World Bulletin / News Desk
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the world's largest Islamic body on Saturday to "treat carefully" the issue of the Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar because it could affect the "reform" process underway in the country, also known as Burma.
Over the past year, Myanmar has introduced the most sweeping reforms in the former British colony since a 1962 military coup. A semi-civilian government, stacked with former generals, has allowed elections, eased rules on protests and freed dissidents.
But an outbreak of violence in June between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and the Rohingyas killed 80 people and displaced thousands. At least 800,000 Rohingyas are not recognized as one of the country's many ethnic and religious groups.
Rights groups accused Myanmar security forces of killing, raping and arresting Rohingyas after the riots. Myanmar has said it exercised "maximum restraint" in quelling the riots.
Ban discussed the issue in separate meeting with Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and Myanmar President Thein Sein on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly of world leaders.
During his meeting with Ihsanoglu, Ban "indicated the importance of the situation in Rakhine being treated carefully because of the potential wider implications of the Rakhine issue on the overall reform process in Myanmar," his spokesman said.
An OIC committee set up to deal with the Rohingya issue met for the first time in New York this week and called for them to be given rights as citizens in Myanmar. Ihsanoglu said he wanted to visit Myanmar when the government was ready to "to remedy the fundamental rights issues of the Rohingya Muslims."
Thein Sein said in June the government was only responsible for third-generation Rohingyas whose families had arrived before independence in 1948 and that it was impossible to accept those who had "illegally entered" Myanmar.
Ban and Thein Sein "discussed the recent outbreak of violence in Rakhine state and the immediate and long-term perspectives to promote inter-communal harmony and address the root causes of the tension there, including developmental efforts," Ban's spokesman said in a statement.
"The President confirmed the country would address the long-term ramifications of this question," the spokesman said.
Last week Aung Min, a minister in President Thein Sein's office and the government's top negotiator in peace talks with at least 10 ethnic minority rebel groups, said the government had set up an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the violence between the Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingyas.
The commission would look at how further violence could be prevented, which includes examining the status of the ethnic minorities, he said. It is due to report on due Nov. 16.
300 Turkologists have come together in honour of the Kabardino-Balkaria people in Moscow.
Bestikas Football club star, Senegalese Demba Ba's twitter remarks with one of his followers attracted attention.
The Islamic Center got its start a half-century ago when seven immigrant families living near the Fore River Shipyard joined to build the mosque at 470 South St
All ID cards and passport photos in Belarus that show women with a headscarf are banned
Some of the most respected Muslim charities and organizations included on list of groups suspected of having 'terrorist' links
“The First Latin American Muslim Leaders Religious Summit” hosts 76 religious leaders from more than 40 countries
The Washington National Cathedral opens its gates to Muslims for the first time to perform Friday prayer
Tell Mama says recent events in the UK and internationally have resulted in a sharp increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes
Imam Salim Mwarangi was shot dead in Likoni, a suburb outside off the Mombasa Island, in the latest attacks targeting Muslim clerics in the coastal city.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Bigoted actor sustains bloodied nose while testing Canadians' attitudes toward Muslims, but the prime minister has not publicly uttered one word of support for Canadian Muslims following the hate attacks
The National Council of Canadian Muslims said it has seen a tenfold increase in reports of harassment, including racial slurs on public buses, notes left on car windshields and bullying at schools.
CAIR says it has received reports from around the nation of mosque officials being asked to meet with FBI agents and then being pressed to inform on members of their congregations.
Belgium’s Muslim women speak out against social exclusion for practicing their religion.
The mosque was hit overnight with red spraypainted graffiti reading "Go home" and its windows were smashed
Russian Muslims want to be formed a comission agains the ban on the Islamic books including some Hadith works