User:Sandinistas/Arab Colonialism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Arab and Islamic Colonization/Imperialism project[edit]

Age of the Caliphs
  Expansion under Muhammad, 622–632/A.H. 1–11
  Expansion during the Rashidun Caliphate, 632–661/A.H. 11–40
  Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661–750/A.H. 40–129

dear editors , I would like to start a new project as described on top.

this topic has been largely ignored on Wikipedia and it's time to give it the attention it deserves.

any editor who interested and would like to contribute - is more then welcome to edit this article. I add here only an article skeleton , including citation from other web pages need to re edit them, add references media files etc..

rem: one Question need discussion is if we need to divide the item between Arab and Islam.

Muslim population by percentage worldwide

The Islamic Conquest, Occupation, and Colonization of The Middle East[edit]

this section was taken from :

Islam began in the 7th century AD. in what is today Saudi Arabia.

During the nearly 1400 years since that time, Islamic campaigns of military conquest, occupation, and colonization of the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Asia occurred.

This is principally how Islam was spread throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and the Balkans:

Imperialistic campaigns of military conquest.

Occupation and colonization of conquered territory and countries.

The subjigation of people under Islamic "occupation":

In Nazi occupied Europe in World War II, Jews were forcibly made to distinguish themselves from the rest of the population with a cloth patch sewn on their clothing. Usually yellow with a Star of David on it.

However, this dispicable humiliation under occupation did not originate with the Nazis. It was first used to distinguish both Christians and Jews under Islamic occupation. Christians and Jews who were not killed resisting were subjected to "dhimmi" status.

"Perhaps the clearest outward manifestations of the inferiority and humiliation of the dhimmis were the prohibitions regarding their dress "codes" and the demands that distinguishing signs be placed on the entrances of dhimmi houses. During the Abbasid caliphates of Harun al-Rashid [785-809] and al-Multawwakil [ 847-861], Jews and Christians were required to wear yellow [ as patches to their garments or hats]. Later, to differentiate further between Christians and Jews, the Christians were required to wear blue."

"In 850, consistent with Qur'anic verses that associated them with Satan and hell, al-Muutawwakil decreed that Jews and Christians attach wooden images of devils to the doors of their homes to distinguish them from the homes of Muslims."- The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims.", by Dr. Andrew Bostom, 2005, p. 47-48.

Occupation and colonization.

It is the reason for the Arab Muslim population in parts of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza today. Many are descendents of those who took part in the invasions, occupation, and Islamic colonization in the 7th century and beyond.

In other words, the presence of Arab Muslim communities in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and Jerusalem today, is the result of illegal Arab Muslim "colonization."

"The four centuries of ceaseless warfare between the Byzantine [ Eastern-Roman] Empire and the Sassanid Persian Empire in the 6th and 7th centuries had weakened both empires. It was at this unfortunate juncture that the Muslim Arabs pounced on both empires in the fourth decade of the 7th century [ 641.]. After their conquest of the Byzantine provinces of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine [ today's Israel], they invaded Egypt in 641. ---History of Jihad.

Be sure to visit the above link "History of Jihad". You can read about the Imperialistic campaigns of Islamic invasions of the individual countries of Europe, the Middle East, and north Africa.

Before the Islamic invasion, the population of Egypt was nearly 100% Christian Copts.

And from 641 to 1798, for over a thousand years, the Christians of Egypt were subjected to "dhimmi" status under Islamic occupation.

Persecutions, forced conversions, pograms, unfair discrimination under "dhimmi" status, have resulted in a minority population of Christian Copts in Egypt today.

Before Netanyahu signed the Wye River agreement with Yaser Arafat in 1998, Bethlehem was 80-90% Christian. Today, that is no longer the case. Persecutions, intimidation, and discrimination have caused many Christians to leave Bethlehem, resulting in a minority Christian population.

A local Christian made these remarks to WND's Aaron Klein in 2005:

"You want to know what is at play here, just come throughout the year and see the intimidation from the Muslims. They have burned our stores, built mosques in front of our churches, stole our real estate and took away our rights. Women have been raped and abducted. So don't tell me about Israel. It's the Muslims."

The above experience of Bethlehem's Christians is the same in every country today where there is a majority Muslim population. In Saudi Arabia, where Islam began in the 7th century, non-Muslims have virtually no rights at all. In countries dominated by Muslims today, as the result of Islamic conquest and occupations, many employ secret "religious police".

"1400 Years of Christian / Islamic Struggle: An Analysis" by Richard C. Csaplar Jr., - be sure to read the entire article in which Mr. Csaplar corrects a lot of distortions in a U.S. News article he describes as "clearly false".

"You will note the string of adjectives and may have some objection to my using them. They are used because they are the absolute truth. Anyone denying them is a victim of PC thinking, ignorant of history, or lying to protect Islam. Let us take each word separately before we proceed further in our true history of the relationship between the Christian west and the Islamic east. "


The Muslim wars of imperialist conquest have been launched for almost 1,500 years against hundreds of nations, over millions of square miles (significantly larger than the British Empire at its peak). The lust for Muslim imperialist conquest stretched from southern France to the Philippines, from Austria to Nigeria, and from central Asia to New Guinea. This is the classic definition of imperialism -- "the policy and practice of seeking to dominate the economic and political affairs of weaker countries."


"The Muslim goal was to have a central government, first at Damascus, and then at Baghdad -- later at Cairo, Istanbul, or other imperial centers. The local governors, judges, and other rulers were appointed by the central imperial authorities for far off colonies. Islamic law was introduced as the senior law, whether or not wanted by the local people. Arabic was introduced as the rulers' language, and the local language frequently disappeared. Two classes of residents were established. The native residents paid a tax that their colonialist rulers did not have to pay."

Although the law differed in different places, the following are examples of colonialist laws to which colonized Christians and Jews were made subject to over the years:

Christians and Jews could not bear arms -- Muslims could; Christians and Jews could not ride horses -- Muslims could; Christians and Jews had to get permission to build -- Muslims did not; Christians and Jews had to pay certain taxes which Muslims did not; Christians could not proselytize -- Muslims could; Christians and Jews had to bow to their Muslim masters when they paid their taxes; and Christians and Jews had to live under the law set forth in the Koran, not under either their own religious or secular law.

In each case, these laws allowed the local conquered people less freedom than was allowed the conquering colonialist rulers. Even non-Arab Muslim inhabitants of the conquered lands became second class citizens behind the ruling Arabs. This is the classic definition of colonialist -- "a group of people who settle in a distant territory from the state having jurisdiction or control over it and who remain under the political jurisdiction of their native land."

colonization of Syria and Palestine[edit]

Conquest of Socotra[edit]

Colonization of Lebanon and ethnic cleansing of Christian population[edit]

Turkish colonization of Cyprus[edit]

from :  :

In 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus, illegally dividing the country and committing war crimes and mass human rights abuses. Hundreds of thousands of Greek Cypriots were ethnically cleansed by the Turkish army.

Turkey continues to violate international law and United Nations resolutions that demand the withdrawal of the Turkish army and the right to return for Greek Cypriot refugees.

We are protesting because Turkey still maintains its illegal apartheid regime that racially discrimates against Greek Cypriots by preventing them from returning to their homes and lands.

The Greek Cypriots are the legal owners of 82 percent of land in the occupied north and we want to return. We will never give up our properties to those who seek to profit from their theft and illegal purchase.

Is it right that Turkey, which aspires to join the European Union still maintains military occupation of one third of the Republic of Cyprus, a country which is a full member of the EU?

The human rights of the Cypriots must be restored, so that we may live in a truly reunited Cyprus with the full rights enjoyed by all other EU citizens.

While Turkey continues violating the human rights of EU citizens and destroying the European culture of occupied Cyprus, it is unacceptable that it is allowed to proceed with EU accession negotiations.

We call on your support to put pressure on EU governments to help end the illegal occupation of Cyprus and to end Turkish apartheid in Cyprus.

The 3Rs: 1 Removal of all Turkish troops from Cyprus 2 Repatriation of all colonists 3 Return of all refugees to their homes without preconditions, restrictions or discrimination

Arab and Muslim colonization of Europe[edit]

Spain and Portugal[edit]


The Ottoman Empire

Sicily and Malta[edit]

Fatimids etc


Arab and muslim colonization of Asia[edit]

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh[edit]


Arab colonization of Africa[edit]

see here: Arab Colonization Series: Pan-Africanism vs Pan-Arabism:

Pan-Africanism vs Pan-Arabism[edit]

On the strength of the nature and outcome of the historical links between Africans and Arabs over the last thirteen centuries, it is the hypothesis of this chapter that the two ideological-political move- ments, Pan-Africanism and Pan-Arabism, are antithetical and that, in the final analysis, there is no room for the coexistence of the two on the African continent. An underlying premise of this hypothesis is that African-Arab relations have, to date, been woefully un- balanced and that this asymmetry, as expressed especially in inter- national and inter-racial political relations, has been weighted in favour of the Arabs and woefully to the disadvantage of the Africans.

It needs to be emphasized, from the onset, that the terms "Africans" and "Arabs" are used here as racial, not cultural categories. As Chancellor Williams has noted, the Arabs are "a white people," and of the same racial stock as the European Jews "against whom they are now arrayed for war."1 J. S. Trimingham's conception that the term Arab "has significance in a linguistic and cultural, rather than in a racial sense," and is therefore to be properly used in reference "to the result of the recent admixture" of Arabs and non-Arab peoples,2 smacks of ethnographic inaccuracy and has dubious analytic utility. The acculturated African in Northern Sudan is no more Arab than the Black-American is European. "In studying the actual records" in the history of the races, then, as Chancellor Williams counsels, "the role of White Arabs must not be obscured either by their Islamic religion or by the presence of the Africans and Afro-Arabs among them".3 As we shall see presently, the Arabs themselves insist that blood ties constitute the essence of their identity.

The Arabs played a role in the invasions and conquests that wrought destruction on the ancient Black Kingdoms and empires of North-East Africa, as well as on the West African Black states of Ghana, Mali and Songhay. The Arab slave trade in Africa was a destructive force that raged from the 9th through the 19th centuries in the Eastern seaboard of Africa, both preceding and outlasting even the transatlantic slave trade on the West Coast. The Arabs made depredations on the Sudan through the murderous campaigns of Muhammed Ali at the beginning of the 19th century, and joined in the European Scramble for Africa in the latter part of the same century in an effort, once again, to carve out an African empire for themselves. Through this nexus of social, economic and political assaults, the relations between Arabs and Africans took on the confirmed asymmetry of victimizer and victim.

Despite their awareness of the glaring disproportion in the ex- changes between the two races, the Africans, supposedly on the basis of geopolitical considerations flavored with presumptions of Third World solidarity, argued their way vigorously, in the post- World War II era, into a political alliance with the Arabs. As Nkrumah put the case, Africa's freedom "stands open to danger just as long as a single country on the continent remains fettered by colonial rule and just as long as there exist on African soil puppet governments manipulated from afar."4 The construct involved here is one of a "marriage" founded on the conception that both the Africans and the Arabs on the continent shared identical interests in the independence of Africa — that together they shared the aspiration of liberating Africa from the imperialist encroachments of the Boers to the South and Israelis in the Middle East. To lay bare the essentially expedient nature of this "wedlock", we need only remind ourselves of the core ingredients of Pan- Africanism, and set them against the dynamics of the ideological- political movement of Pan-Arabism. The core ingredients of Pan-Africanism include Afrocentricity; positive racial self-concept, commitment to racial resurgence; racial privacy; positive concep- tion of African history; corporate racial family; and unity. It is necessary to bear in mind the element of Afrocentricity in par- ticular, referring as it does to the Africa of the Africans, of Black people, and decidedly not to a geographical area which includes Africa's invaders — whether they be the Arabs who set foot there over a thousand years ago, or the Dutch who made their incursion some five hundred years ago. In Chinweizu's observation: "The Arab world, even if part of it shares the same land mass with us (Africans), is still the Arab world. Their preoccupation is Pan- Arabism."5


In a word, it is an ideological- political movement representing a conscious effort to create a united Arab nation. Its underlying principle is that the Arab states are parts of one indivisible Arab nation. Nasser articulated this principle, for example, in justification of the UAR’s interference in Iraq's internal affairs:
   We are one Arab nation. Both our constitution and the Iraqi
   Provisional Constitution provide in their articles that we are one
   Arab nation. Accordingly, every Arab state has the right to
   defend Iraq's Arabhood and independence from Britain, the
   USA, the USSR, and all other countries. We are one Arab family
   in a boat caught in the tempest of international politics.6 

There is no question that the concept of Arab "peoplehood" in play here is a racial one. Nasser himself affirmed this and made it clear that all other bases of identity among the Arabs — religious, geographic, etc. — are of secondary importance. Of the three circles at whose centre he envisioned Egypt to be — Arab, Islam and Africa

   the first, the Arab circle, stood out in pre-eminence. "There can be no doubt," he stressed, "that... (it) is the most important, and the one with which we are most closely linked."7      
   The Arabs are, of course, also very much bound together by a common religious heritage. Indeed, Islam is a core ingredient of Pan-Arabism. At the same time, being a more inclusive basis of identity, Islam embraces Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and other Islamic states which, W.A. Beling explains, by virtue of their non-Arabic languages, as well as their racial and other differences, are "excluded from the Pan-Arab concept."8      
   Even so, the crucial role of Islam as an instrument of Pan-Arabism should not be missed. In this regard, it is necessary to remind ourselves that the religion of Islam arose partly in answer to the customary indictment by Jews and Christians that Arabs were "savages who did not even possess an organized church,"9 and partly in response to the state of feuding separatism and decadence in which the Arabs were mired. By launching the new religion, by permeating the nature of his fellow Arabs with an autochthonous religious impulse, one whose genesis, instrumentality and language they could readily relate to, Muhammad not only went a long way toward asserting the Arabs' creative genius, but he also succeeded in transforming his fellow Arabs, replacing their jealous divisiveness with a spirit of mutual defense designed to promote common politi- cal and material interests. His success in this was indeed staggering, for almost at once Islam proved to be "the most important force" in the Arabs' political and social rejuvenation.10      

Nor was this all. In its external ramifications, Islam soon triggered Arab empire-building as proselytizing brotherhoods "with an un- compromising aggressiveness unmatched in the history of religions" soon pierced into the heartland of Africa and beyond into Europe and Asia.11 The essentially imperialistic, rather than beneficent or missionary, role of Islam, is underscored by the fact, for instance, that it featured as an instrument of the Arab slave trade: the trade and the religion were "companions throughout, with the crescent following the commercial caravan".12 Revealingly, following the Moroccan invasion of Songhay, the African Muslims who had built and ruled the empire were not spared destruction by the Arab Muslims.13 This is by no means an isolated case. The historical sources are replete with complaints by black Muslim rulers about "holy wars" launched against them to take captives. The enslavement of black Muslims became very much the confirmed pattern.

