Sunday, October 21, 2007

Representing FAIR (Forum on Australian Islamic Relations) I was privileged to read a prayer at the Interfaith Remembering Burma Day. The ongoing crisis in Burma is a typical example of greedy dictatorial governments suppressing democratic rights and the ongoing oppression of a people aided and abetted by foreign powers who benefit from lucrative economic opportunities, while the rich treasures of their lands are sold to the benefit of the dictators and the loss of the people themselves. The humble patience of Burmese Buddhist monks and their strong quiet protest at recent injustices were truly inspiring, and we hope and pray for a just resolution to their ongoing crisis.
I read the Dua Qunut prayer that is said by many Muslims during the Witr prayer - the odd numbered prayer that is said after the evening prayer of Isha. This prayer highlights the authority and power of Allah, and requests He will bless what we have, and assist us with our difficulties. Islam does not condone any form of oppression, and encourages its people to stand against it and to reject those leaders who engage in it, through non-violent means initially, through challenging corrupt rulers, and ultimately to do as the Burmese monks did - to mobilise against such oppression.