KARACHI: It is rare when a well recognised school supports a cause on an official basis to inspire international forums. Yet, students and teachers at the Aisha Bawany Academy came out in large numbers on Wednesday to protest against what they termed ‘insensitivity of the international community on the genocide of Muslims in Myanmar’.
The move appeared bold, especially as the government and human rights organisations are silent about the persecution of Rohingya Muslims. “But the school’s managing trustee, Ismail Bawany, consented to this protest when teachers and children of the school approached him,” said the academy’s spokesperson, Imdad Hussain Shah. At noon, nearly 500 students, in their school uniforms, left the school building located at Sharae Faisal to gather on the sidewalk. These students, from grade four till grade eight, were holding placards and posters, some with very gory visuals while the rest carried statements urging to stop the massacre.
Near to a 100 teachers chaperoned the students to make sure they made sure that the activity did not result in disturbing the flow of traffic on one of the city’s busiest roads. This seemed necessary as the young lot appeared enthusiastic about the task. Most children, however, appeared amused with their involvement in the activity yet there were those too who thought of it as a serious cause.
Ahmed Hasan, who teaches O’ Level students at the academy, tried to explain the students’ passion, saying that the children know what was happening around the world as media was creating awareness in them. He added that the teachers also supported the students for this cause.
Shah told The Express Tribune that all major international organisations and powers intervened in cases like East Taimoor but they were silent about this Muslim genocide where even women and children were not spared. “We demand the government and human rights organisations to immediately raise this issue at an international level,” said Shah.
“The Burmese are Muslims and so are we. This makes them our brothers and we should protest if somebody does wrong to Muslims anywhere in the world,” said 12-year-old Sibtain Haider, while holding a poster which stated: OIC says ‘Oh I See’ but does nothing.
Another student, 14-year-old Syed Anas, was displaying a placard ‘Don’t expect justice from so-called champions of peace’ and accused the United Nations and America for being two faced in matters where Muslims anywhere in the world were oppressed. His argument was also conceded by the academy’s spokesperson.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.