As far as Arabs were concerned, therefore, the utility of Islam, from the first, was seen to lie in its potential as a weapon for indoctrination, domination and, thereby, the augmentation of Arab power around the globe. In Nasser's own words:

   When I consider the 80 million Muslims in Indonesia, and the 50
   million in China, and the millions in Malaysia, Siam and Burma,
   and the nearly 100 million in Pakistan ... and the 40 million in
   the Soviet Union together with the other millions in far-flung
   parts of the world — when I consider these hundreds of millions
   united by a single creed, I emerge with a sense of the tremendous
   possibilities which we might realize through the co-operation of
   all these Muslims.14 
   From such a trajectory, it comes as no surprise that the remaining circle in Nasser's orbital schema, Africa, which he characterized as "the remotest depths of the jungle," featured as merely a candidate for Egypt's, "spread of enlightenment and civilization" via Islamiza- tion-Arabisation.15     

In all, at the dictates of Pan-Arabism, loyalty to a particular state in the Arab world has been, in Bernard Lewis' words, "tacit (and) even surreptitious," even as Arab unity has been "the sole publicly accepted objective of statesmen and ideologues alike."16 Despite

much recent talk, in some academic circles, of the demise of Pan- Arabism in the wake of the defection of Sadat's Egypt, the ideological current remains appreciably strong, as witness the very fact of the tremendous storm generated in the Arab world over Sadat's policy — an indication, in itself, of a fight to keep the ideology alive.

At this juncture, it is well to sum up the essence of the Pan-Arabist ideology by noting that it is founded on the Arabs' belief, "illustrated by the jihads through which, in the 7th and 8th centuries, they spread Islam" into North Africa, Iberia and South Asia,

   that in a rightly ordered world, dominion should belong to Muslims, and pre-eminently to the Arabs who gave Islam to the world. Since they not only lost dominion to the West but found themselves overrun by the West, they have suffered from a feeling that the universe is out of its proper order. They have therefore, as Muslim Brotherhoods demonstrate, longed for a restoration of dominion to the Faithful so the world will be set right again.17

In terms of goals, the cross-purposes of the two movements are self-evident. And this means that any "alliance" between them could only be one of convenience, limited to collaboration in the elimina- tion of obstacles (as posed by South Africa and Israel) toward the attainment of what are fundamentally opposed ends. The point cannot be overlooked, in this connection, that, outside the obliga- tions of the "alliance", Israel, the adversary of the Arabs, was neither automatically nor necessarily the foe of the Africans; by the same token, South Africa, the enemy of the Africans, was neither neces- sarily nor mechanically the foe of the Arabs.

The lack of mutuality[edit]

It has to be emphasized that, even within such limited perimeters, success of the "alliance" depended entirely on a mutuality of com- mitment to its limited tactical purposes. And yet the evidence suggests that such a reciprocity was lacking from the beginning. The Africans drew upon, and were buttressed by, assumptions of Third World solidarity — "the shared experience of devastation and

humiliation under the boots of an expansionist West . . ."18 In Nkrumah's words:

   The fortunes of the African Revolution ... are linked with the world-wide struggle against imperialism. It does not matter where the battle erupts, be it in Africa, Asia or Latin America, the master-mind and master-hand at work are the same. The oppressed and exploited people are striving for their freedom against exploitation and suppression. Ghana must not, Ghana cannot, be neutral in the struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor.19 
For their part, the Arabs seem to have conceived of the "alliance" solely in self-interested terms; in particular, there was concern to ensure their continued access to the waters of the Nile which, to Egypt, "is a matter of life or death" in the sense that "if the water of the river were discontinued or were controlled by a hostile state or a state that could become hostile, Egypt's life is over".20 In Nasser's words:
   The Nile which runs from Lake Victoria to Cairo is not merely a route crossing the ... African continent to the Mediterranean, but is the path of life in the full sense of the word and with all its dimensions.21 

This anxiety over the Nile, as old as the Arabs' incursion and occupation of Egypt from 642 A.D., was a key motivating factor in Muhammed Ali's annexation of the Sudan to the Egyptian Empire in the 19th century, and remains as acute as ever, as in Sadat's threat of June 5, 1980 to "retaliate with force" if Ethiopia interfered with the river's flow to Egypt. This was in retort to Ethiopia's complaint to the OAU that Egypt was abusing its rights to the Nile by diverting it to irrigate stretches of Sinai Desert in a million-acre irrigation scheme launched by Sadat.22

And now to sum up the essence of the matter. In the eyes of the Arab leaders, Egypt is the most important entity in the Arab nation. It therefore matters very much that Egypt's lifeline, the Nile, lies in African hands. A united and hostile Africa could strangulate Egypt. Among other uses, then, an "alliance" between Africans and Arabs could be exploited to forestall such a unification of Black Africa.

Organizationally, the "alliance" was born with the Conference of Independent African States (CIAS) which Nkrumah convened in Accra in March 1958, which assembled Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Ethiopia, Liberia and Ghana, and to which Nkrumah declared: "If in the past the Sahara divided us, now it unites us. And an injury to one is an injury to all of us."23

We now proceed to assess the "praxis" of the alliance since its inauguration in 1958, drawing on case illustrations in African-Arab intercourse in the Sudan, Zanzibar, Mauritania and the Organiza- tion of African Unity (OAU); on the triangular mesh of African- Arab-Israeli relations; and on the effect of Islam on African-Arab connections.

The Sudan: colonization and Genocide[edit]

The backdrop to African-Arab relations in Africa's largest country (sharing borders with 8 countries, including Ethiopia) is provided by the Turko-Egyptian conquest of 1821 and the sub- sequent rule of a Turko-Egyptian government headed by Muhammed Ali which witnessed, among other things, the traffic in over 1 million African slaves for the Middle East market.24 This was followed by the Anglo-Egyptian colonization and rule from 1898 which would end in a grant of independence to a united, Arab- dominated Sudan in 1956. By the time of the launching of the "alliance" at the 1958 CIAS in Accra, the Sudan had been inde- pendent for some two years, during which everything had been done to complete the process of African political incapacitation and economic disinheritance in that land.

For instance, on the insistence of the Egyptians, the British excluded the Africans from the independence talks. Then, a few months before independence, the Equatorial Corps of the Sudanese Army, which was based in the South, was disarmed and sent to the North, for fear that otherwise the Africans might break away from the imposed unity.25 In the economic area, some 300 African workers on the Nzara Cotton Scheme were arbitrarily replaced by Arabs. As for the new Sudanization policy which transferred posts held by the British to the Sudanese, all that the Africans got out of it was 4 posts out of the 800. The remaining 796 jobs went to Arabs.26

Even though the Sudan attended the CIAS in Accra, it came away from it with no wish whatsoever to achieve any Afro-Arab synthesis in the country in line with the spirit of "solidarity" which the "al- liance" symbolized. On the contrary, the government continued the tradition of Arab predominance at the expense of the African majority. As a former Prime Minister, Sayed Sadiq el Mahdi, con- veyed the point:

   The dominant feature of our nation is an Islamic one and its overpowering expression is Arab, and this nation will not have its entity identified and its prestige and pride preserved except under an Islamic revival.27 

This inner purpose has been echoed over the years by successive governments and remains the guiding principle of the Arabs in the Sudan to this day. Thus, another Sudanese Prime Minister, Mah- goub, proclaimed in 1968:

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.28 Nor did the "revolutionary rhetoric" spawned by President Nimeiry after coming to power in the aftermath of a May 1969 coup d'etat lessen the Arabization drive, as some maintained.29 Indeed, following Nimeiry's accession to office, the Pan-Arabists "gained disproportionately high influence," as reflected in his decision in the Summer of 1970 to sign the Tripoli Charter which committed the Sudan, Egypt and Libya to a political federation.30 When some Africans protested the new wave of Pan-Arabist effusion, expressing the fear that a Pan-Arab federation incorporating the Sudan would convert the Africans into a minority and thereby worsen their plight, they were readily dubbed "racialist conspirators" and then ar- rested.31

Meanwhile, Nimeiry's Prime Minister intoned loudly and clearly the purpose of his government, for the benefit of those who still might misconstrue its essential character:

The revolutionary government, with complete understanding of

the bond of destiny and forces of Arab Revolution, will work for

the creation of economic, military, and cultural relations with

brother Arab nations to strengthen the Arab nation.32

Not to be outdone, Nimeiry himself let it be known that the Sudan "is the basis of the Arab thrust into the heart of Black Africa, the Arab civilizing mission."33 Even though the African majority's value systems resisted as- similation into the minority Arab culture, the Arabs insisted on seeing them as a "cultural vacuum" to be filled by Arab culture "by all conceivable means."34 In consequence, under the Arab heel, a sizeable number of Africans Islamized and Arabised themselves to the point of "giving themselves Arab genealogies."35

The ultimate ambition of the Arabs, however, as the official quotations cited above portray, was to have the Sudan wrenched from Africa and absorbed into the Arab fold — made into an integral part of the Arab world — on the basis of "the unity of blood, language and religion." To this end, and at the further impetus of a desire to create a room in the South of the country for settlement by the displaced Palestinians, they embarked on a policy of sys- tematic extermination of the African population. By July 1965, as Allan Reed has ably chronicled, the intellectual class among the Africans, in particular, had become the object of a furious exter- mination campaign.36 Nor did this policy of extermination change under successive governments. As late as December 1969, Allan Reed witnessed the bombings of the cattle camps in Upper Nile. As he wrote: "I passed through villages that were totally levelled, just a few months after Nimeiry had talked about regional autonomy".37 Writing in 1968, The Daily Nation lamented that for years "whole villages have been destroyed" and untold atrocities committed by the Sudanese army.38

Inevitably, through their own organization, the Sudan African National Union (SANU), the Africans resisted this regimen of carnage; inevitably, this resulted in a civil war pitting the SANU's Pan-Africanist nationalism39 against the Pan-Arabism of the Arabs. It was a classic conflict between a people's yearning for political self-determination and cultural autonomy and, in the words of the historian Arnold Toynbee, the "flagrant colonialist" ambitions of the Arabs.40

Meanwhile, even as the Africans outside the Sudan, perhaps out of embarrassment, affected ignorance of the strife in the Sudan, or found specious excuses for staying aloof from it, the Arab world, for its part, threw in its collective weight as Syria, Libya and Egypt, among others, took on direct combat involvement against the out-gunned and out-supplied Africans.

The 1972 settlement which granted the Africans regional autonomy in the South was a tactical accommodation that changed little. Writing seven years later, D. M. Wai noted that the only thing that tied the two racial groups together was "a mutually hateful contiguity from which neither could escape."41 It was an "illusion", he emphasized, to think that the schism that separates the two races had been resolved. For, in spite of the numerical superiority of the Africans, and despite the settlement, Africans still remained "at the periphery of central decision-making". Only one person from the south was in the Cabinet; one out of 45 ambassadors was from the

South; only 8 out of the more than 200 Sudanese in the diplomatic service were from the South.42

Subsequent developments have overridden the tactical aims for which the Arabs made that settlement. Upon the discovery of oil in the South, Nimeiry moved, in February 1982, to unconstitutionally dissolve the South's ruling bodies, to replace them with a military-led administration of his own choosing, and to pursue a new policy of dividing the region into three subregions, the better to reduce the South's political influence and dilute its autonomy. When African politicians voiced opposition to these violations of the 1972 settlement, Nimeiry had them promptly detained.

Not a synthesis, then, but the triumph of Arabism over Africanism is the tale of the Sudan in the era of the "alliance."

   The greatest achievement of Arabism in the Sudan has been the unquestioned acceptance by the whole world that this is an Arab state, in spite of the fact that only about 30% of the population is Arab. Indeed, the predominance of the Arab Sudanese in the country's culture, politics, administration, commerce and industry makes it de facto an Arab state.43 

The fact of the matter is that, invariably, the Arabs in the Sudan, like all other Arabs, "have conceived of the universe as rooted fundamentally in Arabism. For them, there is little disagreement about the national character the Sudan should adopt, and what its national aspirations and loyalties should be.”44

Comoros Islands - Arab Colonization[edit]

need re editing

Arab merchants first brought Arab Islamic influence to the islands. One most likely fact is that Arabs traded for slaves in Africa, increasing the spread and dominance of Arab culture. As their religion gained hold, large mosques were constructed. The Comoro Islands, like other coastal areas in the region, were important stops in early Islamic trade routes frequented by Persians and Arabs. Despite its distance from the coast, Comoros is situated along the major sea route between Kilwa and Mozambique, an outlet for Zimbabwean gold.

By the nineteenth century, the influence of Arabic-speaking Sunni Persians from Shiraz, Iran, dominated the islands. The Shirazi traded along the coasts of East Africa, and the Middle East, establishing settlements and colonies in the archipelago.

Arab colonization in the region increased when nearby Zanzibar fell to Arab Omani rule, and Comorian culture, especially architecture and religion, also increasingly came under Arab imperial sway. Many rival sultanates colonized the area in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

By the time Europeans showed interest in the Comoros, the dominant Arab cultural veneer of the islands led many to remind of the society's Arab colonial history at the expense of its native Swahili and African heritage. More recent western scholarship by Thomas Spear and Randall Pouwells emphasizes black African historical predominance over the diffusionist perspective.

