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A Muslim Manifesto on Dârfûr

Excerpted from the book, Justice for the People of Dârfûr: “Hell on Earth” Must End

by Imâm Al-Hâjj Tâlib ‘Abdur-Rashîd

(Copies available for $7 ea. retail (10 copies or more $5 ea) plus postage,  available from:
The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood Inc. 130 W. 113th Street New York, N.Y. 10026

“O You who believe! Stand up firmly for justice, as witnesses unto Allâh, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor. Allâh protects you both (much) better. So follow not the desires (of your hearts), because you may swerve, and if you distort justice, or decline to do justice; surely Allâh is Well-Acquainted with all that you do.” (Qur’ân, 4:135)

“Prophet Muhammad (May the peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) said The Almighty has said, ‘O, My servants! I have forbidden oppression and injustice for Myself, and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another’.” (authenticated by Imâm Muslim)

Over the past few years the tragic circumstances in Dârfûr, Sudân in Western Africa, has come to be globally recognized as a moral, humanitarian, and human rights crises of monstrous proportions. While there has been and continues to be debate as to whether or not the actions committed there constitute genocide, there can be no doubt that the indigenous African people of Darfur are the victims of an evil and deliberate injustice, which demands redress.

This tragedy is compounded by the fact that even though the wrongdoers and the wronged are both Muslims, the Muslim world has been largely silent in the face of the flagrant transgressions of both the Sudânese government (GoS) and their paramilitary proxy, the Janjaweed. The crimes committed in the Western Sudân violate the laws of the Qur’ân and Sunna (prophetic tradition of Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdullâh, The Messenger of Allâh, may the peace and blessings of Almighty Allâh be upon him) recognized universally by Muslims, as well as international human rights and humanitarian laws, recognized by people of various faiths.

During the Clinton White House years and before, a vicious propaganda campaign was waged against the Sudân in and around that country’s Civil War. U.S. and other Western interests fired volley after volley of misinformation at Africa’s largest country, which sits at the crossroads of the African and Arab world - “The Sudânese government is sponsoring slavery”. “Members of the Sudânese government are terrorists”. “The Sudânese government let Bin Laden get away”. “The Sudânese government intentionally creates famines in Africa when it should be feeding everyone”. One lie followed the other and they made great sensationalist press.

  American and British-based Christian evangelical groups, desiring a foot-hold in Africa where Islâm flourishes, manufactured a slave redemption scam to great publicity in their respective countries. Once the claims of wide-spread sanctioned enslavement of Africans were exposed as fraudulent, and millions of dollars had been collected to fund Christian evangelistic efforts in Africa, little was heard about it.

Politically astute men and women in both the underdeveloped and developed worlds, recognized that what Noam Chomsky calls “an engineering of public consent” was taking place; designed to set the Sudân up for a political fall,  and possible an American-sponsored coup and occupation.

Complicating matters further, in the Sudân  during the presidencies of both Clinton and George W.Bush, some of the ugliest and most heinous atrocities and events (such as the Nuba Mountain military campaign) largely escaped public notice for several years. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “War is deception”, and the wisdom of that statement has never been lost on the Muslims.

Currently, the image of the United States as a global champion of “truth, justice, and the American Way” is steadily diminishing.  People who trusted that the American government would be truthful in matters of freedom aren’t so sure anymore. When the events of Sept. 11th occurred and President Bush slipped up and used the word “crusade” in a speech targeting Muslims, global suspicion of his true motivations, and those of his administration were heightened.
There can be no doubt that there are actors on the world stage who want to victimize the Sudânese people and their government. These “wolves in sheep’s clothing” come in a variety of guises. They are the  various economic powers who want to gain access to Sudanese oil, the Evangelical Christians who want to convert the Muslims in Sudan into Christians, the Western Warmongers who want to continue quietly opening  their military bases all over Africa, Zionist elements allied with all of the above and crying crocodile tears for the people of Dârfûr while continuing to oppress the Palestinians  – all of them want a weaker, divided Sudân that will be easier to control, manipulate and exploit, for their own interests.

