Press Shia – A member of the Assembly of Experts said that the clergy must inform the people in the mosques of the calamities facing the people of Myanmar and Yemen and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation must act and protect the homeless Muslims.
Press Shia Agency – Speaking this morning during his class at the Ayatollah Iravani Seminary in Tehran, Ayatollah Mohsen Mojtahed-Shabestari, a member of the Assembly of Experts, pointed out the problems of Muslims around the world and said, “The hegemonic powers of the world are striving to generate Islamophobia in any way possible. Internal agents are also unjustly and deliberately acting in this manner and some are playing into the hands of the enemies.”
The renowned Iranian cleric added, “In countries where there is no physical conflict, the hegemonic powers attack through the means of soft war. This is the situation facing the Islamic Republic of Iran. For this reason, the importance of propagating religion and ‘enjoining the good and forbidding the wrong’ is felt more than ever. The propagation of pure Islam and Islam which is free from syncretism is very important today.”
Referring to the situation of the crisis affecting Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority, Ayatollah Mojtahed-Shabestari said, “In the environments and countries which are engaged in conflict, the hegemonic powers have entered the scene. This is the situation facing Myanmar, which has a total population of about 53 million people of which 88% are Buddhists and Muslims are about 4.3%. According to statistics, about 2.3 million people in the country are Muslim but because its government is Buddhist, Muslims have been harassed for many years. Recently, several hundred Muslims were killed on the pretext that a Buddhist was killed.”
The member of the Expediency Council said, “They burned many Muslim’s homes and nearly two million Muslims fled to neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, due to this reason. It’s the duty of Islamic governments and Muslim nations to answer the cries of Muslims.”
Ayatollah Mojtahed-Shabestari added, “The clergy must inform the people in the mosques of these calamities and although [Iran’s] Ministry of Foreign Affairs appears to have protested to the United Nations, it’s not enough and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation must act and protect the homeless Muslims.”
His Eminence added, “Today, the Muslims of Yemen have some weapons to fight the Saudi regime and the opposition governments, at the head of which is the United States, but the people of Myanmar do not have such weapons and we officially condemn both of these tragedies.”
Due to ongoing violence and persecution, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighbouring countries either by land or boat over the course of many decades.
The situation facing the “world’s most persecuted minority” has worsened since 25 August and more than 28,000 Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh from Myanmar’s Rakhine state amid fears of ethnic cleansing.