Zanzibar and Mauritania - Colonialism and Enslavement[edit]

The Arab slave trade and Arab enslavement of Africans in the lands they controlled were interrelated, indeed twin, phenomena. For centuries, African slaves in Arab hands served as domestics, eunuchs, soldiers, agricultural serfs, and as slave-gangs on irrigation works, in sugar and cotton plantations, as well as in gold, salt and copper mines. Known as the "guardians of female virtue", the African eunuchs served at harems throughout Arabia. Thousands of African boys between eight and ten years old were castrated every year and the survivors of the crude and painful operation were reared into eunuchs.45 For the African military slaves, the tendency was, once they had outlived their usefulness, to be betrayed into slaughter by those they served self-sacrificially.46 Nor has the phenomenon evaporated into the thin air of history. Survivals of it, Bernard Lewis informs us, "can still be met" in Egypt, for instance, where the Nubian servant "remains a familiar figure... to this day."47 Likewise, the Anti-Slavery Society reports that there were in 1962 some 250,000 African slaves in Saudi Arabia alone.48

Our concern however, is not so much with the remnants of the odious institution in some specific Arab countries. In other words, we are here addressing a historical phenomenon in the Arab world as a whole, which we deem to have "continued without interruption" to the present day.49

Consider Zanzibar. It is difficult not to remember that the out- rage of Arab wholesale enslavement of Africans in that island, which began in 1698 with the Omani Arabs' creation of a plantation economy and a commercial empire in the North-Western Indian Ocean,50 ended only in 1964 with the Pan-Africanist Okello's heroic overthrow of the Sultanate. In the period between 1698 and 1964, Zanzibar attained a dubious distinction as the most important slave market in the Indian Ocean. It became a land where being "upper class" meant that one was not only an Arab first and foremost, but also that one could afford a great number of African slaves. It developed the convention that, once born an African, one was "a slave forever, even in the next world."51

Indeed, the Africans were called washenzi — "uncivilized beings of a lower order"52 — and, on this account, were considered to be deserving of every abuse. Thus, it was customary to have the wombs of pregnant African women opened so that capricious Arab women could see how babies lay inside of them,53 even as it was fashionable to have Africans kneel for Arab women to step on their backs as they mounted their mules. Slaves suspected of fugitive intentions had their necks "secured into a cleft stick as thick as a man's thigh, and locked by a crossbar. Sometimes a double cleft stick was used and one man locked at each end of it."54 Routinely, men, women and children were killed or left tied to a tree,

for the scavengers to finish off when they couldn't keep up with the caravan, either through illness and exhaustion, or starvation, or both. Mostly, they were finished off with a blow from a rifle butt, or their skull smashed with a rock, as in the case of the child whose mother complained that she couldn't go on carrying him and the heavy ivory tusk. Ammunition was too precious to waste on a slave.55

Okello, upon visiting the island, and before single-handedly plan- ning the coup that overthrew the Arab regime in 1964, learned, to

his chagrin, that a phenomenon he assumed to be buried in history

was alive and vigorous in that land; he heard an elderly African

lament: "My grandfather was a slave, my father was a slave and I

too am now an Arab slave;"56 and he heard the shrill retort of an

Arab: "Whether you like it or not, you niggers and black slaves will

forever remain under the flag of our Holy Sultan. We shall deal with

you as we please."57

Significantly, Nasser gave the unqualified support of the United Arab Republic to the Arab oligarchy in Zanzibar. Like the British Colonial Office, the Arab leader took the side of the Arab minority against the African majority over the future of the protectorate, prompting this comment from a British newsletter: "Zanzibar is a part of Africa and not the Middle East. The Afro-Shirazi are a more important group than the Arab minority. These facts should be taken into account before the protectorate ends. If not, there will be trouble in the sweet-scented remote islands."58 And, once trouble erupted in the form of an African coup d'etat which even- tually ousted the Arab political order, it came the turn of Gaddafi of Libya to take up the championship of Arabism in Zanzibar. Speaking on October 7, 1972, at a rally at the Tripoli Stadium to mark the anniversary of the Italian evacuation from Libya, Gaddafi declared:

Zanzibar was all Muslim, and almost all the people were Arabs ... In 1964, the enemies of Zanzibar plotted and staged a massacre in which they slaughtered over 20,000 Arabs in Zanzibar. It was the most notorious massacre in the world. . . . All the Arabs were annihilated in Zanzibar and African rule developed there.59

Partly in retaliation for this "massacre" of the Arabs, Gaddafi then set out, on his own admission, to support Idi Amin's Uganda in its war against Tanzania, the political entity that has, since 1964, incor- porated Zanzibar. But if Zanzibar in East Africa represents an outrage that has only recently been liquidated, Mauritania in Northwest Africa, occupying as it does another vital zone of interaction between Arabism and Black Africa, symbolizes a raging and perennial Arabian anachronism.

The process began with the invasion of "white Berber nomads" into the area in the first millennium A.D. An Arab invading force joined them from the 14th century and, in time, out of the fusion of the Berbers and Arabs, came the present ruling elite, "the white Moors." Whatever residual biological differences separate these "white Moors"60 from pure Arabs, they are now so completely identified with the Arabs linguistically, religiously, culturally and ideologically that, to all intents and purposes, they are indistinguish- able from them. Indeed, a number of historians, use "white Moors" and "Arabs" interchangeably in their works.

The official designation of this Northwestern portion of Africa is the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. As in the Sudan, the Pan- Arabist outlook of the political system has never been in question. Thus, upon the country's admission into the Arab League in 1973, President Ould Daddah pledged: "Mauritania will make every effort and mobilize all its energies for the Arab cause."61 Nor is it any surprise that a Pan-Arab Ministry was created in the country and that Jiddou Ould Salek, as its political head, reaffirmed in 1979 the country's attachment "in its totality to Arabo-Islamic culture."62 Again, as in the Sudan, policies of enforced Arabisation of the Africans have been the norm. For instance, in 1966, Arabic was declared the official language of the country, in the teeth of African opposition.

Out of a population of 1.5 million, the Africans constitute ap- proximately 500,000. They are all slaves, in varying degrees. As the Anti-Slavery Reporter has noted, no other nation has so many slaves.63 Entry into-slavery "is by birth, capture or purchase. The first

... is the most common: being born to an existing slave woman."64

Purchase is still current: the sale of children, who, incidentally, all belong to the mother's master, is the most common. Even those among the Africans who have managed to purchase their freedom, and who are thus legally free, continue to be regarded as property by their former Moorish masters. As Le Monde has indicated, whenever these "freed slaves" escape the grip of their former masters, they are hunted down by the police and the administration and quickly restored to bondage, all "in the name of an interpretation of Islamic law."65

Slavery is indeed the way of life in Mauritania. A typical sight in Nouakchott, the capital, according to Bernard Nossiter, is that of "slaves working in gardens and vegetable plots . . . while their Moorish masters sit under trees, sipping mint tea."66 And the avenues of escape from servitude remain as elusive as ever. As recently as February 1980, demonstrations staged by the African Freedom Movement saw the movement's leaders arrested, held without trial for months, and then tortured to a point where some of them went mad.67

On July 5, 1980, as a way of "calming the slaves until the Govern- ment (of President Haidala) has had time to work out plans on how to cope with the anti-slavery movement,"68 and in an effort to improve the country's international image, the Mauritanian govern- ment published a decree abolishing slavery. Those who knew that slavery had been formally abolished twice before and that the country's independence constitution itself proclaims that "All men are born free and are equal before the law," could only greet the new announcement with skepticism.

Indeed, when investigators of the Anti-Slavery Society visited Mauritania "to see how far the new decree was being put into effect," they concluded that it had had no practical effect.69 No wonder, for "the upper and middle officials of the government, the judiciary, the police and the rest of the civil service", do, for the most part, have their own slaves and are determined to keep them.70 As it happens, the most dramatic consequence of the decree seems to have been the government's decision to set up a national commission, composed of Muslim jurists, economists and administrators, to work out compensation for the enslavers for the loss of slaves they have not yet incurred!

When the Anti-Slavery Society proposed that, to demonstrate its sincerity, the Mauritanian government should ratify the international convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, and the supplementary convention on the abolition of slavery, the slave trade, and institutions and practices similar to slavery, this triggered a revealing rejoinder in August 1981 from the Mauritanian government. It let it be known that it was not the only country which enslaved Africans and that, in any case, any effort "to wipe out this form of discrimination," no matter how earnest, would founder on the rock of Maurtania's technological underdevelopment "which makes all talk about human liberty completely derisory."71

In other words, until the country becomes technologically sophisticated, there is, in the thinking of the white Moors in Mauritania, every justification for enslaving the Africans. As for Western critics, given the historical record of the West's own victimization of Africans, it was the Mauritanian government's view that they had no moral authority to hold brief for the Africans:

It is very easy for citizens of certain countries who in the past developed this form of discrimination called slavery to its most debasing degree within a framework of pure Machiavellianism and sheer materialism: It is easy ... for these people to try to relieve their consciences by setting themselves up as defenders of victims in countries which have not had the chance to ex-perience technological development.72

That Arab enslavement of Africans is not a matter of the past but a continuous, persistent and present scourge is further underscored

by some gruesome details of "the slave trade route from Africa to

the Arab countries in the 1970s" provided by Tribune de Geneve.73

Research done at the Encyclopaedia Africana Secretariat in Accra

has also pointed up cases of African pilgrims selling their children

to Arabs in order to pay their expenses for the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Scarcely less startling is the news that broke in February 1973 to the

effect that Arab traders had been for years exporting to the Middle

East Ghanaian children "between the tender and undiscerning ages

of thirteen and fourteen to become the virtual slaves of wealthy

Arab families."74 The shock this revelation registered on public

opinion in Ghana is well captured in a lengthy and poignant editorial

of the Weekly Spectator:

Over the past two decades Ghana has led the quest for the restoration of the black man's lost glory and set the pace for the rediscovery of the African personality. It is therefore revolting and exceedingly bewildering to note that this glorious land of liberty is being used for the watersheds of the revival of slave trade.... We recall vividly the uncertain days of the struggle for independence when Lebanese and Syrian merchants in Ghana constituted themselves into a volunteer force and with three-feet-long batons in their hands, cudgelled down freedom fighters in the streets of Accra in open daylight.... It would appear that we have taken our tolerance too far and they have taken our leniency for weakness and are now adding injury to insult by trading our young daughters like apples or any other commodity. ... Our children must be defended against slavery.75

African-Arab relations before, within, and beyond the OAU

If there is any relief from the gloom of a historically victimizing  Arab behaviour towards Africans, it lies in Ben Bella's stirring  rhetoric at the inaugural meeting of the OAU in 1963, pledging  10,000 Algerian volunteers for a showdown in Southern Africa: 

A charter will be of no value to us, and speeches will be used

against us, if there is not first created a blood bank for those

fighting for independence. We must all agree to die a little.76

It was the same Ben Bella impulse which dictated that, having itself only recently achieved its independence, Algeria would proceed to organize special programmes of training for African liberation movements in Southern Africa. Among those who trained this way in Algeria was a corps of FRELIMO fighters, including Samora Machel, soon to become the President of Mozambique.

To better understand this aberration from the Arab norm, it is necessary to explore some background facts. These relate to the tenacity of the support which Algeria received from three "radical" African states (Ghana, Guinea and Mali) which operated within the Casablanca bloc alongside two "radical" Arab States (Egypt and Muhammad V's Morocco) and the Algerian government in exile, the GPRA. The three African countries not only gave recognition to the Algerian government in exile, but they carried their support to the point where they boycotted the Lagos Conference of Inde- pendent States, held in January 1962, in reaction to the refusal of the organizers of the conference to invite the GPRA.

Beyond such collective efforts, Nkrumah, for one, tirelessly proclaimed, in international forums, the justness and the moral imperatives of Algerian liberation. He also gave Frantz Fanon, the GPRA's Ambassador to Africa, a base in Accra from which to solicit support for the Algerian cause among the non-Casablanca African countries, and to work toward the opening of a southern front through the Mali frontier to ease the delivery of arms to the FLN.

Hardly forgettable is also the selfless, even self-sacrificial, con- tribution of Frantz Fanon to the same Arab cause. A black man, and a native of Martinique, he was soon to discover in his travels that it was not only in Europe that a black person, "regardless of his level of education and culture, was always primarily a Negro — and therefore inferior"77; even in the Third World, supposedly united by the struggle against imperialism, racism remained rife against black people. Thus, while he served in the Free French army in North Africa, "the eyes that turned to watch him in the streets never let him forget the color of his skin."78 In Fanon's own testimony, "I was astonished to learn that the North Africans despised men of color. It was absolutely impossible for me to make any contact with the local population." In all, he concluded, there was no question that the Arab "does not like the African."79

For all that, Fanon set out to counterpoise universalism to this virus of racism, Arab or otherwise. And so, after studying medicine and psychiatry in France, and while serving the French government in Algeria in the fifties, he formally joined the FLN in 1956. From that time on until his death, he devoted himself, in the words of I. L. Gendzier, "with the intensity and the enormous talents at his disposal to the many tasks he performed for the FLN and Algeria."

In addition to doing medical work in Tunisian hospitals and contributing his services to the L'Armee de Liberation Nationale (ALN) centers for soldiers and refugees, he worked for the FLN press organs, first Resistance Algerienne and then el Moudjahid. He also represented Algeria to the Africans.80 On the strength of a conviction that the plight of the oppressed knows no boundaries, he made Algeria, rather than Martinique or France, into the focal point of his life. So seriously did he take his adopted cause that in 1958, while pleading the Algerian case at the Accra All-African People's Conference, he was so emotionally overcome that he "appeared almost to break down."81 All this, even while he continued to encounter what he himself characterized as an "appalling" level of racism against Africans in the Arab world.82

Ben Bella, as one of the "historic leaders" of the FLN, was impressed by this multifaceted black support. After Algerian independence, he moved to show his appreciation through reciprocal gestures both on the African scene, as we have noted, and inside Algeria, in measures commemorative of Fanon.

The point that must be stressed, however, is that these efforts at reciprocity, given their transience and all, are not so remarkable as the fact that anti-African tendencies inherent in the Arab world quickly extinguished them. Thus, within two years of his Addis Ababa oratory, Ben Bella was ousted from office by forces in Algeria which, among other things, deeply resented Ben Bella's "deviation" from Islamic fundamentalism and Arabo-centrism; forces which, in the post-Ben Bella era, have been concerned to emphasize Algeria's "Arab-Islamic heritage" and, by the same token, to de-emphasize the African orientation in its foreign policy.

The ouster of Ben Bella and the re-orientation of Algerian foreign policy is not unrelated to the de-Algerianization of Frantz Fanon. Visiting the country following Fanon's death and Ben Bella's ouster, Simone de Beauvoir discovered that "no one in Algeria spoke for Fanon." Similarly, I. L. Gendzier, writing in J970, noted that Algerian officials "consistently avoid any discussion of Fanon's political ideas."83 Any suggestion that he contributed significantly to the Algerian struggle was resisted; indeed, there was a "concerted policy" to downgrade him as a theorist of the "Revolution"; to prove "that he was not even Algerian"; to protect the "authenticity" of the "Revolution" as an all-Algerian, all-Arab and all-Muslim phenomenon. In short, as one official put it, the burden of official effort was to "de-Fanonize" Algeria and, in the process "de-Algerianize" Fanon.84

When all is said and done, then, Fanon's "fatal flaw" as I. L. Gendzier notes, was that he was neither Arab nor Muslim. It is significant that, as far back as 1957, he was left out of the political inner circle — the National Council of the Algerian Revolution. In a revealing confession, El Mill, an Algerian official, indicated that, had Fanon been an Arab, he would have been acknowledged as "the major theoretician of the Algerian Revolution."85 The reality that emerges from all this is that, for today's Algerian officialdom, what is of paramount importance is "Blood ties as opposed to commonly held values.86 Though Fanon helped with their cause, he was, biologically, not one of them and therefore had to be repudiated.

It is no less noteworthy that, either out of customary Arab con- tempt for things African, or as a function of the reorientation of national priorities away from African concerns, the Algerians have studiedly kept those of Fanon's writings that touch on the predica- ment of black people — such as the text of his statement at the AAPC in Accra in 1958 and of his lecture delivered at the 2nd Congress of Black Writers held in Rome 1959 — out of the limelight of print.

There is no greater evidence of Arab repudiation of Afro-Arab "common anti-imperialist front" than is offered by this dismal tale of the dispossession of Fanon in Algeria.

Another specious fruit of the Casablanca "radical" coalition was the involvement of Morocco, the UAR and, later, Algeria in the Congo (i.e. Zaire), ostensibly on the side of the pro-independence forces, as the crisis-engulfed country battled against western neocolonialist penetration and dismemberment.


