By Dr. Ko Ko Gyi
My “learned” Political Friends used to advice me not to mix politics and religion. The origin of this concept started from the separation of church and state idea where in ancient times Church-state mixing and melding in the governing of a country. And the monarchs also used to rule the country as if they were mandated by the God or claimed as if they themselves were gods so they declared that they have the Divine Right to rule over the people.
Since General Ne Win’s time, successive Myanmar Military Governments rejected the Myanmar Muslims’ enlistment as Myanmar People who practiced the Islam concept, started by U Razak. The authorities wrongly claimed that all Myanmar (may be they confused with Bama) are Buddhists, there were no Bama Muslims (Myanmar Muslims) and the person concerned must be a migrant from India subcontinent. (They wrongly mixed up because Buddhism and Hinduism originated from there but ignorant that origin of Islam is Arabia.)
They use the religion of the person to decide for the political and social position in the country. If Burmese Chinese Ne Win, San Yu, Khin Nyunt and Burmese Indians Sein Win, Mg Di, were Muslims they would be chopped off from the political hierarchy.
Just imagine that if the ROHINGYAS were Buddhists, they would never suffer these rejection by the successive military governments, Bamas and Rakhines.
Just because we are Muslims, Burmese Muslims were denied our political and other rights. Since Ne Win’s era, millions of Muslims of Burma or Myanmar have been victims of discrimination, preferences and exclusions in view of their race, skin color, religion, national or ethnic origin and form of expression, causing extreme suffering and even loss of lives and properties.
So we, Muslims in Myanmar have the RIGHTS to use our religion to POLITICALLY FIGHT for getting back all our rights. After all, Islamophobia is used in Myanmar and Internationally. We have the right to mix Politics and religion to promote for the TRUE SECULARUNION OF MYANMAR where there are equal rights for all.