More than a 100 people gathered on Sept. 15 at City Hall to protest against the humanitarian crisis Rohingya Muslims are facing in Myanmar.
“All human beings are deserving of dignity, honour, and respect,” said Imam Fayaz Tilly, a speaker at the protest, who is also a chaplain at SAIT.
“The government should stand up for human rights,” said Tilly.
The protest was to condemn the execution of the world’s most prosecuted minority group.
More than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh in response to an Aug. 25 attack by Myanmar military and vigilante groups.
The number is equivalent to the total number of refugees arriving to Europe by sea in 2016.
The exodus resulted in many hungry and exhausted Muslims fleeing their homeland. Children were seen arriving with no parental companion and were often malnourished.
“The genocide must be stopped,” said Inderpreet Singh, a volunteer at the protest.
“This isn’t right. We shouldn’t turn the other cheek when thousands are fleeing for safety and shelter,” he said.
Singh believes that Myanmar’s civilian leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, is ultimately responsible for the situation.
Suu Kyi, an honorary Canadian Citizen, had recently condemned the abuse. However, she did not criticize the Myanmar army or answer allegations of the ethnic cleansing.
The situation has escalated to a point where aid agencies are describing the situation as an emerging humanitarian catastrophe.
An outbreak of diseases such as Cholera can spread through the settlements where many Rohingya refugees reside.
“Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, we all form a single community, one single nation,” said Malik Bakhti, who also attended the protest.
“If we stand against the genocide together, we can end their misery.”