Three types of Zakat apply to Burmese Muslims. Struggle in Allah's path with your wealth here.
Welcome to the Official Website of the Burma Task Force USA
The Burma Task Force is coalition of multiple, national Muslim organizations including CAIR, ISNA, MPAC, and AMP. Our main focus is to do political advocacy work in order to help the Muslims in Burma. Donate today to help us do some great work!
Support House Resolution 418
H.R.418 is a resolution that was introduced in November 2013 by Representative James McGovern which begins:
"Urging the Government of Burma to end the persecution of the Rohingya people and respect internationally recognized human rights for all ethnic and religious minority groups within Burma."
You can find the full text of the resolution here.
This is a huge step. It is the first step the Congress has taken so far on the Rohingya issue. It is a crucial step like the statement President Obama made in Burma about Rohingyas, which happened because thousands of YOU called the President before his trip.
Let’s do it again! Your brothers and sisters are pleading for your help.
Please call your Representative today. Here is a calling script that you can use.
The most effective way to reach out to your Representative is by visiting their office with a delegation. You can find talking points and instructions on how to visit your Representative’s office in our Congressional Kit.
For more information email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 312-750-1178.
Let's get #SaveRohingya trending on Twitter, this Sunday, March 23rd from noon to midnight EST!
Burma Task Force is hosting a Twitterstorm to #SaveRohingya this Sunday the 23rd of March between 12:00 p.m. EST and 12:00 a.m. EST. I'm sure you already know the power of social media and how quickly a post or picture can spread; we're trying to use that power to spread awareness regarding the situation of the Burmese Muslims and to save them from persecution and genocide. You can download sample tweets and additional information at the link below.
The cover of TIME magazine in every country but the US!
Extremist monk in Burma calls himself the "Burmese Bin Laden"
Wirathu, the extremist monk behind the hateful 969 movement in Burma, which has been fueling hatred against Muslims, calls himself the "Burmese Bin Laden," according to a report by The Guardian.
Watch the story on the man who is behind the massacres of Muslims below.
Satellite photos show Meiktila destruction
Human Rights Watch released satellite images of the central Burmese town of Meiktila, showing the destruction following the killing of Muslims by extremist Buddhist mobs.
The violence persisted from March 20 to 22, 2013, before the government finally called in military backup and instituted a state of emergency.
At least 40 were killed, and Human Rights Watch estimates that 828 buildings were destroyed.
According to the human rights group: "The spread of anti-Islamic sentiment and religious intolerance is a serious challenge to the rights of Muslims in Burma. Some well-known members of the Buddhist monkhood, or Sangha, have given sermons and distributed anti-Muslims tracts and directives that call on Buddhists residents to boycott Muslim businesses and shun contact with Muslim communities."
Take Action: Violence against Muslims spreads to central Burma
Two days of rioting against Muslims in the central Burmese city of Meiktila has left at least 5 dead, likely many more.
A dispute between a Muslim and Buddhist man in the garrison city led to Buddhists raging through the Muslim part of town.
The violence that had been targeted against Rohingya Muslims in western Burma has now slowly spread to other parts of the country. Muslims who have been granted citizenship in Burma are now being targeted.
Take action against this violence today!
Download our Action Alert and send it to your friends. Make a call to the Burmese Embassy and the Secretary of State's office.
Call the Secretary of State's office at (202) 647-5291, then press Option #1 and then Option #8. Call the White House at (202) 456-1111.
Burmese security forces rape 13 Rohingya women
In an extremely disturbing reporting in The Guardian, a teenage Rohingya woman from Burma said security forces raped at least 13 women in one night.
"At least 13 women, including teenagers, have been subjected to prolonged rape by Burmese security forces in a remote village in the western state of Arakan. Human rights groups have warned that the incident threatens to trigger further violence in a region where several waves of ethno-religious rioting since June last year have killed more than 1,000 people.
The women all belong to the Muslim Rohingya minority, which has borne the brunt of fighting between Muslim and Buddhist communities. One victim, an 18-year-old girl who cannot be named for security reasons, described how a group of uniformed soldiers from Burma's border security unit, known locally as NaSaKa, entered her house in northern Maungdaw township shortly after midnight on 20 February.
'They took us separately to different places and tortured and raped us,' she said, referring also to her mother and younger sister, 15. The ordeal lasted until dawn, she said. 'They came in and out of the house at least 15 times. They also beat my mother with a gun and dragged her outside to the road and beat her to the ground.'"
Read the entire story here.
