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Ameena Jandali, founding member of ING joined a group of clergy at the “Day of Conscience for Darfur” event on Sunday, April 30th, 2006 at Crissy Field in San Francisco, where she read the following statement: Salaam alaikum – Greetings of Peace. Thank you for the invitation to speak today, and the inclusion of the Muslim community in protesting a tragic situation that is sadly, perpetuated by Muslims against fellow Muslims. It is heartening in today’s often self absorbed world to see so many people concerned for the plight of people whose race, religion, nationality, and language is different than their own, but who share only their common humanity, which, in the end, is what really matters. In our increasingly polarized world of have’s an have-nots, rich and poor, First world and Third World, educated and illiterate, it is vital that those who have more go that extra mile for those who have nothing, and become the voice for those who are voiceless.
The Holy Qur’an says: “Whoever saves one human life, it is as if they have saved all of humanity.” Saving a human life, whether young, old, rich or poor, black or white, male or female, is one of the most meritorious acts a person can do. A prophetic saying outlines the steps to right a wrong, or help an oppressed person: “If one sees a wrong, one should try to change it with one’s hand, but if unable, then with one’s tongue, but if unable, then at least be against it in their heart.”
Today, the hearts have taken action, and the tongues are spoken, and we hope that this will be the first step towards ending an brutal conflict that has taken far too many innocent and fragile lives. Let us raise our voices today to push for a solution to this conflict, like the solution that was negotiated in Southern Sudan after fifty years of conflict. Let us urge world leaders, and the African Union to invest in the same sort of international political effort that resulted in Sudan’s north-south peace agreement, signed over a year ago in January, 2005. Let us not repeat the recent mistakes of Bosnia and Rawanda, waiting and watching while innocents were murdered and brutalized before the eyes of the entire world; let us act today to say with one voice, not in our World, not in our Name, enough killing and oppression already.