History records that U.S. and European imperialist powers are responsible for the genocidal slave trade that decimated Africa, the genocide of the Indigenous population of the Americas, the colonial wars and occupations that looted three-quarters of the globe. German imperialism  was responsible for the genocide of  Jewish people. To call for military intervention by these same powers without checks and balances provided by the International Community, as the answer to conflicts among the people of Dârfûr, is to ignore 500 years of history. This must never happen.

Uncle Sam has often used his tremendous political power and influence in the UN Security Council, to get resolutions endorsing its plans to send U.S. troops into other countries. None were on humanitarian missions. U.S. troops carrying the UN flag invaded Korea in 1950 in a war that resulted in more than 4 million deaths. Still flying that flag, they have occupied and divided the Korean peninsula for over 50 years.

At the urging of the U.S., UN troops in 1961 were deployed to the Congo, where they played a role in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the country’s first prime minister. The U.S. was able to get a UN mandate in 1991 for its massive bombing of the entire Iraqi civilian infrastructure, including water purification plants, irrigation and food processing plants—and for the 13 years of starvation sanctions that resulted in the deaths of over 1.5 million Iraqis. Critics charge that UN troops in Yugoslavia and in Haiti have been “a cover for U.S. and European intervention and occupation—not peace or reconciliation.” (Flounders, 2006)

 Thus caution demands that we heed the words of Almighty God as found in His Book, the Qur’ân ,as our brother Mauri Saalakhan has reminded us with dead-on accuracy, Almighty God, Allâh, states in His Book, the Qur’ân:
“O you who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth; or you may harm the people unknowingly, and afterwards become full of regret for what you have done.” (49:6)
Now of course, the balance of world power has shifted significantly (back and forth) over the decades, and the composition of the U.N. has changed dramatically since the 1950s and 1960s. Nonetheless, who would want such characters intervening in the internal affairs of their nation? Hence the Sudânese  government’s apprehension and contradiction. They have declared that to let U.N. troops into Darfur would violate their sovereignty. the problem is that U.N. trrops are already in the Sudan as the result of the conflict in the South.

So when divergent groups come together to form an organization like the Save Darfur coalition, and one sees in their ranks or at their events or at their periphery some of the above elements, it raises suspicions amongst the astute. When President George Bush advocates anything pertaining to the conflict in Darfur, it raises suspicion amongst true lovers of freedom, justice and equality for all people.
Again history records that Wolves in Sheep’s clothing will often make “politically correct” statements to suit their own agendas. However good people must still speak out in the name of truth, and not be silent. What they must do is have their own voice and let the truth stand on its own.

Regarding the question of U.N. intervention in the Sudân , what alternative is there to a U.N. action in order to stop the killing there NOW? This is particularly so considering that Muslim countries have seemingly abdicated their responsibility to intervene significantly, in order to save the lives of their fellow Muslims in Dârfûr. Further, it seems that many African nations either lack the will or the resources to effectively intervene, as evidenced by the limitations of the A.U.

One wonders what would have been the response of the Muslim nations if the people of Dârfûr were Arabs, and not Africans or African-Arabs (as opposed to so-called Middle-Eastern Arabs), and had been treated in the same manner by a non-Muslim government? Would they have been so silent and unwilling to intervene? But the precepts of Al- Islâm call for a firm stance on justice no matter for or against whom or what.
There is no excuse for failing to denounce the evil that has taken place during the Government of  Sudân’s watch. We have obeyed Allâh and ascertained the truth, and we cannot ignore it. Unfortunately, our brothers in faith of the Government of the Sudân have played into the hands of their enemies and ours, by acting like the enemies. That is to deny one’s contradictions instead of acknowledging them, and to kill the messengers exposing those contradictions, instead of heeding them.