UN envoy visits Rakhine state, warns of human rights abuses
U.N. human rights envoy Tomas Quintana recently visited Burma and warned that human rights abuses are continuing in the country, despite some reforms made by the government.
While visiting Rakhine state, Quintana said the Rakhine Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim communities continued to be divided by anger and distrust.
"Mutually respectful dialogue cannot be had while discrimination based on grounds of ethnicity and religion remains unaddressed," he said, recommending that the government amend citizenship laws to end such discrimination.
Quintana also visited camps where at least 120,000 Rohingya now reside. He said conditions and medical care were still deplorable, mostly because of harassment of medical staff by Rakhine Buddhists.
He also said that lack of freedom of movement in the camps was oppressive and "felt more like a prison than a camp".
Read the entire story here.
Rohingya unable to receive aid; take action
Thousands of Rohingya who were uprooted from their homes are forced to beg for food and live in deplorable conditions because they are not receiving international aid.
A disturbing report out of Burma shows that many Rohingya are not being officially registered by the government as official "internally displaced persons," which means they are not able to get food or shelter.
Oddny Gumaer, with Partners Relief and Development, said conditions in some area are akin to concentration camps.
“What most of the world is not aware of are the refugees that are not living in [registered] camps,” Gumaer said. “And those people are living in conditions that are so bad that I’m sure if the international community doesn't do something very soon they are going to die.”
Read the entire story here.
Download our latest Action Alert below and urge the Burmese government to take proper care of the Rohingya in need.
Human Rights Watch condemns Burma
Human Rights Watch recently released its "World Report 2013," and Burma did not fare well in the eyes of the organization.
The report outlined, among other abuses, the way the Burmese officials participated in the violence against the Rohingya in June and October of last year. Burmese state authorities were complicit in the burning of homes and killing of Rohingya Muslims. Because of the state-sponsored violence, at least 100,000 are displaced.
Human Rights Watch also called out world leaders, including those from the United States, who were too quick to applaud the minimal efforts Burma made to release political prisoners.
“Burma’s reforms over the past year are hindered, not helped, by international oversell and hasty praise in the face of continued serious human rights abuses,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
Al Jazeera releases photos of Rakhine State
Al Jazeera recently released photos of the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State, where at least 115,000 people, mostly Rohingya Muslims, have been displaced and are in desperate need of aid following violence in June and October of last year.
The displaced have been living in temporary relief camps, where sanitation is a commodity and water supplies are low.
View the photos below and read the entire story here.
Rohingya women are kept as sex slaves by Burmese military
A British reporter in Burma has found firsthand accounts of Rohingya women being held as sex slaves by the Burmese military.
"Eyewitness testimony of a military camp situated a few miles from Sittwe town (and home to Regiment 270) describes around 20 women ... being held at the camp. One of the witnesses, Amina (name changed), described walking past the camp when she heard voices calling out to her. The imprisoned women asked Amina if she was Muslim; she is.
'Please help us. If you can help us escape from here you will go to jannah (heaven),' one woman told her. 'Many military men come, we can't breathe. We want to become Muslim again. If we stay like this we will go to hell.' The intended meaning of what was said was, Amina felt, clear: these women are being raped, and they don't have to say it explicitly for anyone to understand what's taking place."
Read Assed Baig's full report here.
Please download our Action Alert on this issue and distribute it to your friends and family.
British reporter provides firsthand account of destruction in Meiktila
A British Muslim reporter who traveled to Meiktila talked to people involved in the violence against Muslims in the central Burmese town.
One sister said she was forced to prostrate to monks after they burned her husband alive.
"They beat them in front of me. I was watching. I can still see it." Noor Bi is crying as she describes the moment when she saw her husband and brother murdered in front of her eyes as she fled Meiktila.
Read the entire report here.
Huffington Post Live talks about the Rohingya
The Huffington Post held a roundtable discussion on the Rohingya.
The segment provides a good overview on the persecution the group has been facing and gives good background information on Burma in general.
Watch the video below.
Rohingya refugees rescued in Indonesian waters
More Rohinyga who are desperately fleeing Burma by boat were found in the Aceh province of Indonesia.
Like others who were previously rescued by the Sri Lankan navy, this group said Thai officials sabotaged their boat and later shot at them while they were at sea.
"We want to stay in any country with Muslims. We don't mind where, Aceh is good too. But please don't send us back to Myanmar. Just shoot all of us -- we are better off dead than going back to our country," said 21-year-old Farid Alam, one of the refugees.
Read the entire story here.
Two Nobel Laureates speak up about Rohingya
Jose Ramos-Horta and Muhammad Yunus, winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, wrote an editorial for the Huffington Post about the Rohingya.
