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Thursday, 10 March 2011
Arab Racism On Display In Libya
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From the New York Times:
 
March 9, 2011
 

Many Refugees From Libya Don’t Want to Go Home

By SCOTT SAYARE

 

CHOUCHA TRANSIT CAMP, Tunisia — Europe fears Abdou Dirisu Minimu Aliu.

A towering, square-jawed Nigerian, his forearms swollen from years of building furniture in Libya, Mr. Aliu, 26, arrived at this sprawling camp on the Tunisian border after fleeing the violence in Tripoli. Destitute, his $2,600 in savings stolen by Libyan fighters, he now hopes desperately to reach a stable, prosperous country. Europe beckons.

There are thousands like him here, on the northern coast of Africa, and almost certainly tens of thousands more trapped in Libya. They had left their home countries for an oil-wealthy nation offering abundant employment and higher wages. They shrink from the prospect of returning penniless to the corrupt governments and stagnant economies they first fled.

“There is something I want you to know,” Mr. Aliu told a United Nations aid worker. “I’d have preferred to die in the war zone in Libya than to go back to Nigeria.”

“Do you know what it’s like to be a man who has lost everything?” he asked, plaintive, staring blankly at the ground. The aid worker, David Welin, moved close to Mr. Aliu.

“I’m sure that what you lived in Libya, what’s awaiting you in Nigeria, is not good,” he replied. But the United Nations would probably not be able to help, Mr. Welin said. For the time being, Mr. Aliu and thousands like him, principally from sub-Saharan Africa, are left to contemplate the 70 miles of sea that separate Tunisia from the Italian island of Lampedusa, and the European continent beyond. Some have begun to make arrangements with Tunisian traffickers for an illegal crossing.

“So many Nigerians are wanting to go over,” said Stanley Tawaris, 42, a slender Nigerian welder who lived for a decade in a two-room cinder-block lean-to in Zawiyah, west of Tripoli. “We struggled in Libya and acquired nothing. The best thing for us is to go forward, and not to go back to our country.”

His three children live in Nigeria; he sent $200 or $300 most months, he said, and worries he would never be able to provide so much if he returned to Nigeria. He hopes to join relatives in Germany, France or the Netherlands, Mr. Tawaris said, and find work.

“Anything,” he said. “Even if it is labor work, I don’t care.”

He hopes the winds that have whipped through this dusty camp will soon ease, and leave the Mediterranean calm; a friend has been arranging for a boat.

There are currently 15,000 migrants here, but there are provisions to accommodate as many as 30,000, organizers say. Bulldozers are clearing ground for an additional two camps nearby, and humanitarian groups continue to stockpile food and supplies in anticipation of thousands upon thousands more fleeing migrants, as Libya descends further into civil conflict.

About 1.5 million foreign laborers were thought to reside in Libya before the outbreak of violence last month; about 200,000 have since fled the country.

What little they had to lose was often lost in their flight out of Libya.

It is perhaps a measure of their desperation that they had chosen to stay in Libya at all. Workers here offer accounts of harassment and violence directed against the foreign laborers who worked on Libyan oil platforms, kneaded Libyan bread and built Libyan houses.

In Libya, “dogs are treated better than black Africans,” said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration. Because many of them enter the country illegally, he said, they “have no official status, no visibility.” They have come to constitute a sort of abusable underclass.

“This country is racist, there’s no other word for it,” said Mansouria Mokhefi, the director of the Middle East and North Africa program at the Paris-based French Institute of International Relations. “There is a hierarchy of races.”

Blacks are widely referred to as “Abd,” or slaves. Bangladeshis are viewed as little better, and even Arab Egyptians and Tunisians are considered to have limited rights.

Migrant workers tell of the “gangsters” who hold foreigners at knifepoint in the Libyan streets, stealing their money and telephones with impunity.

At night, said Francis Appiah, 35, a Ghanaian mason who fled the western Libyan city of Zuwarah, “you weren’t able to go out to buy anything,” for fear of attacks. He added that thieves had once stolen a DVD player, a television and speakers from his home.