The Congo[edit]

, "the heart of Africa," constituted, economically, geographically, strategically and politically "the most vital region in Africa,"' one whose degree of independence would substantially determine the ultimate fate of the whole continent of Africa. If the "alliance" was to have a modicum of credibility, it was of the essence that the Arabs should be seen to contribute appreciably to the African effort to wrest the Congo from the neocolonialist web of the West, spearheaded by the Belgians, the Americans and the British.

The point attains special pertinence when it emerges, in retrospect, that the Arabs had, in their own right and in collabora- tion with the Belgians, played a not inconsiderable role in the rape of the Congo. As Edward Alpers has shown, the violence, degrada- tion and rampage that accompanied the Arab slave trade was "most noticeable in the Congo ... where the Arabs... totally devastated

the countryside, killing and seizing hundreds of people in order to

supply the ivory which was being sought.87 Henry Stanley, the

explorer, also had occasion in 1889 to remark, concerning Arab

activities in the eastern Congo, that "slave raiding becomes in-

nocence when compared with ivory raiding.88 In time, and sig-

nificantly, as we have noted, King Leopold of Belgium entered into

association with Tippu Tip, the leader of the Arab slave traders,

appointing him governor of his Congo International Association

whose trademark was the use of the force of arms to compel the

Africans to exploit the country's wealth in rubber and ivory.

Against this backdrop, let us now assess the contribution of the Arabs to the struggle for genuine decolonization in the Congo. In the early stages of the crisis of post-independence disintegration, Morocco and the UAR, in company with the African Casablanca Powers, contributed troops to the UN peace-keeping force. Upon the failure of this effort, marked by the assassination of Lumumba, the neocolonial forces gained ground to a point where, in July 1964, Moise Tshombe, the Western puppet, assumed office as the country's Prime Minister. Ali Mazrui states that, from then on, among those who were "the most forthright" in refusing recognition of Tshombe's accession were the "radical Arab States."89 This they did, Mazrui goes on to explain, out of conviction that to recognize Tshombe was to forgive him for his betrayal of the Congo's inde- pendence.

Upon a closer look at the evidence, however, it is not at all clear that the anti-Tshombe exertions of the Arabs in the Congo had anything to do with an urge to aid the cause of African inde- pendence. As part of the evidence, we must recall the brutal and terroristic career of the Organization de L'Armee Secrete (OAS), an outfit of French settlers in Algeria, in waging for years, and to the very end, a hideous war in defense of the West and French "civiliza- tion." Only Algeria's accession to independence drove these colonists, some 800,000 of them, from Algeria, out of fear of

reprisals for their colonialist crimes.90 The connection between all this and the Congo is that Tshombe, in Arab eyes, committed an unpardonable offense when he recruited many of these die-hard former French settlers of Algeria into his army. From all this, it would seem decidely more plausible to attribute Arab opposition to Tshombe to a concern to settle old scores with him, rather than to any motivation to minister to African independence.

The primacy of Arabist aims in the Arab role in the Congo is further underscored by the incident of July 1967 when the plane on which Tshombe was traveling was highjacked over the Mediter- ranean and brought to Algeria. The Congo Government requested his extradition to the Congo to face a death sentence. In response, and quite revealingly, the Algerians made the return of Tshombe conditional on a complete re-alignment of Congolese foreign policy vis-a-vis Israel.

Overall, the cutting edge of our thesis (that Arab behaviour toward Africa is motivated, at best by self interest, at worst by antipathy to Africans, and hardly ever by considerations of reciprocity in the "alliance") is provided by the role of the UAR and Morocco, through contributions of troops and logistical support, and in collaboration with the USA and France, in aiding Mobutu to push back radical African insurgency across the Shaba Province, both in 1977 and 1978.91 As for the OAU, the organisational expression of the Afro-Arab "alliance" since 1963, its very composition illustrates the familiar imbalance in African-Arab relations. Nine members of the Arab League — Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Djibouti, UAR, Sudan, Mauritania and Somalia — are also members of the OAU. While, on this account, Arab interests are well represented in the OAU, African interests, on the other hand, are hardly represented in the Arab League. The membership of Somalia and Djibouti in the Arab League, far from making for the counter-penetration by the Africans, constitutes the triumph of the Islamization-Arabisation efforts of the Arabs. The explanation of Somalia's Arabisation lies, firstly, in the age-old conversion of its people to Islam and the susceptibility to Arab influence that this engendered, and, secondly in the seduction and entrapment of the country by Arab aid.92 As for Djibouti, even though its population is made up of the Issas (who are related to the Somali and the Galla of Kenya and Ethiopia) and the Afars (who are relatives of the African people of Ethiopia), its Arab puppet President, Hassan Gouled Aptidon, insists that the people of the country "are 100 percent Arab" and that this justifies his decision to adopt Arabic as the country's official language, and to make the country the 21st member of the Arab League.93

It goes without saying that the Arabs have been doing everything to capture control of the OAU. This was apparent, for instance, at the OAU Summit in Mogadishu in June 1974 when all the Arab members relentlessly pushed for the candidacy of a Somali for the Secretary-Generalship of the organization, as against a Zambian candidate. As Ali Mazrui would observe of the incident: "At least among the English speaking black states there was some bitterness. The behaviour of the Arab states in their lobbying for the Somali was interpreted as an attempt to put the OAU under Arab or Muslim control."94 This scenario was again played out at the eleventh annual meeting of the African Development Bank in Dakar in May 1975 where it became impossible to elect a new president of the bank because the delegates "were bitterly ... and almost equally . . . divided between a Ghanaian and a Libyan candidate."95

The Arab bid for influence in the organization attained marked success with the accession of President Moktar Ould Daddah of Mauritania to the chairmanship in 1971; of King Hassan of Morocco in 1972; and of the Islamized Idi Amin of Uganda in 1975 upon the holding of an OAU Summit in Kampala in July of that year. It is significant that, in spite of the manifest objectionableness of Idi Amin's Kampala as the venue of the Summit in many African eyes and, on that account, the boycotting of the conference by a number of African countries, the leaders of six of the eight OAU member-states which are also members of the Arab League attended the Summit. In the view of a Tanzanian daily, this highlighted "the Arab world's determination to take Africa along with it in its Middle East policy."96 The well-documented indictment of Idi Amin by international organizations — the International Commission of Jurists, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Amnesty International, the Commonwealth, and the European Economic Community — to the effect that there had developed under him "a consistent pattern of gross human rights violations",97 did not bother the Arabs one whit. Indeed, as Gaddafi pointedly told Newsweek in a 1979 interview: "That's not our business."98 Clearly, Arab interest in Uganda was confined to the promotion of Arab interests — the establishment of a beachhead from which to work for the control of the source of the Nile, as well as the settlement of the displaced Palestinians — through the snare of Islam and the enticement of petrodollars. To this end, the Arabs pushed for the March 1975 agreement on "technical, economic and scientific cooperation" signed between Amin's Uganda and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The consequence of it was the influx of an additional large number of Palestinians into Uganda where, among other things, they took over businesses left by expelled Asians, as well as the training of the Ugandan army. As Obote complained to the OAU: "Cases were known in Uganda in which Palestinians, together with Amin's murder squads, kidnapped and subsequently murdered their victims ... all of whom were Ugandan citizens of African stock.'199 As we know, a large number of Palestinians and over 1,000 Libyan troops were captured by Tanzania during the Ugandan-Tanzania War which ended in Amin's expulsion from Uganda and his migration into Libya.100

For the Arabs, then, the imperatives of the Arab Nation, rather than any concern for solidarity, albeit in a tactical "alliance", account for their membership in the OAU. It is significant, in this regard, that virtually all the Arab members boycotted the 1967 Summit meeting in Kinshasa on the ground that Middle Eastern questions were absent from the agenda. They were, and have been, interested in the organization only to the extent of holding it captive to their purposes. That they have been markedly successful in this objective is reflected in the organization's silence over Arab atrocities in the Sudan, Mauritania, and elsewhere, and over Gaddafi's aggression in Chad and elsewhere, even as the OAU vociferously condemns Israeli incursions into Arab lands.

The organization's accommodation and indulgence of Gaddafi is especially revealing of its divorce from African concerns. In spite of outcries by Uganda, Ghana, Gambia, Niger and other countries that the Libyan has been subverting their countries;101 in spite of his aggression against Chad, manifested, in part, in his seizure of the uranium-rich Aouzou Strip since 1973, and in his unconcealed bid to absorb Chad into an Islamic union with Libya;102 in spite of his self-proclaimed apostleship of the Nasser doctrine of an Arab civilizing mission to Africa and of the ambition of an Arab-Islamic empire across Africa into the Middle East;103 and in spite of his demonstrated and menacing zeal to acquire sophisticated military capabilities to enable him to fulfill these anti-African ambitions, he has been allowed to operate within the OAU to a point where he came close to becoming its chairman in 1982.

In the face of so much African acquiescence, Gaddafi felt at liberty in 1973 to initiate a boycott of the OAU's tenth anniversary celebrations unless the site was moved to Cairo, or Ethiopia agreed to break relations with Israel. To nobody's surprise, Ethiopia caved in and broke relations with Israel.

It is a fitting tribute to African self-immolation in the organization that the issue which virtually paralyzed it in 1982 was an intra-Arab one. The matter in question, the abortion of the August 1982 Tripoli OAU Summit, had nothing to do with African outrage over, for instance, Arab efforts to carve Eritrea out of Ethiopia and into the Arab world, but rather over which Arab interests, Moroccan or Algerian, should prevail over the phosphate-rich Western Sahara. The decision by the OAU in February 1982 to admit the Polisario Front as its 51st member opened a split that mortally threatened the organization. Meanwhile, even as the OAU wallowed in the throes of demise, the Arab League was left relatively intact to pursue the Arab business.

A second effort to convene a Summit in November 1982 also failed, this time on account of Gaddafi's effort to impose the exiled former leader Goukouni Oueddei on Chad. Gaddafi, the prospec- tive host, simply refused to admit the delegation of President Hissen Hebre of Chad, presumably because Hebre had proven to be less pliant to his neocolonialist designs on the African country. The Foreign Minister of Chad then appropriately requested "all African countries present in Tripoli not to take their seats at the side of the enemies of Africa."104

Islam and Africa-Arab relations[edit]

    From the beginning, Pan-Africanism demonstrated a concern to  cater to the spiritual needs of its racial constituency. It was recog-  nized that every enduring race and people have had their own concept of Deity, with a supreme being made in their own image; and have nourished an autochthonous religion which gave them strength and pointed them toward positive achievement. As Garvey reasoned, no race or people made any impact on the world which allowed themselves to become enslaved to a religion which derogated and diminished them. Succinctly put, again in the words of Garvey, "it is only the inferior race which worships an alien God."127      

The Africans of antiquity, the first to institutionalize religion on Earth, fashioned the Eternal Spirit in their own image. Likewise, the traditional religion of pre-colonial Africa, based as it was on the intermediacy of dead ancestors, also fulfilled the condition of in- digenousness. That the Asante, for instance, cultivated and prac- tised it, explains in good part the remarkable durability of their political order in the 18th and 19th centuries.128 In the same vein, Pan-Africanism at its dawn sought to create its own religious in- frastructure in the form of the African Orthodox Church which Garvey founded in 1920, proclaiming: "Our God must be seen through the spectacles of Ethiopia; our God must make us strong . . . not slaves to another race and another people."129 Instead of pictures of white Christs and Madonnas which have become key elements of European imperialist culture in the last couple of centuries, the African Orthodox Church featured pictures of Black Christs and Black Madonnas; instead of the inculcation of meekness and docility into the African congregation — the specialty of "alien" religions — the African Orthodox Church sermonized that "The God we worship and adore is a God of war as well as a God of peace."130

Despite such efforts, black people as a whole remain immersed in alien religions and continue to pay heavily in psychological disorientation and servility. Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo’s current tribulations bear witness to this phenomenon in so far as the African's relationship to white Christianity is concerned. He has asserted that the African's subordination to non-African overlords in spiritual matters is a reflection of the "inferiority complex which haunts Africa"; and he has cried out that “To convince me that I can only be a full Christian when I shall be well brought-up in European civilization and culture is to force me to change my nature."131

Significantly, the Archbishop's efforts to remodel the Catholic Church in Zambia in a manner more suited to Africa's spiritual realities stirred the ire of the Papacy, leading to his being summoned to Rome to be disciplined.

The relationship of Africans to Islam bears similar marks of disorientation and servility. Islam, the religious infrastructure of Pan-Arabism, has, from the first, been a means of Arab penetration into non-Arab societies. The fervent commitment of Arabs to the practice of Islam, and the weaknesses of Pan-Africanism, have meant that the familiar imbalance in African-Arab relations emerges in the field of religion as well. As far back as 1917, British policy makers in East Africa noted "a tendency on the part of the natives, to call themselves members of the Mohammedan nation."132 The gain of Islam in molding masses of Africans into Arabophiles have been no less spectacular in recent years, thanks to such additional impetuses as Nasser's 1961 pledge, as part of the UAR's drive to

win influence in Africa, "to exploit Cairo's considerable resources in Muslim teaching and culture."133 As E.A. Nadelmann has written:

The influence of Islam in the continent, where one of every four or five Africans is a Muslim has created a sense of identification and religious brotherhood with the Arabs to the North. Islamic Africans have often encouraged closer ties between the Arab and African states . . . comprising as they do the majority of the population in the Arab League states of Sudan, Somalia and Mauritania, as well as in Senegal, Mali, Gambia, Guinea, Niger and Chad; about half the population in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Ethiopia; and substantial minorities in Tanzania, Kenya, Cameroon, Upper Volta, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Benin. Africa contributes close to 50% of the membership of the Islamic Conferences . . . and its avowedly Muslim countries make up 40% of the total membership of the OAU.134

Nor does Islam's influence stop at disposing millions of Africans favourably toward the Arabs and their anti-African purposes; more directly and devastatingly, Islam remains a source of enfeebling separatism in various African societies. As Ali Mazrui has noted, the spread of Islam through East and West Africa has served "to reinforce separatist tendencies. In Nigeria in the last decade before independence, Muslim Northerners — fearful of the political militancy of Christian Southerners — talked seriously of secession. The word 'Pakistanism' entered the vocabulary of West African politics."135 Since then Islam-induced disturbances have regularly erupted in that West African country.

Similarly, the Eritreans, "primarily Muslim," have been in rebel- lion against a long-standing Christian theocracy in Ethiopia. It is all very much a "Muslim bid to pull Eritrea out of Ethiopia . . ."136 Noticeably the Arabs, at the Eighth Conference of Islamic Foreign Ministers in Tripoli in May 1977, insisted that Eritrea is essentially a religious issue, and one that they reserve the right to resolve in their favour.137 The secessionist movement in Chad, instigated by Libya's Gaddafi, is, like that in Eritrea, "a rebellion by defensive Muslims against a supposedly Christian threat or hegemony."138 Indeed, on the strength of the fact that Eritrea is Muslim, the Arabs insist on claiming it as part of the Arab world. By the same token, as a map published in 1959 by the Arab League indicated, parts of Niger and the whole of Chad, Senegal and Mali are designated as

Arab.139 Kenya, too, has been the prey of the separatism wrought by Islam.

