A Leauki's Writings
The Subjects
Published on January 20, 2009 By Leauki In War on Terror

Chapter I - Imazighen (Berbers)

 

The Imazighen (singular Amazigh) or Berbers are the indigenous peoples of northern Africa. In the 20th century their home countries went through extensive periods of Arabisation, and their own customs and language were made illegal until a revival starting a few years ago.

I have myself met only few Imazighen and know little of their customs. But the few individuals I have met were extraordinarily polite and nice. They are what in the past would have been called a "Hamitic people", and speak a language similar in structure to Hebrew and Arabic but with different word roots.


Ahmed Adghirni, Secretary-General, The Moroccan Amazigh (Berber) Democratic Party on Iranian Arab-language television (link requires free registration):

http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1518.htm

Transscript of Mr Adghirni's remarks:

"With regard to what Yahya said, let me point out, first of all, that he is defending Arab identity, which is of no interest to the Amazigh (Berber) people. Arab identity is something particular to the Arabs, and does not concern the Amazigh, or North Africans of other identities. Arab identity is specific to the Arabian Peninsula and to the countries concerned with this, but not to the Amazigh or the non-Arab residents of North Africa.

That's one thing.

With regard to the Jews, I don't have to tell you that their history in our region goes back to 1000 BCE. The history of the Amazigh in North Africa goes back 2957 years. In 40 years or so, we will have 3000 years of history behind us throughout which the Jews lived together with us.

For the Jews too, Arab identity is of no concern, just as it is of no concern to the aboriginal residents of North Africa.

He [referring to an Arab] was talking about the Arab period in North Africa, whereas we go back thousands of years before that. He used an infamous term. He said that the Amazigh are suspect. This is an ugly expression, which I ask him to retract, because it reflects badly on him more than on us. We are not suspect in our own country. He should retract all his ugly statements about the Amazigh.

With regard to the [Israeli-Amazigh friendship] association, you and those listening know that it has to do with friendship, which is a humanist value for the benefit of all peoples, including the Arabs. The Arabs replace friendship with enmity and war. We are working... Personally, I am convinced that friendship is better than war. If only the Arabs had believed in friendship with the Jews all these years, we would not be seeing rivers of blood flowing, among the Arabs themselves, and between the Arabs and the Jews.

Therefore, I find it objectionable that anyone - whether Arab, Amazigh, or Jewish - could have an aversion to the word "friendship".

[Talking about a lie told about him by Arab/Palestinian nationalists]

[...]

As for the association, to the best of my knowledge, it was the idea of a group of young people. Most of them recently graduated from university, some are unemployed, and others are still students. They have some supporters in Moroccan society among intellectuals, economics, and other sympathisers. They raised the idea two years ago [in 2005]. I support this idea.

As for organising it, they are responsible for it. These young people, as I learned from my contacts with them, are disgusted by the enmity that has spread in the Middle East, and by the anti-Semitism that begun to spread in our region [at this point the interviewer looks at his watch]. They are pained that the Moroccan Jews began to leave their homeland, when pan-Arab parties began to spread, around 1967.

[At this point the Arab author in the room goes into a wild rant about Berbers or Jews trying to eradicate Islam from the "Arab Maghreb". Ahmed continues:]

The topic of this show is the Friendship Association, but he has taken the opportunity to join the anti-Semitic movement. He said that the Moroccan Jews have no conscience. I condemn this statement and consider it anti-Semitism. The Moroccan Jews are respected and trustworthy. I know them, businessmen know them, and they are very conscientious."

[Note that the entire time the two Arabs referred to the Berbers' homeland as the "Arab Maghreb".]

It should be noted that the Imazighen have little interest in being "Arabs" and very much cherish their own identity. Furthermore, they have no stake in whatever wars the Arabs want to fight and view Arab militarism with suspicion.



Chapter II - Somalis

The Somalis are a Kushitic people. Specifically the Somalis in northern Somalia (former British Somaliland) are a mix of Kushitic Somali and immigrating Yishmaelis from Arabia. They speak Somali and Arabic. Somali is a Kushitic language (see above).

Somalia is currently practically divided into three (sounds like Caesar):

The south, the region around Mogadishu is war-torn and fought over between the legal (Arab) government of Somalia and Ethiopia on the one side and the "Islamic Court Union" on the other. The "Islamic Court Union" are Taliban-style Islamists.

The east is an autonomous region named Puntland. This is where all the piracy happens. Note that the pirates have local support.

The north is Somaliland, an unrecognised but working independent country. Somaliland is quiet, not just for Somomalia's standards. Its inhabitants are, according to their legends, descendants of Somalis and Yishmaelites from Mecca. (Muhammed was a Yishmaelite. The Yishmaelites are, according to legend, descendants from Abraham who moved from Canaan to the Arab peninsula 3500 years ago.)

The people of Somaliland do not see themselves as Arabs, do not want to be ruled by Arabs, and have been trying to forge diplomatic relations with Israel and the western world for years.

Note that Israel is generally viewed very favorably by non-Arab peoples in the middle east (except Kopts for some reason). Some outright look up to the Jews because they managed to resist Arab domination successfully for so many decades.

