Muslim leaders shamefully silent on fate of co-religionists in Darfur

IF only Muslim leaders had been as vociferous about the plight of the people of Darfur as they have been about the Pope’s recent speech, then the lives of many of their fellow Muslims could have been saved.

However, in the face of the Sudanese government’s onslaught that has resulted in over 200,000 dead, two million displaced and continues to put the lives of many hundreds of thousands at grave risk, Muslim leaders — secular and religious — have largely stayed shamefully silent.

Sudan is a member of the Arab league and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. Yet the few mentions of Darfur from members of either of these bodies has been to support Khartoum in what I can only describe as an utterly warped sense of solidarity.

It seems the mass murder, rape, torture, displacement and bombing of the African Muslim population of Darfur is of little interest to them.

However, there have been courageous Muslim voices that have tried to break the collective silence.

One such has been British journalist, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown who, noting the outrage over the Pope’s remarks, asked of her fellow Muslims: “Where is the shrill outrage when Muslims kill and ethnically cleanse other Muslims from their meagre homes?”

And she added: “Now comes the greatest test of their selective morality, the genocide in Darfur. And they have already failed the test, dishonourably and conspicuously, by withholding condemnation of the most systematic and planned annihilation of a Muslim population in the 21st century”.

Seán Steele

37 Kilfenora Road

Kimmage

Dublin 12

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