WAMY chief lashes out at Syria and Burma |
Arab News - 02 August, 2012
Dr. Saleh Al-Wohaibi, secretary-general of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) lashed out at Syria and Myanmar (Burma) here yesterday for carrying out systematic genocide of Muslims.
He called on the international community especially the Arab nations to exert more pressure on the two governments to stop human rights abuses in those countries. Al-Wohaibi voiced his concerns on the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Burma.
Al-Wohaibi said, "The WAMY had launched relief programs for Myanmar, a country where Muslims are the victims of state-sanctioned violence and discrimination."
Al-Wohaibi made these statements during the WAMY's annual iftar party held at the local InterContinental Hotel, where more than 125 foreign diplomats including 45 ambassadors were present. It was the 10th round of dialogue and iftar party in which WAMY engaged itself in interaction with the members of the diplomatic community to project its activities in an accurate perspective.
Al-Wohaibi said that the WAMY was trying to access the country with the help of local charities to enable the volunteers to carry out relief operations.
"We are starting our relief operation with a modest budget, which is in the region of SR3 million to SR5 million," said the WAMY chief. To this end, he noted that Burma has a long history of mistreating ethnic minorities and more than 100,000 Muslims are now internal refugees in that country.
He further said: "I can't overlook the sufferings of Muslims in Myanmar where they are killed and forced out their houses … in some cases whole villages have been burned, but we don’t see any move on the part of the international community to stop the killing." The WAMY chief called on the foreign diplomats to take initiatives and urge their respective governments to take action and play a positive role in saving human lives in Burma.
He said that the Islamic organizations across the world, particularly in the Arab countries, are more concerned about the fate of Muslims in Burma's western Rakhine state. "Increased attention and condemnation by the international community will force Myanmar to take sensible decision and to ensure peace and security in that country," said Al-Wohaibi, while calling the UN and the international community to act fast.
The WAMY's call coincided with a similar call given by the Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which has announced to hold an extraordinary session in Jeddah on Sunday to discuss the situation in Burma. The OIC has also planned hold a consultative meeting in Kuala Lumpur to take stock of the situation in Myanmar and to coordinate efforts to launch relief and rescue operation in cooperation with Islamic and UN aid organizations.
Referring to the clashes and the uprisings, which have destabilized the Middle East region more than any part of the world, Al-Wohaibi said that Syria was an example, where killings, destruction and abuse of human rights had crossed all limits. He said that the diplomatic steps taken by the international community including the UN agencies to ensure peace and security in Syria falls short of all expectations.
"The Syrian people are fighting for a just cause, they are fighting for their rights to freedom and dignity and we must support them to help them realize their aspirations," said the WAMY chief.
German Ambassador Dieter W. Haller described WAMY as a force for good with its charitable works and its support for Muslim youth around the world. "I also found it a wonderful gesture initiated by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to organize a fund-raising campaign to support Syrian people," said Haller, adding that Germany is also lending support to victims in Syria.
The German envoy said that "more than 4 million German Muslims celebrate Ramadan … and in fact our country has transformed into a real multicultural society." Haller also loaned support to those NGOs like the WAMY, which are playing major roles in building bridges among different faiths and fostering dialogue well beyond geographic and cultural boundaries.
South Korean Ambassador Kim Jong-yong said that intercultural exchange and dialogue has the great purpose of achieving international peace and prosperity among mankind. "Fortunately, the true beauty and values of Islamic cultures have recently begun receiving renewed recognition," said the Korean envoy, while lauding the initiatives of interfaith dialogue propounded by King Abdullah.
On the genesis of Arab-Korea relations, the Korean envoy said that "Korea began trading with the Arab world 1,200 years ago via the Silk Road and it was through Islamic merchants that Korea became known to the Western world." He further revealed that the first mosque was built in Korea some 700 years ago during the last Korean dynasty known as Joseon. A number of Korean workers deployed in Arab countries including Saudi Arabia also embraced Islam, he added.
Saudi businessman Nasser Bin Mohammed Al-Mutawa, called on the people to generate funds for the charitable projects being carried out by this aid organization across the globe.
"The event tonight gave us a chance to know about the WAMY and its activities," said Roddy Drummond, deputy chief of the mission at the British embassy, while speaking at the sidelines of the event.
Drummond said that, "Islam was the second largest religion in the UK with total number of Muslims exceeding 3 million today." He further said that a huge contingent of Muslims composed of several Arab and Islamic nations were participating in London Olympics at the moment. The British diplomat said that the growing number of Muslims in the UK had fully integrated themselves in British society.
The WAMY is an Islamic aid organization with a mandate to operate in educational and social fields. This Islamic youth organization seeks to establish a platform where Muslim youth can get together in an Islamic environment. It also seeks to establish a relationship of dialogue, understanding and appreciation between Muslim organizations and the Western societies. It organizes conferences, educational workshops, training sessions, and relief camps all across the world.
The annual interfaith dialogue during Ramadan every year is one of the major programs of WAMY, which is attended by a large number of foreign diplomats posted in Saudi Arabia. The WAMY is also a force for moderation and a voice for Muslims, who are either victims of natural disasters or ethnic discrimination in different nations of the world. It is an organization that resists extremism and helps move Muslims toward a true Islam of peace and tolerance.