The reaction of the Daily Nation to the call of the National Union of Kenya Muslims (NUKM) for Muslims in the country to actively rally to the support of the Arabs during the October 1973 War sums up the matter:

The position of the National Union of Kenya Muslims is divisive because it puts a wedge between the Muslims and all the non-Muslims in this land. While the NUKM obviously feel they can declare and join a war, the constitution of this country states clearly that these powers are vested only in the person of theHead of State. Where do their loyalties lie? To the Arab Muslims or the Kenyan Head of State?140

It is to be remembered that one of the conditions attached to the meagre aid that the Arabs have given to the Africans has been the promotion of Islam in any recipient country. Thus, for example, President Bongo of Gabon was compelled to change his name from Albert-Bernard to Omar in October 1973. Astonishingly, and contrary to the weight of historic evidence, Bongo let it be known that his reason for converting was "because Islam makes no distinction between men."141 In Uganda, this promotion took the form of a systematic persecution of Christians who constitute the overwhelm- ing majority in the land. Visiting Uganda in 1974, Gaddafi demanded of Amin that he Islamise the country "at any price."142 Amin himself would later admit that his decision to turn Fridays into days of prayer and rest was a price the country had to pay for continued Arab cash, especially Libyan. Overall, there was little surprise that, at the Islamic Summit Conference held in Lahore, Pakistan, in February 1974, Uganda was admitted as a Muslim state, even though, according to the 1959 census, little more than 5 percent of the population of Uganda was Muslim.143 In all, it has hardly mattered to these Arabs that the 1958 CIAS in Accra, in which all the independent Arab States based in Africa participated, passed a resolution attacking religious separatism as an evil practice which militates against African liberation and unity. But then, as we have noted, it is one of the cardinal goals of Pan-Arabism to forestall the materialization of black African unity.

The emphasis on the Arab language as the only vehicle for the comprehension of the Koran has added to the Arab advantage in Afro-Arab relations. Adherence to the Islamic faith is, almost everywhere, virtually inescapable from knowledge and thought in Arabic. There is an inevitable connection between the faith and the language because, as O. Aguda has noted, "a translation of the Koran into any other language is regarded by orthodox Islamists as an 'interpretation' and not an authentic doctrine."'144 In conse- quence, the remarkable spread of Islam in Africa has been accom- panied by the equally remarkable spread of the Arab-influenced languages of Swahili in East Africa and Hausa in the West. Swahili has been adopted as a national language by Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, at the same time that it is in widespread use in such places as Zaire, Rwanda and Burundi. Of course, being imprisoned in the language of Arabia is no less a phenomenon in cultural colonization than being incarcerated in the language of Britain or France.

It is remarkable how much blindness and irrationality on the part of Africans it has taken to facilitate the Islamisation campaign of the Arabs, considering the abysmally low conception of black humanity that exists in the Arab mind and in Islamic traditions. As against the wishful thinking of black opinion leaders such as Edward Blyden and Malcolm X, that the Arabs and Islam are free from the infection of prejudice against black people, B. Lewis, for instance, has estab- lished, in a well-researched study, the reality of an association in Arabia of blackness, ugliness and inferior station — of "a very close connotation of inferiority attached to darker and more specifically black skins. "145 The Prophet Muhammad himself was known to refer to Africans as "the distorted of God's creatures."146 Thus, a good black slave who lives a life of virtue and piety "will be rewarded by turning white at the moment of death".147 Indeed, the Koran itself connects sin, evil, devilry and damnation with blackness, while whiteness has the opposite associations.148 Revealingly, the Egyptian government's furor over the Paramount Pictures' film, Sadat, which led to the drastic decision not to allow any film from that studio ever to be shown in Egypt, was simply to do with the fact that a full-blooded Black American, Louis Gasset, Jr., had acted the role of Sadat.

At its most basic, the Muslim belief that black people are con- demned to a fate of slavery by divine ordinance is at the root of the Arabs' irrevocable commitment to the enslavement of Africans. Thus, despite the fact that Muslim law unequivocally forbids the enslavement of Muslims of whatever race, evidence shows that the law was generally not enforced to protect Muslim captives from Africa. The record shows that African Muslims in the Arab world "were regarded as inferior and subjected to a whole series of fiscal, social, political, military and other disabilities."149 Nor has time changed these realities. Louis Farrakhan, a black American Mus- lim, following a 1980 tour of Arabia, came away vociferously attack- ing "the hypocrisies of classical Islam, especially in regard to race," adding:

   I see Muslims taking advantage of Blacks in Arabia and Africa. I will not jump over the black Christian to find brotherhood with an Arab Muslim . . . The ghettoes in the Holy city where the Sudanese and other black African Muslim live are some of the worst I have seen anywhere ... I see racism in the Muslim world...150 

Set against these facts, Libya's self-righteous assertions of Islamic beneficence to Africa attain a surreal quality:

   Christianity equals imperialism, Islam equals freedom and the age of the masses . . . Colonialism has exploited the Christian religion for its own interests especially in Africa... Islam did not come to Africa through colonialism but as a humanistic religion for the liberation of man.151 

Significantly, this rhetoric was tailored for the consumption of African delegations attending a conference of Islamic Foreign Ministers in Tripoli. Only the assumption of African infantile incapacity to think, to know the realities and to construct an edifice of self-interests out of it — only the assumption, articulated by Gaddafi, that the Black race occupies "a very backward social situation"152 —could have emboldened the Libyans to the declaration of such palpable untruths.


    The horrendous tale of African-Arab relations that began with the Islamic whirlwind and erupted into the Arab slave trade is hardly buried in antiquity. On the contrary, over the years, it has been recharged and re-enacted to a point where it remains a fixture in contemporary politics, albeit under the guise of an "alliance".     

We have sought to establish that, in spite of the "alliance", the imbalance has persisted. Arab aggression and penetration has con- tinued, taking such detrimental forms as the UAR's and Morocco's intervention against genuine decolonization in Zaire; Saudi Arabian and Libyan neocolonialist machinations in Djibouti; Libya's invasion of Chad and, to this day, its occupation of Chad's rich uranium fields; and Libyan-Palestinian adventurism in Amin's Uganda.

Arab enslavement of Africans is hardly a thing of the past; it persists to this day with a vengeance in such places as Mauritania, while the scourge of colonization and forcible Arabisation of Africans survives in such places as the Sudan. Arab racism, whose wellspring is the Koran itself, acquires a conspicuous new manifes- tation in, for instance, the de-Algerianization of Frantz Fanon. On top of all this, the assumed quid pro quo of the "alliance" has worked one-sidedly to the Arabs' advantage: the very institutional expres- sion of the "coalition" since 1963, the OAU, has become a virtual captive of the Arabs in the service of Arab interests. Despite the organization's injunction against the fomenting of religious separatism, the path of Arab imperialism has been oiled and smoothed by the weapon of Islam whose spoils include the conver- sion of untold millions of Africans into Arabophiles, as well as the dissipation of the dream of black unity through the fostering of religious divisiveness among African populations.

The antithesis between Pan-Africanism and Pan-Arabism emer- ges clearly in present and past relations between the two races. As far as the future is concerned, should Pan-Africanism, now dormant and languishing, become rejuvenated by some future generation of African leaders bent on restoring the dignity of the African people, there is no question that this would trigger a massive reaction, not only by the Boers, but also by Arabs who would reason that an Africa able to deal with the territorial encroachments and the racist brutality of the Boers would logically also deal with the territorial usurpations and the historic and continuing crimes of the Arabs. Herein lies the essential opposition between the two movements.

It is to be noted that this African-Arab antagonism is not in any way diminished by class considerations. When all is said and done, there is no question that the "socialist" parties in the Arab world have promoted Arab imperialism in Africa. Sadat's "socialist" Egypt fought alongside the USA and France against the African patriots in Zaire in 1977 and 1978. Not to be outdone, the Moroccan Communist Party and the Union Socialiste des Forces Populaires (USFP) of the same country supported the Moroccan government's involvement in the same anti-African adventurism in Zaire. Nor has the expansionist ambition of Gaddafi been at all affected by Libya's claim to being an "Arab People's Socialist Jamahahiriya."

Over the years, without question, the Arabs have been more committed to the practice of Pan-Arabism than the Africans have been to the practice of Pan-Africanism. While it is true that the Arabs have often been torn by disputations, it is the case that, even in disarray, individual Arab states have made strenuous efforts toward the attainment of the objectives of Pan-Arabism. With the Africans, the story has been different. The fact of the matter is that, since the demise of Nkrumah, Pan-Africanism, in the sense of any practical application, has fallen into desuetude. Under normal cir- cumstances, a memory of the agonies of African history, and a mature awareness of the ignoble contemporary realities of Africans, should be enough to keep the movement alive, and give it urgent relevance and application.

Such "normal circumstances" refer to an average human capacity for discernment, calculation and identification of one's vital inter- ests in the universe. Unfortunately, such a capacity is in very short supply in the African world. The African presumption, in the face of the contrary realities, of a "solidarity," "alliance," and "brother- hood" with the Arabs, is an instance of the African eccentricity which makes it impossible for Africans to be Afrocentric in thought and action. As Chinweizu, has elaborated:

Having lost a clear and detailed sense of our identity, we have naturally also lost our ability to create a point of view of the world

   strictly our own. With our scrambled sense of reality we have 
   forgotten how to see things in terms of our separate and concrete 
   interests. . . . Worse still we behave as if it were some sort of 
   betrayal to discover and insist on our own point of viewing the 


1. Chancellor Williams, The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 BC to 2000AD. Chicago: Third World Press, 1976, p.23.

2. Cited in O. Aguda, "Arabism and Pan-Arabism in Sudanese Politics," The Journal of Modem African Studies, Vol. II. No. 2.1973, p. 180.

   C. Williams, op. cit., p. 24. 

4. Kwame Nkrumah, Africa Must Unite, New York: International Publishers, 1963, p. xvii.

5. Chinweizu, The West and the Rest of Us, New York: Vintage Books, 1975, p. 494.

6. Broadcast over Radio Cairo and Radio Voice of the Arabs, April 18,1959; cited in W.A. Beling, Pan-Arabism and Labor, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Middle Eastern Monographs, 1960, p. 28.

7. Gamel Abdel Nasser, Egypt's Liberation: The Philosophy of the Revolution, Washington, DC:

Public Affairs Press, 1955, p. 111.

8. W.A. Beling, op. cit., p. iii.

9. The "Prophet" Muhammad's French biographer, Maxime Rodinson, makes the point which is

 cited in Time, April 16,1979, p.49.

10. The view of Ibn Khaldun, the 14th century Arab historian, cited in W. Rodney, How Europe

 Underdeveloped Africa, Dar es Salaam: Tanzania Publishing House, 1972, pp. 62-63.

11. See C. Williams, op. cit., pp. 215-216; and W. Rodney, op. cit., p.63.

12. Ali Mazrui, "Black Africa and the Arabs," Foreign Affairs, Vol. 53. No. 4, July 1975. p. 725.

13. C. Williams, op. cit., p. 222.

14. G. A. Nasser, op. cit., p. 113.

15. Ibid., pp. 109-110.

16. B. Lewis, The Middle East and the West, New York: Harper and Row, 1964, p. 94.

17.Chinweizu, op. cit., p. 494.

18. Ibid., p. 23.

19. Kwame Nkrumah, Address to the National Assembly, June 12,1965.

20. The words of an Egyptian army colonel, cited in Fareq Y. Ismael, The UAR in Africa: Egypt's

 Policy Under Nasser, Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1971, pp. 163-164.

21. Statement on September 22,1966, during a State Visit to Tanzania. See The Nationalist (Dar es Salaam), September 23,1966.

22. See The New York Times, June 6, 1980, p. A3.

23. Cited in Ali Mazrui, Towards a Pax Africana: A Study of Ideology and Ambition, London:

Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1967, p. 62.

24. Allan Reed, “The Anya-nya: Ten Months' Travel with His Forces Inside the Southern Sudan," Munger Africana Library Notes, Issue No. 11, California Institute-of Technology, Pasadena, California, February 1972, p. 3.

25. ibid., p. 14.

26. For additional details on the different economic fortunes of Africans and Arabs in the Sudan,

 see 0. Aguda, op. cit., p. 199.

27. Dunstan M. Wai, "Revolution, Rhetoric, and Reality in the Sudan," The Journal of Modem

 African Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1,1979, p. 73.
   Interview with the Cairo weekly, Al Mussawar, March 29,1968. 

29. See, for instance, All Mazrui, "Is the Nile Valley Turning into a New System?", Makarere

 University, Kampala, 1971, Mimeo, p. 25.

30. D. M. Wai, op. cit., p. 83.

31. 0. Aguda, op. cit., pp. 177-178.

32. Ibid., p. 128.

33. See Allan Reed, op. cit., p. 27.

34. D. M. Wai, op. cit., p. 73.

35. 0. Aguda, op. cit., p. 183. See also D. M. Wai, op. cit., pp. 72-73. .

36. See Allan Reed, op. cit., p. 12.

37. Ibid., p. 13.

38. Daily Nation (Nairobi), July 22, 1968, Editorial, “The Sudan Question."

39. For the essentially Pan-Africanist ideology of SANU and its military wing, the "Anya-nya", see Allan Reed, op. cit., p. 26.

40. Interview in Playboy (London), April 1968, cited in D. M. Wai, op. cit., p. 73.

41. D.M. Wai, ibid., p. 88.

42. Ibid., pp. 88n, 89.

43. 0. Aguda, op. cit., p. 177.

44. D. M. Wai, op. cit., p. 73.

45. See B. Lewis, Race and Color in Islam, New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1970, p. 85. Also

     Leda Farrant, Tippu Tip and the East African Slave Trade, New York: St. Martin's Press,
     1975, p. 2.

46. B. Lewis, ibid., pp. 69, 70, 72, 77.

47. Ibid., p. 82.

48. See Tribune de Geneve, April 30,1973.

49: B. Lewis, op. cit., p. 81; E. P. Alexandrov, Political Economy of Capitalism, Moscow, p. 60.

50. Edward A. Alpers, The East African Slave Trade, Historical Association of Tanzania, Paper No. 3, Nairobi: EAPH, 1967, p. 10.

51. B. Lewis, op. cit., p. 7.

52. L. Farrant, op. cit., p. 9.

53. J. Okello, Revolution in Zanzibar, Nairobi: EAPH, 1967, p. 108.

54. L. Farrant, op. cit., p. 16.

55. Ibid., p. 15.

56. J. Okello, op. cit., p. 88.

57. Ibid., p. 95.

58. Confidential Newsletter, July 15,1960.

59. Daily News (Dar es Salaam), November 6,1972.

60. Anti-Slavery Reporter, The Anti-Slavery Society for the Protection of Human Rights, Series VII, Vol. 13, No. 1, December 1981. p. 16.

