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Justice For All Statement on World Refugee Week

World Refugee Week – This week (June 19-23) has been declared as “Refugee Week”, with June 20th serving as the week’s capstone — the UN Declared Annual World Refugee Day is a day dedicated to honor refugees around the globe and those who are dedicated to helping them. On this day people across the globe celebrate the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict, persecution or genocide. World Refugee Day provides us with the opportunity to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives. This year World Refugee Day emphasizes the value of inclusion and refugee solutions. The best method to assist refugees in resuming their lives and enabling them to contribute to the nations hosting them is to include them in the communities where they have found sanctuary after escaping violence and persecution. Let us remember that Rights of Refugees in host countries according to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention include: The right not to be expelled, except under certain, strictly defined conditions; The right not to be punished for illegal entry into the territory of a contracting State; The right to work; The right to housing; The right to education; The right to public relief and assistance; The right to freedom of religion; The right to access the courts; The right to freedom of movement within the territory; The right to be issued identity and travel documents.

On this occasion, UN Secretary-General António Guterres observed, “Refugees represent the very best of the human spirit. They need and deserve support and solidarity — not closed borders and pushbacks”.

At Justice For All, we have been working for over 30 years in naming, tracking, preventing and stopping genocide and religious persecution in the name and practice of Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim hate that often targets, marginalizes Muslim minorities eventually resulting them being driven out of their ancestral homes becoming refugees. As noted by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “the problems are violence and hatred, not individuals fleeing.”

In a letter to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh regarding her announced intentions to return the 1.2 million Rohingya refugees currently in refugees camps in Cox Bazar, Bangladesh to Myanmar/Burma, Imam Saffet Catovic, Director of Justice For All UN Operations stated in part, “Justice For All has been a strong advocate for the rights and protections of the Rohingya Muslim people through our Burma Task Force program since 2012. We are writing to your Excellency regarding your recently expressed intention to repatriate Rohingya refugees. Both as a matter of faith, morality, ethics and law we hereby voice our deep concerns with the likely outcomes of such a policy if prematurely implemented. The current situation in Burma/Myanmar in which the military Tatmadaw junta govern the state and continue to persecute the remaining Rohingya Muslims presents significant challenges and remains a clear and present danger to the lives, safety and wellbeing of the Rohingya Muslims. Simply put were the refugees to be prematurely repatriated, significant harm, death and genocide by the unrepentant Military and para-military forces of the Tatmadaw Military junta would result. Neither International safeguards nor security guarantees have been articulated and adopted to ensure the safe return of the Rohingya refugees to their ancestral homes from which they fled with their lives fearing genocide… As a Muslim faith based human rights organization our values-driven mission derives and is informed by Islam’s teachings, including the Quranic injunction, “that whoever kills a soul, without [its being guilty of] manslaughter or corruption on the earth, is as though he/she had killed all humankind, and whoever saves a life is as though he/she had saved all humankind” (Quran 5:32). Excellency, model the example of our Prophet Muhammed (AS) and the nascent Muslim Ummah (faith community) of Medina, in which both the Ansar (indigenous/native host) and Muhajir (refugee/immigrant) communities lived and worked together in a compassionate, caring, and mutually supportive brotherly/sisterly relationship for the protection, benefit and well being of all. Excellency, choose life, continue to save humankind by saving and continuing to provide refuge for the Rohingya Muslims by not repatriating them before conditions allow safe, free and dignified return.”

At Justice For All, during this World Refugee Week and beyond, we invite and urge you to join us by honoring the resilience and contributions of refugees (Muhajireen) as our Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) himself was a refugee, worldwide by taking action in the following ways:

  1. Read/Learn – Justice For All has various human rights campaigns, programs and projects including: Burma Task Force (, Save Uyghur (, Save India ( , Free Kashmir ( Take the time to visit these websites, learn and become informed and see the various ways you can become involved, take actions and support the refugees and persecuted Muslim minorities.
  2. Share – In today’s political climate it can be unpopular to show your support publicly for refugees. Refugees are used as a political tool in some countries to propel xenophobic campaigns and policies. Wherever we are in the world, we can show our support for refugees and insist people recognize their human rights.
  3. Give Back – Make Dua, Donate ( , volunteer ( or give back another way. There is so much to do and we need your support today whether it be by donating funds or time consistently for a few months, you can really make a difference for our sisters and brothers in need of protection and support.
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