What George Clooney Doesn’t Get about Islam’s Genocidal War in South Sudan
I don’t mean to belittle George Clooney’s good work on bringing attention to the plight of Africans in South Sudan. Traveling to a region of the world where at any moment a bomb could fall out of the sky and the real possibility of tripping over a live explosive certainly takes guts, but I wonder whether he truly understands the basis of hostilities in South Sudan and elsewhere in East Africa that has claimed millions of lives.
In a Sunday appearance on Meet the Press, Clooney and activist John Prendergast framed the conflict in Sudan as a civil war between the Sudanese government and the breakaway republic of South Sudan.
While this is part of the story, it doesn’t really explain why the Sudanese military is indiscriminately bombing villages and killing all the men, women and children that they can get their hands on. What Clooney doesn’t understand is this isn’t just a conflict between opposing political factions, it is a religious war of extermination perpetrated by Islamists against non-Muslim Africans and Christians.
Genocidal war by Islamists is hardly something new in Sudan. Arab tribes from the north have been raiding the predominantly Christian and animist south for slaves, gold and plunder for millennia. Since the 1980s the Sudanese government, then and now controlled by Islamists, has sponsored Arab Janjaweed militias who have displaced and killed millions. In 1992, pro-government Imams issued a fatwa authorizing "holy jihad” against "non-Muslims” who stand "against the spread of Islam”. In case there was any misunderstanding, the fatwa specifically granted Muslims "the freedom of killing” any Africans and Christians who got in the way. (...)