Bin Laden calls on Muslims to support genocidal mass murder (of Muslims) in Darfur
The following comments by Juan Cole are on target. (To read the rest of his post, you can go to the original.)
Juan Cole (Informed Comment)
Monday, April 24, 2006
Bin Laden Urges Jihad in Sudan
In another reminder that George W. Bush has still not caught the man responsible for September 11 [....], the murderous lunatic Usamah Bin Laden spoke again on Sunday. [....]
Bin Laden [Ar.], in a new videotape played on Aljaazeera, called on holy warriors and their supporters in the Sudan and neighboring areas, including the Arabian peninsula, to prepare to conduct a long-term war against “the Crusader thieves in Western Sudan.” (I.e. Bin Laden expects that US or European troops will intervene, perhaps under a UN banner, in the Darfur conflict. He urged them to become knowledgeable on western Sudanese tribes. He warned that Western powers intended to exploit “some of the disputes among the tribesmen, and to provoke war among them that eats both the green and the dessicated, in preparation for the sending of Crusader forces to occupy the region and to steal its petroleum under the cover of preserving order there.
The mass killer said that his goal is to defend Islam and its people, not to prop up the Sudanese government. He said that the Sudan crisis is taking place in the framework of “a continuing Crusader and Zionist war against the Muslims.”
In fact, of course, regional separatism on the part of the Muslim Darfur people has been met with attacks by Arabic-speaking black Africans insistent on keeping the region part of Sudan, ruled from Khartoum. Tens of thousands have been perished or been displaced by the conflict, which has nothing that I can discern to do with the United States or Israel, except that they have condemned the killing. There is no petroleum to my knowledge in Darfur.
Bin Laden also denounced the treaty that ended the civil war with the largely Christian and animist southern Sudanese, saying that it promised them too much autonomy from Khartoum.
He said the US had adopted an old British imperial plan for the division of the Sudan, and that the British had divided the Sudan from Egypt. (I think actually that the Sudan has the territory it does because it was a British colony and that was what the British wanted in it. They could have divided it easily when they ruled it. As for division from Egypt, you'd have to talk to Sudanese nationalists about that; I recollect that they weren't eager to be ruled from Cairo. Modern Egypt only began conquering the Sudan in 1822, and never ruled it with any firmness before the British took both in the 1880s, so it isn't as if Sudan has always been part of Arab, Muslim Egypt or anything).
Bin Laden also maintained that the siege mounted against the Hamas government in Palestine once it won the recent elections proves that there is a "Crusader, Zionist war" against the Muslims. He notes that Ayman al-Zawahiri had counseled Hamas from getting involved in the political process.
Actually, what all this proves is that the United States and Israel allowed Hamas to run in the Palestinian elections, and to win them. That's a war? And now all they ask is that Hamas renounce terrorism and recognize the parties with which it will have to negotiate, which its leaders refuse to do. (One has to admit, though, that letting Hamas win and then punishing it in various ways hasn't been the most productive way to proceed).
Hamas quickly moved to distance itself from Bin Laden's pronouncements, saying that they were his personal interpretation, and Hamas had its own. The Palestinian movement constantly has to attempt to keep outsiders from hitching a ride on their popularity in the Muslim world, most often for purposes extraneous to the true welfare of the Palestinian people. They won't let Bin Laden coopt them.
Bin Laden has survived, and he is still taunting the US, and still attempting to polarize Muslims and Westerners. His tapes have far more influence and resonance than Americans realize. He needs to be caught and silenced, and US and Israeli actions that needlessly alienate the Muslims need to cease, as well. Otherwise, our world is willy nilly being seduced by the inferno of hatred at the core of al-Qaeda and its Christian and Jewish counterparts. [The attempt to suggest a false equivalence in this last sentence is bogus, obviously, but otherwise the basic point is OK. --JW]