The ‘Concert for Peace In Darfur’ held in Wembley Arena London, has been hailed by some to be a great way for Muslims to help other Muslims. This concert featured as the main performer, the nasheed ‘artist’ Sami Yusuf. Who visited Darfur, with an Islamic charity organisation. He has publicised the plight of the Muslims in Darfur and in many ways re-enforced the narrative spun by the British government as to what happening in Darfur. This is hardly surprising as one the events sponsors is the British Foreign Office.
Some Muslims, view the holding of such concerts as a charitable deed that Islam deems to be praiseworthy. They see it is an attempt to help Muslims that are less fortunate. More aware Muslims realise that often there is more than meets the eye when it comes to such events. The context needs to be examined before a sound judgement as how to view such events can be made.
Western Foreign Policy
Although the colonialist nations like the US, Britain and France make claims that they are against human suffering and misery they are ones that are usually cause it. It is blatantly obvious that they hold the interests of their wealthy capitalist classes and corporations dearer than the lives of people. One only needs to look at Iraq as an example. The case of Iraq shows that oil and natural resources mean more to these Governments than the blood of people. A figure of 650,000 is often stated as the number of Iraqi civilians that have died as result of the colonial conquest of Iraq. This figure was the average used in the report published in the Lancet, the upper range was stated to be 942,000. The report was published some time ago and the figure has probably reached more than a million innocent lives lost since then. This is in addition to the suffering and misery of millions. Iraq has become a society that has been torn into tatters, with insecurity, bloodshed and tension featuring in everyday life. The displaced have become victims of hunger and desperation. Vulnerable young Iraqi girls are being forced into prostitution in neighbouring Syria. All this suffering to feed the greed of the West, that stems from the evil of capitalism. Alan Greenspan the former governor of the US Federal Reserve admitted in his recent book that the war in Iraq was fundamentally about oil. Only the naïve would view the western nations as being altruistic and caring for the affairs of mankind.
The Case of Darfur
Why are Western Nations so concerned about Darfur? Are the people of Darfur the only ones that are suffering in the world today? The Western Nations talk about helping people in Darfur, whilst at the same time they are killing people daily in Iraq and Afghanistan. What is the significance of Darfur to the West?
Darfur is located in Southern Sudan, an area known to be rich on oil. The Colonialist Nations are exploiting the violence and consequent humanitarian crisis that has resulted. It is widely believed that it was the US that first armed rebel factions so as to create a problem to solve in the area. The tragedy in Darfur is now being exploited in various ways by different colonialist nations.
This historical backdrop for this lust for the regions oil resources began with the American company Chevron, which had been granted oil exploration rights by the Numeri regime. In the early 1990’s Chevron decided to no longer pursue its oil interests in Southern Sudan. In this period the Chinese secured major rights for oil in the region due to its increasing thirst to feed its industries. Now there is a clamour amongst different nations to secure a piece of the pie.
As always the colonialist nations compete with other to secure the right to plunder weaker nations. France and Britain are keen to send troops to Darfur, the US has already has troops in the region although not in Darfur. The Chinese have a small amount of soldiers in Sudan to protect their interests, the British and the French have very little military influence in Darfur.
That is why the French and British welcomed the passing of UN resolution 1706 in August 2006 calling for the deployment of UN 'peacekeepers' to supplement the 7000 African Union troops. It is thought that the US is not keen on allowing UN troops into the region as it will allow the issue to be internationalised allowing the British and French to have share of the future spoils. France held a conference about Darfur on 25th June 2007 in which they proposed to use the French military to open ‘humanitarian corridors’ to Darfur from their bases in Chad. No one from Sudan, the Darfur rebels or the surrounding countries such as Chad was even invited to attend this conference.
The British for their part have been highlighting the plight of the people in Darfur by using various means to publicise the humanitarian issues. Hoping that this will create a favourable public opinion for future military intervention.
Nasheed Concerts and Muslims in Britain
Whilst the organisers of concerts such as the one in Wembley, may have been blissfully unaware of the background to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. Muslims in Britain are increasingly aware about the nature of the society that they live in and the government that rules over them. They are aware that the British government has an agenda for them, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. The British government knows from is murderous misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, that it is better to have Muslim public opinion on its side. It is for this reason that they wish to win Muslim hearts and minds. Wouldn’t it be great for the British government if British forces were to occupy Darfur, that Muslims in Britain viewed it as a humanitarian intervention rather than a colonial aggression against their brothers and sisters?
Muslims are increasingly realising that these pseudo Islamic events are not going to solve the problem for Muslims in Darfur. The organisers may well have the well being of the Muslims in Darfur at heart, but they need to understand the context in which they do their actions. Those that have other political motives for the Muslims can easily use such events to suit them. Why would the Foreign Office sponsor events like this one in Wembley, if it did not serve their purpose?
If Muslims want to do something to help their brothers and sisters in Darfur, Iraq or any other place then they must put their efforts and energies to working to re-establish the Khilafah. This is the real solution to the problems of the Muslims throughout the world. The Darfur crisis is a result of a weak leadership in Sudan, a weak regime that does not rule by Islam. They allowed the crisis to occur and they have conceded to the wishes of the colonialist enemies of Islam and the Muslims.
Abdur Rahman Siakhi