An  Islâmic prophetic tradition reads :
Anas reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May the Peace and Blessings of Allâhbe upon him) said, “Support you brother (in Islam) whether he is a wrong-doer or the one wronged”. The Companions said to the Prophet (peace be upon him), “Fine, we understand how to support him if he is wronged. But how are we to support him as an unjust person (wrong-doer)?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “By not letting him commit injustice. Hence, that is your support for him.” (authenticated by At-Tirmidhî)

We must not abandon the people of Dârfûr. They, along with the  people of Southern Sudân and  the Nuba Mountains, are not the enemies of the Sudânese government. They consider themselves part of the Sudânese nation and so far have expressed that they want to remain that. They simply want to do so on just terms, and they have been willing to die to achieve justice from their fellow Muslim brothers in power. We must help them according to our means.
Likewise, Muslims must not abandon our brothers in the Government of the Sudân, nor should we act recklessly so as to play into the hands of its enemies, who are too often our enemies. We must stop them from committing injustice according to our means, and that will be our support for them.

Amongst African American leaders, Minister Akbar Muhammad stated that a few years ago when allegations of systematic enslavement of indigenous Africans in the Sudân surfaced, his leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, said to him “We have to look into this; because if there are Arabs or non-Arabs, black people making slaves out of other black people, then we have to condemn that action and condemn those who are behind it.”. (Saalakhan, 2004,pg. 81)
Well, there was no systematic enslavement in the  Sudân but nonetheless the same logic applies to Dârfûr . The “Black on Black” crimes committed there of an international nature, must be condemned by us, as they should have been condemned by every human being on earth, when crimes against humanity were occurring in Rwanda

    Coming on the heels of the Civil War in the South, and the Nuba Mountain conflict, the crises in Dârfûr and the resulting dilemma posed by real and alleged outrages in the Sudan, has apparently paralyzed the vocal cords of nearly all of the Muslim nations, causing them to commit the sin of silence insofar as a call for justice for the people of Dârfûr is concerned.  The Islamic social ethic asserts that silence is consent.  We do not consent to what has happened in Dârfûr, and we do not consider the Sudânese rebels, who are in actuality freedom fighters, to be villains.

Some Muslims who have spoken out against the atrocities in Dârfûr appear to be following the lead of others. Thus they have failed to practice self-determination in their analysis of the situation, either giving an impression that Muslims cannot find sufficient motivation within their own beliefs to address such an injustice, or lack the conviction to do so. Still other Muslims have recognized the tragedy, but in seeking to address it have given the impression of being more interested in defending the integrity of the perpetrators, than in securing justice for the victims. Too often these sincere brethren  (and/or sisters) sound like apologists for Muslim wrongdoers. Why? Is it because those of the Sudânese government are Muslims? Well so are their victims!

The above quoted verse from the Qur’ân, the Book of  revelation for all mankind, establishes the divine imperative for a firm stance based upon justice:
“O You who believe! Stand up firmly for justice, as witnesses unto Allâh, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor. Allâh protects you both (much) better. So follow not the desires (of your hearts), because you may swerve, and if you distort justice, or decline to do justice; surely Allâh is Well-Acquainted with all that you do.” (Qur’ân, 4:135)

This is the charge that must be followed by all Muslims – establish justice and oppose injustice, no matter whom or what. In Al-Islâm, justice is an evil that demands repentance and atonement from believing people, based upon both religious edicts and moral imperatives. All Muslims who are made aware of such evil are commanded to confront it by either direct action, or speaking out against it, or to at least take a principled, moral stance against it.
The Prophet Muhammad (May the Peace and Blessings of Allâh be upon him) said:
Whoever sees an evil let him change it with his hand; if he is unable to then with his tongue; if he is still unable to then he should hate it in his heart, and that is the weakest level of faith.”  (authenticated by Muslim)
 It seems evident that when it comes to Dârfûr, many Muslim nations and organizations have at best chosen the course of weak faith. However, we, the indigenous Muslims of America, most of whom are of African descent, are part of the global Ummah. A small number of our African Muslim ancestors or their descendants were probably part of the indigenous population that encountered the first settlers on the east coast of America. (Winters, Quick, Weiner, Van Sertima).

