One of the illusions that Europeans and Arabs alike have successfully perpetrated for over a century, is that the northern part of Africa is not apart of the African continent. I have had discussions and arguments with so-called “highly educated people”… those with more than one grouping of letters behind their names, who are not aware that Egypt for example is in Africa. This includes Black People! This propaganda is so deep-rooted that Egypt is seen to be in the Middle East, while the countries to it’s west, namely Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and The Western Sahara, are termed The Maghreb.
When one studies the history of the region and the Arab/Muslim conquest and migration into the northern, as well as parts of east Africa, the fact is that Arab aggression, oppression, exploitation and depopulation of black Africans and their resources occurred long before the Christian Europeans arrived. Even today, chattel slavery of black Africans by brown and white Arabs is still practised in countries such as Niger, Sudan and Mauritania.
It’s no wonder then that the so-called “Jasmine Revolutions” sweeping across the Muslim states of north Africa, which in reality are African revolutions to free the people from decades of state oppression and exploitation, does not include those Africans with black skin. It brings to mind the French and American Revolutions for freedom from the state oppression at the time, both of which did not include freeing those with black skin. History once again repeating itself.
The fact is that in Libya, black migrant workers, as well as black Libyans, are victims of thefts, beatings, imprisonment and lynchings by their “light-skinned” African brothers. Read this disturbing article in the New York Times, one of many I’ve read on this subject in the past couple months.
Black people in North America are quick to sympathize (
be used) and take to the streets, to protest against the oppression of (brown) Palestinians by the (white)Israelis, or demonstrate against (white) American aggression in (brown) Iraq and Afghanistan. However I hear no condemnations from our “brown” brothers and sisters, nor do I see our “brown” comrades in arms here… nor anywhere in the world for that matter… take to the streets against the oppression and murder of black Africans, by their own kind. I have always stated that I would rather be the victim of American rather than Arab or Persian imperialism. In an Arab/Muslim dominated world, I would most certainly be considered and treated as an “abeed”… a slave… simply because of my black skin, regardless if I was a Muslim.
An Arabic proverb (warning): “Me against my brother; my brother and me against my cousin; Me, my brother, and my cousin against the stranger”.