Darfur Petition

I know. Probably thinking jeez not another internet petition. But I don’t have enough money for some mercenaries So We gotta start somewhere. And you don’t have to be muslim to sign. I have been told that EVERY conceivable angle will be worked to get this to SOME BODY [UN, Media, diplomats/ambassadors etc.] who can do something.


On December 21, 2006, TVO’s Steven Paikin interviewed Michael Petrou, senior writer at Maclean’s magazine and author of “Genocide in Slow Motion” on the conflict in Darfur and how it is spreading to Chad. Paikin asked, since the conflict is between Arab Muslims and African Muslims, what, if any, assistance had come from the Muslim world to help the situation in Darfur?

Petrou answered that although help was minimal from anywhere, the West was feeding the refugees, while the only help offered by Muslims was a huge, multi-story mosque paid for by Saudi Arabia in the middle of the poverty-stricken capital of Chad, Anjamina.

In response to this, I have written a petition asking that Muslim countries do more to help with Muslim-against-Muslim conflicts. Muslims seem quick to protest foreign injustices, perceived or real, but when our fellow Muslims are fighting amongst each other, we say nothing. I want to help change that.  Will you join me and Irshad in supporting the petition below?


Dear friends and fellow ijtihadists,

Salaams and happy new year.  This is my first official message on behalf of Project Ijtihad.  You’re on PI’s mailing list because you’ve shown a keen interest in promoting independent thinking - whether by signing my petition against death threats or engaging when we met at an event or writing to me with questions and comments. (I’ve not forgotten those to whom I still owe answers.  Trying to catch up in between work-related travels and deadlines!)

Most of you are Muslims; others are directly connected to Muslims (spouses or siblings, for example).  We’re all committed to vibrant discussion and debate about Islam, as well as the range of issues that affect its practice.  In that spirit, Project Ijtihad will soon embark on its next phase - a website that should eventually serve as a locus for some of the most energetic conversations about Islam today.  You’ll soon receive an invitation to contribute your ideas and talents.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I’m writing to you with an urgent request: the genocide in Darfur begs for attention. Recently, a young Muslim man named Mehdi Rafai asked me to use my website to feature his petition calling on Muslims to speak up.  I’ve now posted the link front and center on my homepage.  Please visit, read Mehdi’s compelling plea, and sign:

Yes, we all know that signatures alone won’t alleviate the crisis.  But because so much of this is about Muslim-on-Muslim violence, our signatures as people connected to Islam carry great weight.  And if you send me your ideas for who should receive the signed petition - the head of the Arab League? Ambassadors at NATO? Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the US Congress? Ex-prez Bill Clinton? All the above? - then I’ll work every connection I have (and you might have) to ensure they get it.  Ultimately, decision-makers need to “get it” that reform-minded Muslims exist—and care.
For those who seek more knowledge, I’ve also posted a brief about Sudan, written by the dynamic founder of Ijtihad Boston, Raquel Evita Saraswati.  (She wrote it from the perspective of a U.S. diplomat who’s considering foreign policy options.) Thanks for sharing it with us, Raquel!

Finally, for those with websites, blogs and mailing lists of your own, please circulate Mehdi’s petition as widely as you can.

As always, I welcome your feedback.

With love and respect,

PS: If you don’t wish to be on Project Ijtihad’s mailing list, let me know. If you choose to stay on, rest assured that you will *not* be bombarded with emails.

Posted by cricket on 01/11 at 10:21 PM in Blogging

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