Even more importantly, vast numbers, perhaps millions of our ancestors, were taken captive and transported by force from the largely Muslim lands of the African continent, to the land that is now the only one in the West that has a native Muslim population of African descent, the United States of America (Diouf, pp. 203-4). Those African Muslims were at best forced immigrants to the land which was eventually named America, as the result of the same moral injustice and political oppression that now grips Darfur. The minimum number of African American Muslims at least equals the number of African Muslims who have been displaced thus far, in Dârfûr.

We are a de jure nation within the Muslim family of nations, and a legitimate national minority within the confines of The United States (Kly, pp. 9-10). As a Muslim nation by right, we are not bound to unconditionally support any nation (de facto or de jure) that violates our beliefs, morals, and ethics. We cannot and will not be silent at the Dârfûr outrage! My forthcoming book entitled Justice for the People of Darfur: “Hell on Earth Must End!” is meant to serve as the moral, historical, and ideological basis for this manifesto. It focuses upon an injustice that affects every person on earth whether they realize it or not. We believe, as do many of our fellow human beings throughout the planet, that “an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere”.

This author’s work focused upon the Sudân began some five almost six years ago. Guided and accompanied by my friend and colleague (Medgar Evers College professor of African American history) Amir Al-Islam, I met with various parties in Washington D.C. with their hands on the pulse of Africa’s largest country. That included both Muslims and people of other faiths, Sudânese NGO representatives and activists, American elected officials, and others.
I then visited The Sudân in 2002 as part of an independent fact-finding mission investigating the allegations of government sponsored enslavement of indigenous Africans. When the conflict in Dârfûr erupted, I followed the events and attended several informational forums held in the New York City area and beyond. Further, I received on the ground reports from Muslim organizational delegates who visited Dârfûr from the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA, whom I serve as a deputy national leader), and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Then on October 29, 2004 I participated in a meeting of inter-faith leaders with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, specifically about Dârfûr. As a social justice activist dedicated to both Islâmic causes and those impacting African people of the continent and disapora, I felt compelled to address the various matters contained in this manifesto and the book from which it is derived.


Based upon the principles of our faith, as Muslims in America we affirm the following principles, and support the following measures, in search of a solution to the conflict in Darfur:

1. We affirm truth and justice.
Proof: The Almighty God, Allâh, has said in His Book, The Qur’ân:  “O You who believe! Stand up firmly for justice, as witnesses unto Allâh, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor. Allah protects you both (much) better. So follow not the desires (of your hearts) , because you may swerve, and if you distort justice, or decline to do justice; Surely Allah is Well-Acquainted with all that you do.” (Qur’ân, 4:135) , and 

 “The Word of your Lord finds its fulfillment in truth and justice ” ( 6:115)

2. We affirm the sacredness of life.
Proof: Allâh has said in His Book, The Qur’ân:  “If anyone has killed a person –unless it be for murder or for spreading evil and corruption (Arabic, fasad) in the land – it would be as if he has killed the whole people. And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the entire people.” (5:32)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “Everything of the Muslim is sacred and inviolable to another Muslim – his blood, his property, and his honor.” (authenticated by Muslim)

3. We affirm the right of the oppressed people of Darfur to self-defense, and to struggle for freedom, justice and equality by any Islamically lawful means necessary.
Proof: Allâh has said in His Book, The Qur’ân:
 (The Believers are those who…) “…when an oppressive wrong is inflicted upon them, (are not cowed, but) help and defend themselves…But indeed if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong (done) to them, against such there is no cause for blame. The blame is only against those who oppress men with wrongdoing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying peace and justice. For such there will be a penalty grievous.” ” (Q42: 39,41-42)

4. We support and encourage an immediate ceasefire to all hostilities on the part of the Government of the Sudan (GoS) and all of the Sudanese freedom fighters, as a means for protection of the lives of Darfur’s civilian population.