The following letter has been floating around the Internet for a while:

Text of the letter sent by fax to former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak
Rabin by  President of the Republic of Somaliland Mohamed Ibrahim Egal.

Your Excellency

Establishing Strategic Partnership with the State of Israel

In my capacity as the President of the Republic of Somaliland, an admirer
of the state of Israel and the courage of its people, please accept my
compliments and my people's profound felicitations to you, your Government,
President and the people of Israel for their tenacity, strength and
resourcefulness which had finally constrained its adversaries to make peace
with the State of Israel. I have the honour of representing the people of
Somaliland and its nascent state in this opportunity for seeking to
establish amiable and strategic links with the State of Israel.

It is important to note that our two nations have had strong links since
time immemorial. Indicative of such historical links, stretching well
before the advent of Islam to this date, is the influence of the Hebrew
culture in Somaliland and how Jewish legends and their mystical powers are
widely acknowledged and homage paid to them. In addition, the people of
Somaliland are appreciative as they have an indelible memory of the fact
that Israel was among the first three countries who recognised Somaliland
after it declared its independence from Britain on 26th June 1960, alas,
that independence lasted no more than four days as Somaliland entered into
a voluntary union with the UN Trust Territory of Somalia on 1st July 1960,
in the hope of creating Greater Somalia.

Exactly, thirty five years later, the dreams of Greater Somalia are
discredited and disavowed. It was under the union with Somalia that
Somaliland found itself a pathetic captive within a ruthless, destructive
and hostile state. Indeed, it was this union whose culmination was the
tyrannous and repressive regime of the late Siyad Barre which brought
about the enormous suffering, starvation and destruction in which the
world had witnessed and came to notice, too well, during the past five
years or so. The people of Somaliland have renounced such a union in May
1991 and reclaimed their independent sovereign entity, and nothing will
make them reverse the decision to extricate themselves from the captivity
of Somalia.

The vice-president and the Foreign Minister of Somaliland have, recently,
paid an official visit to Eritrea and while there met H.E. Ariel Kerem,
the Ambassador of Israel in Eritrea, who furnished them with valuable
advice and suggested that I, the President of Somaliland, should write to
your Excellency, as the Prime Minister of Israel, in person, informing you
about Somaliland's eagerness to establish an ex parte relationship based
on strategic partnership with the State of Israel and sharing with you
about my government's concerns and fears vis-a-vis the alarming menace
emanating from the expansion of Islamic influence in our strategic region.

As I am sure you are aware, at the height of the cold war Somalia's
strategic geographical location was acknowledged by both sides
(East/West). Today, however, although the West had won the cold war and
the threat of communism appears to be vanishing in many parts of the
world, we, in the Horn of Africa, are being threatened by a more sinister
and pernicious enemy in the form of encroaching Islamic influence. It
would be true to say that the State of Israel and its people are, perhaps,
more aware and alert of such threats than most other countries, and know
how perilous and pestilential the spread of Islamic influence would mean
for the entire region.

The political upheavals which have been taking place in the Horn of Africa
and the lack of stability in the region could be aggravated further if the
influence of Islamic Fundamentalism is not curtailed or contained very
soon. Somaliland's concern is reinforced by the growing influence of the
Saudis and the pro-Islamic Yemen, particularly ever since it had crushed
and defeated the South Yemeni's courageous attempt to forsake or renounce
its union with the north. Discovering that Eritrea is not interested [in]
to act as an Arab satellite, both Sana' and Riyadh, as well as Khartoum
(not to mention how pariah states like Iran and Libya are meddling into
the internal affairs of my country), are now directing their efforts to
force Somaliland to forfeit or withdraw its independence with the
intention of installing a pro-Islamic Somali state (under a federal
Somalia). This will most definitely render the control of both the north
and southern coasts of the Red Sea to pro-Islamic regimes, with the
exception of Eritrea and the miniature state of Djibouti which has no
significance leaving the whole region to become a bed-rock for Islamic
influence.

Your Excellency, my government firmly believes that owing to this region's
strategic geopolitical importance as a result of its propinquity to the
oil routes and the narrow Babul-Mendeb entrance, as well as its proximity
to the Gulf, the Middle East and the access to the Indian Ocean, it will
be highly deleterious if such a strategic region falls almost entirely
under the dominion of pro-Islamic regimes. Needless to say that this
should be a portentous eventuality which will in turn adversely affect the
national security of the State of Israel, and that of other countries in
the Horn of Africa who are trying to recover from years, if not decades,
of both man-made and natural disasters i.e. civil wars, military coups,
draughts and famines, etc. In addition, since countries in the region are
not politically stable the encroachment of Islamic influence will most
certainly have a destabilising effect. For instance, in Ethiopia with its
various nationalities and particularly with its large Muslim population,
the expansion of pro-Islamists in the region would act as a tinder-box
with the potential to enflame the entire region.

