Darfur: Is it “Genocide?” By Jamaal Umar

Allah has revealed:

O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, investigate to determine if it is the truth; so you will not harm a people unknowingly and afterwards become full of regret for what you have done. [Quran Kareem 49:6]

There are civic/religious/political organizations who have come with news that the government of Sudan is practicing Genocide, in an area of Sudan known as “Darfur”. The sources of information used by these organizations in support of their claims against the Government of Sudan are Western/European/Judeo-Christian media outlets and intelligence agencies.

These are some of the same media outlets that misled the world with false reports about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) in Iraq. These are some of the same intelligence agencies that misled President Bill Clinton into bombing a “target” located in the populous Sudanese capital, Al-Khartoum, under the guise that it was a manufacturing center financed by Usama bin Laden to produce WMD’s. Only later was the truth revealed that this “center” was actually a pharmaceutical plant, producing medicine for the purpose of saving lives, and not weapons of mass destruction for the purpose of destroying lives.

It is evident from these examples and many others, too numerous to mention, that there are individuals who represent the Western/ European/ Judeo-Christian mass media, intelligentsia, and organizations that fit the definition of “wicked” indeed. Since it is they who have brought news of Genocide in Sudan, we must investigate and question if there is any truth to their claims.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary the word Genocide is defined as: the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.

Thus, let’s say as an example, a nation invades another nation comprised of different races and ethnic groups, than its own; comprised of people of a different religious background than its own; and for the deliberate purpose of the systematic destruction of its leader and ruling political party. Would we call this Genocide? Or, if a people were systematically removed from their homeland for the deliberate purpose of establishing a homeland for a people of a different cultural or religious background – would this be Genocide?

Do Western/European/Judeo-Christian media outlets and intelligence agencies refer to the U.S. led invasion of Iraq, and the establishment of the State of Israel, Genocide? Apparently then, this word, Genocide, is not so much of a “word” having a consistent definition, as much as it is a “tool” to be used at the whim of Western/European/Judeo-Christian governments and organizations to justify aggressive actions – political, economic, and military – against a people with whom they are on “unfriendly” terms, or who sit upon resources that the aggressor wishes to exploit.

We do not pretend that there is not a crisis currently raging in ‘Darfur,” deserving of international attention and resolution. But should this crisis accurately be labeled “Genocide”? Are there Arabs in this corner of “Africa” deliberately and systematically destroying people of a different racial, political, or cultural group than themselves?

Let us look at the testimony of some trustworthy people.

“Indeed though Arabs can be LIGHT-BROWN, DARK-BROWN AND BLACK IN COMPLEXION, they are said to be BLACK because they are counted among us…………..The Arabs take pride in black skin. The swarthy-skinned members of the Muharib tribe were proud of being Black. Indeed, the Arabs call Blacks “khudhr ” (an Arabic word denoting swarthiness and tribal leader). [Abu Uthman Amr ibn Bahr al-Jahiz, Glory of the Blacks Over the Whites, circa 810-840 A.D.]

In Greek legend, Ethiopia, “land of the burnt faces,” lay on either side of the Red Sea in Africa and Asia and was inhabited by Black folk….. [115].

Mohammedanism (sic term) arose in the Arabian deserts, starting from Mecca which was in that part of the world which the Greeks called Ethiopia and regarded as part of the African Ethiopia. It must from the earliest time have had a large population of Negroids……… [183].

Anyone who has traveled in the Sudan knows that most of the “Arabs” he has met are dark-skinned, sometimes practically black, often have Negroid features, and hair that may be almost Negro in quality. It is then obvious that in Africa the term “Arab” is applied to any people professing Islam, however much race mixture has occurred, so that while the term has cultural value it is of little ethnic significance and is often misleading. The Arabs were too nearly akin to Negroes to draw an absolute color line. [184] (W.E.B. Dubois, The World and Africa, 1946)

Much has been made of Arab invasions of Africa: they occurred in the North, but in Black Africa they are figments of the imagination. While the Arabs did conquer North Africa by force of arms (when North Africa was under the yoke of the Roman Empire), they quite peaceably entered Black Africa: the desert always served as a protective shield. From the time of the initial Umayyad setbacks in the eighth century, no Arab army ever crossed the Sahara in an attempt to conquer Africa, except for the Moroccan War of the sixteenth century. During the period of our study, from the third to the seventeenth centuries, not one conquest was ever launched by way of the Nile: that of the Sudan (South Sudan), accomplished with the help of England, came only in the nineteenth century. Nor was there ever any Arab conquest of Mozambique or any other East African territory. The Arabs in these areas, who became great religious leaders, arrived as everywhere else individually and settled in peacefully; they owe their later acceptance to spiritual and religious virtues. The Arab conquests dear to sociologists are necessary to their theories but did not exist in reality. To this day no reliable historical documents substantiate such theories. [Cheikh Anta Diop, Precolonial Black Africa, 1987]

According to these eminent scholars, Al-Jahiz, W.E.B. Dubois, and Cheikh Anta Diop, “Arab” is not synonymous with “Caucasian” or “White”. To the contrary the Arab peoples who populated “Africa” below the Sahara have “Black” features. According to these eminent scholars, the Arabs have not been involved in any systematic elimination of the peoples of “Black Africa”. Furthermore, according to these eminent scholars, “Arabia”, was once considered a part of “Ethiopia” or the land of the Blacks, and was not perceived by Blacks as a separate or foreign continent. The truth is that the term “Africa” is a relatively modern term which was first used by the Romans in 146 B.C. to describe their colony in Carthage. The current application of “Africa” as “The Black or Dark Continent” is an invention of Europeans. Blacks never used the term “African” to define themselves, nor “Africa” to define their lands until after much of their literary and oral tradition was “destroyed” by “White Europeans” during colonization.

