Activists try to cut Egypt-Myanmar relations after Muslim massacre
‘Stop killing Muslims in Burma', 'The minority have the right to live', 'No to Racism', 'Close the Embassy' were the messages written in English and Arabic on placards in a protest held outside the Myanmar Embassy in Cairo on Wednesday.
This protest, made by dozens of people, came as a response to the brutal massacre in Burma. "We should act against this massacre – not just feel sympathy, but do something to help them," said Shaimaa Maged, a lecturer at Cairo University, who organised the protest.
"With this protest, we want to press our government to cut relations with Myanmar, unless it stops the massacres against Muslims there," she told The Egyptian Gazette.
It is two months since the massacre of Muslims started in Arakan, the western province of Burma (Myanmar). It all began on June 3, when 11 Muslims were killed by extremist Buddhists with the alleged assistance of the Burmese Army, after forcing them to alight from a bus. Myanmar security forces opened fire on Rohingya Muslims. They also raped women and stood by as rival mobs attacked each other during a recent wave of sectarian violence, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report on Wednesday.
The authorities failed to protect both Muslims and Buddhists and then "unleashed a campaign of violence and mass roundups against the Rohingya", it said. Hundreds of Rohingya men and boys have been rounded up and remain incommunicado in the western region of the country, formerly known as Burma.
"It is our role as Muslims to stand beside each other against injustice," said Hoda Ahmed, an Iraqi woman living in Cairo, who joined in the protest with her family, having learnt about it via Facebook. Because there were no officials at the Embassy at the time of the protest, the protesters wrote messages in English expressing their anger about the situation in Burma and put them in the Embassy's letterbox.
"We will hold another protest on August 10 with the participation of people from many strata of society. We may also meet with the Ambassador, to try and end this massacre," said an angry Shaimaa.
Do you think Arab countries should cut ties with Burma? Would it help the Muslims there? Tell us your thoughts below.
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