61. West Africa, No. 2947, December 3,1973, p. 1711.

62. Confidential Newsletter, February 28,1979.

63. Anti-Slavery Reporter, p. 17.

64. Ibid.

65. Cited in Africa News, August 4,1980, pp. 2,11.

66. B. D. Nossiter, "UN Gets a Report on Slaves," The New York Times, August 26,1981, p. All.

67. Anti-Slavery Reporter, p. I7.

68. Ibid., p. 18.

69. Ibid., p. 16.

70. Ibid., p. 17.

71. Cited in Anti-Slavery Reporter, p. 20.

72 Ibid.

73. See Tribune de Geneve, April 4,1973.

74. Weekly Spectator (Accra), February 17,1973 and March 3,1973.

75. Ibid., February 17,1973.

76. West Africa, No. 2743. December 27. 1969.

77. David Caute, Frantz Fanon, New York: Viking Press, 1970, p. 3.

78. Observation by Simone de Beauvoir, cited in David Caute, ibid., p. 4

79. F. Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, New York: Grove Press, 1967, pp. 102-103.

80. See Irene L. Gendzier, Frantz Fanon: A Critical Study, New York: Pantheon Books, 1973, pp. xii, 188; F. Fanon, Toward the African Revolution, New York: Grove Press, 1967, p. 177.

81. I. L. Gendzier, ibid., pp. 190-191.

82. Ibid.. p. 223.

83. Ibid., p. 243.

84. Ibid., pp. 243,244.

85. Cited in ibid.. p. 247.

86. Ibid., p. 246.

87. Edward A. Alpers. op. cit., pp. 23-25.

88. Cited in ibid., p. 25.

89. Ali Mazrui, Violence and Thought, Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press. 1969. p. 237.

90. See D. Ottaway. Algeria: The Politics of a Socialist Revolution, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970. pp. 10-11.

91.. See The New York Times, November 12.1981. p. A7.

92. See David Laitin, "Somalia's Military Government and Scientific Socialism”, in Carl G. Rosberg and Thomas M. Callaghy, Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa, Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1979, pp. 194-195.

93. See Daily News (Dar es Salaam), July 8,1977 and The New York Times, June 12,1980. p. A14, for details of Arab neocolonisation of Djibouti since its independence from France in 1977.

94. Ali Mazrui, "Black Africa and the Arabs," Foreign Affairs. Vol. 53, No. 4, July 1975, p. 740.

95. See ibid.

96. The Nationalist (Dar es Salaam), July 28, 1975.

97. See, for instance, The Weekly Review (Nairobi), August 11, 1978.

98. Newsweek, June 12, 1979, p. 39.

99. The Nationalist (Dar es Salaam), May 28, 1973.

100. See The New York Junes, March 5, 1981, p. A23.

101. For a Ugandan accusation, see The New York Times. February 25, 1982, p. A9 and February 26, 1982, p. A7; for a similar charge from Ghana, see Daily News (Dar es Salaam), October 12, 1977, p.2; for the accusations from Senegal and Gambia, see West Africa, November 10, 1980; and for a more general treatment of the subject, see West Africa, January 19, 1981. p. 98.

102. See West Africa, January 19, 1981, p. 97.

103. See ibid., pp. 98-99; The New York Times. March 4,1981, p. A3; December 14, 1981, p. A27: and January 4,1982, p. A3; Fouad Ajami, The Arab Predicament, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981, p. 93.

104. See The New York Times. November 26, 1982. p. A4.

105. See Julian Amery, The Life of Joseph Chamberlain, London: Macmillan, 1951, pp. 262-265.

106. Golda Meir, My Life, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1975, pp. 263-290.

107. Cited in ibid., p. 266.

108. E. A. Nadelmann, "Israel and Black Africa: A Rapproachement?", The Journal of Modem

 African Studies, Vol. 19, No. 2,1981, p. 213.

109. Ibid., p. 212.

110. Ibid., p. 195.

111. See West Africa, No. 2610, June 10, 1967; No. 2612, June 24,1967; No. 2614, July 8, 1967; No. 2618, August 5,1967; No. 2648, March 2,1968; No. 2625, September 23,1967.

112. Cited in West Africa, No. 2648, March 2,1968, p. 266.

113. Ali Mazrui, op. cit., p. 736.

114. E. Feit, "Community in a Quandary. The South African Jewish Community and Apartheid,"

 Race, April 1967, pp. 398-399.

115. E. A. Nadelmann, op. cit., pp. 212-213.

116. Ali Mazrui, op. cit., p. 742.

117. West Africa, No. 2950, December 24/31, 1973, p. 1812.

118. West Africa, No. 2946, November 26, 1973. p. 1677.

119. See Ali Mazrui, op. cit., p. 738.

120. See C. Cervenka, “The Afro-Arab Alliance," Africa, No. 31, March 1974. p. 79.

121. See The Weekly Review (Nairobi), March 14, 1977, p. 24.

122. Cited in a confidential newsletter.

123. See, for instance, Robert Whitehill, "Apartheid's Oil," The New Republic, February 10,

           1986. pp. 10-11.

124. Thomas Land, "Black Africa and Israel," The New York Times, February 11. 1980. p. A19.

125. See Ali Mazrui, op. cit., pp. 738-739.

126. See E. A. Nadelmann.op. cil., p. 204.

127. John Henrik Clarke ed., Marcus Garvey and the Vision of Africa. New York: Random House,

 1974. pp. 381-382.

128. See K. A. Busia, The Position of the Chief in the Modern Political System of Ashanti, London: Frank Cass, 1968; W. Tordoff, Ashanti Under the Prempehs: 1888-1939, London:OUP,1965.

129. A. Jacques Garvey, Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey, Vol. I. New York: Atheneum, 1977, p.44.

130. Ibid.. p. 43.

131. See Alan Cowell, "Christians Are Torn in the Land of Dr. Livingstone," the New York Times, December 28, 1982, p. A2.

132. Cited in A. R. M. Babu, African Socialism or Socialist Africa?, London: Zed Press, 1981, p. 120.

133. Cited in 0. Aguda, op. cit., p. 135.

134. E. A. Nadelmann, op. cit. p. 210. See Also Lansine Kaba, "Islam's Advance in Tropical

           Africa,” Africa Report, March-April I976, p. 39.

135. Ali Mazrui, op. cit., p. 737.

136. Ibid.

137. Confidential Newsletter, June 10, 1977.

   Ali Mazrui, op. cit., pp. 737-738. 

139. See The Arab World, No. 101, 1959.

140. Daily Nation (Nairobi), October 17,1973.

141. West Africa, No. 2943, November 5,1973, p. 1556.

142. The Weekly Review (Nairobi), September 26, 1977, p. 7; August 11, 1978. pp. 11, 14.

143. See Ali Mazrui, "Religious Strangers in Uganda: From Emin Pasha to Amin Dada," African

Affairs, Vol. 76. No. 302, January 1977, p. 21.

144. O. Aguda. op. cit., p. 180.

145. B. Lewis, op. cit., pp. 9,14.

146. See ibid., pp. 91-92.

147. Ibid., p. 5.

148. See ibid.. p. 101.

149. Ibid., p. 23.

150. Louis Farrakhan. Speech at "Welcome Home Brother Farrakhan" rally, cited in L. H. Mamiya, "Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Final Call: Schism in the Muslim Movement," Mimeo, 1980, p. 7.

151. Dr. Ali Treike, Foreign Minister of Libya's address at the Eighth Conference of Islamic Foreign Ministers in Tripoli, May, 1977.

152. Muammar Al Gaddafi, The Green Book: The Solution of the Problem of Democracy, Tripoli.

 undated, p. 45.

153. Chinweizu, op. cit., p. 495.

The Arab Conquest of north Africa[edit]

from WP : History of North Africa

see also Umayyad conquest of North Africa, Byzantine-Arab Wars, and the Battle of Carthage (698)
The Mosque of Uqba also known as the Great Mosque of Kairouan was founded by the Arab conqueror Uqba Ibn Nafi al-Fihiri in 670 AD; it is the oldest and most important mosque in North Africa [1], city of Kairouan, Tunisia.

The Arab conquest of the Maghrib began in 642 AD when Amr ibn al-As, the governor of Egypt, invaded Cyrenaica, advancing as far as the city of Tripoli by 645 AD. Further expansion into North Africa waited another twenty years, due to the First Islamic civil war. In 670 AD, Uqba ibn Nafi al-Fihiri invaded what is now Tunisia in an attempt to take the region from the Byzantine Empire but was only partially successful. He founded the town of Kairouan but was replaced by Abul-Muhajir Dinar in 674 AD. Abul-Muhajir successfully advanced into what is now eastern Algeria incorporating the Berber confederation ruled by Kusaila into the Islamic sphere of influence.[2]

In 681 AD Uqba was given command of the Arab forces again and advanced westward again in 682 AD, holding Kusaya as a hostage. He advanced as far as the Atlantic Ocean in the west and penetrated the Draa River Valley and the Sus region in what is now Morocco. However, Kusaila escaped during the campaign and attacked Uqba on his return and killed him near Biskra in what is now Algeria. After Uqba’s death, the Arab armies retreated from Kairouan, which Kusaila took as his capital. He ruled there until he was defeated by an Arab army under Zuhair ibn Kays. Zuhair himself was killed in 688 AD while fighting against the Byzantine Empire who had reoccupied Cyrenaica while he was busy in Tunisia.[2]

In 693 AD, Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan sent an army of 40,000 men, commanded by Hasan ibn al-Nu'man, into Cyrenaica and Tripolitania in order to remove the Byzantine threat to the Umayyads in North Africa. They met no resistance until they reached Tunisia where they captured Carthage and defeated the Byzantine Empires and Berbers around Bizerte [2].

Soon afterwards, al-Nu'man’s forces came into conflict with Berbers of the Jrāwa tribe under the leadership of their queen, Al-Kahina. The Berbers defeated al-Nu'man in two engagements, the first on the river Nini and the second near Gabis, upon which al-Nu'man’s forces retreated to Cyrenaica to wait for reinforcements. Reinforcements arrived in 697 AD and al-Nu'man advanced into what is now modern day Tunisia, again meeting Al-Kahina near Gabis. This time he was successful and Al-Kahina retreated to Tubna where her forces were defeated and she was killed.[2].

al-Nu'man next recaptured Carthage from the Byzantine Empire, who had retaken it when he retreated from Tunisia. He founded the city of Tunis nearby and used it as the base for the Ummayad navy in the Mediterranean Sea. The Byzantines were forced to abandon the Maghreb and retreat to their islands of the Mediterranean Sea. However, in 705 AD he was replaced by Musa bin Nusair, a protégé of then governor of Egypt, Abdul-Aziz ibn Marwan. Nusair advanced into what is now Morocco, captured Tangier, and advanced as far as the Sus river and the Tafilalt oasis in a three-year campaign.[2]

Colonization of Egypt[edit]

these sections are copied from WP:Copts

The Arab-Muslim Invasion of Egypt[edit]

In 641 AD, Egypt was invaded by the Arabs who faced off with the Byzantine army, but found little to no resistance from the native Egyptian population. Local resistance by the Egyptians however began to materialize shortly thereafter and would last until at least the 9th century.[3][4]

The Arabs imposed a special tax, known as Jizya, on the Christians who acquired the status of dhimmis, and all native Egyptians were prohibited from joining the army. Egyptian converts to Islam in turn were relegated to the status of mawali. Heavy taxation was one of the reasons behind Egyptian organized resistance against the new occupying power, as well as the decline of the number of Christians in Egypt. The Arabs' oppression of the Egyptians led the latter to mount several armed rebellions.

The Arabs in the 7th century seldom used the term misri, and used instead the term quft to describe the people of Egypt. Thus, Egyptians became known as Copts, and the non-Chalcedonian Egyptian Church became known as the Coptic Church. The Chalcedonian Church remained known as the Melkite Church. In their own native language, Egyptians referred to themselves as rem-en-kimi, which translates into those of Egypt. Religious life remained largely undisturbed following the Arab occupation, as evidenced by the rich output of Coptic arts in monastic centers in Old Cairo (Fustat) and throughout Egypt. Conditions, however, worsened shortly after that, and in the 8th and 9th centuries, during the period of the great national resistance against the Arabs, Muslim rulers banned the use of human forms in art (taking advantage of an iconoclastic conflict in Byzantium) and consequently destroyed many Coptic paintings and frescoes in churches.[5]

The Fatimid period of Islamic rule in Egypt was tolerant with the exception of the violent persecutions of caliph Al-Hakim. The Fatimid rulers employed Copts in the government and participated in Coptic and local Egyptian feasts. Major renovation and reconstruction of churches and monasteries were also undertaken. Coptic arts flourished, reaching new heights in Middle and Upper Egypt.[6] Persecution of Egyptian Christians, however, reached a peak in the early Mamluk period following the Crusader wars. Many forced conversions of Christians took place. Monasteries were occasionally raided and destroyed by marauding Bedouin, but were rebuilt and reopened.

Copts in modern Egypt[edit]

File:Coptic Deacons.jpg
Coptic deacons during Easter celebration in Cairo, Egypt.
St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Bellaire, Texas. There are about 4 million Copts living outside of Egypt, and are known as the Diaspora Copts.

The position of the Copts did not begin to improve until the rule of Muhammad Ali in the early 19th century, who abolished the Jizya and allowed Egyptians (Copts as well as Muslims) to enroll in the army. Conditions continued to improve throughout the 19th century under the leadership of the great reformer Pope Cyril IV, and in the first half of the 20th century (known as the Golden Age by the Copts) during Egypt's liberal period. Copts participated in the Egyptian national movement for independence and occupied many influential positions. Two significant cultural achievements include the founding of the Coptic Museum in 1910 and the Higher Institute of Coptic Studies in 1954. Some prominent Coptic thinkers from this period are Salama Moussa, Louis Awad and Secretary General of the Wafd Party Makram Ebeid. Following the 1952 coup d'état by the Free Officers, the conditions of the Copts have been slowly deteriorating and their human rights are often violated.

In 1952, Nasser led some army officers in a coup d'état against King Farouk, which overthrew the Kingdom of Egypt and established a republic. Nasser's mainstream policy was pan-Arab nationalism and socialism. The Copts were severely affected by Nasser's nationalization policies because, although they represented about 10-20% of the population,[7] they were so economically prosperous as to have held more than 50% of the country's wealth. In addition, Nasser's pan-Arab policies undermined the Copts' strong attachment to and sense of identity about their Egyptian pre-Arab, and certainly non-Arab, identity; permits to construct churches were delayed, Christian religious courts were closed, and the regime confiscated land and Church properties from Copts.[7] As a result, many Copts left their country for Australia, North America or Europe.[8][9][10]

Today, members of the non-Chalcedonian Coptic Orthodox Church constitute the majority of the Egyptian Christian population. Mainly through emigration and partly through European, American, and other missionary work and conversions, the Egyptian Christian community now also includes other Christian denominations such as Protestants (known in Arabic as Evangelicals), Roman and Eastern Rite Catholics, and other Orthodox congregations. The term Coptic remains exclusive however to the Egyptian natives, as opposed to the Christians of non-Egyptian origins. Some Protestant churches for instance are called "Coptic Evangelical Church", thus helping differentiate their native Egyptian congregations from churches attended by non-Egyptian immigrant communities such as Europeans or Americans.

