“It’s Not Possible for a Muslim to Commit Genocide…”

This is a cross-post by Ben Cohen of the Z Word Blog

Over at savedarfur.org, Megan Flemming explains the arrest warrant issued yesterday against the Butcher of Khartoum, Omar Hasan al-Bashir:

The judges found that there are reasonable grounds to believe al-Bashir is responsible for three counts of genocide committed against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups.

Here are some good suggestions of action you can take to assist the process of bringing al-Bashir to a prison cell. Why should you? Here’s the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Louis Moreno Ocampo:

The 10-judge panel’s decision, announced Monday, to charge al-Bashir with three counts of genocide in Darfur “will force the world to pay attention to the reality” on the ground in the embattled western Sudanese province. He added he hoped it would also cement the international community’s will to see the Sudanese leader tried in The Hague.

“The ICC decision is the last chance to stop the genocide in Darfur, the last chance to stop President Bashir’s current crimes and to prevent further crimes in Darfur or in Southern Sudan,” Moreno Ocampo told journalists at a news conference in Paris, where he was attending meetings.

The United Nations estimates 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million have be forced from their homes in Darfur since ethnic African rebels rose up in 2003, accusing Sudan’s Arab-dominated central government of neglect and discrimination.

Not everyone, however, thinks this is a genocide. One person in particular believes that, a priori, it can’t be a genocide since Muslims are incapable of carrying out such a heinous crime.

“It’s not possible for a Muslim to commit genocide,” he said in 2009. “That’s why we are comfortable with the visit of al-Bashir.”

And who is this person, whose comfort zone is deemed worthy of media coverage? Why, al-Bashir’s ostensible host at the time – the Sudanese leader ended up postponing –  Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The same Erdogan who stormed off a World Economic Forum panel in January 2009, yelling at Israeli President Shimon Peres, “I find it very sad that people applaud what you said. There have been many people killed. And I think that it is very wrong and it is not humanitarian.”

Should al-Bashir ever need a place to seek refuge after murdering thousands of the overwhelmingly Muslim Darfuris, he could probably do worse than appeal to Erdogan’s long-standing, genuinely held, humanitarian sensibilities.