WASHINGTON, DC (May 2, 2006) – Several national Muslim American organizations today reiterated their concern for the crisis in Darfur, and condemned the violence, which has been perpetrated upon villages by government sponsored militias and the rebels, and has produced more than 1.3 million internally displaced refugees.
The United States Government has determined the continuation of targeted violence against the people of Darfur constitutes genocide. The United Nations, Amnesty International and other agencies disagree on this point.
The joint statement by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) stresses that the humanitarian workers on the ground have warned the international community and the region that politicizing the Darfur conflict will ultimately result in more suffering and will endanger more civilians.
It may be recalled that almost two years ago, Muslim Americans sent a peace delegation to the region to determine steps toward ending the conflict and the suffering in Sudan. A group of ten individual representatives of the national Muslim organizations spent one week meeting with both government and rebel representatives to encourage the cessation of violence and a just resolution of the conflict.
The American Muslim organizations further call upon the international Muslim leadership, Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Arab World to honor their obligations toward the people of Sudan and to be part of the solution in this human tragedy by making significant contribution through humanitarian aid and political pressure resulting in a just resolution of the problem.
The Muslim American organizations have requested a meeting with President Bush and Secretary Rice. The organizations offer the following recommendations for peace, urging that the U.S. take effective measures to help the innocent civilians in Darfur:
1. Demand that the Government of Sudan rein in the militias that now rampage villages.
2. Pressure the rebels to accept the peace offer presented by the African Union mediators and which has been accepted by the government of Sudan.
3. Warn Eritrea and Chad that they must stop supporting the rebels if they continue to reject peace offers by African Union mediators.
4. Help reduce the potential for ethnic- or religious- based conflict by clarifying to the American public that those leading rebel and government forces are both Muslim and both African Sudanese.
5. Urge the international community to obtain more humanitarian assistance from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to elevate the suffering in Darfur.
[CONTACTS: Edina Lekovic, MPAC Communications Director, 213-383-3443, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ahmed ElHattab, ISNA Acting Secretary General, 317-839-1826, email@example.com; Corey P. Saylor, CAIR Government Affairs Director, 571-278-4658, firstname.lastname@example.org , Naeem Baig, ICNA Secretary General, email@example.com