Wednesday, April 06, 2005

More on Darfur

This is a very poignant Op-Ed about the Darfur situation. I recommend the read.

The Pope and Hypocrisy

Published: April 6, 2005

President Bush and other world leaders are honoring John Paul II in a way that completely misunderstands his message. We pay him no tribute if we lower our flags to half-staff and send a grand presidential delegation to his funeral, when at the same time we avert our eyes as villagers are slaughtered and mutilated in the genocide unfolding in Darfur.

The message of the pope's ministry was about standing up to evil, not about holding grand funerals.

"Throughout the West, John Paul's witness reminded us of our obligation to build a culture of life in which the strong protect the weak," Mr. Bush said. Well, what about that reminder? What kind of a "culture of life" is it that allows us to shrug as Sudanese soldiers heave children onto bonfires?

The latest estimates, from the British government and others, are that 300,000 or more have perished so far in Darfur. Mr. Bush has forthrightly called this slaughter "genocide," but he has used that label not to spur action, but to substitute for it.

These days the Sudanese authorities are adding a new twist to their crimes against humanity: they are arresting girls and women who have become pregnant because of the mass rapes by Sudanese soldiers and militia members. If the victims are not yet married, or if their husbands have been killed, then they are imprisoned for adultery.

(Full Story)


Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Exccellent read- and heartbreaking.

Still, while we are remiss- and must step in and DO something, surely, we must also call to account the Muslim community. More than anything, it is that silence and those blind eyes that have allowed this tragedy to go on for so long.

MaxedOutMama said...

The point of the article is right, I think. Of course it is the Vatican which is holding the funeral and you can't blame people for attending it.

Nonetheless to really memorialize the man or the pontiff, I think we would do better to get serious about helping those who are worst off in the world. Good one, Dingo.

And I heard on NPR a couple of weeks ago about Sharia being applied against women who were raped outside the camps. I believe the problem in the Sudan and Darfur is not really international indifference, but the West's fear of antagonizing a Muslim Arab population. A lot of the victimized are black Christians.

There you have it. For all our grand rhetoric, the West has been cowardly about Africa and it is cowardly about situations like Darfur. We fear the cultural repercussions.