticide carries on, what kind of a society will we have? Can you imagine a world without your wife, your mother, your girlfriend, your sister?"
Choudhary sees the contradiction of the low status of women in a country where two of the most powerful politicians – Sonia Gandhi, head of the Congress party, and Pratibha Patil, the country's president – are female.
"Sometimes women say to us, why are you talking to us about women's rights when our president is a woman?" she said. "I always tell them that two stars do not make light in India."

How the Bible Led Me to Islam: The Story of a Former Christian Youth Minister - Joshua Evans

Sunday 15 July 2012

Haram police and Cyber bullying



I really appreciated this comment from Egyptian Princess

This little doodle I made is intended to illustrate something that’s caught my attention lately. I can’t help but notice all the hate within the Tumblr Ummah, especially for Hijabis. Heck, I didn’t even know the word ”Hoejabi” before I started Tumblr. I can’t believe how negative people here are. 
     It seems like most Muslimahs on this site are magnets for Haram Police. (Thankfully, no one has said anything to me yet, but I figure it’s just a matter of time.) It’s astonishing, really, to see people say these things. ”You use bad language”, ”Your posts are un-Islamic”, and for people that post pictures of themselves, ”Your clothes are too tight”, or ”You wear makeup” or ”You do your eyebrows”, all the way up to ”You’re a slut”, there seems to be no shortage of things these people find to nitpick. The most annoying part is that this rarely happens in real life, but people find safety to say things like this behind their screens, on anon. 
     My qestion to the Haram Police is: Who made you an authority? You’re not a mufti/shaykh/’alim/mullah/imam, you’re just some kid with a computer. Nobody gave you the power to evaluate someone’s Muslim-ness. You don’t know what’s in a person’s heart, and therefore, you have no right to pass judgement. If your intention is to help your fellow Muslims, them by all means, do so. But please do so in a manner that is respectful and uncondescending, because as of now, all you’re doing is bullying. 

There’s enough people in the world that hate us, and we’re not making it any better by hating each other.


Tuesday 10 July 2012

Brothers do your bit!!




Many men think that housework is beneath them, and some of them think that it will undermine their status and position if they help their wives with this work. The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.), however, used to sew his own clothes, mend his own shoes and do whatever other workmen do in their homes. (Reported by Imam Ahmad in al-Musnad, 6/121; Sahih al-Jami, 4927). This was said by his wife Aishah (RA), when she was asked about what the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) used to do in his house; her response described what she herself had seen. According to another report, she said: "He was like any other human being: he would clean his clothes, milk his ewe and serve himself." (Reported by Imam Ahmad in al-Musnad, 6/256; al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 671) She (RA) was also asked about what the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) used to do in his house, and she said, "He used to serve his family, then when the time for prayer came, he would go out to pray." (Reported by al-Bukhari, al-Fath, 2/162).

