Why black Africa should resist Arab domination of AU By Chinweizu
Part I: The Arab Quest for Lebensraum in Africa“
The third of the Arab community living outside Africa should move in with the two-thirds on the continent and join the African Union “which is the only space we have’ — Col. Mouammar Gadhafi of Libya, at the Arab League, 2001
Many AfriKans take great exception to the sentiments and views expressed by Col. Gadhafi at the March 2001, Amman, Jordan meeting of the Arab League. –Prof. Kwesi Kwa Prah, 2004, in a paper to the AU [both quotes in Bankie and Mchombu eds, 2006:217, 235] Besides joining Prof. Prah and the other Afrikans who take exception to Gadhafi’s statement, I should like to point out that Gadhafi’s invitation to his fellow Arabs is nothing but a declaration of race war on Africa. It is an invitation to more Arabs to invade and colonize Africa. Indeed, it is a call for the final phase of the 15 centuries old Arab lebensraum war on Afrikans - a war to Islamise and conquer all of Africa, from Cairo to the Cape and from Senegal to Somalia, and to then enslave or Arabise all the conquered Afrikans. In order to make that clear, it is necessary to first put his invitation in the context of the traditions of Arab melanophobia and negrophobia, and of Arab expansionist ambitions and conquests that go back to the time of their Arab prophet, Mohammed.
Melanophobia and Negrophobia in Arab culture:
The following excerpt from The Crisis of Identity in Northern Sudan: A Dilemma of a Black people with a White Culture, by Al-Baqir al-Afif Mukhtar, gives an insight into the melanophobia and negrophobia that Arab culture has reeked of since before the time of Mohammed: “The contempt towards . . . the dark skinned is expressed in a thousand ways in the documents, literature and art that have come down to us from the Islamic Middle Ages.
. . . This literature, and especially popular literature, depicts (the black man) in the form of hostile stereotypes - as a demon in fairy tales, as a savage in the stories of travel and adventure, or commonly as a lazy, stupid, evil-smelling and lecherous slave. . . . Ibn Khaldun sees the blacks as “characterized by levity and excitability and great emotionalism” and [says] that “they are everywhere described as stupid” . . . al-Dimashqi had the following to say: “The Equator is inhabited by communities of blacks who may be numbered among the savage beasts. Their complexion and hair are burnt and they are physically and morally abnormal. Their brains almost boil from the sun’s heat.”
Ibn al-Faqih al-Hamadhani follows the same line of reasoning. To him . . . the zanj . . .are “overdone until they are burned so that the child comes out between black, murky, malodorous, stinking, and crinkly- haired, with uneven limbs, deficient minds, and depraved passions. . .”
Arab-Muslim doctrines on Black enslavement:
The following excerpt [from Blasphemy Before God: The Darkness of Racism In Muslim Culture by Adam Misbah aI-Haqq, shows how and why Arabs incurably believe in enslaving blacks: “Classic Muslim thought maintained that blacks became legitimate slaves by virtue of the colour of their skin.
The justification of the early Muslim equation of blackness with servitude was found in the Genesis story so popularly called “the curse of Ham,” in reference to one of Noah’s sons . . . .In the Arab- Muslim version, blacks are cursed to be slaves and menials, Arabs are blessed to be prophets and nobles, while Turks and Slavs are destined to be kings and tyrants. . . . The famous Al-Tabari, for example, cites no less than six Prophetic traditions which seek to support this story. One tradition reads: Ham begat all those who are black and curly- haired, while Japheth begat those who are full faced with small eyes, and Shem begat everyone who is handsome of face (Arabs of course) with beautiful hair. Noah prayed that the hair of Ham’s descendants would not grow past their ears, and wherever his descendants met the children of Shem, the latter would enslave them.
Ahmad Ibn Hanbal reported a saying attributed to the Prophet which in effect states that God created the white race (dhurriyyah bayd) from the right shoulder of Adam and created the black race (dhurriyyah sawd) from Adam’s left shoulder. Those of Adam’s right shoulder would enter Paradise and those of the left, Perdition. Other equally racist sayings have been attributed to the Prophet in the traditions.
