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På en uke er mer enn hundre muslimske uighurer blitt drept og over tusen har blitt arrestert av kinesiske myndigheter i Xinjiang-provinsen. Men det har ikke kommet så mye som et pip av protest i gatene i Kairo, Karachi eller Teheran. Hvorfor ikke?, spør den canadisk-muslimske forfatteren Tarek Fatah, og svarer selv: Den muslimske verden opererer med en betydelig dobbeltstandard.

Den iranske lederen Ayatollah Khamenei ser ut til å være for opptatt med å fengsle iranske muslimer til å høre skrikene fra Xinjiang, mens den egyptiske religiøse lederen Yusuf al-Qaradawi ignorerer forfølgelsen av uighurene. Når alt kommer til alt, så er jo Kina den arabiske verdens allierte.

Fatah mener at det er verd å merke seg at tusenvis av egyptiske muslimer i Aleksandria likevel protesterte på mandag – men ikke mot den kinesiske regjeringen: Deres raseri var rettet mot Tyskland, hvor en rasist myrdet den egyptiske kvinnen Marwa Sherbini. Hvor var disse demonstrantene i 2005, da egyptisk opprørspoliti stormet gjennom en midlertidig flyktningeleir i Kairo for å rense den for 2.500 muslimer fra Darfur og slo ihjel 28 mennesker, blant dem kvinner og barn. Var disse livene mindre verdt enn livet til Sherbini?

– Vi muslimer må møte den etiske utfordringen. Det er umoralsk av oss å tie stille når muslimers vold mot muslimer finner sted, mens vi bare skriker av våre lungers kraft når det dreier seg om muslimske ofre for ikke-muslimers vold, skriver Fatah.

This is not the first time the so-called ummah has shrugged off the massacre of fellow Muslims. During Kosovo’s war with Serbia, Islamists depicted Kosovar Muslims not as victims, but as American agents. More recently, the genocide of Darfuri Black Muslims at the hands of the Arab janjaweed militia and the Sudanese government has passed unnoticed by the larger Islamic world.

My friend, the Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy explained this phenomenon: «Many Muslims only pay attention when America and Israel behave badly.» If Israel invaded western China, she mused, maybe the rest of the Muslim world would wake up, cry foul and protest.

It is worth noting that on Monday, thousands of Egyptians did come out in Alexandria to protest … but not against the Chinese government. Their anger was directed at Germany, where a racist hate-monger had murdered Marwa Sherbini, an Egyptian woman (a crime that I wrote about in Wednesday’s Post).

The Muslim demonstrators in Alexandria shouted a bizarre chant to express their anger. «There is no god but God, and the Germans are the enemies of God,» they screamed. The chant is a twist on the Muslim oath and declaration of faith, «There is no god, but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God.»

But where were these protesters when, on Dec. 30, 2005, hundreds of Egyptian riot police stormed through a makeshift refugee camp in central Cairo to clear it of 2,500 Darfuri Muslims, beating to death 28 people, among them women and children? Were those lives less valuable than the life of Marwa Sherbini?

Fatah har tidligere skrevet at mordet på Sherbini var «manna fra himmelen» for islamister, og i en kronikk noen dager før, hevdet han at islamistene ville bruke drapet som det «ultimate symbol på Vestens krig mot islam, og i propagandaen om at muslimer er ofre».

Bare timer etter at den aktuelle kronikken var publisert, kunne forfatteren konstatere at han fikk rett: Det groteske drapet i en tysk rettsal blir nå fremholdt som et symbol på Vestens fiendtlighet mot muslimer.

The Canadian Islamic Congress led the charge, accusing the Canadian media of «intentionally» ignoring the news of Sherbini’s murder. Apparently, my commentary about the crime on this newspaper’s Editorial page — not to mention articles on the subject in The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star — wasn’t good enough for CIC president Wahida Valiante, who said that «the Canadian media are still locked into a discriminatory double standard when it comes to news events involving Muslims.»

Ms. Valiante further accused the Canadian media of abdicating its responsibility to inform Canadians of «a growing menace that has plagued Europe for centuries.»

Elsewhere, there were calls for revenge and a boycott of German goods. No one in the Middle East mentioned the fact that the German court had imposed a fine on one of its citizens for uttering racist epithets against a Muslim woman.

We Muslims need to wake up to an ethical challenge. It is immoral for us to stay silent when Muslim-on-Muslim violence takes place, but yell at the top of our lungs when the victims suffer at the hands of non-Muslims. This is a double standard that the Koran prohibits: It urges Muslims to «speak the truth» even if it hurts us.

Marwa Sherbini should not have died, but we know that the German judicial system will come down with the full force of the law on her killer.

Moreover, no one seems to be looking for the murderer of another Muslim girl. Neda Agha-Soltan was shot dead in Tehran by the Iranian government-backed militia. No one protested her death in the Muslim world outside Iran, nor asked for her killer to be brought to justice. Why? Perhaps because her killer was a fellow Muslim.

The question remains:Will Muslims come out to the streets and chant, «There is no god but God and the Iranian government is the enemy of God»?

National Post: Islam’s Double Standard av Tarek Fatah

Tarek Fatah er forfatter av boken «Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State», og arbeider nå på sin andre bok som skal handle om røttene til friksjonene mellom muslimer og jøder. Fatah jobber også som programleder for talkshowet «Strong Opinions» i Toronto.