Muslim stars sing to help Darfur

Muslim stars sing to help Darfur

Thousands of people attended a charity concert in London to raise money for       war-torn Darfur.

The event on Sunday at Wembley Arena was to highlight the crisis in the Sudanese region and featured some of the Muslim world”s biggest stars.

Among them was Sami Yusuf – dubbed the Islamic Bono – and Texan country and western singer Kareem Salama.

The director of Islamic Relief said British Muslims must unite and “raise their voices” over the issue of Darfur.

Jehangir Malik said the event – organised by Islamic Relief – was inspired by the Live Aid and Live 8 concerts which drew global attention to famine and poverty in Africa.

“We felt this was an important event to put on for the British Muslim community to be able to raise their voices and stand in solidarity and stand together with Britain to say, “Look, we need to do something about Darfur”.”
Mr Malik said British Muslims had already raised £2m for Darfur.

“This is a thorny issue for us and it is clear that we have to do more.”

The concert was timed to coincide with the end of Ramadan and the celebrations associated with Eid.

“Attack on justice”

Two-thirds of Darfur”s population of six million depend on humanitarian aid to survive.

More than two million have been forced to flee their homes in the Sudanese region since fighting broke out in 2003 between rebels and government forces.

It is hoped £2m will be raised by the concert to help those displaced.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has lent his support, recording a video message screened at the event.

In it he said the concert proves “how deeply people from communities all over Britain care about the people of Darfur and their plight”.

“An injustice anywhere is an attack on justice everywhere and so we will continue working together with all of you to bring this suffering to an end,” Mr Brown added.

“Thorny issue”

Mr Yusuf, whose last album sold four million copies, was part of a Foreign Office-backed Muslim delegation which has travelled to Darfur to talk to refugees, tribal leaders and government officials.

The singer has urged fellow Muslims to confront the genocide in the region.

He told BBC News 24: “We want to raise awareness among British Muslims and the British public – everyone. Everyone needs to know about what”s really happening in Darfur.

“[And we want] to empower British Muslims into actually doing something and channelling their energy and efforts into something.”