GEORGE TOWN: A group of about 20 Muslim NGOs held a protest in Penang today to demand that the world’s superpowers intervene and stop the alleged atrocities on Muslims in the Rakhine province of Myanmar.
Some 1,000 people gathered after Friday prayers outside the Kapitan Kling Mosque here, listening to leaders from the group rousing them to take action to defend the Rohingyas and pressure the Myanmar government to end the violence.
They called on the United Nations (UN) and superpower nations to send military forces to stabilise the region.
Protesters held placards which read “Myanmar police and military are butchers”, “Stop the genocide” and “Stop killing our Rohingya brothers and sisters”
Army veteran Azizan Salleh called on Muslims in the gathering to “hold arms” and fight the military in Myanmar.
“If all of you are willing to carry arms to fight the junta in Myanmar…we veterans will fight together with you,” said Azizan, who later revealed that he hailed from Kampung Memali in Kedah where 28 people, including followers of controversial preacher Ibrahim Mahmud, were killed during a police siege there in 1985.
“We must be united in efforts, in any way possible, to help our fellow Rohingya brethren,” the retired warrant officer added.
Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisation (Mapim) coordinator Shaiful Yamin Dahlan said the suffering in Rakhine was felt in Malaysia as Islam, which was observed in both regions, could be described as a human “body”.
“When one part of the body is hurt, the whole body feels hurt. As a Muslim, we must help wherever possible,” he said.
“The voices of Islam must be heard across the world. Let’s not cross our arms and take a ‘wait and see’ stance. We must speak out as Muslims.”
United Islamic Rohingya Organisation chairman Mohammad Islam @ Abu Umar Al Sutani claimed there was a concerted effort by Buddhist extremists to rid Myanmar of Muslims.
“They are not shooting Muslims, but slaughtering them. The military is not shooting from the front, but shooting these innocent people from behind with RPG1 and RPG2 weapons,” Mohammad said.
Other groups like the Penang Muslim League and Penang Indian Muslim Association also made their voices heard in the protest.
It was reported that the Myanmar military was cracking down on Muslim “terrorists” who had attacked security forces at Rakhine late last month, leaving hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas displaced.