LIGHTNING RELEASES (5/8/2014) – Burma Task Force USA commends Congressional representatives of both parties for the decision yesterday to overwhelmingly pass Resolution 418 urging the government of Burma (Myanmar) to end the persecution of the Rohingya people and to respect human rights for all ethnic and religious minority groups within Burma.
Introduced by Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) and other allies, this statement is an important and necessary step in supporting rule of law. As President Obama stated in a visit to the region in late April, “Myanmar won’t succeed if the Muslim population is oppressed.”
As a coalition of national Muslim American groups, Burma Task Force has energetically promoted this important resolution, mobilizing a social media community numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Members of the Task Force also acknowledge the hard work of our partners at the United Nations and in the human rights advocacy community.
“The relative speed of this Resolution’s passage is a sign not only of our members’ strong commitment to human rights, but also of the extreme seriousness of the current situation in Myanmar,” stated Malik Mujahid, Chairman of Justice for All, the nonprofit that manages Burma Task Force USA. “We have now won a battle but must not lose the overall struggle against genocide. The miserable situation of the Rohingya people is shocking and quite horrific.”
Burma Task Force will continue to raise awareness about the Myanmar government’s many human rights restrictions that keep Rohingya confined in displacement camps and restrict them from free movement, marriage and building families; that enable mob attacks and massive land confiscations; that exclude Rohingya from the national census and keep them as “stateless population”; and that now cut off their access to life saving medical services.
“As Muslim Americans we embrace all Burmese of good will and stand with them to demand clear-sighted US policies that prioritize progress in human rights protection. At the same time, those responsible of mass rapes and mass murder of Rohingyas should be charged with crimes against humanity and genocide by the International Court of Justice,” declared Imam Mujahid.
Muslim American volunteers in New York, Chicago, Detroit and Houston as well as several towns in California will continue to organize rallies and panel discussions, meet with elected officials and media as well as local Buddhist leaders to build bridges.