(This is Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s English Trnaslation of Holy Quran, All of us as Non Arabic speaking people should have a copy to read at your home)
I was born in Burma as a Muslim from the Burmese Muslim parents. Almost all of my ancestors were Burmese except for one of my great great Grand fathers was from Saudi Arabia.
Islam professed equality in human being. So as a Muslim I do not have problem with being a Burmese Muslim, means I am a Burmese who believe in Islam, the True Religion for the mankind.
But the problem of Identity in my opinion is started from the Muslims living in Burma. Why? when I was young I thought Muslim community in Burma as uneducated, poor, inferior, some of them are rich but arrogant society. That was the reason for me to stay away from it without understanding the true teaching of Islam. I was non practicing Muslim for thirty over years. Nobody invited me in Burma for proper intellectual way of discussion.
So, even as a Burmese who was born as a Muslim find difficult to understand the Burmese Muslims in Burma, how about Non Muslim, Buddhists view towards us in Burma.?
Who are responsible? I think we as Burmese Muslims are responsible for what we are in Burmese Muslim society today. Of course now is a difficult time as Military Junta even killed and tortured Buddhist monks and sealed the Monastery in Burma, community as a whole should be more careful at the same time support the fight against the Biggest Evil (Pharoah) of Burma.
We could always cry foul to Burmese Military Government for creating anti Muslim disciminative policy and riots to divert the attention in last few decades. What were we doing for the good sake of Muslim community in Burma?
There were few outspoken Muslim leaders for the Burmese Muslim community. However, these people were attacked by the so called Ulama, who brought in Indian-Pakistan culture to installed as Burmese Muslim Culture for several decades that is the reason why most of the Non Muslims think that all Muslims in Burma are Indians. Indian Muslims are a mojority in Burma, but there are Burmese Muslim, Karen Muslims, Burmese Chinese Muslims,….and so many other ethnics minorities who believe in Islam.
Thanks to the IT age, where people can read and learn more about Islam . There are group of new generation of Burmese Muslims, who are ready to explain the Burmese Muslim about faith (Imam) and practice, and being a citizen of a country, and responsibility as a Muslim and as a Burmese .
In short, we have obligations as Muslim for what our Creator asked us to do, and as a person’s obligation to the Country and the society.
Islamic teaching is very clear about mentioned obligations. But we must know how to get these guideline. Its is in the book called Holy Quran, a divine revelation and a guide book for all of us what to do and not to do.
Also we need the Muslim leaders who are going to explain the questions of those who are unable to read or understand the teaching.
Then only we, Muslims of Burma will be doing more than rituals to the dynamic society according to the teaching of the Creator and also become a well respected society by others in Burma.