“Brother, to me, there are no Muslims in this world presently except Darfuris. Since the Arab-backed illegitimate regime under Omar Bashir started butchering my people, all we mistook to be Muslims- especially Arabs-, became infidels (kaffirs) for not acting.” These are sarcastic words by Salih Fur whom I met on plane on my way to Winnipeg from St. John’s early this year.
He goes on: “I came to Canada from Egypt where I was called ‘slaves’ and other bad names, simply because I am black.”
Salih was on his way to Toronto and we coincidentally shared a seat. He sadly told me: “Can you believe? Sudan still has black people who regard themselves to be Arabs and discriminate against fellow Africans!”
His cry is clear. Muslims, the world over, have betrayed their colleagues in Darfur. This betrayal, according to Salih, has rendered them kaffirs.
I wanted to know further why this was his take. He has good Quran-based reasons. He told me that his people goofed thanks to being referred to as ‘Ahal Quran’ or ‘the people of book’ by Bashir. Little did they know it was a ploy he used to fool them as they refrained from pursuing modern education! They heavily regret his lie.
Salih seems to be good at this holy book of Muslims thanks to verses he gave me. When I arrived home, I touched base with another friend from Darfur, a Mr. Etahir. This guy -I met also in Canada-, hates everything Islamic and Arabic. He was born and raised a true Muslim till 2005, when he survived beatings in Cairo simply because he was black, and thus, slave, as per Arab take of black people. Therefore, was not supposed to attend prayers. Infuriated and badly injured at heart, he kissed Islam good-bye.
[49:11] O you who believe, no people shall ridicule other people, for they may be better than they. Nor shall any women ridicule other women, for they may be better than they. Nor shall you mock one another, or make fun of your names. Evil indeed is the reversion to wickedness after attaining faith. Anyone who does not repent after this, these are the transgressors.
James, a Darfur Christian convert, too was born and raised Muslim. But when Arab-sponsored Janjaweed started killing his people as they uttered "Allah Akbar!" (God is great), he reverted to Christianity. There are many such incidents reminiscent to Darfur people.
Going back to Salih, he gave me some verses from the Quran to justify why he has lost faith in all believes all Muslims except his Darfur people. Before delving the whole fiasco and betrayal as per Salih, I must admit. This is not my take though.
Now let us face it. As per Islamic tenets, all Muslims are brothers and are connected like cogs on the wheel. If this is so, (and indeed it is) it is ordered that when one Muslim is offended, all Muslims should come to his aid.
[49:9] If two groups of believers fought with each other, you shall reconcile them. If one group aggresses against the other, you shall fight the aggressing group until they submit to GOD's command. Once they submit, you shall reconcile the two groups equitably. You shall maintain justice; GOD loves those who are just.
Why didn’t this happen to Darfur? One thing makes one an infidel; going contrary to Islamic teachings and Quranic-and-Allah’s commandments. [49:1] O you who believe, do not place your opinion above that of GOD and His messenger. You shall reverence GOD. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.
Why did the Arab League become the first Islamic outfit to vehemently support Bashir -the African that calls himself an Arab- after he is water-tightly implicated by the ICC? Where is the Organization for Islamic countries? Why are Arab countries openly supporting genocide of Muslims by inviting Bashir to their countries and being his lifeline financially?
Where were African Muslims that are renowned for taking to the streets when Arab Muslims are touched? Refer to many demonstrations when US attacked Iraq and Afghanistan not to mention the support for Hezbollah when Israel pounded on its stronghold in Lebanon. We don’t see them doing the same for Somalia or Darfur! Isn’t this self-discrimination as seen in Sudan where African tribes like Al-Shygya, Al-Jalya and Misriya discriminate colleagues? Why did Africans not support their colleagues in the first place? Doesn’t this put them in the same bag as other Arab infidels -to loan words from Salih-that turned their backs to those supposed to be their brothers and sisters in faith? How could they remain Muslims whilst their hands are full of Darfur’s blood ?
Interestingly, although the West is always accused of being anti-Islam by Islamic fundamentalists, what it is doing in Darfur proves otherwise. The West is assisting the Darfur refugees whilst Arab countries shy away, exploit and torture them. Refer to Cairo killings and beatings of Sudanese refugees when they took to the streets to make their case so as -for some- to be housed by Israel. They reached this stage after being discriminated against, killed, exploited and insulted by Egyptians simply because they’re black. As usual, Arab and so-called Muslim states failed to condemn this brutality!
Let’s face it. Arabs north of Sahara (Maghreb) call themselves Africans under AU or whenever there’s anything of benefit for them under African preference. This happened IN 1991 when an Egyptian, Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, was appointed UN General Secretary on Africa’s ticket. However, Egyptians abuse, and hate to be referred to as Africans. And to prove Arab's indifference and disregard of Africans, the same "African" did not take any action during the Rwanda Genocide.To Egyptians and other Arabs every black person is a slave. Remember. These people calling blacks 'slaves' are the same people whose ancestors sold Africans to slavery. Therefore, slavery still exists in their mindset. That’s why redressing Africa for miseries slavery caused is sine quo non shall we want to deter such barbarism.
[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes that you may recognize one another.The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.
Surat al Hujurat or walls put more emphasis on brotherhood and equality for Muslims. It insists on reconciliation especially during conflicts like the one we’re evidencing in Darfur in which Muslims all over the world have shied away. Hereunder are more verses about the same.
[49:10] The believers are members of one family; you shall keep the peace within your family and reverence GOD, that you may attain mercy.
[49:14] The Arabs said, "We are Mu'mens (believers)." Say, "You have not believed; what you should say is, `We are Muslims (submitters),' until belief is established in your hearts." If you obey GOD and His messenger, He will not put any of your works to waste. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[49:15] Mu'mens (believers) are those who believe in GOD and His messenger, then attain the status of having no doubt whatsoever, and strive with their money and their lives in the cause of GOD. These are the truthful ones.
Having mused upon above verses, is it unfair for Darfuris to regard other Muslims the world over as kaffirs for betraying them?
By Nkwazi Mhango
Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He is a Journalist, Teacher, Human Rights activist and member of the Writers' Association of New Foundland and Labrador (WANL)
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