Dear Holy Father,
Your Holiness, please forgive any poor observance of protocols from me, as I write this letter to you. This, is the first open letter I write to any public figure. It’s a come-and-save- my-life plea. I am desperate.
I know it will interest your Holiness to also know that the writer of this letter is a Muslim, who paradoxically feels that Vatican is the most appropriate quarters to seek for respite.
Your Holiness, I am not writing on behalf of myself. I am writing on behalf of my Muslim brothers and sisters in Myanmar, who are facing ethnic cleansing in the country. They need you. They need your voice. They need your intervention. They need your clout.
There are two fundamental reasons, which conspire to force me to see you as the best possible option for their reprieve.
First, the fact that Myanmar tragedy has persisted up to this time– assuming the frightening dimension of Rwandan genocide–is an indictment of Muslim World’s leadership.
Some of us rightly believe that the last time the Muslims had a semblance of leadership ended with climax of the Great War, which culminated into the collapse of Ottoman Empire.
Little wonder, therefore, Turkey is currently among the few Muslims nations showing concerns over the conflict.
The second is your leadership, your Holiness. Since you took over the papacy, you’ve proven to the rest of the world what a true leader you are. You have been showing examples to all of us.
I know you are on the side of justice. You are on the side of fairness and the downtrodden, too, among the other ideals.
You holiness, I hope you are not surprised that a Muslim is looking up to the West instead of the East for intervention.
I believe I am doing what’s right. I am emulating the practical teaching of our beloved Prophet, Muhammad the son of Abdullah (PBUH).
When the first generation of the believers of his religion were facing what Rohingya Muslims are witnessing today, the Prophet sent some of them to an “Ethiopian Pope”, a Christian King, Negas. They found a reprieve.
We, the Muslims, are over I.6 billion heads today. But we are never as in strong position to fend for ourselves as when we were less than a thousand followers. That time is gone for good. That was the time we had a leader.
So Your Holiness, as a man of God, like the say in my country, and a man of peace and love for humanity, I strongly urge you to be in the forefront of the campaign to bring an end to this calamity.
The last time the world looked elsewhere, as a people were being ethnically cleansed, hundreds of thousands of souls were massacred in few days in Rwanda.
The tragic repeat of that history is staring us in the face. We must do something. Your Holiness has what it takes to make a difference in this respect.
According to media reports, Scores of people have died since Rohingya militants were alleged to have attacked police posts last month. And the subsequent clashes ensued have sent civilians from all communities fleeing, as many Rohingya desperately try to cross the Naf river to reach Bangladesh.
UN officials in Bangladesh, told the BBC that 38,000 people have now crossed the border. It could be higher.
Your Holiness, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, has described the situation as “worsening cycle of violence” in Rakhine was of “grave concern and must be broken urgently”.
Your Holiness, the time to act is now.