5. We encourage and support the immediate disarming of the Janjaweed and all such government sponsored or independently acting paramilitary forces.

Proof: Allâh has said in His Book, The Qur’ân  speaking of Himself: “He forbids all shameful deeds, and evil, and injustice…” Q16:90) and He commands “…Do not commit transgressions; surely Allah loves not the transgressors.” (Q 2:190)

Also, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said in an authenticated tradition (hadîth), “Help your brother whether he is the oppressed (Arabic, mazlum), or the oppressor (Arabic, zaalim)”. When it was said to him by his Companions May Allah be pleased with them) “O Messenger of Allâh, we understand what it means to help our brother who is oppressed, but how do we help the one who is an oppressor?” He answered, “Put your hand over his hand” ( meaning “stop him from doing what he’s doing”).

6. We salute the valiant efforts of the 10,000 mostly Sudânese  humanitarian workers, who have engaged in relief work on the ground in Dârfûr, and that of other people of various faiths . This includes Doctors Without Borders , and from amongst the Muslims, the Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (FIMA - an umbrella organization from thirty Muslim countries , who opened an Eye hospital in Dârfûr in Feb. 2006 ,bringing  Eye care to  two million Dârfûrians for the first time. The Islamic Medical Association of North America was a participant in this initiative).
  Proof: Allâh has said in His Book, The Qur’ân, “Whoever supports and helps a good cause, will have a reward for it. And whoever helps and supports an evil cause shares in its burden. And Allâh has power over all things.” (Q 4: 85)

7. We further salute the equally valiant work of  the African Union (AU) in protecting the lives of the People of Dârfûr.
Proof: Allâh has said in His Book, The Qur’ân, “Whoever supports and helps a good cause, will have a reward for it. And whoever helps and supports an evil cause shares in its burden. And Allâh has power over all things.” (Q 4: 85)

8. We deplore the lack of full support for the AU’s work by the international community, and call for the speedy allocation of the necessary funds from the family of nations, for the completion of the AU’s mission to provide human security in the region.

9. Further, we also deplore the fact the Muslim nations have failed  to effectively intervene on behalf of their oppressed Muslim brothers and sisters in Dârfûr who are dying daily as their homes are being destroyed, or living in displacement camps, as are Muslims elsewhere in the world.

10. Therefore, since there exists no other practical vehicle for the provision of  adequate international peacekeeping forces to save these Muslims and stop the killing in Dârfûr IMMEDIATELY,  we support the AU’s call for the presence of United Nations troops and personnel in Dârfûr , as  elsewhere in the Sudân.

Muslim troops should be part of that international force, if not in the vanguard of it. The performance of said U.N. forces should be monitored closely by the international community generally, and the Muslims in particular formally or informally.

Proof: The Almighty God, Allâh has said in His Book, the Qur’ân:
…If two parties from amongst the believers fall into conflict, make peace between them both. But if one of them exceeds the bounds against the other, then (all of) you fight against the one who transgresses until he complies, then make peace between them with justice, and be equitable and fair. Verily, Allâh loves those who are fair and just.” (49:9) and,
“…had not Allah checked one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed have been filled with evil .” (Q 2:251)
Also, within the canons of Islâmic jurisprudence, Muslim religious scholars have formulated a legal judgment  that it is from the Sunna of Allâh’s Messenger (peace be upon him) for Muslims to seek help from non-Muslims whenever it is necessary to repel an evil threatening life, property and honor. Such a necessity should be assessed they claim, as it is, i.e. as it arises. (Masud,Messick, Powers, Haddad, 1996, pg. 299,303). Other scholars specify that such assistance is only permissible in non-combat situations or capacities (Masud,Messick, Powers, Haddad, 1996, pg. 303, Al-Buti, 2001, pg. 475-6)

11. We call upon the Government of the Sudan to admit the presence of said U.N. troops , for the purpose of safety and security for the civilians of Dârfûr .