“I didn’t go to the police, because sometimes they arrest black people for no reason,” he said. His landlord once had Mr. Appiah arrested, he said, because he had requested payment for plastering the interior of the man’s house.

A small, broad-smiling man with angular cheeks and no front teeth, wearing a faded Levi’s denim jacket, Mr. Appiah said he had come to Libya two years ago hoping to move on to Europe. Now, he said, perhaps he will. “I’m here with nothing,” he said. “Where there is money, where there is work, I will go.”

“If Africans were not poor, they would not be in Libya,” said Mr. Tawaris, the Nigerian, who was once stabbed repeatedly in the thigh by a thief who attacked him in the street. Though he found a Libyan doctor willing to stitch up a black man’s wound, he could not find a doctor willing to remove the sutures; he removed them himself. “If you are not strong, you cannot live there,” he said.

He has been languishing in his tent here, drawing slowly on cigarettes sold at the edge of the camp by local Tunisians, hoping for a boat.

“If our country was a very nice place to be,” said Mr. Tawaris, his face stern, “we would not have gone to a place like Libya.”

 

 


 

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Posted on 03/10/2011 7:49 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Comments
27 Jan 2012
delanys

ARABISM IS RACISM!

Islam and democracy: fear of the modern world - Page 176 - Fatima Mernissi - 1992 - 195 Pages

I am in a poor position to discuss Pan- Arabism because, like the majority of Moroccans, I am ethnically rather Berber. ... I am not saying that Islam can be reduced to Arabism, which would be both racist and absurd,...
http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=4eMkAQAAIAAJ&q=%22racist+and+absurd%22

Islam and the politics of resistance in Algeria, 1783-1992 - Page 172 - Ricardo René Laremont, Ricardo René Laremont - 2000 - 291 Pages

... Berber, and Tuareg nation. The politics of Arabization was both racist and linguistically insensitive. Algeria’s political leaders have insisted upon Arabism while remaining insensitive to the need to incorporate and assimilate non-Arabs, particularly the Kabyles, the Chaouias, and the Tuaregs.
http://books.google.com/books?id=exPYAAAAMAAJ&dq=Arabism

Chemical Ali sentenced to death - 3 Dec 2008 - Sydney Morning Herald

...Another defendant, former Baath party official Abdul-Ghani Abdul-Ghafur, was also sentenced to death Tuesday. He shouted, “Down with the Persian-U.S. occupation!” and [b]”Welcome to death for the sake of Arabism and Islam”[/b] as the sentence was read.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/chemical-ali-sentenced-to-death/2008/12/03/1227980048820.html

Hajj Amin al-Husayni: The Mufti of Jerusalem - [United States Holocaust Museum]

Muhammad Amin al-Husayni (189?-1974) was the Mufti (chief Muslim Islamic legal religious authority) of Jerusalem under the political authority of the British Mandate in Palestine from 1921 to 1937. His primary political causes were: 1) establishment of a [b]pan-Arab[/b] federation or state; 2) opposition to further immigration of Jews to Palestine and Jewish national aspirations in Palestine; 3) promotion of himself [b]as a pan-Arab and Muslim religious leader[/b].
In exile between 1937 and 1945, al-Husayni, claiming to speak for the Arab nation and the Muslim world, sought an [b]alliance with the Axis powers (Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy)[/b] based on their publicly recognizing 1) the independence of the Arab states; 2) the right of those states to form a union reflecting a dominant Muslim and specifically Arab culture; 3) the right of those states to reverse steps taken towards the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine; and 4) al-Husayni himself as the spiritual and political representative of this pan-Arab, Muslim entity. In exchange, al-Husayni collaborated with the German and Italian governments by broadcasting pro-Axis, anti-British, and anti-Jewish propaganda via radio to the Arab world; inciting violence against Jews and the British authorities in the Middle East; and recruiting young men of Islamic faith for service in German military, Waffen-SS , and auxiliary units. In turn, the Germans and the Italians used al-Husayni as a tool to inspire support and collaboration among Muslim residents of regions under Axis control and to incite anti-Allied violence and rebellion among Muslims residing beyond the reach of German arms..
http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007665

