Letter rebutting series on Sudan speaks for itself

July 07, 1996|By GREGORY KANE

The letter, written in response to the Sudan series, tells more about the writer than anything I could say, so here it is:

"The Baltimore Sun has published a series of articles to create the impression that slavery is rife in Sudan. The series was followed by Johns Hopkins radio WJHU's interview with the two who visited Sudan. The Sun is now publicizing moves by NAACP leader Kweisi Mfume urging the U.S. to intervene in the Sudan. But look at the following facts which none can deny

"The Sun is a Zionist Jewish daily which has a track record of opposition to and condemnation of all Islamic, African and Arab nations which show any semblance of independence in foreign policy. The Sun's support for genocide of Islamic groups in Egypt and Palestine is well-known.

" The Sun's staffers carried out their exploit in an area of Southern Sudan controlled by the SPLA led by the brutal killer Col. [John] Garang

" The two men were heavily funded. As they stated on WJHU radio, they had $10,000 in cash. In a poverty-stricken, war-ravaged area of the world, that kind of cash in dollars can buy any story and can lead to any kind of 'photos' the journalist wishes to take.

" WJHU's talk show host, Mark Steiner, is a well-known Jew who plays 'divide-and-rule' in the African-American community. He has shown a distinct desire to discredit Minister [Louis] Farrakhan. He and The Sun cherish uncle toms like Gregory Kane whose main task is to divide the community and to discredit any strong Black leadership which might emerge.

" Most people don't realize that Kweisi Mfume was brought in to prop up the NAACP after the Million Man March put the African-American nation outside the control of the Jewish power structure. Mfume has consistently voted in favor of Jewish interests . . .

"WHAT THE ZIONIST JEWS DID NOT REPORT: (Lying by omission is their forte.)

"In intertribal conflict, there can be mutual hostage taking. These are not 'slaves' but victims of war who are exchanged whenever opportunity offers.

"Even tom Gregory Kane could not come up with any real proof of slavery. The two young boys were not under Islamic control when they were supposedly 'bought' and freed. The supposedly Arab middle man was not punished by the SPLA [Sudanese People's Liberation Army] for being involved in slavery . . .

"During the WJHU program, claims were made that the Arab militias raid villages to take slaves. The two staffers did not see any such raids and uncritically took the SPLA's word for it. (Remember! the killer gang known as the SPLA was host to the two and played along in every way.)"

Methinks I detect more than a smidgen of Jew-baiting in this missive, written by Kaukab Siddique of Jamaat al-Muslimeen International. Notice how Steiner is referred to as "a Jew," in a tone that implies being Jewish is some kind of crime. As I said, it speaks for itself. Regular readers of this column will, I'm sure, draw their own conclusions. (Which will probably be the same as mine: that this letter is a shrill, piercing, plaintive, pitiful wail emanating from the nether regions of the lunatic fringe.) But a few responses are in order.

1. Siddique doesn't know a fact from his own opinions, which are tainted with anti-Semitism -- the anti-Jewish variety, since I'm sure he'll claim Arabs are also Semitic.

2. In a later part of the letter, Siddique claims "the governor of southern Juba province is a Christian woman." Actually, Juba is not a province. It's a town in the province of Equatoria (the other two southern provinces are Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile) that was the capital of southern Sudan when the region was granted autonomy in 1973. The Khartoum government revoked autonomy 1983 and imposed Shariah -- Islamic law. (In the United States, we would call that a double-cross.) So much for lying by omission.

3. Siddique slyly implies that Gil Lewthwaite and I paid the Kuot boys and other escaped slaves to tell us what we wanted to hear. The fact is they received not one dime. And no amount of money can buy the sheer rage in the eyes of Akok Deng Kuot, although I'm sure Siddique thinks it can.

4. There was no "exchange of hostages." Twelve boys were sold to an Arab trader, who then sold 10 of them to the Dinkas and two to us for their freedom. Siddique can employ the euphemism hostage" all he likes, but I think critical readers know what a hostage becomes when he or she is put to work without pay.

5. Using Siddique's logic, Arab militia raids are a fiction because Lewthwaite and I didn't see any. We did see tukuls and villages burned as a result of those raids, and a man from the village of Chelkou who had his lower face blown off in a raid on his village. But let's take Siddique's logic to its ultimate conclusion. Unless he's seen John Garang or SPLA guerrillas kill anyone, such killing must not have happened.

6. Siddique charges the "real object" of our series is the "destruction of Islamic Sudan." Actually, Islamic Sudan includes Muslim opposition groups in northern Sudan that seek to overthrow the fundamentalist Islamic regime of Khartoum. It includes Muslims in the Nuba Mountains, who are fighting for a democratic, secular state and the abolition of Shariah law.

One of them is Yousif Kuwa Makki, an SPLA commander from the Nuba Mountains. He opposes the Khartoum government because it is an Islamic fundamentalist regime.

"This is a government that thinks what it is doing is blessed by God," Makki charged. "[The West] should know what fundamentalist [Islam] is. It is not only a danger to the Sudan. [Fundamentalists] believe there is a message to be sent and they are the only ones who can send it. They think they should rule the world, and the time is ripe now after the fall of communism."

Gregory P. Kane's column appears on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Pub Date: 7/07/96

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