Contradicting this spirit, there are the sayings of the Prophet which equate the value of a person to his God-consciousness (taqwa), and to their piety without any regard to the tribal or ethnocentric concerns of a racist purport. Such [egalitarian] reports [were overshadowed by] the more deeply rooted tradition of racial bigotry . . . [emphasized by] Muslim geographers and travellers who ventured into Africa. . . . Al-Maqdisi wrote, “ . . . As for the Zanji, they are people of black colour, flat noses, kinky hair, and little understanding or intelligence.” . . . Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406CE) added that blacks are “only humans who are closer to dumb animals than to rational beings.” . . . Even such luminaries as Ibn Sina considered blacks to be “people who are by their very nature slaves.” .
. . The creation or resurgence of the mythology of Ham also made darkskinned people synonymous with servitude in light-skinned Muslim thinking.
This went so far that eventually, the term abd (slave), went through a semantic development and came to specifically refer to “black slave” while lightskinned slaves were referred to as mamluks. And further on in later usage, the Arabic word came to mean “black man” of whatever status. . . .”
We can now see why, when an Arab sees anyone with black skin, all he notices is a dumb animal that he is licensed and even obliged by his religion to capture and enslave. With that background on the Arab tradition of enslaving and holding blacks in profound contempt, let us now examine the meaning of Gadhafi’s call for lebensraum.
In 2001, the Libyan leader, Gadhafi, under the cover of advancing the Nkrumahist Pan- African project of African Unity, was concluding his sub-imperial assignment to round up the African states into his Arab-dominated AU for easier muzzling and control by global imperialism. At an Arab League meeting in Amman, Jordan, Gadhafi exposed another hidden agenda of his AU project when he observed that 2/3 of the world’s [approximately 250million] Arabs now live in Africa, and he invited the rest to move into Africa and join them.
Though the Pan-African News Agency (PANA) reported it and posted it on its website, I wonder how many African leaders took note of Gadhafi’s invitation and saw the danger it poses for Africa. What Afrikans (i.e. the indigenous peoples of Africa) should particularly note is his reason for the invitation, namely, that Africa is the only space Arabs have. This is so reminiscent of the Nazi project of seizing living space, lebensraum, for the Germans from their neighbours in Eastern Europe that any sensible Afrikan must understand it as a threat to all Afrikans.
More importantly, it spells out, for all but the willfully and suicidally deaf to hear, the grand geopolitical purpose behind Arab policy and action in Africa in the last 50 years. But first, we need to put Gadhafi’s invitation in the context that allows us to appreciate the full danger to Afrikans from this enduring Arab ambition for lebensraum. Since the death of their prophet, Mohammed, Arabs have been relentlessly seizing lebensraum – living space—in Africa. Since their conquest of Egypt in 642, they have taken over all of North Africa, and most of the Nile valley and some of their tribes have even infiltrated as far west from the Nile as Lake Chad. Arabs have, by now, occupied supra-Sahara Africa and the Nile Valley, i.e. more than one-third of the African landmass, and they are still grabbing more and moving tenaciously to conquer the rest.
Arab expansionism in Africa, 640-1900
I wonder how many Afrikans today wonder how it came about that Arabs, whose homeland is the Arabian Peninsula, came to occupy all of supra-Sahara Africa, from the Sinai peninsula across to Morocco’s Atlantic coast. And what they did to the Black Egyptians, Black Berbers and other blacks who were the aborigines of all that expanse of land? Similarly, Afrikans need to inquire into why and how an Arab minority has ruled Sudan since 1956? And how did it come about that we hear of Arab tribes in Darfur, Chad and even in Nigeria’s Bornu State? Until 640 AD, there were no Arab settlers of any kind in all those places. But in that year, hungry Arab hordes desperate for plunder and greener pastures charged out of Arabia, flying the flag of their new religion, Islam, and conquered Egypt by 642. Egypt thereafter became their base for invading and seizing lebensraum all the way west to Morocco and Mauritania, and southward up the Nile.
