Islam During Pol Pot 1975-1979

The year 1975 was a major turning point in the history of Cambodia when the genocide Khmer Rouge regime came to power. This regime which ruled the country from 1975 to 1978, has brought mass executions, starvation, hard forced labor works, diseases, and took the lives of some 2,000,000 men, women and children including 500,000 Cam Muslims. Victimes of the Khmer Rouge policy of race discrimination, the Muslims were savagely massacred and repressed. The methods and the tempo of the repression varied from area to area and from time to time but show a very consistent pattern of centrally organized genocide campaign.

All Cam Muslims had been dispersed, families are broken up into small groups. They were forced under the guns of Pol Pot soldiers to leave their own villages and towns walking under the hot summer sun. Mans weak, old, sick and innocent people died during the journey to the jungles where those who survived started their new were forced into labor camps or were killed. Many Cam villages in Kampong Cam province were totally destroyed. The communist Khmer Rouge Regime considered all religions as poisons. All religious practices were strictly prohibited and effectively suppressed with great intensity. Being staunch Muslims, the Malay and Cam people were the most severely persecuted.

In the killing fields of Pol Pot, about90% of educated Muslims were killed: Mufti, Imam Masjid, Qur'anic teachers, devoted Muslims, doctors, engineers. Religious practices such as solat, fasting, preaching, etc... and Cam language were strictly forbidden. All kinds of Islamic books and Qur'an were destroyed by either throwing into rivers, burnt or used as toilet papers. The Khmer Rouge forced Muslims to raise and feed pigs, to collect pig stool and to eat pork. In order to eliminate the custom and Muslim culture, Muslim girls and boys were forced to marry non-Muslim. Many Cam people were eyewitnesses of these cruel events.