Wiesenthal Center Urges Action over Rohingyas - "The crisis demands more than words"

September 15, 2017

The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) reacts with horror to the ongoing attacks against the Muslim Rohingya minority in Myanmar. “We are witnessing a human tragedy of three hundred thousand souls driven from their homes to an uncertain future. And there are serious reports of a campaign of murder, rape, and burnt villages," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action.

Rabbi Cooper traveled to Myanmar in 2013 to meet with the Vice President and other top government officials to urge better treatment of the Rohingyas. “I told the government officials that the mistreatment of the Rohingyas was unacceptable and would impact on their nation’s efforts to expand investments from the US and other democracies,” Cooper noted.

“While the United Nations is set to talk about the crisis,” added Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Center’s Director of Interfaith Affairs, “We fear this will amount to too little, too late. This crisis demands more than words. The SWC urges religious leaders, politicians on both sides of the political divide and our citizens to demand that our government, acting in concert with others, take action to stop the savagery.”

Earlier this week, American Muslim leader Mahomed Akbar Khan, brought an exiled former member of the Myanmar Parliament to brief Rabbi Cooper at the Wiesenthal Center on the deeply disturbing developments in his homeland. Mr. Khan declared, “The world must stop the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya right now, provide emergency relief for refugees in Bangladesh and put in place the ability for voluntary repatriation as well as safety zones for the displaced.”

"If the world doesn't move quickly the extremists will fill the void,” Khan concluded.

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).