In the first phase of conquest, an Arab raiding army reached Tangier on the Atlantic in 682. Then in the 11th Century, the Fatimids who were then ruling in Egypt, unleashed Bedouin Arab tribes, such as the Beni Hilal and Beni Sulaim, into the Maghreb. These Bedouin tribes overran as far west as Morocco in the 12th and 13th centuries, and brought about the Arabisation of the indigenous Berber population of the Maghreb whom they swamped.
They reached northern Mauritania by the 14th Century. Also in the 14th Century, Guhayna Arab tribes, edged out of Egypt, infiltrated up the Nile into Sudan. In 1820, Mohammed Ali Pasha sent an expedition from Egypt that conquered Northern Sudan by 1841. In 1869, Ismail Pasha attempted to annex the region from Juba/Gondokoro to Lake Victoria, a region that would become Uganda and Sudan’s Equatoria Province. He failed, but the British who ruled from 1899 to 1956 later incorporated Equatoria into the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. In 1874, the Jellaba-Arab slave raider, Zubair Pasha conquered Dar Fur for the Egyptians. Also in the 19th Century, Awlad Sulaiman Arabs migrated, in the 1840s, from the Fezzan in Libya into the Lake Chad area, and Shuwa Arabs in search of pasturelands moved, in the 1810s, from Chad into the Bornu area of what became Nigeria.
From the late 19th Century until the 1950s, Arab expansionism in Africa was stopped in its tracks by the European powers who conquered and partitioned Africa among themselves. Only with the retreat of European political rule did opportunity arise for Arab expansionism to resume its march. And it promptly did.
Arab expansionism in Africa since 1956, i.e. in the era of continentalist Pan-Africanism. Continentalist Pan-Africanism was launched in 1958 at the Accra Conference of Independent African States (CIAS). It has been the dominant tendency within Pan-Africanism ever since, and it has given birth to the Arab-dominated OAU/AU. As some observers have pointed out, the Arab League, established in 1945, is the institutional organ for realizing the Arab aspirations for unity and imperial resurgence through “an Arab-Islamic empire across Africa into the Middle East.” Under its aegis, Arab nationalism resumed its expansion in Africa when, on attaining independence in 1956, the Jellaba-Arab minority government of Sudan defined Sudan as an Arab country and set out to enforce that definition on Sudan’s African majority.
Islamisation and Arabisation of Black Africa: the pilot project in Sudan:
It has been noted by Opoku Agyeman that Pan-Arabism, in its so-called ‘civilizing mission’ perceives Africa as a ‘cultural vacuum’ waiting to be filled by Arab culture “by all conceivable means” [Agyeman, 1994:30] including Islamisation, and the settlement of Arab populations on lands forcibly seized from Africans. The assumptions, objectives and methods of this project may be illustrated from the statements of its principal implementers in Sudan: “You are aware that the end of all our efforts and this expense is to procure Negroes. Please show zeal in carrying out our wishes in this capital matter.” –Muhammad Ali Pasha, Ruler of Egypt, 1825, in a letter to one of his generals in Sudan, quoted in [Nyaba, 2002:36]
In his 1955 book on the orbital scheme [the three circles at whose center he envisioned Egypt to be], President Nasser characterized Africa as “the remotest depths of the jungle,” and as merely a candidate for Egypt’s “spread of enlightenment and civilization” via Islamisation-Arabisation.
-Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Egypt, 1955, quoted in [Agyeman,1994:34].
