THE BLOG
03/01/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Where is the Muslim Outrage Over Darfur?

In a part of the world not far from the Middle East, there is a war-ravaged country whose government is supporting a brutal military offensive against a population of Muslims living on territory under its control.

According to UN estimates, 300,000 people have died in the conflict so far; the Coalition for International Justice put this number at almost 400,000 -- and that was in 2005.

The United States has officially termed it a "genocide."

In July 2008, prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan -- who has funded and supported the Janjaweed militia that has carried out the murder and systematic rape of non-Arab African Muslims in Darfur -- charging him with war crimes, genocide, murder, and crimes against humanity.

For five years, the Arab League was functionally silent.

But last year, they finally spoke out -- against the head of the ICC's prosecutorial team against al-Bashir, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, slamming him for having an "unbalanced stance".

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), made up of 57 Islamic countries, issued a statement declaring its solidarity with al-Bashir, calling the indictment "unwarranted and unacceptable".

Less than a year later, at the Arab Summit held in Kuwait City January 19, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria called on other Arab countries to brand Israel a "terrorist state". Millions of Muslims worldwide voiced their outrage against Israel's military offensive in Gaza. Massive protests were organized in most major cities across the world. Real-time casualty counts were posted on Facebook statuses. I was asked to sign more petitions in support of Gaza in three weeks than I have for Darfur in five years.

Where are the large-scale protests and outrage from the Muslim community over the senseless deaths and rape of hundreds of thousands of poverty-ridden African Muslims?

Why is there such a glaring discrepancy between the Muslim world's response to the atrocities in Gaza and the atrocities in Darfur?

If the Darfur genocide was being carried out by Jews or Christians instead of Arab Muslims, would we see a different response?