We should ask ourselves the question: Despite all the talk in the media about “Genocide in Darfur,” how many pictures have been presented in the media of the President of Sudan; members of the Sudanese army; the so-called “government backed Janjaweed” militia, or for that matter, even of the so called “rebels”?

From the testimony of our scholars the reasons are very clear. The Arabs of Sudan do not look like the Arabs often seen on the evening news, Qadaffi, Hussein, Palestinians, et al. In fact, the people generally shown to us on the nightly news or in movies produced by “Hollywood,” upon which our image of “Arabs” is based, have been themselves “Arabized”. They are descendants of intermarriage with those Arabs who once unified under the leadership of Muhammad (Peace Be Unto Him), left the Arabian Peninsula and defeated the armies of Byzantium (Rome) and Sassian (Persia). As W.E.B Dubois tells us in “The World And Africa”:

“One of the most astonishing developments in Africa was the rule of the Mamluk slaves in Egypt for six centuries, from 1193 to 1805. There has been no exact parallel to this in history, and yet students have neglected this period with singular unanimity. The Mamluks were white slaves bought by the thousands in the Balkans, Greece, Turkey, and the Near East………The contrast between this white slavery and black American slavery was striking. It involved no inborn racial differences, and because of this Nordic historians have neglected white slavery and tied the idea of slavery to Negroes”. [pg. 192-193]

In direct contrast to the people whose physical characteristics have contributed to our commonly held image of “Arab”, according to internationally acclaimed “authority” on Sudan, Alex de Waal:

“From the viewpoint of Southern Sudan (and indeed east Africa), ‘African’ and ‘Arab’ are polar opposites. From the viewpoint of Darfur and its ‘Sudanic’ orientation, ‘Arab’ is merely one subset of ‘African’. Darfurians had no difficulty with multiple identities, and indeed would have defined their African kingdom as encompassing indigenous Arabs, both Bedouins and culturally literate Arabs (De Wal Research Paper)

Darfur’s Arabs are black, indigenous, African and Muslim-just like Darfur’s non-Arabs….” (The Observer, July 25, 2004)

Is there a crisis in Sudan? Yes! Is genocide being practiced in Sudan? No! In fact the current conflict in Sudan is one of poverty and lack of resources. It is primarily a conflict between “herders” and “farmers” who must share land in a territory that is ever shrinking due to environmental factors. On both sides of this conflict, there are Black Arabs as well as non-Black Arabs.

Even Amnesty International, one of the organizations most responsible for the dissemination of fanciful stories about the conflict in “Darfur” admits on its web-site:

“In February 2003, a new armed insurgent group, calling itself the Sudan Liberation Movement/ Army (SLM/A) and composed mainly of members of the Fur, Zaghawa and Masalit ethnic groups of Darfur, emerged and attacked government targets. In April 2003 another insurgent group emerged, calling itself the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The two armed groups demanded the end of the marginalization of Darfur and more protection for the settled population, which they claimed to represent. Their motives were connected to the exclusive character of the north-south peace negotiations of Sudan, which they claim has left them out and showed them that “Khartoum only talks to those who have arms.”

The exclusive character of the peace process has… triggered feelings amongst the population in other areas of Sudan of being left out of important power and wealth sharing agreements for the future of the country. The logic of “militarization”, dominant in most Sudanese elite circles, has led the leaders of today’s armed opposition groups in Darfur to the conclusion that they would only be represented in the transitional government and in the political future of Sudan if they would take up arms and fight the central government. Their demands include full representation in power and politics in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan”.

Thus it is admitted even by Amnesty International that the conflict in Darfur is one of resources, politics, and power. It must be noted that according to Amnesty, the “rebel” groups desire to be represented in the political future of Sudan, and are not taking up arms to defend themselves from deliberate systematic elimination. It must also be noted, that the “rebel” groups first attacked government targets. If “Rebel” groups attacked government targets in the U.S. or the United Kingdom, one would wonder if the media would represent them to the world as “freedom fighters,” and accuse America and Great Britain of Genocide in their response to such attacks? By the way, have any of the organizations who claim Genocide in Darfur explained how these “rebels” obtained their arms, or identified who is supplying them??

When the facts are weighed, is the current crisis in Darfur “Genocide,” or are the people there being manipulated by a secret and predetermined agenda orchestrated by wicked foreigners?

Investigate and discover the truth, so YOU will not unknowingly assist others in causing harm to an innocent people, and afterwards become full of regret for what YOU have done!