“Sudan is geographically in Africa but is Arab in its aspirations and destiny. We consider ourselves the Arab spearhead in Africa, linking the Arab world to the African continent.” -Sudanese Prime Minister, Mahgoub, 1968, quoted in [Agyeman, 1994:38]. Sudan “is the basis of the Arab thrust into the heart of Black Africa, the Arab civilizing mission.” - President Nimeiry of Sudan, 1969, quoted in [Agyeman, 1994:39] “We want to Islamise America and Arabise Africa” – Dr. Hassan El-Turabi, chief ideologue of Jellaba-Arab minority rule in Sudan, 1999, quoted in [Nyaba, 2002:27]. “The south [Sudan] will remain an inseparable part of the land of Islam, God willing, even if the war continued for decades.” -Osama bin Laden, April 2006, [from an edited translation of an audiotape attributed to al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, parts of which were aired by Aljazeera on April 23, 2006]
This thrusting of Arab spears into the body and soul of Black Africa through deAfrikanisation campaigns of Islamisation-Arabisation was, of course, not confined to Sudan, but has been done wherever Arabs spotted an opportunity to exploit Afrikan weakness, such as Mauritania, Chad, Somalia, Eritrea, Uganda. In the past 40 years, Libya’s Gadhafi has been particularly active in sponsoring chaos, anarchy and civil wars in Chad, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire etc., and in trying to Islamise Uganda, Rwanda, the CAR etc. For example, in a live broadcast on Rwanda Radio on 17 May, 1985, Gadhafi said: “First, you must stick to your Islamic religion and insist that your children are taught the Islamic religion and you teach the Arabic language because without the Arabic language, we could not understand Islam. . . You must teach that Islam is the religion of Africa. . . You must raise your voice high and declare that Allah is great because Africa must be the refugee camps in neighbouring Chad. . . . Muslim. . . We must wage a holy war so that Islam may spread in Africa. –quoted in [Bankie and Mchombu, 2006:239-240]. Why do Gadhafi and other Arabisers sponsor Islamisation? Steve Biko pointed out the fundamental reason why imperialists make a point of converting their victims to their Christian religion when he said: It has always been the pattern throughout history that whosoever brings the new order knows it best and is therefore the perpetual teacher of those to whom the new order is being brought. If the white missionaries were “right” about their God in the eyes of the people, then the African people could only accept whatever these new know-all tutors had to say about life.
The acceptance of the colonialist-tainted version of Christianity marked the turning point in the resistance of African people. [Biko, 1987:56]. Steve Biko’s observation helps explain why Arab hegemonists like Gadhafi insist on Islamising their intended victims. Since the death of their prophet, Mohammed, Islam has been the religious cloak and entry-dagger of Arab imperialism. Islamisation is used as a prelude to the project of Arabisation.
Among the targeted victims, Islam privileges the Arabic language and culture. Arab names and customs are made obligatory, and the anathema on Jahiliya discourages remembrance of the pre-Islamic, non-Arab culture of an Islamised people. It should be noted that the core Islamic countries that stretch contiguously from the Maghreb to Pakistan are fragments of the empire that Arabs conquered and ruled from 632-1517 when the Turks, under Selim the Grim, conquered Egypt and Syria and extinguished the Arab Abbasid Caliphate. Thus, the core lands of Dar-al-Islam today are a continuation of the Arab Empire. Just as the Commonwealth is the euphemistic PR name for the enduring British Empire, so too Dar-al-Islam is the euphemistic PR name for the enduring Arab Empire. In fact, Dar-al-Islam is simply the Arab empire in religious camouflage, and the Umma are the Arab citizens/masters and the non-Arab subjects of the enduring Arab Empire.
Gadhafi and the Arab lebensraum project in the 21st Century in furtherance of his lebensraum project, in May 2003, proposed a tripartite union of Libya, Sudan and Egypt, a move reminiscent of Hitler’s Anschluss project that annexed, in 1938, Austria as well as Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland. To appreciate the menace in Gadhafi’s invitation, Afrikans would do well to consider Hitler’s drive for lebensraum and how it was stopped.
