NOTE: WE CANNOT COMPROMISE ON ISLAM.
Some Chinese leaders has no problem that his daughter converted to Christian and even if his grandchild were a gay. For the Buddhists and Hindus, I had seen and read in the newspapers, no problem if Chinese Dieties and Hindu R brought in and put together with their gods’ statues or Buddha’s statue.
Buddhist & Hindus who R vegetarians or just avoids meat would not mind sitting together with their friends eating meat. They could marry and stay together with the spouses from different religion…etc. But MOST although not all the Muslims try to avoid those kind of situation as they know that Islam do not allow. May be they sometimes could not avoid other sins but…NOTE that there is some religious edits in Myanmar that gambling or lotery under the NON-ISLAMIC government is permissionable!
Race: A group of people with a certain sense of itself and cohesiveness is called a race. There is usually a commonality or shared values such as: social, culture, attitudes and ideals.
The most important bond and determining all these is a religion. There is usually a common language, literature and a territory.
It may be a ‘pure’ race (homogeneous) e.g. Arian, Mongoloid or African. Or a ‘mixed’ race (heterogeneous) that is a mixture of few tribes, clans or minority groups. They mixed, stayed and struggled together with the sense of unity.
Let us look at how Islam deals with this sensitive racial issue as Arabs were and are so proud of their race.
Islam not only recognises absolute equality between men irrespective of any distinction of colour, race or nationality, but also makes it an important and significant principle, a reality.
All Human are descendants of one father and one mother. The division of the human race is neither meant for one nation to take pride in its superiority over others nor is it meant for one nation to treat another with contempt or disgrace, or regard them as a mean and degrade other races and usurp their rights.
Myanmar Muslims are descendants of Arabs, Persians, Turks, Moores, Indian-Muslims, Pakistanis, Pathans, Bengalis, Chinese Muslims and Malays intermarried with local Burmese and many ethnic Myanmar groups such as: Rakhine, Shan, Karen, Mon etc.
Muslims arrived Burma as travellers, adventurers, pioneers, sailors, Military Personals (voluntary and mercenary), and some of them as prisoners of wars. Some take refuge (from wars, Monsoon storms and weather, shipwreck and some for other various unforeseen circumstances). And some of them are victims of forced slavery. Some of them are professionals and skilled personals such as advisors to the kings and at various ranks of administration. Some are port-authorities and mayors and traditional medicine men. Some of them are good at various vocational skills, culture arts etc.
Mixed marriages, intermarriages and assimilation process of throwing away of almost all their foreign languages, foreign dresses and foreign culture slowly shaped them in to Ethnic Myanmar Muslim group of today.
But they had drawn a line in the ongoing process of assimilation. That line of limit is their religion, Islam.
As practising Muslims they could not go beyond the limit of tolerance of Islamic principles.
So Myanmar Muslims threw away Urdu, Bengali, Chinese, Hindi and all other foreign languages. Even Arabic is learned just to read Holy Koran and for prayers. Myanmar Muslims speaks Myanmar as their mother tongue, wear Myanmar dress and even have an official Myanmar name as well as Islamic Arabic name.
Because they could not compromise their faith in Islam in matters such as: only eating halal foods and drinks, marriage, divorce, inheritance, and other customs which heavily depend on Islam e.g. circumcision, funeral and burial rituals etc.
So Myanmar Muslims could not assimilate homogeneously as Chinese, Hindus and others, except for those who convert or renounced Islam. Complete Assimilation of a minority group always need a compromise of their tradition, their culture and some of their rights.
Actually the religion is the most important factor in the formation of the Ethnic Minority Groups in the whole world. This is really the most explosive issue in most of the Ethnic- conflicts, leading to wars around the world throughout the history.
The religions will always become the main and very strong bonds in the formation of the various Ethnic Minority Groups in Burma / Myanmar.
And the religion is the main obstacle obstructing the complete assimilation of the minority groups.
In other words, religion sometimes prevents the disappearing of the Ethnic-minority groups.
Daw Aung San Su Kyi in her book “The Voice of Hope” told Alan Clements about the politics and religion:
The journalist asked, “When you speak to the people you talk a lot about religion, why is that?”
Daw Aung San Su Kyi replied , “Because politics is about people, and you can’t separate people from their spiritual values.”
And he said that he had asked a young student who had come to the weekend talks about this: “Why are they are talking about religion?” The student replied, “Well that’s politics. “Our people understand what we are talking about. Some people might think it is either idealistic or naive to talk about ‘metta’ in terms of politics, but to me it makes a lot of practical good sense.
AC: It’s a matter of debate, but politics and religion are usually segregated issues. In Burma today, the large portion of monks and nuns see spiritual freedom and sociopolitical freedom as separate areas. But in truth, dhamma (Religion) and politics are rooted in the same issue – freedom.
D A S S K: Indeed, but this is not unique to Burma. Everywhere you’ll find this drive to separate the secular from the spiritual. In other Buddhist countries you’ll find the same thing – in Thailand, Sri Lanka, in Mahayana Buddhist countries, in Christian countries, almost everywhere in the world.
I think some people find it embarrassing and impractical to think of the spiritual and political life as one.
I do not see them as separate.
In democracies there is always a drive to separate the spiritual from the secular, but it is not actually required to separate them.
Whereas in many dictatorships, you’ll find that there is an official policy to keep politics and religion apart, in case I suppose, it is used to upset the status quo.
When compare to many of the prided, recognised ethnic minorities, especially WAs, most of them could not speak Myanmar language, most of the Muslims in Myanmar could speak the mother tongue.
Myanmar traditional dress. Myanmar-Muslims have adopted and taken the Myanmar dress as their own.
It is widely accepted that Taik pone (Myanmar man’s jacket) was taken from China and the Longyi (Sarong) was taken from India.
Curiously Muslim religious customary Purdah, a veil for the women, is spread to even Burmese-Buddhists and other Ethnic Minorities. They called that with the adopted name Pawah.
- Muslims in China keep their faith (drkokogyi.wordpress.com)
- The dangerous crypto-intolerance of tolerant Malaysia: the case of Shi’a Islam (marranci.wordpress.com)
- Exposing the Ideology of Islam (dakotavoice.com)
- Middle East Revolutions Herald America’s Demise: Kayhan, Islamic Republic of Iran (themoderatevoice.com)
- Why don’t non-muslim black people eat pork (wiki.answers.com)
- The language holding Malays, Tamils and Chinese together (economist.com)