|Casualties of Darfur conflict|
This year, the world marked the ten-year anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda. Once again, the world forcefully declared "never again." Yet, once again, the world is dragging its feet as the fires of another conflict rage in Africa. This time, it is happening in the Darfur region of Western Sudan. And it is not pretty.
The conflict in Darfur has a long history. The Darfur region is a very poor region almost entirely dedicated to subsistence agriculture and livestock herding for domestic and export purposes. The Fur and other ethnic African peoples of Darfur have farmed the most fertile parts of central Darfur for generations. The Northern part of Darfur is mostly desert, and the ethnic Arab populations of Northern Darfur bring their flocks to graze and water in the south every spring. This has led to conflicts between the Fur and the Arabs. The Fur and other African groups of Darfur formed self-defense groups in the 1990s to protect their crops, homes, and families from increasing incursions by the Arab raiders, many of whom have also been armed over the past decades.
In early 2003, armed conflict broke out between two non-Arab rebel groups in Darfur, the Sudanese Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/SLM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and Sudanese government forces. The Sudanese government, however, responded by attacking the civilian populations associated with the rebel groups. Human Rights Watch, in a scathing report released in May 2004, accused the Sudanese government of ethnic cleaning in Darfur. The 77-page report documents how "Sudanese government forces have overseen and directly participated in massacres, summary executions of civilians, burnings of towns and villages, and the forcible depopulation of wide swaths of land long-inhabited by the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa ethnic groups [of the Darfur region]." Peter Takirambudde, executive director of the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, said, "There can be no doubt about the Sudanese government's culpability in crimes against humanity in Darfur."
In addition, government forces allied themselves with the janjaweed, armed Arab militiamen from the North of Darfur, and these fighters have raped, pillaged, and terrorized the civilians of Darfur. The government has recruited and armed an estimated 20,000 militia. In fact, numerous eye witness accounts document coordination between government and janjaweed forces. For instance, the Sudanese air force will bomb a village, and then a joint government-janjaweed force will later attack that same village. The janjaweed wear green khaki uniforms similar or identical to the Sudanese Army, except that the patch worn on the chest of sleeve may have a horseman. The janjaweed officers sometimes arrive at the scene of an attack in an army Land Cruiser. In addition, they use satellite phones said to be issued by the government, and the janjaweed have offices in the main government-controlled towns and are paid by the government.
|Militia in Darfur ride around on horses and camels accused of committing atrocities.|
There is no religious element in this conflict, unlike the decades-old conflict in the South. Both the janjaweed and tribes of Darfur are Muslims. In fact--and this makes my blood curdle in fury--the Human Rights Watch report documents how the janjaweed have destroyed mosques, killed Imams, and desecrated Korans of the Dafur (emphasis added). Appendix C of the report lists 39 mosques in Darfur that have been destroyed by the janjaweed. Muslims killing Muslims; Muslims destroying mosques; Muslims desecrating Qur'ans.
When I first heard reports of the genocide in Darfur, I was skeptical. I had thought that this was another attempt by the Western media to smear Muslim Sudan. I then researched this conflict, and I was shocked at what I learned. My earlier skepticism was entirely misplaced. Unfortunately, I am still haunted by the ghosts of my fundamentalist past from time to time. What is happening in Darfur is nothing short of genocide, and the silence of the Muslim world is most deafening.
These are Muslims killing Muslims. What happened to this Qur'anic command: "If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make peace between them. If, however, one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight (all of you) against the party that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah. If it does (then) complies, then make peace between them with justice and be equitable, for Allah loves those who are equitable" (49:9)? Where are the Muslim voices of outrage? Where are the Muslim armies that should have been dispatched to protect their Darfurian brothers and sisters? Is it not true that "The Believers are but a single brotherhood," as the Qur'an mentioned in verse 49:10? What has happened to the Nation of Muhammad?
The very same Muslim world that lambasted the United States for the horrible prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib has remained silent in the face of the massacre and rape of Muslims in Darfur. What shameful hypocrisy. It is the United States, in fact, that has been the most publicly vocal in its condemnation of the genocide in Darfur. The U.S. House of Representatives has even held hearings on Darfur. Where are the hearings in the governments of the Muslim world? As of this writing, there is not a single press release on the website of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on the distasteful violence between Muslims in Darfur. What has happened to the Nation of Muhammad?
The remainder of verse 49:10 declares: "so make peace between your two (contending) brothers and fear Allah that you may receive Mercy." The Muslim world has failed its brothers and sisters in Darfur. The Prophet would be disgusted and horrified at our impotence. On the Day of Judgment, the innocent victims of the Darfur violence will point their fingers at us. They will ask us why we did not come to help them. Worse yet, Allah will ask us, just as He asked "the female (infant), buried alive" (81:9), for what crime were they killed. When "the Scrolls are laid open" (81:10), what will we say? What will we say? What will we say?
Hesham A. Hassaballa is a Chicago physician and writer. He is author of "Why I Love the Ten Commandments," published in the book Taking Back Islam: American Muslims Reclaim Their Faith (Rodale Press), winner of the prestigious Wilbur Award for 2003 Best Religion Book of the Year by the Religion Communicators Council.
