IF NO one will welcome them, the regional government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is willing to host Rohingya Muslims — with open arms.
This as the regional government responded to international appeals for governments to show compassion and humanity to the Rohingya people who have fled Burma in the face of massive persecution and human rights abuse.
“As they are trapped at sea and are desperate for help, their sufferings exacerbated by the refusal of other countries to welcome them and provide them with a refuge, we must offer them a glimmer of hope for a bright future and a peaceful life,” said Gov. Mujiv Hataman in a statement Friday.
Hataman explained that the plight of the Rohingya Muslims reminds them of the Halaws who fled Sabah back to the Philippines.
“This displacement also touches a sensitive chord in the life and history of Mindanao Muslims who suffered harrowing episodes of evacuations because of violence,” he said. “As Muslims, we are concerned about how women and children are facing this perilous journey to freedom, only to find an ocean of uncertainty and crushing indifference from the world outside Burma.”
The Rohingya Muslims, he said, deserve “our sympathy and kindness.”
“This is why we of the regional government, as we reiterate our support and solidarity with them, our Rohingya brothers and sisters, express our willingness to host them in the ARMM,” he said. “We believe that even with the current conditions on the ground, even with our own experience of migration and internal displacement, there is always room enough for us to show our hospitality and care for them.”
Hataman was also pleased with the decision of the Aquino government to provide the Rohingya Muslims shelter.
“We applaud this gesture of kindness,” he said. “This is proof of our country’s readiness to respond to a humanitarian crisis in as humane a manner as possible.”