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Despite the horrifying numbers of black Africans, whether in Darfur or the Christian south, killed by Sudanese Arab Muslims, Islamic governments worldwide have ignored these atrocities committed by their co-religionists. The West has made its usual pathetic gestures of outrage. The African Union for its part, although most of its member states are black, cannot seem to find the courage to confront Sudan for its anti-black racism. It is also revealing that in the United States , the Nation of Islam, a black nationalist organization, led by the vocal Louis Farrakhan, has said nothing. Farrakhan, a Koran-clutching champion of black causes appears willing to overlook the murder of black Africans in order not to offend his fellow Muslim. Perhaps religious solidarity trumps racial violence. It certainly seems that in the Islamic mind while cartoons of Mohammad, drawn by an obscure Dane, are worth killing over, the death of hundreds of thousands of blacks in Sudan at the hands of Arab Muslims is not even worth a mention let alone a protest. What is more obscene thousands of murdered black Africans or cartoons of Mohammad? Where was the moral outrage from Muslim governments who so successfully turn every criticism into a perceived attack on Islam? Where is the anger over Sudan from Muslims who normally go into paroxysms of self-righteous rage at the very mention of an entity called Israel ? Is it Muslims or their very faith that allows no pity for the lives of powerless black "infidels"? However, the Muslim world is not alone in this moral vacuum. As far as the West is concerned, perhaps the hope of future oil deals with Sudan dampened western desire to stop the Darfur killings. Given the West's silence over the Rwandan genocide in the mid-1990s, perhaps the lives of black Africans, with no oil or geo-political importance to barter with, really are just not worth the effort.

Saudi Arabia (formerly known as Arabia , before the Saud family took ownership and modestly renamed it) is the historic, cultural and religious center of Islam. The Saudi ruling elite, in partnership with the hardline Wahhabi religious establishment, see themselves as the guardians, and indeed exporters, of Sunni Islam. Consequently, there is little room in Arabia for the rights of religious minorities, most of whom are guest workers working in low paid menial jobs. Saudi Arabia is in fact a fully fledged religious apartheid system. Non-Muslims simply have no right to worship freely, build temples or churches, testify against a Muslim, hold political office or in fact hold any authority over Muslims. At all times, the non-Muslim is expected to know his place and act with subservience and deference towards Muslims. Islamic law denies non-Muslims the most basic aspect of humanity, love itself. A non-Muslim man must not make the mistake of falling in love with a Muslim woman, since Islam forbids such a union. However, Islamic law does allow, and in fact encourages, Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women (provided they convert to Islam), thereby strengthening Islam demographically. The reason for the inferior status of non-Muslims is very simple the Koran and Islamic law are regarded as divine and demand power for Islam and power demands religious apartheid. In turn Saudi rulers, as self-appointed guardians of Islam, enforce these Nuremberg style laws. Their very power depends on this. No matter how skillfully apologists and favored Islamic scholars in the west, such as John Esposito and Karen Armstrong, explain Islam, these facts that cannot be silenced.

Whereas the racial apartheid of South Africa was universally condemned, there is almost no mention of Saudi Arabia 's religious apartheid. The reasons, in part, are based on economics, oil and the sale of arms by western governments. However, there is also the self-censorship, based on intellectual dishonesty and moral cowardice of western intellectuals, in criticizing Islamic law. Western liberals and feminists reserve their anger for issues such as the Saudi ban on females driving cars as if this is the apex of human suffering yet these same humane liberals are oblivious to Saudi Arabia's apartheid imposed on millions of non-Muslim guest workers who toil in insecurity and fear (it must be noted that the Wahhabist Sunni establishment also discriminates against the small Shia minority). Along with western silence, there is no outrage or condemnation from Muslims at Saudi Arabia 's treatment of its religious minorities. While the Palestinian issue, the French head scarf ban or the cartoons of Mohammad are regarded as attacks on Islam by Muslims, there is almost complete amnesia when it comes to those victimized by Islam. The question of what is more hurtful to human dignity, religious apartheid or a few cartoons of Mohammad, needs to be asked by Muslims non-Muslims alike.

Imagine if the sheer energy expended over protesting the Mohammad cartoons, was directed by Muslims at fighting for equal political rights for women and non-Muslims. Imagine 100,000 Muslims protesting in Karachi , Tehran and Riyadh , demanding that the Saudi religious apartheid system be dismantled. Imagine courageous Muslim lawyers litigating those parts of Islamic law, that call for the subjugation of non-Muslims, as hate doctrine. Would Islamists anywhere then stand a chance of dividing Muslim from Non-Muslim?

 

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