The persecution of minority Muslims is on the rise across Burma, where recent violence has caused nearly 90,000 Muslim Rohingya fleeing in just a week following a clampdown on militants. This persecution has been backed by the government, elements among the country’s Buddhist monks, and ultra-nationalist civilian groups, says the independent Burma Human Rights Network.

Rohingya children have been beheaded and civilians burned alive as Burma’s military and paramilitary forces are committing genocide against the Muslim minority in the country’s western Rakhine state. There are around a million Muslim Rohingya people in Burma, all who have faced years of mistreatment at the hands of the government.

“The transition to democracy has allowed popular prejudices to influence how the new government rules, and has amplified a dangerous narrative that casts Muslims as an alien presence in Buddhist-majority Burma,” the group said in a report.

Burma’s government made no immediate response to the report. Authorities deny discrimination and say security forces in Rakhine are fighting a legitimate campaign against terrorists. Muslims have been refused national identification cards, while access to Islamic places of worship has been blocked in some places.

At least 21 villages around Burma have declared themselves “no-go zones” for Muslims, backed by the authorities, it said. Tens of thousands of Rohingya have fled into neighboring Bangladesh since 25 August, when Rohingya insurgents attacked dozens of police posts and an army base. At least 400 people have been killed by these acts of violence.

The American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee condemns all forms of violence, hate crimes and bias attacks regardless of the religion, ethnic origin, language and place of residence of the perpetrators. Racism, intolerance and violence are always wrong. It is our role to bring people together, not tear them apart. Here at APPAC, we strive to bring people of different ethnic backgrounds together. We call on all members of our constituent communities to take note of, document and report to us such instances of hate crimes, bias attacks and individual cases of discrimination. History proves that the easiest position to take in such instances – staying indifferent and uninvolved is often the worst course of action or inaction we can take as a humanity.