Just as Gadhafi wants to enlarge Arabia inside Africa, Hitler wanted to enlarge Germany within Europe by the acquisition of a territory for settlement, which will enhance the area of the mother country, and hence not only keep the new settlers in the most intimate community with the land of their origin, but secure for the total area those advantages which lie in its unified magnitude. [Hitler, 1971: 653] Hitler looked east for Germany’s expansion in Europe. In Nazi ideology, Lebensraum meant the expansion of Germany eastward to conquer lands for Germans to settle and peoples for Germans to enslave. According to Hitler, the ideal war was one of conquest, extermination, and subjugation; the ideal area in which to conduct such a war was in the east, where the German people would win for itself the lebensraum.
The Nazi theory of Lebensraum became Germany’s foreign policy during the Third Reich. A key element in Hitler’s plan for lebensraum was the idea of military expansion and the forced expulsion of the nations of Poland, Ukraine, Russia etc. and their replacement with German settlers. The Lebensraum ideology was a major factor in Hitler’s launching of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941. As the German armies moved eastward, the Nazis began to turn large areas of Soviet territory into German settlement areas. The biggest obstacle to implementing the Lebensraum further was the fact that by the end of 1942, the Sixth Army was defeated in Stalingrad. After the second big defeat in the tank battle at Kursk during July 1943 and the Allied landings in Sicily, all further Lebensraum plans came to a halt.
USA, Australia, Russia — case studies of lebensraum.
Faced, from the 16th Century, with European invaders seeking lebensraum, the Native Americans in what became the USA, failed to muster the necessary will and forces to defeat and drive the invaders away; as a result, these indigenous peoples were exterminated and lost their continent by the late 19th Century. Bands of their remnants were herded into reservations and left to slowly die out. Similarly in the 19th Century, the Australian aborigines failed to muster the necessary will and forces to defeat and drive away the invaders from Europe. They too were exterminated. In contrast, the Russians in the 20th Century, under Stalin, mustered the necessary will and forces, defeated Hitler’s armies and chased them back all the way to Berlin and obliged Hitler to commit suicide.
As these contrasting examples make clear, seekers of lebensraum can only be stopped by decisively defeating and driving them away. How did the Russians manage to do that? First of all, their leaders took quite seriously the Nazi talk of seeking lebensraum in Eastern Europe, and prepared for war. In February 1931, Stalin predicted and warned his people: ‘We are 50 or 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this lag in 10 years. Either we do it or they crush us.’ And he drove his people with the proverbial whip and scorpion, and forced them to industrialize at a desperate pace. And Russia industrialized in 10 years flat! Which was just in time to be ready when Hitler unleashed his armies on Russia in June 1941. And by 1943, Hitler’s lebensraum project lay in ruins as his mighty armies had been defeated by Stalin’s armies. It took another two years of hard fighting for the Russians to drive Hitler’s armies all the way back to Berlin. Had they not done so, there would be no Russia or Poland or Ukraine etc today. All the land from Berlin to the Urals would have been taken over and settled by Germans. And any Russians not exterminated would have been enslaved as Hitler intended.
If Afrikans want to escape at Arab hands the type of fate that Hitler planned for the Russians, we need to learn from Stalin’s example. We need to build a megastate and industrialize it at breakneck speed into a modern power. And we need to defeat the Arabs and drive them back across the Sahara.
The first step is to expel all Arab League countries from the AU, or better yet, to destroy this enemy-controlled AU and organize a Black World League of States to serve as the collective security outfit exclusively for the Blacks of the World. The second step is to militarily discourage any further Arab expansion into sub-Sahara Africa. We must firmly bear in mind that lebensraum ambitions are effected by military action, as in Sudan’s war on the SPLM, and its use of Janjawid militias in Darfur and Chad. And we must also firmly bear in mind that such ambitions are destroyed only by military action. To think of any other way is suicidal foolishness. So Gadhafi’s ambition must be finally defeated militarily by Afrikan power, and the sooner the better for Afrikans.
Why black Africa should resist Arab domination of AU By Chinweizu