Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Darfur divide

Scorched, a report on the role of climate change in the Darfur crisis by Julian Borger, contains passages very close to Stephan Faris's The Real Roots of Darfur published over a month ago. But Borger's report contains a note of optimism that one would hope is well grounded -- and that is, it is possible to make choices even in severely adverse circumstances. Borger quotes Said Ibrahim Mustafa, the sultan of the Chadian border region of Dar Sila: "The real problem here is moral, it is not a question of climate."

This is a key point too in the Globe for Darfur demonstrations today. Unfortunately, it look as if no organisations with an Islamic dimension are involved in the London protests, indicating a potential risk of sectarianism over what should be a universal concern: the murder of up to 400,000 people and displacement of many more.

Meanwhile in Turkey today there is a big demonstration by secularist-nationalists, and things look as if they could turn serious (is the subtext: "a military coup, please"?). In the background, neither the secularists nor their Islamist opponents seem fully ready to acknowledge the Armenian genocide, even though, as the historian Taner Ak├žam writes, "only full integration of Turkey's past [with its historical record] can set the country on the path to democracy."

No comments: