Persecution of Muslims in Burma - Muslims Under U Nu

Muslims Under U Nu

AFPFL expelled the Burma Muslim Congress

The BMC, Burma Muslim Congress was founded almost at the same time with the AFPFL, Anti-Fascist Peoples’ Freedom Party of General Aung San and U Nu before World War II . On December 25, 1945 in Pyinmana, U Razak was elected President of BMC and decided to join AFPFL. U Razak was elected AFPFL President in the Mandalay district in 1946. Later the Governor accepted him as the member of constitutional council. He had good relations with Buddhists and was fluent in Pali (Buddhist scriptures are written in this ancient language of India). He became the Minister of Education and Planning in Bogoke’s (General Aung San) Government and was later assassinated with him. But he had supported the main policy of the AFPFL: that is against the partition along community or religious lines. U Razak and his few associates objected to the struggle of those demanding specific constitutional guarantees for the Burma Muslim minority. So, although U Razak was a prominent Burma Muslim leader who had successfully organized Burma Muslims to be able to get an official record that they had participated since the very beginning of the Burmese National struggle towards independence.

His stand of united Burmese (Burma) nation sacrificing the long-term interest of guarantee for the rights of Minority Burma Muslim satisfied not only the Burmese Buddhist leaders of the AFPFL, but also the British Government. Maybe because of that he got a lot of personal rewards. U Raschid and more prominently U Khin Maung Lat, follows the general policy of sacrificing the Rights and Interests of the Burma Muslim Community for ‘the country and their party’. Prime Minister U Nu, just a few months after the independence of Burma, requested the Burma Muslim Congress to resign its membership from AFPFL. In response to that U Khin Maung Lat, the new President of BMC, decided to discontinue the Islamic Religious activities of the BMC and rejoined the AFPFL. Later he became Minister of Justice but no longer represented the wishes of the Burma Muslim community. The newly-formed Burmese Muslim League requested a special government department for Muslim affairs to determine their own future, the same as for other minorities, who had Ministries in Yangon and governments in their states. U Nu removed the Burma Muslim Congress from AFPFL on September 30, 1956. BMC was asked to dissolve since 1955.

Later U Nu decreed Buddhism as the state religion of Burma against the will of the ethnic minorities and various religious organizations including Burma Muslims. U Nu, a Buddhist, was pressured by the wealthy and influential Hindi merchants who ordered the prohibition of the slaughtering of cattle. Although he relaxed that during the Kurbani Edd (Hari Raya Haji), Muslims had to apply the permits for each cattle and strictly follow procedures under police supervision. Although General Ne Win revoked the first order and allowed the slaughter of cattle for daily consumption, the second order of restriction for the sacrifice remained up to the present. Some Muslims complained that U Nu’s government had made more difficult conditions and regulations for the Haj pilgrimage than the Buddhists pilgrims going to Sri Lanka and Nepal.

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