Monday, April 25, 2005

VICTIMS OF JIHAD SPEAK

Deng a former Sudanese Slave
Apostates and women were the subject of the second part of a side event on Victims of Jihad. Overwhelmed with emotion when evoking past sufferings, Mr. Simon Deng, former Sudanese slave, was not able to finish his statement. However, all the panelists strongly condemned massacres taking place in Sudan. Mr. David G. Littman, historian and writer on human rights, even said that if the Commission did not pass a resolution on Sudan, this would justify it's demise.

"Jihad is the worst evil facing the world and the people of Sudan have experienced its cruelty more than any other group on earth", began Mr. Simon Deng, former Sudanese slave. He continued by denouncing the Islamization, Arabization and enslavement that Southern Sudanese are currently victims of. These are accompanied by atrocities such as mass murders, slavery, systematic rape, religious persecution, enforced starvation and exile. Perpetrators of these crimes are "the radical jihadist regime in Khartoum". According to Mr. Deng, the only reason for these attacks is the faithfulness to their religion and African culture of the Southern Sudanese.

"I was a slave. I am not ashamed to say it", Mr. Deng continued. When he was nine years old, his village was raided, children shot dead, disabled or burned in their huts. He was abducted and given to an Arab family as a gift, but "when you look at me, do you see a gift? Do I look like an object?" He was forced to sleep next to the animals and eat his "masters" leftovers. However, "there is no shame in being a slave. It is not a choice. There is only shame in being a master", he stated.

The former slave also stressed that this genocidal war conducted against Southern Sudanese was conducted in the name of Jihad. He noted that friends in the Arab world, especially Libya, have armed the jihadists.

Mr. Deng strongly criticized the international community and especially the UN, for being indifferent when "millions of African blacks were being slaughtered". After the Holocaust, after Pol Pot's massacre in Cambodia and even after Rwanda, despite its inaction, the international community said "never again". In the case of Sudan, Mr. Deng argued, "nobody said anything at all. Our fate seems largely invisible to the world".

He saw two reasons for this silence.
  1. First, because the victims are black, the Southern Sudanese are victims of a global racism;
  2. Second, they are victims of Arabs. Indeed, "when it comes to the ideology of Jihad, the Commission on Human Rights is muted, no one wishes to be seen as anti-Islamic," he explained.

Finally Mr. Deng called on all Muslims to speak up in order to condemn these crimes. Otherwise it would be assumed that the religion in the name of which they are committed condones them. Since "to be silent is to condone, the international community must accept responsibility for every evil that it could end, yet chooses not to", he concluded.

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