The Rohingya Crisis and the Human Fraternity Document

  • | Sunday, 17 February, 2019
The Rohingya Crisis and the Human Fraternity Document

     The more time passes, the more the Rohingya crisis gets so complicated that some people even believe it will come to no end in light of the international atrocities against this group of people in that part of the world. Rakhine State’s Rohingya face brutal atrocities at the hands of the Burmese military supported by the Buddhist militia within the country. The “ethnic cleansing” against this ethnicity, as described by the UN secretary-general, started more than one year and half ago when the Burmese authorities launched massive attack against the Rohingya in Rakhine State on grounds that a few number of the Rohingya had attacked a number of police stations along the country, leaving behind 13 men killed!
Further examination of that crisis unveils yet that the aforementioned claim by the Burmese authorities was but mere justification to justify its brutality before the silent world, for they frequently declared that the Rohingya are not native Burmese citizen, but they are Bengali who came from neighboring Muslim Bangladesh, which is believed to be the main reason for that crisis. We can put it as follows: “The Burmese do not believe that the Rohingya, even are not native Burmese, are their brothers and sisters in humanity.” For this reason, we made up our mind to examine that crisis in light of the Human Fraternity Document signed by His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Prof. Ahmed Al-Tayyeb and His Holiness Pope Francis, Pope of the Vatican lately in the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi.
Reviewing the terms of the Human Fraternity Document clearly offers solutions to all the crises of such kind and nature. It stresses that “the sound instructions of religions lead to firm adherence to the values of peace, human fraternity, peaceful coexistence …”, adding “freedom is a due right to all human beings … religious pluralism and difference of religion, color, race, ethnicity and languages are but a matter of Divine Wisdom and Will …” .
To Muslims, terms of this Document are compatible with the instructions and teachings of our religion. Concerning the human fraternity point, Muslims firmly believe that all human beings are brothers and sisters; they are equal to each other as to the origin of their creation. This fact is clearly recorded in the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH).
In truth, Islam believes that there is no difference whatsoever between all mankind, viewing Taqwa (fearing God) as the first and foremost criterion in the balance of preference in the Sight of Allah; that is to say it is not a matter of huge wealth, strength, intelligence, etc. For this reason, Islam blocked the way for any reason guiding to boasting among mankind by declaring that all mankind, believers and disbelievers alike, are the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “And people are all the children of Adam, and Adam was [created] from dust."  This Hadith heavily stresses that all human beings are of equal origin.
But, why are people created with differences in color, tongue, etc.?
The Quran gives answer to that question and tells that all such differences are but one of the miracles indicating Allah’s Infinite Power that can never be challenged by anyone (The Quran, 30:21). Even when it comes to difference in religion, Islam categorizes it under the topic of “freedom”; Allah states clearly that had He, the Almighty, wished, He would have made all mankind believers! That is why Islam gives freedom to all mankind to do, say and embrace all what they want as long as no harm will afflict others; otherwise, it is totally prohibited, affirming meanwhile that Allah, the Almighty, is the One Who will hold all the creatures, including me, accountable for their deeds in the Hereafter.
Back to the Rohingya crisis, we can say that all the atrocities and violent acts committed by the Burmese authorities are totally far away from the notions of human fraternity which should gather all mankind together with the bond of mercy, affection, love, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.
On the international level, the terms and provisions of this Document are in total agreement with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that states that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” This is actually the ultimate objective of all religions, international laws and customs and traditions, which all unanimously agree on the sacredness of the human soul and the prohibition of unlawfully shedding its blood.
All of these international historic documents and declarations aim mainly to establish the bonds of fraternity among mankind and to make them leave in peace and love with each other, stressing that religion, color, race, or ethnicity could never offer reasons for such brutality committed against other human beings.
As children of one man and one woman, let us cast off violence, extremism and terrorism; let us live in peace; let us show mutual respect for one another, let us peacefully coexist with each other; let us translate the terms and provisions of this Document on the ground that our first father and mother would be happy about us.


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