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 invadeand 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 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-Baqiral-Afif Mukhtar, gives an insight into the melanophobia and negrophobia that Arab culture has reeked of since before the time of prophet, 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 andthey are physically and morally abnormal. Their brains almost boil from the sun’s heat.”
Ibn al-Faqih al-Hamadhani follows the same line ofreasoning. 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 MisbahaI-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 seekto 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 smalleyes, and Shem begat everyone who is handsome of face(Arabs of course) with beautiful hair. Noah prayedthat 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 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.
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 ofracial 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 ofHam also made darkskinned people synonymous withservitude 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 tomean “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’scall for lebensraum.In 2001, the Libyan leader, Gadhafi, under the cover of advancing the Nkrumahist Pan- African project ofAfrican 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 itand posted it on its website, I wonder how manyAfrican 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. Thisis 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, theyhave taken over all of North Africa, and most of th eNile 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 andthe Nile Valley, i.e. more than one-third of theAfrican landmass, and they are still grabbing more and moving tenaciously to conquer the rest..............................
To be continued
*Paper presented at the Global Pan-African Reparations and Repatriation Conference (GPARRC) on 25 July, 2006, at the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra.
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