بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


A belated Muslim response to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur

23 July 2004/5 Jamad al-Thani 1425

By Imam A. Rashied Omar, Islamic Society of Michiana (South Bend, Indiana)


“It is crystal clear now that the situation in Darfur, Sudan has reached horrific proportions and Muslims can no longer deny or turn a blind eye to this ongoing human suffering.

In this khutbha/sermon I would like to share some guidelines as to how we should be

responding to the current crisis in Darfur, Sudan.”

“How then can we operationalize these guiding Islamic principles?

Using the Islamic principles outlined above as their beacon, I would like to propose four strategies that may be useful in helping Muslims respond to the current crisis in the Darfur. First, as Muslims and members of the larger human family, we should add our voices to the calls on the Sudanese Government to establish an immediate cessation of hostilities by; (a) disarming and disbanding the Janjawid militia operating in Darfur; (b) ensuring full access for humanitarian efforts to assist and repatriate the displaced people of Darfur and (c) ensuring full access for international human rights monitors… continued, next page

Second, we should raise funds to support the Darfur relief efforts. This is a critical juncture in which Muslims should arise to their Islamic responsibility and fulfill the third and most neglected pillar of Islam by discharging their zakat/charities generously…

Third, in light of the recent claim by Human Rights Watch that it has obtained official Sudanese government documents that “illustrate the involvement, at the highest levels, of the state

bureaucracy in the recruitment and arming of militia and the authorization of their activities that have resulted in crimes against humanity and war crimes,” we should call for the United Nations to establish a high-level Darfur investigative tribunal to look into these allegations…

Last but not least, while it would be simplistic to attribute the carnage in Darfur purely to motives of racism as has been implied in much of the media reporting of Arabs against Africans, we need to acknowledge that Northern Sudanese, who ironically themselves have African roots often display paternalistic attitudes towards their fellow compatriots residing in the Southern and Western Sudan. … We need to purify and heal our souls and rid our communities from the scourge of racism through a vigorous education campaign. But the first stage of purification of our souls (tazkiyat-unnafs)

and reform of our community/islah al- ummah is acknowledgement.”

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