Belkacem Lounes

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Belkacem Lounes

Belkacem Lounes is a former president of the World Amazigh Congress (also known as the CMA), the world organization of the Berber people.[1]

Political activism[edit]

He is a critic of racism in Pan Arabism. He has been critical of Libya's dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi for belittling the Berber people and culture.[2] On May 3, 2007, wrote an open letter to Libyan leader Mu'ammar Qaddafi in response to the latter's March 1 speech in which he denied the existence of a Berber or Amazigh people in North Africa. In his letter, dated April 10, Lounes protested Qaddafi's statements, saying that the 30 million Amazigh living today in North Africa cannot be ignored. He added that the Amazigh had played a central role in the fight against European colonialism, but that since independence they had been oppressed by the "internal colonialism" of pan-Arabism, which he labels an imperialist ideology. Lounes stated that it was archaic to consider diversity a danger, and calls on the North African governments to commit to democracy and human rights.[3] He said: "There is no worse colonialism than that of the pan-Arabist clan that wants to dominate our people."[4]

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