Victims of Arabs
Two years ago, Andre Glucksmann asked:
"On the scales of world opinion, some Muslim corpses are light as a feather, and others weigh tonnes. Two measures, two weights. The daily terrorist attacks on civilians in Baghdad, killing 50 people or more, are checked off in reports under the heading of miscellaneous, while the bomb that took 28 lives in Qana is denounced as a crime against humanity. Only a few intellectuals ...find this surprising. Why do the 200,000 slaughtered Muslims of Darfur not arouse even half a quarter of the fury caused by 200-times fewer dead in Lebanon? Must we deduce that Muslims killed by other Muslims don't count - whether in the eyes of Muslim authorities or viewed through the bad conscience of the west?"
Today, I was happy to find he following report about an Arab intellectual who actually Shares Glucksmann's alarm:
In an August 6, 2008 column in the UAE daily Al-Ittihad, Dr. 'Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, former dean of Islamic law at the University of Qatar and prominent liberal intellectual, attacked the Arab lawyers' unions for defending oppressors like Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and Iraqi president Saddam Hussein while ignoring their victims in Darfur and Halabja.
"The excuses and justifications offered today in defense of Al-Bashir and his policies are [the same as] those offered in defense of Saddam and his escapades, all of which were in vain. They repeat the same canned excuses, such as 'the politicization of standards of justice,' 'judging by a double standard,' 'justice biased against the Arabs,' 'selectivity,' and 'the service of American schemes.' The most recent of these accusations was expressed by one reader in Al-Ittihad, who said: 'What kind of international justice is this, that holds [Sudan] to account for a domestic crisis in Darfur that has lasted less than five years, while continuing its policy of turning a blind eye to the most heinous crimes in Palestine, which have lasted for 50 years?'
"It is their right to defend Al-Bashir as they defended Saddam. And it is their right to demand universal international criminal standards and that they be applied in the case of anyone suspected of perpetrating similar crimes, as Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim says. But what these people always try to ignore is the victims.
"We will not be hearing the voice of the Lawyers' Union, which mobilized to defend accused presidents, [speaking out] for the weak and the marginalized. ... It is the victims of Darfur and the millions of the crushed and pulverized who are most in need of the legal support of masses of lawyers."
"... 300,000 people were killed in Darfur, and ... two million fled their homes after their villages were destroyed by the Sudan-backed Arab Janjaweed militias. Who is for them? Who is for the widows? Who is for the orphans? Who is for the displaced?
"These victims are all Muslims, and their only offense is that they are not Arab, the ethnicity of their rulers! If they find no support among those who are supposed to defend rights and help the weak, then to whom can they turn for shelter and protection? Is the international community to be accused if it intervenes to extend a helping hand?
"For five bloody years, the people of Darfur have been ruined and expelled, and the satellite television channels have broadcast horrific scenes that tormented the hearts of the world and make their consciences bleed - except for the Arab conscience, which was on vacation, and except for their [Arab] League, which remained comatose, and except for their media, which neglected to cover and broadcast the facts. "
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Victims of Arabs