Monday 9 July 2012

Cultural diversity now on the menu



WITH the notion of multiculturalism being kicked around like a political football, the diversity being showcased on reality TV shows such as MasterChef Australia is a testament to the fact that the infamous M-word is here to stay - and not just in the form of Chinese dumplings and Turkish kebabs.
The MasterChef 2012 contestants this year included not only people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds but also from several religious backgrounds too.
Georgian-born schoolteacher Alice Zaslavsky has a Jewish background, which she says has influenced her cooking style. Public servant Dalvinder Dhami said early on in the show that she had virtually no experience in cooking with beef due to her Hindu faith.
And paediatric nurse Amina Elshafei is a devout Muslim. Her impressive culinary skills, bubbly nature and infectious smile made her an early favourite on the show.
Woman's Day described her as the "contestant the whole country has fallen head over heels for".
Despite early predictions that she could take out the title, Amina narrowly missed out on a top 10 placing in a double elimination on Thursday night.
Her surprise departure sent shock waves through the social media world, with her fans on Twitter expressing outrage at how some contestants were able to make their way into the top 10 over Amina. Truth be told, I was one of them.
But in any event, the MasterChef set this year seems to be far more inclusive and diverse than ever before.
The effect of showcasing such diversity on prime-time TV means the mere presence of an effervescent character and visibly Muslim person such as Amina has played a significant role in breaking down commonly held cultural and religious stereotypes.
With national studies concluding that anti-Muslim sentiment in Australia sits at just under 50 per cent, real, positive coverage of Muslim women is to be welcomed. The results of a parliamentary inquiry, due in August, will investigate Australia's acceptance of people from culturally diverse backgrounds.
It will conclude that one of the largest issues facing our nation is the acceptance of - you guessed it - Muslims.
Sadly, Muslim women such as Amina who choose to wear the hijab (head scarf) have often borne the brunt of animosity, racism and discrimination.
But fortunately the situation has improved, particularly compared to the hostility Muslims faced in the immediate aftermath of September 11.
Many Muslims will tell you that the increased levels of enmity directed at them during that period have instilled in them a strong sense of identity and a desire to proactively engage with the media and the public to demystify their faith. This is certainly true for me.
Given this climate, it's incredibly refreshing to see someone like Amina on TV not being defined by her religion or her hijab alone. Amina is a shining beacon of hope who has helped to create a positive image of Muslims just by being herself, instead of trying to represent an entire faith of 1.5 billion people.
She has been judged purely on her cooking ability, on her own merits, not favoured nor discriminated against due to her faith. That is great progress.
What's more impressive and heartening is how Australia has come to embrace Amina. Fans have inundated her Facebook page. Logie award-winner Chrissie Swan tweeted: "Whenever I look at Amina, or hear her speak, I get a rush of what can only be described as love. Warm, fuzzy, sunny love."
Many, including Chrissie, admitted to being moved to tears when she was eliminated on Thursday night's episode.
Amina's mixed family heritage is a beautiful example of the diversity of the Muslim community in Australia. It negates the assumption that all Muslims are Arabs.
Largely defined by our religion, we are often seen and treated as some sort of homogenous blob, ignoring the fact Muslims are ethnically and culturally diverse.
Amina's father is Egyptian and her mother South Korean. She is the only woman in her immediate family who has chosen to wear the hijab. It's a personal choice which some women choose to embrace and others don't.
It is a fact that one of the best ways to tackle racism, discrimination and eliminate the fear of the "other" is to interact and engage in inter-faith, inter-cultural and inter-community dialogue.
No one is born racist. Racism is taught, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and it can
be untaught.
The so-called "fear" of Islam often arises because of the lack of interaction between those who hold this "fear" with your everyday, garden-variety Muslims.
Amina gave viewers a valuable insight into Muslim Australia, brightening the slightly battered image we have.
This is no small achievement.
So, why I am pointing out what may seem to some to be the bleeding obvious?
To applaud those in the media world who are getting the depiction of Muslims and other minority groups right for a change, irrespective of whether they are doing it overtly or inadvertently.
And, to encourage others to adopt a similar approach.
What's apparent is that there is a gradual and welcoming shift in attitudes. Dare I say that Muslim women are moving beyond being merely tolerated.
Perhaps we are even being celebrated.
Mariam Veiszadeh is a Muslim lawyer and advocate.  Source.

Sunday 8 July 2012

Lobbying The British Government: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya in Myanmar



Over the past 4 weeks, the Rohingya, a community numbering nearly 1 million in Burma's Arakan state have been under siege by local Rakhine community also living in Arakan.

The UN have described the Rohingya as 'the most persecuted community in the world' and have referenced the Rohingya as the Palestine of Asia. It is reported that the Rohingya have been living in Myanmar from as far back as the 8th Century, yet in 1962, the Burmese military junta began a programme of ethnic cleansing. Starting by denying birth certificates and citizenship to the Rohingya, right now, the community are in a perilous situation where they are being targeted because they are not of the same race and religion of the Buddhist majority Rakhine. Looking darker and closer to the South Asian race as opposed to the more oriental looking majority, and being Muslims as opposed to Buddhist, the Rohingya are being targeted by state sponsored ethnic cleansing.

In recent weeks, villages belonging to the Rohingya have been burnt to the ground, whilst refugees fleeing to other countries have been refused entry left to fend for themselves on board rickety boats on rough seas.
The Myanmerese Government refuse to accept Rohingya as citizens and as such have no rights in a country they call their motherland.

This issue is much larger than a Myanmar only problem, it is fast becoming one of the worst cases of ethnic cleansing alongside the likes of Rwanda, Bosnia and even the holocaust of the Second World War.
We urge the international community and in particular the British Government to champion this cause and settle this situation in peaceful, diplomatic and humane means.

Pls contact the UK government HERE