Rights of Muslim Minority Won’t Be Honored if its Existence is Denied
Statement by Robert Bank, Incoming President of American Jewish World Service:
“As members of an ethnic minority whose own right to exist has been questioned throughout history, we call on the newly elected government of Myanmar to recognize the existence of its own most oppressed minority, the Rohingya Muslims.
“We are disappointed that the newly elected democratic government of Myanmar has asked the new U.S. ambassador to refrain from using the term Rohingya, explaining that this group is not officially recognized by the government as an ethnic minority.
“We believe strongly that all people in Myanmar, including the Rohingya, must be allowed to exercise their human rights and participate in a pluralistic society. Tragically, thousands of Rohingya people have been driven from their homes and forced to flee their country.
“We share the new government’s commitment to a democratic Myanmar in which ethnic minorities can live in dignity and with respect. For this vision to be realized, the government of Myanmar must take the courageous step of recognizing the existence of the Rohingya people.
“We urge the United States government to continue to stand for the rights of the Rohingya people, by using their self-chosen name, just as President Obama did on his most recent visit there.”
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David L. Marcus