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Islamic Community of Bryan-College Station reflects on Myanmar military takeover

Islamic Community of Bryan-College Station Praying
Posted at 1:29 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 14:29:03-05

BRAZOS VALLEY, TX — On Feb 1., the world learned of Myanmar's government being taken over by its military for one year.

The announcement, aired on the military-owned Myawaddy TV, stated that the military-drafted constitution, which was ratified in 2008, allows the military to take control in times of "national emergency."

In part, the military cited the government’s failure to act on their claims of voter fraud in the last Nov. elections. However, as of Feb 2., the military has not presented any proof to back its claims.

Human Rights Watch in the past has described the section as a "coup mechanism in waiting.” Many reports are also claiming the country’s senior politicians, including State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, are being detained.

The takeover announcement came just days after concerns of a military coup began circulating. It also came the morning that Myanmar’s new Parliament session was set to begin.

In a statement released on Monday, the White House said that President Biden had been briefed on the situation and added that he is "alarmed" by the reports.

"We continue to affirm our strong support for Burma’s democratic institutions and, in coordination with our regional partners, urge the military and all other parties to adhere to democratic norms and the rule of law, and to release those detained today," the White House statement read on Feb 1.

25 News KRHD reached out to the Muslim Community of Bryan-College Station for a response and received the following statement:

“As American Muslims, we are extremely concerned for the well-being of our Rohingya Muslim brothers and sisters in Myanmar, especially given the recent events of the military coup in the country.” wrote local ICBCS Board Member Thomson.

Rohingya Muslims, referring to the Rohingya people, are a stateless Indo-Aryan ethnic group that follows Islam predominantly, and currently reside in the Rakhine State of Myanmar.

“Since 2017, the Rohingya people have faced mass persecution and ethnic cleansing, including mass murders and destruction of their own communities on a large scale, by the hands of the same military that just took over the country,” Thomson added.

In 2018, the U.N. Independent International Fact-Finding Mission issued a report finding “reasonable grounds to conclude” that Myanmar’s military had committed acts of genocide against the Rohingya, along with other atrocity crimes.

“As Muslims, we follow the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who said, Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith,” Thomson wrote in the statement.

“With this in mind, we speak out against the continuing atrocities against the Rohingya Muslims, and I would echo the statement made today by Nihad Awad, the National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)," Thomson shared, with the referenced statement reading:

“American Muslims are calling on President Biden to prioritize the safety and security of Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic and religious minorities in Burma following the military coup in that country. Burma’s military and elected government are both directly responsible for the genocidal campaign and systemic state discrimination that targets Rohingya Muslims and other minorities. While the U.S. government works to ensure that the democratic rule of law takes root in Burma – CAIR is urging Acting Secretary Smith to safeguard the well-being of Rohingya Muslims under the threatening prospect of governance under Burma’s genocidal military leadership.“

Sharing their message, the Islamic Community of Bryan-College Station hopes to raise awareness of the plight of Rohingya Muslims, including the estimated 1 million Rohingya refugees in neighboring Bangladesh.