The story of Sudan is one of pain, poverty and suffering. Violence is deeply embedded in daily life. The Darfur region has, tragically, been home to cycles of violence and forced displacement. Which ethical principles can we lean on to make sense of this?
The Khawatir Movement strives towards a world where equal value is placed on one another. Part of this vision entails adhering to a doctrine of absolute purity. Contemplation and sincerity are intrinsic to this doctrine. Like branches hanging from the tree of purity, these two important ideas should be looked at side by side.
First, we turn to contemplation. Making sense of complex conflicts relies on reflection and deep thought. Think, for a moment, about the idea that the government have targeted over thirty villages with chemical weapons. This is only part of the larger picture. Omar al-Bashir has led a highly corrupt and violent government regime. 3.2 million people have been displaced since the government-led genocide in 2003 when Bashir ordered militias on horseback to burn villages to the ground. It is estimated that 400,000 people have fallen at hands of their own government.
Second, any meaningful contemplation about a better tomorrow is tied to sincerity. Truth and honesty are central to this. This means trying to uncover the truths about the treatment of the Darfurians. As it stands, a deep, multi-faceted humanitarian crisis is continuing to unfold. One dimension to this crisis is the $100m worth of arms purchased from China being used against civilians. This is an important truth that is often obscured from our understanding of Darfur. We should think honestly about these hard truths if there is to be reconciliation and peace. If we do, there are glimmers of hope in the dark clouds that have haunted Darfur’s skies for so long.