Muslims Sing for Darfur

To wash away an apathetic image, London-based Muslim international relief and development charities are organizing a concert to raise awareness about the situation in Sudan's troubled Darfur region and raise funds for afflicted people.

Muslims Sing for Darfur

To wash away an apathetic image, London-based Muslim international relief and development charities are organizing a concert to raise awareness about the situation in Sudan's troubled Darfur region and raise funds for afflicted people.

"We have been asked 'why do not British Muslims give Darfur the kind of attention they show for bloodsheds elsewhere?'" Jehager Malik, the UK national fundraising manager of the Islamic Relief (IR) charity, told IslamOnline.net over the phone from London.

The IR, established in Birmingham in 1984 with the stated mission of alleviating suffering, hunger, illiteracy and diseases worldwide regardless of color, race or creed, and Muslim Aid are co-organizing a concert at London's Wembley Stadium on October 21.

The production of the concert will be in partnership with the music label Awakening Entertainment, an event management and artist development company for a cross platform of Islamic musical talents.

The gig of musicians for the concert will be headlined by British singer Sami Yusuf, once touted by Time magazine as "Islam's biggest rock star."

The concert will also feature MTV award winner hip-hop band Outlandish and Egyptian-origin country singer Kareem Salama.

Bollywood's internationally renowned singer Allah Rakha Rahman will also be among the star line-up.

"We are predicting a sell-out," said Malik, expecting 12.000 to 15.000 people to attend the show.

While targeting Muslims, organizers hope members of different communities will attend.

Malik said the event will be the Muslim equivalent of the famous Live 8, a series of worldwide concerts in 2005 to highlight the problem of global poverty.

"It was inspirational to see how many people flocked to attend these shows."

Another source of inspiration, he added, was a rally organized in 2005 in Scotland's Edinburgh by some 150 charities, themed Make Poverty History.

Awareness

The concert will be dedicated to raise awareness of the situation in Darfur, a region the size of France.

There will be an information blitz calling for people to "rise to the challenge of helping Darfur" with messages sent to mosques and imams for Friday sermons.

The concert idea came after a four-member British Muslim delegation visited the troubled region in a trip sponsored by the Foreign Office.

Malik, who was one of the four, said that through their meetings there and back in the UK, the question they faced was why Britain's sizable Muslim minority, estimated about 2 million, seemed apathetic towards Darfur violence.

"People were telling us how can you be unmoved by such ongoing plight while focusing on other conflicts such as in Iraq and Palestine."

The four-and-a-half year Darfur conflict erupted in February 2003 after rebel groups attacked government targets, accusing Khartoum of neglect and discrimination.

At least 200,000 people have been killed and more than two million displaced from their homes by the combined effect of war and famine.

The concert sponsors hope the event will gather crucial aid to the conflict-afflicted Darfuris.

"We plan to channel the revenues to places like the town of al-Genina in West Darfur, along with the camps of internally displaced people," said Malik.

Muslim Aid has been on the ground in Darfur since the beginning of the crisis, providing emergency relief to the hundreds of thousands of displaced people.

It is also involved in creating longer-terms solutions to the problems that these refugees are experiencing.

Muslim Aid has set up a women's skills training center in one of the camps where women are taught to make handicrafts which can then be sold in the local markets.

In the Sakali camp in Nyala, Muslim Aid provides basic healthcare and reproductive health services to 30,000 people.

It has a mobile clinic, which provides a service to those located in more remote parts of Darfur.

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Last Mod: 23 Ağustos 2007, 10:37
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