Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has urged the Islamic governments to take practical measures against Myanmar government to stop the persecution of Muslims.
He decried the muted response to the ongoing violence against Muslims in Myanmar while addressing a religious course in Tehran on Tuesday, reports Tasnim News Agency.
Describing Myanmar crisis as a political issue, Khamenei said the catastrophe in Myanmar should not be downgraded to a sectarian conflict between Muslims and Buddhists, although he said religious prejudice may have been involved.
He urged the Muslim countries to mount political, economic, and trade pressure on the Myanmar government and protest against such crimes in the international circles.
“This case [in Myanmar] is a political one, because it is being executed by the government of Myanmar, which is led by a merciless woman that has won the Nobel Peace Prize,” Ayatollah Khamenei said stating that the events in Myanmar have marked the demise of the Nobel Peace Prize.
State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung Sang Suu Kyi’s unwillingness to speak out against the military crackdown has prompted some former admirers to suggest that she should be stripped of the Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded to her in 1991.
Condemning the UN secretary-general, Imam Khamenei said the advocates of human rights who “raise hue and cry for the punishment of a criminal in a country” have surprisingly remained silent about the killing and displacement of tens of thousands of people in Myanmar.
According to UN estimates, as of Tuesday, around 370,000 Rohingya refugees have entered Bangladesh since Myanmar security forces re-launched their crackdown in the Rakhine state following insurgent attacks on Myanmar police outposts and an army base on August 25.
Ayatollah Khamenei finally stressed that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation should convene a conference on the catastrophe in Myanmar.
“The world today is the world of oppression, and the Islamic Republic has to maintain for itself the honour of speaking out against oppression anywhere in the world, whether in territories occupied by Zionists, or in Bahrain, or Yemen, or Myanmar,” he said.
According to the Tasnim News Agency report, Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have long faced discrimination and were the targets of violence in 2012 that killed hundreds and drove about 140,000 people from their homes to camps for the internally displaced.
The Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) said the persecution is backed by the government, elements among the country's Buddhist monks and ultra-nationalist civilian groups.