In 2005 a group of Coptic activists created a flag to represent Copts worldwide.[11]

The current head of the Coptic Orthodox Church is Pope Shenouda III.

Copts in modern Sudan[edit]

Holy Mary Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, Khartoum, Sudan.

Sudan has a native Coptic minority, although many Copts in Sudan are descended from more recent Egyptian immigrants.[12] Copts in Sudan live mostly in northern cities, including Al Obeid, Atbara, Dongola, Khartoum, Omdurman, Port Sudan and Wad Medani.[12] They number up to 500,000, or slightly over 1% of the Sudanese population.[12] Due to their advanced education, their role in the life of the country has been more significant than their numbers suggest.[12] They have occasionally faced forced conversion to Islam, resulting in their emigration and decrease in number.[12]

Modern immigration of Copts to Sudan peaked in the early 19th century, and they generally received a tolerant welcome there. However, this was interrupted by a decade of persecution under Mahdist rule at the end of the 19th century.[12] As a result of this persecution, many were forced to relinquish their faith, adopted Islam, and intermarry with the native Sudanese. The Anglo-Egyptian invasion in 1898 allowed Copts greater religious and economic freedom and they extended their original roles as artisans and merchants into trading, banking, engineering, medicine and the civil service. Proficiency in business and administration made them a privileged minority. However, the return of militant Islam in the mid-1960s and subsequent demands by radicals for an Islamic constitution prompted Copts to join in public opposition to religious rule.[12] Gaafar Nimeiry's introduction of Islamic Sharia law in 1983 began a new phase of oppressive treatment of Copts, among other non-Muslims.[12] After the overthrow of Nimeiry, Coptic leaders supported a secular candidate in the 1986 elections. However, when the National Islamic Front overthrew the elected government of Sadiq al-Mahdi with the help of the military, discrimination against Copts returned in earnest. Hundreds of Copts were dismissed from the civil service and judiciary.[12] In February 1991, a Coptic pilot working for Sudan Airways was executed for illegal possession of foreign currency.[13] Before his execution, he had been offered amnesty and money if he converted to Islam, but he refused. Thousands attended his funeral, and the execution was taken as a warning by many Copts, who began to flee the country.[13] Restrictions on the Copts' rights to Sudanese nationality followed, and it became difficult for them to obtain Sudanese nationality by birth or by naturalization, resulting in problems when attempting to travel abroad. The confiscation of Christian schools and the imposition of an Arab-Islamic emphasis in language and history teaching were accompanied by harassment of Christian children and the introduction of hijab dress laws. A Coptic child was flogged for failing to recite a Koranic verse.[13] In contrast with the extensive media broadcasting of the Muslim Friday prayers, the radio ceased coverage of the Christian Sunday service. As the civil war raged throughout the 1990s, the government focused its religious fervour on the south. Although experiencing discrimination, the Copts and other long-established Christian groups in the north had fewer restrictions than Christians in South Sudan.

Today, the Coptic Church in Sudan is officially registered with the government, and is exempt from property tax.[12] In 2005, the Sudanese government of National Unity (GNU) named a Coptic Orthodox priest to a government position, although the ruling Islamist party's continued dominance under the GNU provides ample reason to doubt its commitment to broader religious or ethnic representation.[12]

Persecution and discrimination in Egypt[edit]

Religious freedom in Egypt is hampered to varying degrees by discriminatory and restrictive government policies. Coptic Christians, being the largest religious minority in Egypt, are also negatively affected. Copts have faced increasing marginalization after the 1952 coup d'état led by Gamal Abdel Nasser. Until recently, Christians were required to obtain presidential approval for even minor repairs in churches. Although the law was eased in 2005 by handing down the authority of approval to the governors, Copts continue to face many obstacles and restrictions in building new churches. These restrictions do not apply for building mosques.[14][15]

The Coptic community has been targeted by hate crimes and physical assaults. The most significant was the 2000–2001 El Kosheh attacks, in which Muslims and Christians were involved in bloody inter-religious clashes following a dispute between a Muslim and a Christian. "Twenty Christians and one Muslim were killed after violence broke out in the town of el-Kosheh, 440 kilometres (275 miles) south of Cairo".[16] In 2006, one person who was claimed to be both drunk and mad, attacked three churches in Alexandria, left one dead and from 5 to 16 injured, although the attacker was not linked to any organisation.[17][18] In May 2010, The Wall Street Journal reported increasing "waves of mob assaults" by Muslims against Copts, forcing many Christians to flee their homes.[19] Despite frantic calls for help, the police typically arrived after the violence was over.[19] The police also coerced the Copts to accept "reconciliation" with their attackers to avoid prosecuting them, with no Muslims convicted for any of the attacks.[19] In Marsa Matrouh, a mob of 3,000 Muslims attacked the city's Coptic population, with 400 Copts having to barricade themselves in their church while the mob destroyed 18 homes, 23 shops and 16 cars.[19]

Members of U.S. Congress have expressed concern about "human trafficking" of Coptic women and girls who are victims of abductions, forced conversion to Islam, sexual exploitation and forced marriage to Muslim men.[20]

Boutros Boutros-Ghali is a Copt who served as Egypt's acting foreign minister twice under President Anwar Sadat (1977 and 1978–1979). Although Boutros Boutros-Ghali later became the United Nations Secretary-General, his appointment as an only acting foreign minister depicted Egypt's systematic elimination of Copts from all governmental influential positions. Today, only two Copts are on Egypt's governmental cabinet: Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali and Environment Minister Magued George. There is also currently one Coptic governor out of 25, that of the Upper Egyptian governorate of Qena, and the first Coptic governor in a few decades. In addition, Naguib Sawiris, an extremely successful businessman and one of the world's 100 wealthiest people, is a Copt. In 2002, under the Mubarak government, Coptic Christmas (January the 7th) was recognized as an official holiday.[21] However, many Copts continue to complain of being minimally represented in law enforcement, state security and public office, and of being discriminated against in the workforce on the basis of their religion.[22][23] Most Copts do not support independence or separation movement from other Egyptians.[24]

While freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Egyptian constitution, according to Human Rights Watch, "Egyptians are able to convert to Islam generally without difficulty, but Muslims who convert to Christianity face difficulties in getting new identity papers and some have been arrested for allegedly forging such documents.[25] The Coptic community, however, takes pains to prevent conversions from Christianity to Islam due to the ease with which Christians can often become Muslim.[26] Public officials, being conservative themselves, intensify the complexity of the legal procedures required to recognize the religion change as required by law. Security agencies will sometimes claim that such conversions from Islam to Christianity (or occasionally vice versa) may stir social unrest, and thereby justify themselves in wrongfully detaining the subjects, insisting that they are simply taking steps to prevent likely social troubles from happening.[27] In 2007, a Cairo administrative court denied 45 citizens the right to obtain identity papers documenting their reversion to Christianity after converting to Islam.[28] However, in February 2008 the Supreme Administrative Court overturned the decision, allowing 12 citizens who had reverted back to Christianity to re-list their religion on identity cards,[29][30] but they will specify that they had adopted Islam for a brief period of time.[31]

The Egyptian Census of 1897 reported the percentage of Non-Muslims in Urban Provinces as 14.7%( 13.2% Christians, 1.4% Jews). The Egyptian Census of 1986 reported the percentage of Non-Muslims in Urban Provinces as 6.1%( 5.7% Christians, 0% Jews). The decline in the Jewish representation is interpreted through the creation of the state of Israel, and the subsequent emigration of the Egyptian Jews. There is no explanation for a 55% decline in the percentage of Christians in Egypt.It has been suggested that Egyptian censuses held after 1952 have been politicised to under-represent the Christian population.

colonization of Nigeria[edit]

colonization of Sudan[edit]

Colonization of Southeast Asia and Far East Asia[edit]







East Timor[edit]

New Guinea[edit]

Sulawesi and Moluccas[edit]

Ethnic cleansing and persecution of minorities in Arab and Muslim countries[edit]


Kurdish Genocide[edit]

=Armenian Genocide[edit]

Greek Genocide[edit]

Assyrian Genocide[edit]

Egypt Christians[edit]

Lebanon Christians[edit]

Iraqi Christians[edit]

Palestine Christians[edit]

Saudi Arabia[edit]

Sudan Christians and other[edit]





Muslim conquests[edit]

this is a copy of an article in WP by the same name. need to see what relevant

Age of the Caliphs
  Expansion under Muhammad, 622–632/A.H. 1-11
  Expansion during the Rashidun Caliphate, 632–661/A.H. 11-40
  Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661–750/A.H. 40-129

Muslim conquests (632–732), (Arabic: الغزوات‎‎, al-Ġazawāt or الفتوحات الإسلامية, al-Fatūḥāt al-Islāmiyya) also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests,[32] began after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula today [saudi arabia] which under the subsequent Rashidun (The Rightly Guided Caliphs) and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.

They grew well beyond the Arabian Peninsula in the form of a Muslim Empire with an area of influence that stretched from the borders of China and India, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Sicily, and the Iberian Peninsula, to the Pyrenees. Edward Gibbon writes in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

Under the last of the Umayyad, the Arabian empire extended two hundred days’ journey from east to west, from the confines of Tartary and India to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. And if we retrench the sleeve of the robe, as it is styled by their writers, the long and narrow province of march of a caravan. We should vainly seek the indissoluble union and easy obedience that pervaded the government of Augustus and the Antonines; but the progress of Islam diffused over this ample space a general resemblance of manners and opinions. The language and laws of the Koran were studied with equal devotion at Samarcand and Seville: the Moor and the Indian embraced as countrymen and brothers in the pilgrimage of Mecca; and the Arabian language was adopted as the popular idiom in all the provinces to the westward of the Tigris.

The Muslim conquests brought about the collapse of the Sassanid Empire and a great territorial loss for the Byzantine Empire. The reasons for the Muslim success are hard to reconstruct in hindsight, primarily because only fragmentary sources from the period have survived. Most historians agree that the Sassanid Persian and Byzantine Roman empires were militarily and economically exhausted from decades of fighting one another.

Jews and Christians in Persia and Jews and Monophysites in Syria were dissatisfied and sometimes even welcomed the Muslim forces, largely because of religious conflict in both empires.[33] In the case of Byzantine Egypt, Palestine and Syria, these lands had only a few years before been reacquired from the Persians, and had not been ruled by the Byzantines for over 25 years.

Fred McGraw Donner, however, suggests that formation of a state in the peninsula and ideological (i.e. religious) coherence and mobilization was a primary reason why the Muslim armies in the space of a hundred years were able to establish the largest pre-modern empire until that time. The estimates for the size of the Islamic Caliphate suggest it was more than thirteen million square kilometers (five million square miles), making it larger than all current states except the Russian Federation.[34]


The individual Muslim conquests, together with their beginning and ending dates, are as follows:

Byzantine–Arab Wars: 634–750[edit]

Wars were between the Byzantine Empire and at first the Rashidun and then the Umayyad caliphates and resulted in the conquest of the Greater Syria, Egypt, North Africa and Armenia (Byzantine Armenia and Sassanid Armenia).

Under the Rashidun

Under the Umayyads

Later conquests

Frontier warfare continued in the form of cross border raids between the Ummayyads and the Byzantine Isaurian dynasty allied with the Khazars across Asia Minor. Byzantine naval dominance and Greek fire resulted in a major victory at the Battle of Akroinon (739); one of a series of military failures of the Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik across the empire that checked the expansion of the Umayyads and hastened their fall.

Conquests of Muhammad and the Rashidun

Conquest of Persia and Iraq: 633–651[edit]

In the reign of Yazdgerd III, the last Sassanid ruler of the Persian Empire, a Muslim army secured the conquest of Persia after their decisive defeats of the Sassanid army at the Battle of Walaja in 633 and Battle of al-Qādisiyyah in 636, but the final military victory didn't come until 642 when the Persian army was destroyed at the Battle of Nahāvand. Then, in 651, Yazdgerd III was murdered at Merv, ending the dynasty. His son Peroz II escaped through the Pamir Mountains in what is now Tajikistan and arrived in Tang China.

Conquest of Transoxiana: 662–709[edit]

Following the First Fitna, the Umayyads resumed the push to capture Sassanid lands and began to move towards the conquest of lands east and north of the plateau towards Greater Khorasan and the Silk Road along Transoxiana. Following the collapse of the Sassanids, these regions had fallen under the sway of local Iranian and Turkic tribes as well as the Tang Dynasty. By 709, however, all of Greater Khorasan and Sogdiana had come under Arab control. By 751, the Arabs had extended their influence further east to the borders of China, leading to the Battle of Talas.

Conquest of Sindh: 664–712[edit]

During the period of early Rajput supremacy in north India (7th century), the first Muslim invasions were carried out simultaneously with the expansion towards Central Asia. In 664, forces led by Al Muhallab ibn Abi Suffrah began launching raids from Persia, striking Multan in the southern Punjab, in what is today Pakistan.

In 711, an expedition led by Muhammad bin Qasim defeated Raja Dahir at what is now Hyderabad in Sindh, and established the Umayyad domination in the area by 712.

The west of Indian sub-continent was then divided into many states. Their relation between each other were very weak. Al-Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf the ruler of Iraq knew this and waited for the best moment to strike.

As Muslim Empire and Dahir's kingdom were contiguous to each other, frequent border clashes took place. As a result relation between the two got worse.

The King of Ceylon, the present Srilanka sent many 8 ships full of gifts for the Calipf Al-Walid and the ruler of present Iraq, Hajjaj. But the pirates plundered the ships at the Debal of Sindh, which is now known as "Karachi". Hajjaj demanded compensation from Dahir. But Dahir denied to take responsibility for the crimes committed by the pirates.

For all these reasons. Hajjaj sent soldiers against Dahir. But first two expeditions failed. Then in 712 CE Hajjaj sent the third expedition. The commander-in-chief of this expedition was Muhammad bin Qasim Al-Thaqafi the nephew and son-in-law of Hajjaj.

Qasim subdued the whole of what is modern Pakistan, from Karachi to Kashmir, reaching the borders of Kashmir within three years. After his recall, however, the region devolved into the semi-independent states of Mansura and Multan ruled by local Muslim converts. The Arabs were effectively driven out after the defeats inflicted on them by the Gurjara Pratiharas[citation needed]. The emir of Sindh paid tribute to the Rashtrakuta king of Southern India[citation needed].

