This is the team that brings the Humanity Rises Medical Clinic and the Humanity Rises Rehma Child Life Center to life six days a week, 52-weeks per year. The only person in this photo who is not a Muslim is me (Kel Kelly, Humanity Rises Founder). I can’t help but think about how many people around the world, particularly in America, would be afraid if they saw one of these people or who would unleash hate or violence on them. Think about that for a moment. The Rohingya are amongst the most desperate souls in the world. They were on the receiving end of the Myanmar’s military genocide campaign to wipe them off the face of the earth. They were murdered, tortured, raped, and trafficked — by “they” I mean men, women and children. Anyone who was a Rohingya, regardless of age, gender or circumstances, was a target of this heinous ethnic cleansing campaign. The Muslims in this photo and Muslims everywhere believe a Muslim’s religious life remains incomplete if not attended by service to humanity. They believe doing good deeds is an important part of the Muslim faith. This includes helping those in need, feeding the poor, looking after orphans, and standing up against oppression/injustice. As such, in the Muslim faith, servicing others is seen as the best form of worship.
These people are doctors, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, teachers, assistants, logistics experts and beyond. They could have chosen to live and work in a city like Dhaka where they would have earned more money and enjoyed more comfort. Instead, they left their families and moved to Cox’s Bazar where they travel 90 minutes each way every single day from where Humanity Rises houses them to the Rohingya refugee camp, the largest refugee camp in the world. They risk their safety and health daily by being exposed to the diseases that are rampant in a refugee camp. Yet they choose to do this because the foundation of their faith is based on providing humble service to others. So why do people fear them? Why would people hate them? Why would someone want to hurt them? It’s unfathomable and unjustified. Quite frankly, it’s outrageous. No matter what your religion, God would never want you to hate or hurt others, particularly those people doing His work daily. We cannot judge an entire religion based on the actions of a handful of hateful extremists. If we did, then we should fear all Christians, particularly in America where white Christian men top the charts for committing mass shootings and acts of violence. I ask everyone to open their hearts and minds to Muslims. They are deserving of the same love and respect that a follower of any other religion enjoys.
I founded Humanity Rises under the fundamental belief that during the world’s darkest moments, light always shines through when humanity rises to help those affected by tragedy, and in helping to lift others, we lift ourselves. Every member of this team is a bright beacon for humanity and I am so grateful for the light they radiate through the darkness for the Rohingya.
Be the light. Always.