Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lone Pakistani Notices Darfur

Interesting letter published in Dawn that I would like to share:

THIS is apropos of the report saying that almost six years of fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan has killed 200,000.

This is very shocking, indeed. The Muslims have been killing Muslims in Darfur since 2003. It is strange that nobody in Pakistan talks about it. The religious parties don’t speak out against this death and destruction.

I would greatly appreciate if anyone could explain the reasons for this intriguing silence.

Nobody in Pakistan talks about it because both victims and perpetrators are one in the same: in this case, Muslims. Same goes for Pakistan, where Muslims wantonly kill other Muslims except that is much more noticeable to the average Pakistani because it hits so close to home.

What happens in Darfur is too far away for anyone in Pakistan to care-- out of sight, out of mind. In my mind, racism also plays a factor: African Muslims are considered inferior by other Muslims. Nevertheless, the plight of Palestinians is quite popular among Pakistanis because it hits all the right buttons: Jews, imperialism, Crusades, Americans, etc. Yet the body count is much higher in Darfur than in Palestine, but Israelis are treated as genocidal, and not the Sudanese government.

It's this double-standard that has trapped Muslim countries in their rhetoric about injustice by the Israelis.