Conquest of Hispania (711–718) and Septimania (719–720)[edit]

The conquest of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania commenced when the Moors (Berbers and Arabs) invaded Visigothic Christian Iberia (modern Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Andorra, Septimania) in the year 711.[35] Under their Moorish leader, Tariq ibn Ziyad, they landed at Gibraltar on April 30 and worked their way northward.[36] Tariq's forces were joined the next year by those of his superior, Musa bin Nusair. During the eight-year campaign most of the Iberian Peninsula was brought under Islamic rule—save for small areas in the northwest (Asturias) and largely Basque regions in the Pyrenees.

This territory, under the Arab name Al-Andalus, became first an Emirate and then an independent Umayyad Caliphate, the Caliphate of Córdoba, after the overthrowing of the dynasty in Damascus by the Abbasids. When the Caliphate dissolved in 1031, the territory split into small Taifas, and gradually the Christian kingdoms started the Reconquest up to 1492, when Granada, the last kingdom of Al-Andalus fell under the Catholic Monarchs.

Conquest of the Caucasus: 711–750[edit]

End of the Umayyad conquests: 718–750[edit]

The success of the Bulgarian Empire and the Byzantine Empire in dispelling the second Umayyad siege of Constantinople halted further conquests of Asia Minor in 718. After their success in overrunning the Iberian peninsula, the Umayyads had moved northeast over the Pyrenees where they were defeated in 721 at the Battle of Toulouse and then at the Battle of Covadonga. A second invasion was stopped by the Frank Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 732 and then at the Battle of the River Berre checking the Umayyad expansion at Narbonne.

Türgesh Kaganate is also known Turkic who fought against Umayyads. In 717, the Kara Turgesh elected Suluk as their Khaghan. The new ruler moved his capital to Balasagun in the Chu valley, receiving the homage of several chieftains formerly bond to the service of Bilge Khaghan of the Türküt. Suluk acted as a bulwark against further Umayyad encroachment from the south: the Arabs had indeed become a major player in recent times, despite Islam hadn't still made many converts in central Asia (that would need some two or three centuries still). Suluk's aim was to reconquer all of Transoxiana from the Arab invaders - his war was paralleled, much more westwards, by the Khazar empire. In 721 Turgesh forces, led by Kül Chor, defated the Caliphal army commanded by Sa'id ibn Abdu'l-Aziz near Samarkand. Sa'id's successor, Al-Kharashi, massacred Turks and Sogdian refugees in Khujand, causing an influx of refugees towards the Turgesh. In 724 Caliph Hisham sent a new governor to Khorasan, Muslim ibn Sa'id, with orders to crush the "Turks" once and for all, but, confronted by Suluk, Muslim hardly managed to reach Samarkand with a handful of survivors, as the Turgesh raided freely. A string of subsequent appointees of Hisham were soundly defeated by Suluk, who in 728 even managed to take Bukhara and later on destroyed a large part of the Caliphate's army in Khurasan, discrediting Umayyad rule and maybe putting the foundations for the Abbasid revolution. The Turgesh state was at its apex of glory, controlling Sogdiana, the Ferghana Valley. It was only in 732, that two powerful Arab expeditions to Samarkand managed, if with embarrassing losses, to reestablish Caliphal authority in the area; Suluk renounced his ambitions over Samarkand and abandoned Bukhara, withdrawing north. In 734 an early Abbasid follower, al-Harith ibn Surayj, rose in revolt against Umayyad rule and took Balkh and Marv before defecting to the Turgesh three years later, defeated. In 738 Suluk, along with his allies Ibn Surayj, Gurak (a Turco-Sogdian leader) and men from Usrushana, Tashkent and Khuttal to launch a final offensive. He entered Jowzjan but was defeated by the Umayyad governor Asad at the Battle of Sa'n or Kharistan.

In 738, the Umayyad armies were defeated by the Indian Rajputs at the Battle of Rajasthan, checking the eastern expansion of the empire. In 740, the Berber Revolt weakened Umayyad ability to launch any further expeditions and, after the Abbasid overthrow in 756 at Cordoba, a separate Arab state was established on the Iberian peninsula, even as the Muhallabids were unable to keep Ifriqiya from political fragmentation.

In the east, internal revolts and local dissent led to the downfall of the Umayyad dynasty. The Khariji and Zaidi revolts coupled with mawali dissatisfaction as second class citizens in respect to Arabs created the support base necessary for the Abbasid revolt in 748. The Abbasids were soon involved in numerous Shia revolts and the breakaway of Ifriqiya from the Caliph's authority completely in the case of the Idrisids and Rustamids and nominally under the Aghlabids, under whom Muslim rule was extended temporarily to Sicily and mainland Italy before being overrun by the competing Fatimids.

The Abbasid caliph, even as he competed for authority with the Fatimid Caliph, also had to devolve greater power to the increasing power of regional rulers. This began the process of fragmentation that soon gave rise to numerous local ruling dynasties who would contend for territory with each other and eventually establish kingdoms and empires and push the boundaries of the Muslim world on their own authority, giving rise to Mamluk and Turkic dynasties such as the Seljuks, Khwarezmshahs and the Ayyubids who fought the crusades, as well as the Ghaznavids and Ghorids who conquered India.

In Iberia, Charles Martel's son, Pippin the Younger, retook Narbonne, and his grandson Charlemagne actually established the Marca Hispanica across the Pyrenees in part of what today is Catalonia, reconquering Girona in 785 and Barcelona in 801. This formed a permanent buffer zone against Muslims, with Frankish strongholds in Iberia (the Carolingian Empire Spanish Marches), which became the basis, along with the King of Asturias for the Reconquista, spanning 700 years which after the fall of the Caliphate of Córdoba contested with both the successor taifas as well as the African-based Muslim empires, such as the Almoravids and Almohads, until all of the Muslims were expelled from the Iberian peninsula.

Conquest of Nubia: 700–1606[edit]

After 2 attempts at military conquest of Nubia failed (see First Battle of Dongola), the Arab commander in Egypt concluded the first in a series of regularly renewed treaties known as AlBaqt (pactum) with the Nubians that governed relations between the two peoples for more than six hundred years. Therefore Islam progressed peacefully in the area through intermarriage and contacts with Arab merchants and settlers over a long period of time after the earlier attempts at conquering Nubia (in the 7th century)failed.

However, In 1171 AD the Nubians invaded Egypt, but they were defeated by the muslim Ayyubids[37]. From 1172 - 1173 AD the Ayyubids fought and defeated another Nubian invasion force which had penetrated Egypt. This time the Ayyubids not only repelled the invasion, but actually conquered some parts of northern Nubia in retaliation[38].

In the late 13th century the Sultan of Egypt,Sultan Baybar, defeated and subjugated the kingdom of Nubia. Sultan Baybar made the Kingdom of Nubia a vassal state of Egypt[39]. Decades later In 1315 the christian kingdom of Nubia was conquered by the Mamelukes, and a muslim prince of Nubian royal blood was placed on the throne of Dongola as king.

During the 15th century, the Funj, an indigenous people appeared in southern Nubia and established the Kingdom of Sinnar, also known as As-Saltana az-Zarqa (the Blue Sultanate). The kingdom officially converted to Islam in 1523 and by 1606 it had supplanted the old Christian kingdom of Alwa (Alodia) and controlled an area spreading over the northern and central regions of modern day Sudan thereby becoming the first Islamic Kingdom in Sudan. Their kingdom lasted until 1821.

Incursions into southern Italy: 831–902[edit]

The Aghlabids rulers of Ifriqiya under the Abbasids, using present-day Tunisia as their launching pad conquered Palermo in 831, Messina in 842, Enna in 859, Syracuse in 878, Catania in 900 and the final Byzantine stronghold, the fortress of Taormina, in 902 setting up emirates in the Italian Peninsula. In 846 the Aghlabids sacked Rome.

Berber and Tulunid rebellions quickly led to the rise of the Fatimids taking over Aghlabid territory and Calabria was soon lost to the apanate of Italy. The Kalbid dynasty administered the Emirate of Sicily for the Fatimids by proxy from 948. By 1053 the dynasty died out in a dynastic struggle and interference from the Berber Zirids of Ifriqiya led to its break down into small fiefdoms which were captured by the Italo-Normans by 1091.

Conquest of Anatolia: 1060–1360[edit]

The Abbasid period saw initial expansion and the capture of Crete (840). The Abbasids soon shifted their attention towards the east. During the later fragmentation of the Abbasid rule and the rise of their Shiite rivals the Fatimids and Buyids, a resurgent Byzantium recaptured Crete and Cilicia in 961, Cyprus in 965, and pushed into the Levant by 975. The Byzantines successfully contested with the Fatimids for influence in the region until the arrival of the Seljuq Turks who first allied with the Abbasids and then ruled as the de facto rulers.

In 1068 Alp Arslan and allied Turkmen tribes recaptured many Abbasid lands and even invaded Byzantine regions, pushing further into eastern and central Anatolia after a major victory at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. The disintegration of the Seljuk dynasty, the first unified Turkic dynasty, resulted in the rise of subsequent, smaller, rival Turkic kingdoms such as the Danishmends, the Sultanate of Rûm, and various Atabegs who contested the control of the region during the Crusades and incrementally expanded across Anatolia until the rise of the Ottoman Empire.

Byzantine-Ottoman Wars: 1299–1453[edit]

Further conquests: 1200–1800[edit]

Ottoman expansion until 1683

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the Sahelian kingdom expanded Muslim territories far from the coast. Muslim traders spread Islam to kingdoms across Zanj along the east African coast, and to Southeast Asia and the sultanates of Southeast Asia such as those of Mataram and Sulu.

After the Mongol Empire destroyed the Abbasid Caliphate, following the Battle of Baghdad (1258), they were stopped by Turkish Mamluks, Muslim army from Egypt in Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, and soon they converted to Islam, beginning an era of Turkic and Mongol expansions of Muslim rule into Eastern Europe under the Golden Horde; across Central Asia under Timur, founder of the Timurid dynasty; and later into the Indian subcontinent under his descendant Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire. Meanwhile in the 17th century, Barbary corsairs were conducting raids into Western and Northern Europe, as far as the islands of Britain and Iceland.[40][41] Eastern Europe suffered a series of Tatar invasions, the goal of which was to loot, pillage and capture slaves into jasyr.[42]

The modern era saw the rise of three powerful Muslim empires: the Ottoman Empire of the Middle East and Europe, the Safavid Empire of Persia and Central Asia, and the Mughal Empire of India; along with their contest and fall to the rise of the colonial powers of Europe.

Decline and collapse: 1800–1924[edit]

The Mughal empire reached its golden age under the rule of Jalaluddin Akbar, who married a Hindu Rajput princess and abolished the Jizya tax on non-Muslims. Akbar's grandson Shah Jehan built the famous Taj Mahal. Shah Jehan's son Aurangzeb was a religious man who led to greater expansion of Mughal Empire. During his reign Mughal Empire reached its top level.The Mughal Empire declined in 1707 after the death of Aurangzeb and was officially abolished by the British after the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

The Safavid Empire ended with the death of its last ruler Ismail III who ruled from 1750 until his death in 1760. The last surviving Muslim empire, the Ottoman Empire, collapsed in 1918 in the aftermath of World War I. On March 3, 1924, the institution of the Caliphate was constitutionally abolished by President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as part of his reforms.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hans Kung, Tracing the Way : Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006, page 248
  2. ^ a b c d e "A History of the Maghrib in the Islamic Period, Cambridge University Press, 1987. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Abun-Nasr" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ Mawaiz wa al-'i'tibar bi dhikr al-khitat wa al-'athar (2 vols., Bulaq, 1854), by Al-Maqrizi
  4. ^ Chronicles, by John of Nikiû
  5. ^ Kamil, p. 41
  6. ^ Kamil, op cit.
  7. ^ a b Nisan, Mordechai (2002). Minorities in the Middle East. McFarland. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-7864-1375-1. 
  8. ^ Charles M. Sennot (18 January 1999). "Free Copts". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  9. ^ Charles M. Sennott (17 January 1999). "A test of Faith in the Holy Land". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  10. ^ Charles M. Sennot (18 January 1999). "Christians are Fleeing Egypt". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  11. ^ The Free Copts – The Coptic Flag, Meanings and Colors
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Minority Rights Group International, World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Sudan : Copts, 2008, available at: [accessed 21 December 2010]
  13. ^ a b c The Copts
  14. ^ WorldWide Religious News. Church Building Regulations Eased. December 13, 2005.
  15. ^ Compass Direct News. Church Building Regulations Eased. December 13, 2005.
  16. ^ "“Egyptian court orders clashes retrial”". BBC News. July 30, 2001. 
  17. ^ Miles, Hugh (April 15, 2006). "Coptic Christians attacked in churches". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  18. ^ BBC. Egypt church attacks spark anger, April 15, 2006.
  19. ^ a b c d Zaki, Moheb (May 18, 2010). "Egypt's Persecuted Christians". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  20. ^ Abrams, Joseph (April 21, 2010). "House Members Press White House to Confront Egypt on Forced Marriages". Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  21. ^ Copts welcome Presidential announcement on Eastern Christmas Holiday. December 20, 2002.
  22. ^ Freedom House. Egypt's Endangered Christians.
  23. ^ Human Rights Watch. Egypt: Overview of human rights issues in Egypt. 2005
  24. ^ Coptic Pharaonic Republic
  25. ^ Human Rights Watch. World report 2007: Egypt.
  26. ^ Egypt: National Unity and the Coptic issue. 2004
  27. ^ Egypt: Egypt Arrests 22 Muslim converts to Christianity. November 03, 2003
  28. ^ Shahine, Gihan. "Fraud, not Freedom". Ahram Weekly, 3 – May 9, 2007
  29. ^ Audi, Nadim (February 11, 2008). "Egyptian Court Allows Return to Christianity". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  30. ^ Associated Press. Egypt court upholds right of converted Muslims to return to Christianity. 2008-02-09.
  31. ^ AFP. Egypt allows converts to revert to Christianity on ID. February, 2008.
  32. ^ Martin Sicker (2000), The Islamic World in Ascendancy: From the Arab Conquests to the Siege of Vienna, 'Praeger.
  33. ^ Rosenwein, Barbara H. (2004). A Short History of the Middle Ages. Ontario. pp. 71–72. ISBN 1551112906. 
  34. ^ Blankinship, Khalid Yahya (1994). The End of the Jihad State, the Reign of Hisham Ibn 'Abd-al Malik and the collapse of the Umayyads. State University of New York Press. p. 37. ISBN 0791418278. 
  35. ^ Medieval Sourcebook: Ibn Abd-el-Hakem: The Islamic Conquest of Spain
  36. ^ Spain The conquest, Encyclopædia Britannica
  37. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, pp. 60–62
  38. ^ The Nile: histories, cultures, myths By Ḥagai Erlikh, I. Gershoni
  39. ^ The Nile: histories, cultures, myths By Ḥagai Erlikh, I. Gershoni
  40. ^ Bernard Lewis (1993), Islam and the West, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195090616.
  41. ^ Bernard Lewis (1990), "Europe and Islam", The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, at Brasenose College, Oxford University.
  42. ^ Supply of Slaves


External links[edit]

the benefits of Arab and Islamic colonization[edit]