Some Muslims are shy to reveal their religion in Myanmar


Some Muslims are shy to reveal their religion in Myanmar

Islam is most misunderstood religion in Burma

From Kyaw Kyaw Oo’s weblog

I misunderstood Islam even as a born Muslim.

I used to be a person who felt ashamed of being a Muslim. It was long time ago in my childhood, and during my teen age. The reason was in Burma Muslims are seen as lower class, uneducated, poor people.

Some of the Burmese Muslims are of Indian Decent. Their skins were dark and majorities were uneducated. However they are good in business. To be honest I did not want to be called as Kalar, which is a derogatory name for Muslim in Burma.


So I have avoided them, and always hang out with Buddhist and Christian friends. At that time Christianity was more attractive to me as a religion than Islam because people tend to pay more respect to Christian than Muslim in Burma. Moreover, it was easier for me to mix with Christian friends as one of my favorite hobbies was playing a hollow guitar. Only Christians in Burma have good knowledge of musical notes as they used to go for Sunday prayer with Choir in their Church.

Although my knowledge of Islam was almost zero at that time, I was a firm believer of creation and creator. I was also curious about religion, however my curiosity stopped with “There is a creator” and” There is a God who created us”. That was all.

When I had my degree I was posted to a big city in Burma. My house was right in front of a Mosque. Normally I woke up due to Azam, (Call for prayer), but I did not go for prayer. The reason being I did not know how to pray. There were not much books to be read in Burmese about Islam. Those available were very poorly written in Burmese. (That was the real problem at that time, as most of the Imams of the Mosques were Indian descendants and poor in Burmese both written and spoken as a language).

But Allah has directed me to do the right thing. I have found some Burmese Muslim friends at work and we could get along very well. I have found that even though they were not that religious, but they would never miss the Friday Prayer. So I started going for Friday Prayers with them, and started learning how to pray.

Another twist in my life was, falling in love with a lady, who later became my wife. She is from very religious family. Once I became the member of their big family, things became easier for me. My father in-law has even arranged to get a religious teacher, who would come to my house to teach the recitation of Holy Quran.

Another, very important fact is that, my father was a person who always gives me the good answers whenever I asked him about Islam. He was so worried that I became a non believer or atheist. My fault was, refused to get religious lessons (My father has arranged) during my teens which was during the Socialist
Era of Burma. During that time no one actually pay much attention to religions, be they Muslims, Christians or Buddhists.

Now I understand that Islam is the religion of peace. It is not a religion of terrorists. Islam never preach terror, Islam preach peace and submission to the creator of Mankind, Allah (SWT).

Islam respects the right of other religions. In fact, it is duty for Muslims to protect the place of worships of other religions, in the Islamic States. That is the reason why there are so many Christians and Jews still staying peacefully with Muslims in Muslim countries like Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey and even in occupied territory Palestine. In Palestine, Orthodox Jew’s place of worships and Churches are protected by Muslims for thousand of years.

I must use the words from Holy Quran: Allah is Great, and Allah is All Merciful, and Allah always forgive except for those who defiantly disobey.

Now I know that in Islam all mankind are the same, in spite of having different races, different skin color and different education level, and wealth. All those who believe in Allah, Prophets, Angels, his book ( Holy Quran) and day of judgment are called Muslims, and we all are the same.

May Allah bless my parents, my teachers, my family, my friends, my relatives, my people, my country and all mankind, as Allah’s name is Al Rahman, the Most Merciful and All Merciful.

Allah knows the best

Kyaw Kyaw Oo


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