They have already done so in resolution of the former conflict in the Southern region of their country. Why not in Dar Fur?

12. We support and encourage a return of all parties to the negotiation table for the purpose of arbitration, mediation, and authentic reconciliation.
Proof: “…Make peace between them both (i.e. conflicting Muslim parties).” (Q 49:13) and
The Prophet Muhammad (May the peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) said,Sulh (negotiated compromise) is permissible between Muslims..” (authenticated by At-Tirmith), Ibn Mâjah, and Abû Dawûd)

As Muslims, we encourage our brothers in faith to take advantage of the spirit of the Islâmic months of Ramadân specifically, and Shawwâl through Dhul-Hijja generally, to begin this process anew.

Proof: “The believers are a single brotherhood. So make reconciliation between your  two (contending) brothers, and fear Allâh, that you might receive His Mercy.”
 (Q 49:10)

13. We support the various short-term measures and activities designed to bring comfort and care to the people of Dârfûr, thus saving civilian lives.

These include increased humanitarian assistance for refugees and displaced persons, and increased access for these humanitarian forces and organizations, peace keeping missions, parties charged with the responsibility to protect civilians, the pursuit of war crime charges, and peace conferences designed to solve the crises by peaceful means .
Proof: And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the entire people (Q 5:32) , and

14. We support and encourage the establishment of those rights of life, limb, property and honor due to the people of Dârfûr, in accordance with Islâmic principles.
Proof: Allâh has said in His Book, The Qur’ân: “O you who believe! Fulfill all obligations!” and
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “Everything of the Muslim is sacred and inviolable to another Muslim – his blood, his property, and his honor.” (authenticated by Muslim)

15. We support the lodging of criminal proceedings against those found responsible in a just judicial proceeding, for the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Dârfûr.
Proof: “Contend not on behalf of such as betray their own souls; for Allâh loves not those given to perfidy and crime; They may hide (their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide them from Allâh, seeing that He is with them when they plot by night…” (Q 4:107-8), and
“The blame is only against those who oppress men with wrongdoing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying peace and justice. For such there will be a penalty grievous.” ” (Q42:42)

16. We support compensation for damages, injury, loss of life and property, for all Dârfûrians and their families, who have been victimized by these criminal acts.
Proof : Allâh has said in His Book, The Qur’ân :
”…And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand Qisâs - equal retaliation or compensation, or to forgive). But let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life, for he is helped (by the law).” (Q 17:33) and,  “Say ‘my Lord has commanded justice.” (7:29)

17. We support and encourage the establishment of an authentic and just peace that addresses the political, social, and economic needs of the people of Dârfûr.

Islâmic law and principle requires the “putting of a thing in the place where the
Divine Law (Shârî’ah) put it, and giving everything its right position or judgment.” (Zidan,pg. 119) Therefore, as a long-term measure for securing safety and security for the people of Dârfûr, including:

  1. Land security and a policy for equitable redistribution of the land for the people of Dârfûr;
  2. The re-establishment of a legal and judicial order in the land of Dârfûr, based upon the its Sultânic and customary laws;
  3. The establishment and empowerment of local leadership that truly represents the people, based upon the Islamic principle of mutual consultation (shûrâ) amongst the parties impacted by the decision to be made, as specified in the Qur’ân. (O’Fahey, 2006, pp 10-12)

Proof Allâh has said in His Book, Qur’ân, [The Believers are those who] “…conduct their affairs by mutual consultation (shûrâ).” (42:38)

Finally, we pray in all sincerity for the people of the nation of the Sudân,  government and civilians alike. We pray for forgiveness of their sins, for healing and reconciliation, protection, comfort, peace, safety and security, for all of its citizens. We pray for justice for all of them, and for all of humanity, amîn (amen).


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Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.

Quran: 16:125
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