Our muslim leaders fighting against terrorism and they don't know Biggest Terrorist activity under way in Darfur. may Allah guide them and they act upon this same command of Allah. Ameen
To the editor - why must you post this boy's drivel? It is obvious that he is sick in some way.
NO OIL FOR ME(USA).... ME NOT MOVING...meaning NO HELP FOR YOU, poor AFRICANS! ME WENT TO AFRICA WHEN I NEEDED YOU AS SLAVES!
Why Big Bangs taking place in the USA! and Why more are coming up? ...Why ask why? Try Bud Dry! (with your babies, children, wives, brother and sisters) every every day and night!
The mid-east is ran by greedy criminals who worship position and the dollar not ALLAH!
Until the people in these countries fight for justice for their own home...no one will go out of their way to give it to them.
This is make ever so clear in the Arab leaders asking the US and the West to broker a peace with Isreal....it will NEVER happen.
Until the citizens of the Arab world realize that the root of their problems is planted in their own back yards....they will continue to live in hell on earth.
Unfortunately, I like many of us are not aware of such conflicts going on in other parts of the world, unless they are brought to our attention with all the details - reasons of the conflict, etc. It is important for our Brothers and Sisters who are in the media and who actively participate in social and political activism and our leaders and Imams, to bring such issues to the notice of the Muslim Ummah so that remedial action can be taken, inshallah.
Thank you Brother Hesham for the article.
Muslims spend all their time accusing America and the West of hypocrisy that they often unwittingly fall in the same trap themselves.
When Israel kills ten Palestinians there is outrage expressed from pulpits and angry marchers on the streets burning flags. All of this is of course justified. However, Saddam Hussain kills 10 000 Iraqis(Plus brutal torture making what the Americans did seem like child's play) and all we get is silence.
I'm afraid this is nothing more than double-standards and hypocrisy. The Muslim Ummah needs to clean up its' act.
We do appreciate you article, and May the Creator give you more wisdom to give us more of your brilliant articles! Ameen! Let us not point fingers at Arabs only; it is our duty as Muslims to remedy the situation. I do agree with the author that the United States is doing more for the sake of Muslims than the latter are doing for themselves or their bretheren. Who got rid of Hitler #2 (Saddam Hussein)? How liberated the Iraqi masses from the clutches of one of the biggest monsters since the dawn of history? Who has interceded for the sake of Bosnia Muslims? I am sick and tired of the impotence of the Muslim countries. I have said many times that Muslim nations do not exist at all these days. Let us not kid ourselves! There are very few true Muslims around the globe. As a matter of fact, Christians are doing a better job for us defending Muslims. The Roman Catholics in Italy and Spain have demonstrated in the Millions against the war in Iraq, a sign of sympathy for both sides. What did the Muslims do for us lately? NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING! All Muslims are bound to account for every single deed on the Day of Judgment. Let us not fool ourselves. Tomorrow is the Day of Reckoning! As people of faith, we ought to be ashamed for letting this happen. Hellfire is the abode for those who do not heed.
this is a very interesting article.
I want your opinion in what ways we can
help our muslim brothers and sisters
Thank you for including this article on your website.
But few of us seems to realize that they are doing what Allah warns us about in our Quran as those who have no faith. But what excuse do those of us who call ourselves Muslims have when we degrade our breatheren, and have our own Abu Ghaibs throughout the Muslim countries. I think it is our arrogance, ignorance and lack of unity throughout history that has brought us to our current state. It is defintely is a trying period in our lives and and we need to take a long hard look in the mirror and start correcting ourseleves and truly standing for what we say we believe in.
Thank you Hesham Hassaballa very much for your great article and bringing up the issue!
We should be careful wih what these so call "Human rights" organisations feed us with. After all, these big NGOs are all offshoot of the greater agenda of the Freemasons. They had a century to perfect their plans. A few months ago Bush mentioned that "THEIR" plans can take fifty years to mature... " They have got most of the world communication networks, they are everywhere!
But what do we have? We have Islam and intellect that Allah bestowed on us to identified evil machinations that confuse our minds. First, are you telling me that there is/are no people of Black skins in the government of Sudan? That they will sit and watch their "kins" being slaughtered simply cos of the colour of their skins, without doing anything? No sir, this issue is beyond what an outsider thinks nomater how "educated" he may appear to be.
The author has refer to a very important aspect though, the verse he quoted where Allah commands us to settle dispute b/w two disputing parties(that are MUMINUN). And that we are doing. From Nigeria here, we have learned Sheikhs that are in the vanguard of visitin and talking to those concern with a view to doing just that.
Please lets desist from agreeing with our adversaries always that whenever there is dispute it is Black against whites, Arabs against Africans, Jews against Arabs etc. The bottom line is the world of the Freemasons consider communism dead. The only obstacle to their progress is Islam and so we need not to be deceive or deviated from the reality. Lets remain focus on the issue if it is not Zionism Vs Islam then it is Infedelity Vs Islam period. And the struggle has just began. We have to thank Allah for showing us the true reality of the infidels and to implore Him to give us the <
Note that the Arabs concentrate all their efforts on Palestine, but there are worse atrocities being committed in the Muslim world that are should be given more attention. Allah values the blood of a Muslim more than the Kabba, however we, Muslims as a whole, do not.