Sunday, February 25, 2007

The tragedy of Darfur - double standards being applied

Why is it that - in contrast to the attention given to the Middle East conflicts - Arab media and politicians are largely ignoring events in Darfur? Moataz El Fegiery and Ridwan Ziyada look for answers

For many people in the Arab world the "humanitarian catastrophe" unfolding in Darfur just doesn't exist - and the simple reason for that is that the Arab media has ignored it. So it's little wonder that there has been no unease or disapproval voiced at the ignorance exhibited by the Arabs on the subject of crimes against humanity in this region of Sudan.

What makes things worse is a suspicion that what we are faced with here is the kind of unscrupulousness that borders on a denial of history; one need only recall the role of some Arabs in the African slave trade.

Let's assume for the moment that Arab governments' displaying a less than clear cut commitment to the human rights issue in Darfur is only to be expected - in fact it is just about the last thing an Arab government is going to place on its list of foreign policy priorities - but what about Arab journalists, intellectuals, political activists and artists? How is their behaviour, particularly those whose job it is raise public awareness of such things on behalf of the United Nations, to be explained?

Turning a blind eye on the Darfur crisis

How can they justify their silence on events in Darfur? No explanation, no honestly expressed shock at what is happening in Darfur has been forthcoming. The only rent in this curtain of silence being the statement of 17 October 2006, when at least some few Arab intellectuals were prepared to express their disapproval of "the silence of the Arab world in the face of the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur." Read more >>>

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