Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where is the Muslim Outrage over Darfur?

In a part of the world not far from the Middle East, there is a war-ravaged country whose government is supporting a brutal military offensive against a population of Muslims living on territory under its control.

According to UN estimates, 300,000 people have died in the conflict so far; the Coalition for International Justice put this number at almost 400,000 - and that was in 2005.

The United States has officially termed it a "genocide".

In July 2008, prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan - who has funded and supported the Janjaweed militia that has carried out the murder and systematic rape of non-Arab African Muslims in Darfur - charging him with war crimes, genocide, murder, and crimes against humanity.

For five years, the Arab League was functionally silent.

But last year, they finally spoke out - against the head of the ICC's prosecutorial team against al-Bashir, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, slamming him for having an "unbalanced stance".

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), made up of 57 Islamic countries, issued a statement declaring its solidarity with al-Bashir, calling the indictment "unwarranted and unacceptable".

Less than a year later, at the Arab Summit held in Kuwait City January 19, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria called on other Arab countries to brand Israel a "terrorist state". Millions of Muslims worldwide voiced their outrage against Israel's military offensive in Gaza. Massive protests were organized in most major cities across the world. Real-time casualty counts were posted on Facebook statuses. I was asked to sign more petitions in support of Gaza in three weeks than I have for Darfur in five years.

Where are the large-scale protests and outrage from the Muslim community over the senseless deaths and rape of hundreds of thousands of poverty-ridden African Muslims?

Why is there such a glaring discrepancy between the Muslim world's response to the atrocities in Gaza and the atrocities in Darfur?

If the Darfur genocide was being carried out by Jews or Christians instead of Arab Muslims, would we see a different response?

16 comments:

Savo Heleta said...

Very important question to ask!

I also wrote about this some time ago in The Middle East Online, asking why there is barely any condemnation of the violence and crimes committed in Darfur in the Arab and Muslim world.

It is sad that the people in Darfur, who suffered so much since 2003, do not really matter to so many in the Arab world. While the killings of civilians in Gaza must be condemned in the strongest terms possible, what about Darfurians?

They are human too!

Anonymous said...

And also where are the protests of the ill treatment of those wishing to leave Islam - in the Muslim world - of Christians, other non-Muslims and Islamic minority sects?

Sticky subject for Muslims - the persecution and imprisonment of apostates from Islam - is I am sure something that you - yourself might feel more comfortable overlooking - the trouble is that the world has started to look - and there will be a lot more talk about these things in the future.

In Iran there is an exodus from Islam - as stated in the Iranian Parliament - so they voted on the death sentence for all those caught attending the secret churches throughout Iran -

This has nothing on Islamophobia - in the west - Muslims can worship freely!

Like Darfur - the plight of these people will likely be overlooked by the ever more religious Islamic world!

Muslims Against Sharia said...

Poll: Why does the media and the U.N. concentrate on Arab-Israeli conflict (tens of thousands of deaths)
while paying much less attention to Darfur conflict (hundreds of thousands of deaths)?

Anonymous said...

The Muslim world always execuses violence committed by Muslims, so the inattention to Darfur is actually consistent.

The OIC is the most principled and consistent organization of states that exist. The primary principle for which the OIC stands is that Muslims must not be criticized . . . PERIOD.

If that means not criticizing Muslims who kill other Muslims (particularly if the victims are not Arabs), then that is a small price to pay.

Sudan is only worse than Iran in terms of lawlessness. Both regimes are violent. Saudi Arabia is not much better than Iran. The different between an OIC government and Sudan is small.

Ali A. Rizvi said...

I would encourage everyone to read Savo Heleta's article which deals with exactly the same subject:

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/opinion/?id=29320

Anonymous said...

Why the world human rights group only looking into Darfur and not raising the same level of voice for the Gaza Human beings facing Israeli Apartheid. Hague Court giving verdict against Sudanese government, however quite or even can't think of taking Zionist government of Israel to the trial. The Muslim countries like Egypt, Jordon, Saudi Arabia not even supported the Gaza, even Egypt did not even allowed humanitarian Aid to Gaza children and women. I am wondering if you can write something for Darfur, equally should give space against the atrocities of Israel.

Muslims Against Sharia said...

What kind of a degenerate nazi shitbag would equate Darfur with Gaza?

Anonymous said...

Read the truth about Darfur...

"""
2 Everyone is black

Although the conflict has also been framed as a battle between Arabs and black Africans, everyone in Darfur appears dark-skinned, at least by the usual American standards. The true division in Darfur is between ethnic groups, split between herders and farmers. Each tribe gives itself the label of "African" or "Arab" based on what language its members speak and whether they work the soil or herd livestock. Also, if they attain a certain level of wealth, they call themselves Arab.

Sudan melds African and Arab identities. As Arabs began to dominate the government in the past century and gave jobs to members of Arab tribes, being Arab became a political advantage; some tribes adopted that label regardless of their ethnic affiliation. More recently, rebels have described themselves as Africans fighting an Arab government. Ethnic slurs used by both sides in recent atrocities have riven communities that once lived together and intermarried.

"Black Americans who come to Darfur always say, 'So where are the Arabs? Why do all these people look black?' " said Mahjoub Mohamed Saleh, editor of Sudan's independent Al-Ayam newspaper. "The bottom line is that tribes have intermarried forever in Darfur. Men even have one so-called Arab wife and one so-called African. Tribes started labeling themselves this way several decades ago for political reasons. Who knows what the real bloodlines are in Darfur?"
"""
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/21/AR2006042101752.html

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