HELP ROHINGYA: FORGOTTEN, PERSECUTED MUSLIMS 1 of 2
They have often been called the most persecuted, oppressed minority in the world. The 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims squeezed into the north-west state of Rakhine, in mainly Buddhist Burma, bordering majority Muslim Bangladesh, are stateless and unwanted. Neither country will give them citizenship even though their families’ roots in modern-day Rakhine, once called Arakan, can be traced back to the Eighth Century. Since World War Two they have been treated increasingly by Burmese authorities as illegal, interloping Bengalis, facing apartheid-like conditions that deny them free movement or state education while government forces intermittently drive out and slaughter them. Over the past years, military operations against Rohingya villages have been so intense and cruel that the minority’s defenders have warned of an unfolding genocide. The United Nations has reported these state sponsored military committing religious, ethnic cleansing & genocide. The inhumane treatment of the Rohingyas has tarnished the image of Myanmar’s civilian leader and Nobel peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, once a famously unflinching defender of human rights, justice, fairness, freedom & darling of the West. She now faces international fury, particularly from Muslim nations, for failing to stand up to armed forces chief General Min Aung Hlaing, whose soldiers are accused of rape, murder, arson, and of ripping Rohingya babies from their mothers’ arms and throwing them into rivers and fire.
Allaah says: “and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews & Christians) and from those who ascribe partners to Allaah; but if you persevere patiently, and become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious) then verily, that will be a determining factor in all affairs”[3:186]. Our attitude must be clear; we must explain to the kuffaar the ruling of Islamic sharee’ah concerning harming and killing others. We should tell them that Islam forbids harming innocent people in any way, whether that involves harming their bodies, their wealth or their honour. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhiwasallam) said: “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.” It is not permissible to kill a kaafir who is not hostile or who has a legitimate peace treaty with the Muslims; rather treating a non-hostile kaafir with kindness is part of the Islamic religion, especially if that is done to call him to Islam and soften his heart (towards Islam). Allaah says:
“Allaah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allaah loves those who deal with equity” [60:8]
At times of war against the kuffaar, it is not permissible for a Muslim to deliberately kill a kaafir child or woman who is not bearing arms against the Muslims or helping in the fight. It was narrated that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhiwasallam) said to the Muslim army: “Go out in the name of Allaah and by the help of Allaah, following the way of the Messenger of Allaah. Do not kill any old man, infant, child or woman… spread goodness and do good, for Allaah loves those who do good.” (Abu Dawood)
This is supported by the advice which Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allaah be pleased with him) gave to the commander of his army: “I advise you of ten things: do not kill a woman, or a child, or any old person, or cut down any fruit trees…” (al-Muwatta’, 982, Kitaab al-Jihaad).
The kaafirs whom the Muslims fight and inflict harm and loss upon are the kaafirs who fight the Muslims and drive them out of their homes, or help to drive them out of their homes and punish and mistreat them, and who stand in the way of calling people to Islam and prevent people from following the path of Allaah, and prevent the spread of Islam. Allaah says:
“It is only as regards those who fought against you on account of religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out, that Allaah forbids you to befriend them. And whosoever will befriend them, then such are the Zaalimoon (wrongdoers those who disobey Allaah).”[60:9]
Such people are to be fought against when [the Muslims] have the power to do so, and when fighting them and declaring jihad against them is more likely to serve a purpose. But when you can achieve your purpose with gentleness and kindness, it is not right to resort to violence and force. Muslims should only use force when they are compelled to, and as a last resort. They should not initiate fighting, unless there is some cause on the part of the kaafirs, such as their fighting the Muslims, or helping other enemies of the Muslims, or preventing them from following the path of Allaah and establishing the law of Allaah in the land.
We should also remind these kaafirs of the massacres which have been carried out and are still being carried out against Muslims in all parts of the world, in Bosnia, Kosova, Chechnya, Palestine and Kashmir, which are being supported by Jews, Christians and others. Is the blood of the Muslims cheaper than the blood of others? Should there be mourners for non-Muslims who are killed and not for Muslims who are killed?
Moreover, when the Orthodox Christians carried out massacres in Bosnia and Kosova, in which the numbers of those killed exceeded 200,000, apart from those who were wounded or raped, and the economic losses that resulted, did the Muslims in the Arab and Islamic countries launch attacks against the Orthodox Christians who live in their countries, or kill any of them, or open fire against their churches and subject them to terror?! What does this tell you?
It is very important for Muslims to explain these things to non-Muslims, in order to establish proof against the kuffaar. This is something that Allaah wants. Secondly, among the kuffaar there are intelligent and fair-minded people, and people who are receptive to the guidance of Islam; perhaps they will be affected by a clear explanation. Thirdly, no Muslim should permit himself to be accused without explaining his innocence. The distorted image of Muslims is one of the things that is keeping the kaafirs away from the truth and being affected by the Muslims; indeed it may make them treat the Muslims like outcasts, resulting in additional wrongdoing towards the Muslims. “O you who have believed, shall I guide you to a transaction that will save you from a painful punishment? [It is that] you believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is best for you, if you should know. He will forgive for you your sins and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow and pleasant dwellings in gardens of perpetual residence. That is the great attainment. And [you will obtain] another [favor] that you love – victory from Allah and an imminent conquest; and give good tidings to the believers”. (Q61:10-13)
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