Darfur Exposes Trait of Arab Politics

(London Free Press-Canada) Salim Mansur- The one constant in the history of Arab states over the past five decades is the abuse of people by power-holders in a part of the world where regimes rule without popular legitimacy. It is understandable, though inexcusable, that there are no demonstrations anywhere in the wider Arab-Muslim world denouncing the Khartoum regime for its crimes in Darfur. Arabs and Muslims now live in growing numbers in cosmopolitan centers of the West, and enjoy freedoms denied their people elsewhere. Here they came out in unprecedented numbers, protesting American-led wars to liberate Afghans and Iraqis from despots, but in their unconscionable silence over Darfur, they disclose how selective is their outrage. Blacks are viewed by Arabs as racially inferior, and Arab violence against blacks has a long, turbulent record. The Arabic word for blacks ('abed) is a derivative of the word slave ('abd), and the role of Arabs in the history of slavery is a subject rarely discussed publicly. Here, the contrast between the Arab treatment of blacks and the Israeli assimilation of black Jews of Ethiopia cannot go unnoticed.

2004-08-26 00:00:00

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