the Disillusioned kid: For Simplicity's Sake?
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Friday, August 06, 2004

For Simplicity's Sake?

I've commented before on my perception that much of the coverage of the conflict/situation/genocide (take your pick according to where you want to put the emphasis) is simplistic and perhaps even misleading. One example of this is the distinction drawn between Darfurian "Africans" and Janjaweed "Arabs". While not strictly inaccurate terms they are somewhat misleading. Both communities are in fact black and follow Islam. I am worried that some seem to want to portray the conflict in the region as one waged by an Islamic government against an innocent (Christian?) minority. This "Clash of Civillisations" nonsense will do little to reassure those in the Muslim world who perceive (quite wrongly in my opinion) the "War on Terror" as a "War on Islam". It will only polarise multicultural communities in the West and sour relations between the Western and Islamic worlds and it's not as if the situation in both cases isn't bad enough already.

For a very detailed (and hence quite long) account of the historical context of the current crisis check out this excellent article from the London Review of Books by Alex De Waal, author and director of Justice Africa. I found this thanks to the Passion Of The Present blog, probably the best source of information on what's going on in the region and the efforts to do something about it. A must read for anyone who wants to keep up with what's going on. While I'm recommending stuff, this article from the Christian Science Monitor is pretty interesting and considers the Bush Administration's motives for getting involved in the situation.

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