Africans are very quick to recognise, accept and serve others. All in the name of good-will and promoting humanity. Nowhere on the surface of this earth are others as quick to extend this same level of goodwill to Africans. Idi Amin was a nasty piece of work but many Ugandans agreed with him when he said Asian migrants were occupying too many prominent positions in Uganda’s civil service, taking influential jobs, hoarding wealth and sabotaging the economy. Till this day, there are influential voices in African nationalist Continue reading →
Presented below is the second in a three part comparative digest series in which Nigerian author (from the Pan-African school of thought) Chinweizu discusses African historic relations with Arabs and Europeans, across three strands – ‘Racism’, ‘Enslavement of Blacks’ and ‘Colonialism’. He argues that for almost every key aspect of European racism against Blacks in history, there was an Arab/Islamic counterpart that was just as brutal when it wasn’t worse. The comparative digest is recommended literature in understanding colonial injustices committed against Africans, not from the perspective of a single story, as is so often erroneously the case, but rather told as it should be – taking into account, both European and Arab/Islamic atrocities. The colonial crimes committed by Arabs, against Africans, through Islam, very often go unchecked and unspoken under the guise of political correctness and avoidance of offending religious sentiments. Rather recently, Nigerian Islamists Boko Haram successfully pushed their insurgency into the heart of the nation’s capital, when they killed yet more innocent people in a bomb blast (as has become the weekly norm), all in the name of re-establishing a lost Empire that was in the first place introduced to the Natives through brutal colonialism. What’s worse, this insurgency shows no sign of receding. While local resistance to the ideology behind the political, colonialist and inevitably racist movement shows no sign of improving! South Sudan split ways with Sudan, after having endured a brutal civil war that claimed 2 million lives and displaced more than twice as many. Today, Sudan (the North) having emerged from that war, no longer considers itself an African nation, rather calls itself Arab – just like its Palestinian brothers, Libyans, many Somalis to the East and Egyptians to the North. Never mind that no single Arab people have in all of history, ever given up their identity to assume an indigenous African one. This is the mechanism of Arabisation in Africa – native lands are stripped from indigenous hands and transferred to Arab custody. The Arabisation of Africa began with the introduction of Islam to Africans. It has in the past, and continues till this very day, to legitimise racism, slavery and colonialism in Arab societies, but on the African continent. It does this against African converts to Islam (in Mauritania and Sudan for example) and against the even more impure disbelieving Africans. As Armenian president Sarkisian said recently regarding the Ottoman empire’s cleansing of Armenians: “The denial of a crime constitutes the direct continuation of that very crime. Only recognition and condemnation can prevent the repetition of such crimes in the future”. Of a truth, injustice unspoken is injustice awaiting resurgence! Society is indeed on a slippery slope when religious sentiments are cocooned even at the expense of ensuring dignity of human life.
In the words of Bernard Lewis: “In the horrors of the abduction of Africans from their homes for delivery to Islamic and American purchasers,
there was little to choose, . . . . Nor was there much difference in the dangers and hardships of the journey, until the human merchandise reached its ultimate destination across ocean or desert.” [Lewis Race and Slavery in the Middle East, p. 100]
International Women’s Day began as an initiative to honour working class women. Over a century later, and working class women the world over still face systematic marginalization. Although women perform 66% of the world’s labour, they receive only 11% of the world’s income and own just 1% of the world’s land. However the sheer magnitude of marginalization, it is a marginalization that is more prevalent in some regions of the world than in others. Far too frequently, the feminist struggles of working class women in developing regions of the world go unacknowledged. Working class women in Sub-Saharan Africa for instance, continue day after day with their marginalised realities neither recognised nor honoured. How? Firstly, women in post-conflict West Africa continue to suffer violence at alarming levels and with shocking frequency. Conflicts posed by political instability and ideological disputes are prevalent in developing regions, with Sub-Saharan Africa having its fair share. As a result, Sub-Saharan Africa’s women struggle with a myriad of critical needs ranging from achieving total independence as adults, to overcoming harrowing security struggles. To recall the words of English writer and political activist George Monbiot, “If wealth was the inevitableresult of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire“. The question is not whether these women are deserving of their full rights as humans, but whether the forces that work against women’s empowerment are willing to let them enjoy their full rights as humans. Women from Sub-Saharan Africa have been relegated to the back of global women’s socio-eco-political bus.
To say the Islamist is the Islamic adherent’s worst enemy may sound conspiratorial but it is both historically and theologically factual.
Multiple reliable historical evidence record that the spread of Islam out from the harsh temperates of Arabia into the Indian Subcontinent, to the domains of China, through Eastern and North Africa, into Europe all the way to the heartland of France; was a most overhauling, violent and uncompromising imperialist undertaking. Some of the Natives in these regions initially welcomed the intervention of Islamic rule, where they themselves were being oppressed by the tyranny of their own governments (for example in Spain). A vast many of Natives however vehemently resisted Islamic conquest. In North Africa for example, the Berbers were a thorn in the flesh of Islamic imperialists in Africa. They forced the Muslim Arabs to withdraw several times from the Maghreb. In putting up a most staunch resistance to Islamic creed, Ibn Khaldun recorded that the Berbers apostatised twelve times before Islamic rule could decisively be imposed on them. It is needless to assert the obvious that through the course of this conquest, Islamic ideology was instrumental to seditiously disarming Native institutions and weakening local ethnic ties among Berbers. Islamic imperialism was so thorough there that today, an overwhelming majority of Berbers no longer identify with their despised Native ancestral lineage nor do they consider themselves Berbers. The loyalty of majority Berbers are today invested in the Arabian Heartlands. The Berbers, now Arabian cultural slaves, are today called Arabs. Could this colonist outcome have been any different considering that it was the Arabs who were the first cultural ambassadors of Islam? Can Islamisation result in any other outcome but Arabisation?
Below is an article that proffers a definition of what Secularism is and differentiates it from what it isn’t. Secularism is often touted as a space purely for Atheistic congregation, but Secularism, in truth, does not merely mean freedom from religion. Secularism is both freedom from religion and freedom of religion. Secularism is important in any civilisation because it creates a space for both the religious and irreligious to relate in a common language that both understand. This space does not inevitably culminate in persecution – as the theocratic space does – just because one does not speak in the same tongue as another’s deity. While Secularism is respectful of pluralism, a Theocracy sees the world only through the authority and the lens of a chosen deity.
The piece below was written by a Nigerian Author Ify Otuya. It was reblogged from http://www.werunthings.net/secularism-101-what-is-secularism/