Culture and Civilization of Rohingya Muslims


Rohingyas are staunch followers of Islam. Most of the elderly Rohingya grow beards and the women wear hijab. All Rohingya houses are surrounded by high bamboo walls. There are mosques and Madrassahs (religious schools) in every quarter and village. The men pray in congregation, where as the female pray at home. There is still in existence of a social bond in every village called ”Samaj”. All social welfare activities like Adhahi meat distribution, helping the poor, widows, orphans and needy, marriage and funereal functions are done collectingly by the Samaj. The Ulema play a very prominent role particularly in matters relating to persoanal laws, like family affairs of the Rohingyas. Unfortunately, today the cultural problem becomes one of the most important problems of the Rohingyas in Burma. The Muslims have to encounter strong pressure of the Buddhist culture. Particularly the Rohingyas have to confront ideological assault from all directions. The Rohingyas are considered practicing the foreign way of life having no origin in Burma. According to the ruling military the Rohingyas are to adopt and entertain no ideas but those of Burman race and culture and Buddhism.

The Muslims or Rohingyas are told to discard Islamic names and adopt Burman names. Everywhere Muslims’ or Islamic are razed to the ground. Hundreds of mosques have been demolished. Construction of new mosques or repairs to the old ones are prohibited. Pagodas, monasteries and Buddhist temples have been erected in every nook and cranny of the Rohingya homeland. Muslim students have been brainwashed in schools where anti-Islamic materials are being taught to them. Islam and Islamic culture are always projected or presented inhumiliating, derogatory, degrading and distorted forms.

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