"The minority Muslim Rohingya continue to suffer unspeakable persecution, with more than 1,000 killed and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes just in recent months, apparently with the complicity and protection of security forces.
The charge that the Rohingya are illegal immigrants to Myanmar is false. There is evidence that the Rohingya have been in present day Myanmar since the 8th century. It is incontrovertible that Muslim communities have existed in Rakhina State since the 15th century, added to by descendants of Bengalis migrating to Arakan (Rakhine) during colonial times."
The two laureates said the fact that Burma took away the Rohingya citizenship in 1982, along with their ability to travel or marry without a permit, was deplorable.
"The 20th century gave us a term for the ugly phenomena of stripping individuals of their nationality and persecuting them for no reason other than the color of their skin, their religion, or their ethnicity: ethnic cleansing."
Read the entire piece here.
Rohingya prisoners face abuse, torture
A recent report shows that almost 1,000 Muslim Rohingya -- many of them children as young as 10 -- remain jailed in Arakan State for supposedly inciting the violence that killed so many Rohingya last year.
Many have died in custody, and the rest are subject to "pervasive" abuses. DVB news said that torture, violence and the sexual exploitation of minors is rampant in the prisons in Arakan.
Read the entire story here.
Doctors Without Borders calls on authorities to stop intimidation
Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres issued a press release on Feb. 7 calling on the Burmese government to help aid reach all those who need it in the country, especially the Rohingya.
"Ongoing insecurity and repeated threats and intimdation by a small but vocal group within the Rakhine community have severely impacted our ability to deliver lifesaving medical care," said Arjan Hehenkamp, General Director of Doctors Without Borders.
One Rohingya man said clean water was available near the refugee camps where thousands are living but access was denied to them.
Doctors Without Borders said they are facing increased threats for trying to help the Rohingya and other displaced people. Some members of the Rakhine community are accusing the workers of having a pro-Rohingya bias in pamphlets, letters and Facebook postings, threatening aid workers.
Read the entire Doctors Without Borders release here.
Read the story here.
Take action with Thai officials
The BBC is reporting that Thai officials, including those in the navy and police forces, have been selling Rohingya feeling from Burma to human traffickers.
Thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee Burma following systematic violence against them, which increased dramatically last year. Many try to escape in flimsy boats, which often capsize in water. Others have been intercepted on the Andaman Sea by the Thai navy, which makes deals to sell the desperate refugees to human traffickers.
Ahmed, one such refugee, told the BBC that after he was captured by the Thai navy, he was taken to the Thai-Malaysia border.
"They dug a hole for us to use as a toilet. We ate, slept and excreted in the same place," he said. "The smell was horrible. I was poked with an iron and beaten with a chain."
The Thai government has promised to investigate these allegations of trafficking. We must ensure that they do.
Urgent Action Needed
Call the Thai embassy and urge them to fulfill their promise to investigate officials' involvement in human trafficking of Rohingyas. Press them to punish those involved in the heinous crimes of kidnapping and human trafficking.
Also ask the Thai government to keep any Rohingya in their country as refugees and offer them assistance and asylum.
Make a phone call TODAY
Call the Thai embassy at (202) 944-3600. Call as many times as you can to urge the Thai government to take action.
Read more about the BBC story here.
Download this full action alert to distribute here.
BBC interviews Rohingya refugee on radio program
On the BBC World program Outlook, Rebecca Henschke interviewed Khairul, a 28-year-old Rohingya refugee who fled to Burma.
You can listen to the entire program here
The BBC is also reporting that a humanitarian official for the United Nations visited Rohingya camps in Rakhine state and called the situation "dire".
"The government also has a responsibility, they have to take the lead," Valerie Amos said. "They have to work to bring the communities together and that
work has got to start now."
You can read the entire story here
Burmese President to be given peace award
In the midst of violence against the Rohingya Muslims in his country, Burmese President Thein Sein will be given a peace award by the International Crisis Group.
The group said the award was being given because: “Myanmar has initiated a remarkable
and unprecedented set of reforms since President Thein Sein’s government
took over in March 2011, including freeing hundreds of political
prisoners, liberalizing the press and promoting dialogue with the main
opposition party.” Read the entire story here
While Burma may have made some strides, the continued human rights violations against the Rohingya prove just how far the country has to go before any of its leaders should be given a peace award.
Thein Sein himself has said in the past that the solution to the crisis against the Rohingyas was to send them to any country that would have them. That's hardly a resolution that warrants a prize.