A visiting US interfaith group on Wednesday said that persecution and murders of Rohingyas was similar to genocide committed by Nazis in Europe.
At a press conference in Dhaka, they urged the world community to play role in establishing a safe zone for Rohingyas in Rakhine State of Myanmar with protection of international peacekeepers for peaceful and just repatriation.
Beth Lilach, senior director at the Holocaust Memorial Centre on Long Island in New York, stated that the persecution of Muslim Rohingyas evolved in stages similar to the progression of Nazism suffered first by German Jews and then by all of European Jewry. ‘It is a textbook case of genocide,’ she said.
They held the press conference after visiting Rohingya camps by a 14-member delegation with representatives from almost all main religions, including Buddhist, Jews, Muslims and Christians. Interfaith coalition to stop genocide in Burma organised the visit.
Alan Senauke, a leading US Buddhist scholar stated that the murder and displacement of Rohingyas in Myanmar had nothing to do with the Buddha’s teachings.
‘Creating a safe zone in Rakhine State under protection of the international peacekeepers is essential for peaceful, safe and just repatriation of the members of the community,’ said Washington-based International Interfaith Peace Corp chairman Imam Maged.
Former US ambassador at large for religious freedom Rabbi David Saperstein said that religious persecution was a central component of the increasingly harsh oppression on the Rohingya community in Myanmar over the past decades with mosques attacked, burned and closed, the Quran and other religious books being burned, religious schools being closed and religious leaders being beaten.
Urging safety, justice, and citizenship for Rohingya community, Reverend Bob Roberts, a leading voice of Evangelical Christians in America, said ‘This is one of those moments in world history where the world will be remembered for how she responded to the crisis.’
Nicolee Ambrose, spokesperson of the Interfaith Coalition, also spoke at the press conference. In a separate meeting with foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque, the delegation assured of all support at the political levels in the United States for resolving the Rohingya crisis.
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