On Monday, a temporary committee was initiated by Muslim leaders (Imams) from all states and regions of Myanmar and urged the elective government to reopen each one of the mosques which were closed down in mid-2012 after a series of racial violence between Buddhists and Muslims.
Muang Maung Myint the committee representative said, “We are making a list of mosques that were shut down across the country. Next, we will form a committee. This committee will make an appeal to state leaders to reopen these mosques.”
According to the General Administration Department, there are –
• Approximately 800 mosques in Maungdaw Township,
• 400 or more in Buthidaung Township,
• around 10 in Rathedaung Township.
It is unascertained how many of them had been shut down or torched/demolished or destroyed. Whereas, Maung Maung Mint now only have a list of 40 mosques around the country.
Wunna Shwe, who is the joint-secretary of the Islamic Religious Affairs Council Myanmar stated, “These mosques were shut down unnecessarily in the first place. Now that there is stability in the country, they need to be reopened as soon as possible.”
Apparently, some of the townships have already undertaken efforts to reopen their mosques. But the issue of reopening the mosques should be addressed nationwide.
Although, the National League for Democracy (NLD) government assured that, they will make the most suitable decision considering everyone’s concern after a final conclusion whether to reopen mosques nationwide for the Muslim population in Myanmar which consists four per cent amongst 54 million people.
The report published by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, which has been released in April this year, says there is a “little hope for justice” for the victims of Rohingya crisis.
The report also mentioned Myanmar as a “country of particular concern.” It also says the victims include Rohingya and other Muslims, Buand Hindus, as well as ethnic Kachin, Shan, Karen, Rakhine and Chin have a little hope for justice.
According to the report, “Despite the fact that Burma’s government, military, and nonstate actors have denied responsibility and largely evaded accountability for widespread atrocities, the United States and its allies have imposed a handful of targeted sanctions against military actors ‘for their involvement in ethnic cleansing in Burma’s Rakhine State and other widespread human rights abuses in Burma’s Kachin and Shan States.”
“For the Rohingya Muslims who remained in Burma, their deprivation of rights and ongoing humanitarian crisis has been catastrophic,” said the report. As for now, let’s hope the Myanmar military commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and the ruling government will be kind enough and grant the permission to reopen all the Holy mosques for Muslims.