Pan-[b]Arabism[/b]’s Legacy of Confrontation with Iran - Iranian Heritage

Undoubtedly, Iranians of all stripes are offended at the “Arab Gulf” scandal, not to mention pan-Arabist attempts at fomenting [b]Arab racism against Iranians[/b]..
http://www.iran-heritage.org/interestgroups/history-article2.htm

Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC. September 28, 2005

- In 1987, Libya used the region as a “backdoor” into Chad.
- ”Islamic Legion” and a new racial ideology (”Arabism”).
http://foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/ZoellickTestimony050928.pdf
http://lawmakersreliefweb.int/node/186298/pdf

Out of step: life-story of a politician : politics and religion in a world ... - Page 112 Jack Brian Bloom - Antisemitism - 2005 - 391 pages

Arabism is racism” would have been an interesting debating topic. The OIC
countries were very clever in how they deflected the slavery issue that could so easily have been turned on them with a vengeance.
http://books.google.com/books?lr=&cd=25&id=Kr2gAAAAMAAJ&dq=arabism+is+racism

Africa events, Volume 7, published by Dar es Salaam Ltd., 1991, p. 21

Arabism is racism, pure and simple.
http://books.google.com/books?&id=SU4EAQAAIAAJ&=To+him%2C+Arabism+is+racism%2C+pure+and+simple.

Print Report [MEMRI]

3 May 2007 – [b]Berber Leader[/b] Belkacem Lounes:”There Is No Worse Colonialism Than That of the Pan-Arabist Clan that Wants to Dominate Our People” http://www.memri.org/report/en/print2183.htm

Coptic Newsletter, May 2009

“Racist Arabism & fascist Islamism: Anti-Copt.”
http://www.copts4freedom.com/CopticNewsLetter%20_Ehglish_May%2025%202009.pdf

Sudan - An Analysis of the British Colonial Policy and Its Legacy - Page 9 - Sophie Duhnkrack - 2010 - 36 pages

However, its overwhelming consequences are visible in the Darfurian drama; racial and racist Arabism, which increasingly characterizes the conflict in Darfur, reflects a hierarchy of potency ...
http://books.google.com/books?id=klml38H3O28C&pg=PA9

America in Iraq: Dialectics of Liberation And Occupation - Page 191 - Kamal Mirawdeli - 2005 - 244 pages

But as this group, or these groups, comprised mainly Arabs including previous Ba ‘athists, Iraqi generals and Iraqi technocrats immersed in racist Arabism and anti-Kurd prejudices, it was natural that all their arguments and scenarios...
http://books.google.com/books?id=xHI88mbf38sC&pg=PA191

Scandinavian journal of development alternatives: Volume 12 - Page 263 - Institute for Alternative Development Research - 1993
..., atrocities visited on black Africans there, pales into insignificance when measured against African resistance against racist Arabism currently being practiced in such places as Mauritania, Sudan and Algeria.
http://books.google.com/books?id=VxFZAAAAYAAJ&q=%22racist+Arabism+currently+being+practiced+in+such+places+as+Mauritania,+Sudan+and+Algeria%22]
(The Journal of international studies, Volumes 30-31 (By Sophia University. Institute of International Relations)- 1969 - Page 31
http://books.google.com/books?&id=8Fy5AAAAIAAJ&dq=arabism
http://books.google.com/books?lr=&cd=14&id=8Fy5AAAAIAAJ&dq=arabism)

[FPM] Seven Pillars of Middle East Reality
By: Kenneth Levin - 10 Apr 2007

[...] All minorities living within the Arab world are under siege. Tunisian human rights activist Muhammad Bechri has traced this to the ”twin fascisms” - his term - that dominate the Arab world, Islamism and pan-Arabism. The first promotes murderous intolerance of religious minorities. It helps explain why Christians are under siege across the Arab world and why Sudan enjoyed broad Arab support as it killed some two million non-Muslim blacks in the south of the country. Pan-Arabism translates into endorsement of murderous policies toward Muslim but non-Arab groups and accounts for Arab support for Saddam Hussein as he slaughtered 200,000 Kurds in northern Iraq, as well as backing for Sudanese policies toward the Muslim but black population of Darfur.
http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=25965





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