—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
JAMAICA, New York (November 19, 2012) – The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) thanked President Obama for raising the issue of human rights violations against the Rohingya population on his trip to Burma today.
The United Nations has called the Rohingya one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. Through systematic oppression the Burmese government has deprived the Rohingya of basic human and civil rights and forced them into lives of poverty. The government has also turned a blind eye to bloodshed and violence in the Arakan state, where thousands of Rohingya have been tortured and killed in recent years.
“We commend President Obama for shedding light on the plight of Burmese Muslims during his trip last weekend. By advocating for the Rohingya, President Obama has taken the much-needed first step towards a better future for the severely persecuted community,” said Dr. Zahid Bukhari, President of ICNA.
“Our work is not yet over,” Dr. Bukhari continued. “We must continue to pressure Burmese officials to end oppression of ethnic and religious minorities across the country. We urge President Obama to follow up on promises made by the Burmese government. The normalization of US-Burma political and economic relations can only come once progress has been made regarding human rights.
ICNA also urges the US State Department to send a delegation to the troubled areas of Burma.
ICNA Council for Social Justice launched an online petition on the White House website calling President Obama to raise this issue during his visit to Burma: http://wh.gov/XxnB