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AsiaCurrent

What Can You Do to Help Rohingya Muslims During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

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AsiaCurrent

What Can You Do to Help Rohingya Muslims During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

For thousands of innocent Rohingya Muslims, transmission is most likely to be harder to control due to lack of basic hygiene and overcrowded conditions. The absence of TV and social media has meant that many are unaware of the seriousness of the condition as well.

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For thousands of innocent Rohingya Muslims, transmission is most likely to be harder to control due to lack of basic hygiene and overcrowded conditions. The absence of TV and social media has meant that many are unaware of the seriousness of the condition as well.

The new Coronavirus outbreak “is a controllable pandemic” according to the World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu. More than 21,000 people have died so far, and the WHO have stated there are almost 466,000 cases in 200 countries (as of March 27th, 2020). “To save lives we must reduce transmission,” Tedros insisted. “That means finding and isolating as many cases as possible and quarantining their closest contacts.”

Health officials in Cox’s Bazar Rohingya camps have stated that currently no Rohingya person has symptoms of the new COVID-19 strain in any of the 34 official camps. But for thousands of innocent Rohingya Muslims, transmission is most likely to be harder to control due to lack of basic hygiene and overcrowded conditions. The absence of TV and social media has meant that many are unaware of the seriousness of the condition as well.

This is just another chapter in the lives of innocent Rohingya Muslims who have endured systematic rape, violence, and genocide from Myanmar soldiers. 

While many citizens worldwide are stockpiling food, medicines, and household cleaning items, now is a good time to reflect on the fact that we have been fortunate enough with the ability and money to prepare for a virus like this.

The Muslim Vibe was able to exclusively interview Restless Beings, which is a UK based international human rights organisation campaigning for the rights of the persecuted Rohingya community of Burma. They are currently raising funds to provide essentials for thousands of refugees who fled to Bangladesh and have officially helped 30,000 people so far between August and December 2017. 

Restless Beings believe the UK is still one of the heaviest investors in Burma and that a “significant portion of this is being funnelled into military control.” They continued to explain:

Aside from this, the UK should definitely by now have supported vocally, formally and morally the Gambia in its case against Burma at the ICJ. It should be working harder with UN Security Council to ensure that some level of resolution be made against Burma. It should also be more at the forefront in development funding in the Bangladesh camps.”

So what exactly can individuals do to help support Rohingya Muslims?

1. Boycott Myanmar

UK citizens can support Boycott Myanmar. It is a coalition of civil and human rights organisations advancing the rights of the Rohingya and other minorities within Myanmar. According to Boycott Myanmar, we should boycott Coca Cola, the Japanese tobacco industry, and Myanmar tourism, which are “complicit in propping up Myanmar’s abuses against the Rohingya and other minorities”.

2. Sign a petition to strip Myanmar Leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel Peace Prize

On December 10th 2019, which was International Human Rights Day, Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi defended allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes at the UN International Court of Justice.

Sign this petition to tell the Norwegian Nobel Committee to strip Aung San Suu Kyi’s 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.

If you feel that it won’t make any impact, its important to know that on Thursday the 5th March Suu Kyi was stripped of a City of London Corporation award. Sir David Wootton, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Freedom Applications Committee, stated: “Today’s unprecedented decision reflects the City Corporation’s condemnation of the humanitarian abuses carried out in Myanmar, which have been detailed during the recent genocide hearing in The Hague”.

In November 2018 Amnesty International announced that it had withdrawn its highest honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award as well. “Our expectation was that you would continue to use your moral authority to speak out against injustice wherever you saw it, not least within Myanmar itself,” wrote Amnesty International’s former Secretary Kumi Naidoo, “We are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defence of human rights”.

3. Attend events to raise awareness

In February 2020, Restless Beings spoke at a number of academic events at universities and institutes across the USA and UK – speaking at conferences in the University of California, Berkeley, and York University. Additionally, whilst in the USA, Restless Beings Directors have addressed the US Congress in Washington DC to ensure there is continuous relevant and updated conversations about Rohingya Muslims. The events are also designed to bring researchers and students who are working on issues closer to ground realities.

More information about any future upcoming event dates can be found here.

4. Donate your zakat and sadaqah

You can make a donation to Restless Beings here. 100% of your donation goes towards their humanitarian projects. Restless Beings operates on zero administration costs and is run by volunteers.

For more information about how donations have been used, please watch this video from Restless Beings:

Now more than ever, we need your support…

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Your support will help us achieve this goal, and enable us to produce more original content. Your support can help us in the fight against Islamophobia, by building a powerful platform for young Muslims who can share their ideas, experiences and opinions for a better future.

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