Although the people of Somaliland are over 98% Muslims, they are,
nevertheless, averse to adopt an antiquated Islamic Sharia Law as their
way of living and governance. In contrast my government intends to make
Somaliland a beacon of democracy and oasis for stability in this region of
upheavals and turmoil. But this is unlikely to happen in the present
climate, as we are ranged against by strong and powerful Islamic proxies
whose primary aim is to put out such an illume of hope. A foretaste of
what will happen if dark forces of Islamists will succeed in their pursuit
of bringing in a passé or an out-moded system, could be seen in Mogadishu
today, where a de facto administration from a coalition of Islamic proxies
and minority tribal groups headed by not so long ago UN/International
fugitive warlord General Aideed, where Islamic surrogates have been
infringing people's human rights with impunity; people are being stoned to
death for committing no crime other than fornication; and limbs are being
chopped off for petty crimes such as mugging and burglary in a barbaric
inhuman and uncivilised manner. My government has, in lieu of imposing
Sharia Law on our people, just completed the draft of a new secular
Constitution which is very liberal and mundane, for I am conscious that
Sharia Law does not reflect the needs of my people who are aspiring to
become a modern society.

Pro-Islamists are hell bent on spreading their influence & version of
Islam in the region, and are exploiting the plight of the people of
Somaliland. Islamists are the kind of people inspired by a boundless hate
who could even exculpate and excuse the crimes of the Holocaust. They have
scant regard of the dire needs of the Somali people. All they are
interested in is to have their way and are pouring arms and funds to
set-up a pro-Islamic regime in our country and establish more Islamic
proxies throughout the region. Their modus operandi is to take advantage
of people's predicament and impose unsuitable Islamic regimes upon and
unsuspecting people. Somalila nd is doing all it can to be a bulwark
against the spread of Islamic fundamentalism and sees this as an
international issue, thus would appreciate it if your Excellency would use
your good offices & enormous influence in the West, particularly in the
US, to alert them about the portentous/ominous situation developing in
this region, so that they would not remain hapless on-lookers while their
national/international interests are being threatened. I am absolutely
certain that those Arab countries noted above, as well as Iran, will
whip-up Islamic/Arab passion against Somaliland establishing amiable &
strategic partnership with the State of Israel and thus could use this as
a pretext to exacerbate our situation further both inside and outside
Somaliland. However, those countries need to know that my government is
not playing with empty emotions, as they often do, but playing pragmatism
and real politick for the best interest of its people and country. The
people of Somaliland have a daunting and onerous task to overcome their
Islamist adversaries and contain the encroachment of Islamic influence,
considering their strength, however, we are like David facing Goliath, but
then there were an overwhelming odds against Israel when it defeated Arabs
in three major wars. In order to surmount such an onerous task my
government needs the support and assistance of the State of Israel, not
only to defend our nascent state from the menace of pro-Islamist dark
forces, but also in terms of relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of
this devastated country. In this regard my government has a number of
priority areas where your Excellency's assistance is pivotal to the people
of Somaliland, among these are: First, military equipment and counter
insurgency experts. Second, conducting plebiscite on the issue of
independence at the end of next year 1996 or early 1997. Third, relief and
rehabilitation aid as well as development advisers, petroleum and mineral
exploitation expertise. The people of Somaliland have full confidence in
their government and are absolutely behind me in this historic decision of
establishing strategic partnership with the state of Israel and I am
determined to see it come into fruition.

Shalom,
I have the honour to remain,
Your Obedient Servant

Mohamed Ibrahim Egal
President
Republic of Somaliland

(End of letter.)

It should be noted that by "Islamic influence" Muhamed means Arab influence. Somalis, like Berbers, are Muslims.

As a separate thread to my "Israel's Muslim Friends" series of articles I will continue this series with more information about the non-Arab peoples of the middle east.

I will also try to write more about slavery in Sudan and other Arab countries and living conditions of Christians in countries where the rich have a worse standard of living than the poor in Gaza.

 


Comments
on Jan 20, 2009

...

on Jan 20, 2009

I look forward to each and every installment!  I love to read about things I am totally ignorant on, and North Africa is right up there, so please continue.  It provides some additional insight and knowledge that I am woefully lacking.

Thanks.

on Jan 20, 2009



I look forward to each and every installment!  I love to read about things I am totally ignorant on, and North Africa is right up there, so please continue.  It provides some additional insight and knowledge that I am woefully lacking.



I am not an expert on Africa either. But I will do what I can. I have done some research already. Ever since I returned from Iraq I had focused on North Africa.




Thanks.



Thank you for reading. With the inauguration of an actual Africa-American President (he is the son of an actual African) I figure it cannot hurt to learn more about Africa. I will try to keep the focus on African peoples rather than Assyrians and Kurds for the next few installments.

on Jan 20, 2009

I guess the point is that it is not "Islam" that claims ownership of land and is trying to get it back.

The Imazighen, Somalis, Massalith, Assyrians, and Kurds are Muslims just like Arabs; probably more so.

 

on Jan 20, 2009

With the inauguration of an actual Africa-American President (he is the son of an actual African) I figure it cannot hurt to learn more about Africa.

Yes, of the major continents (Antartica excepted), it is the one I know the least of.  Probably because it has the least impact on America, but it did give us the newest president.

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