Tuesday, June 24, 2008


mujer amazighe continental
from Mundo Guanche

The etymology of the word “Berber”

by Djaafar Messaoudi

For some people, the origin of the word “Berber” would be Greek; their argument rely on the fact that the Greeks called people who spoke a language other than Greek “the Barbarians”. For the Arabs, the above word would be borrowed from Arabic, since in this language there is the verb “Barbara” (to roar) and “Al-barbarah” (“roar” and by extension, incomprehensible language – the equivalent of “baragouin”, meaning gibberish, the name given to the Breton language by the French).

But, in my view, these hypotheses rely on no logic, because in that period, the Berbers were not the only ones with whom the Romans or the Arabs had contacts. Why therefore other people as the Copts, the Kurds, the Sudanese, the Iranians, the Basques, etc, who spoke languages completely different from Latin and Arabic, had not been called “barbarians / Berbers”?

This incites us to search the origin of the above-mentioned appellation elsewhere, and more precisely in Berber language itself.

Our research in different Amazigh dialects led to the discovery of a group of terms and expressions with which we can associate the term “Berber”:

* Iber-iber: nomad in Touareg
* Sberber: be covered with clouds, when speaking about the sky in Kabyle, or to protect somebody or something by covering it with one’s body.
* Sbur: to cover one’s head in Kabyle
* Ibeṛbaṛen: a village located in Mcheddala, Bouira
* Tizi-n-Beṛbeṛ: another village in Kabylia.
* bbeṛbeṛ: very wet, in Kabyle.

My first assumption is that the term “Berber” would be a distortion or perhaps an evolved form of the word attested in Touareg, i.e. “Iberiber”. We know that the Berbers were called “Imazighen”, but maybe the appellation “iberiber”, which became then “Berber”, indicated only a particular grouping of Berbers, as the Touareg which were always big nomads. It would be then the Northern Berbers that would have created this nickname to indicate the Saharan, and the foreigners generalized it then to all Berbers.

My second assumption is that the term “Berber” would have a lexical relation with the words “sbur” and “Sberber”, which are both created on the basis of the same root: “BR”. In fact, if we refer to the dress habits of the North Africans, we will realize that the Berbers, since immemorial time, prefer broad clothings which cover them completely: Kabyle abernus, Shleuh tajellabit, Targui tagelmust, etc., are some examples. Even the Berber women wear long tiqendiar and timhermin or else asburru to protect their heads. It would be therefore the reason for which the Berbers were called, besides Imazighen, “Iberbaren”, which became then “Berber” in foreign languages.

Written by: D. Messaoudi

Monday 21 May 2007,


Towards the end of the colonial arabic islamic tyranny in North Africa

by Zorro



The Arabic Islamists terrorists invaded North Africa and succeeded to control and oppress the Berbers to make of their land a new home of terrorism and terror since the 7th century. The Islamic fascism and antihuman ideology startled the entire world since then. Today, especially after the Ben Laden’s terrorist attacks of 9/11 on the American Twin Towers, the Berber North African populations have decided to win back both their honour, dignity and independence which have always been being raped by the followers of the satanic Mahomet since the 7th century. Here is a shameful story of these fascist Islamists which occurred in North Africa, over two centuries ago. The reader has to keep in mind that this story has nothing to do with the Berbers who were/are colonised by the Arabs who were/are still raping and terrorising North Africa.


Victory in Tripoli: Lessons for the War on Terrorism

by Joshua E. London

Over two centuries ago, the United States was dragged into the affairs of the Islamic world by an escalating series of unprovoked attacks on Americans by Muslim pirates, the terrorists of the era. These pirates preyed on unsuspecting trade ships. The hulk­ing merchant vessels of the period were no match for the Muslim pirate ships, which were built for speed and lightning strikes. It was simply a fact of life that— over the centuries—took its toll on countless mer­chant ships and their crews.

Contemporary scholars estimate that over 1 million white Christians from France and Italy to Spain, Hol­land, Great Britain, the Americas, and even Iceland were captured between 1500 and 1800. The blood­curdling tales of brutality and horror that awaited Christians unlucky enough to fall victim to the Bar­bary Pirates were widely known, although sometimes wildly exaggerated.

The reality was often much more prosaic, although no less cruel. After seizing the cargo and scuttling the vessel, the pirates would strip the crew of anything deemed remotely valuable. The shaken, naked, terri­fied crewmen would then be dragged back to North Africa. There, they would be imprisoned and enslaved or, if they were lucky, ransomed back to their sover­eign or their family or the company they worked for.

Often enough, however, the victims of these mari­time hijackings would languish in fetid prisons, unsure of when, or even if, they would ever be redeemed. Many perished or simply disappeared in the White Slave trade. The only other escape was conversion. Embracing Islam—“turning Turk”—instantly changed one’s status and prospects. Indeed, from time to time, some of these victims would prove rather able-bodied adventurers and mercenaries, considering their national identity, their religion, and their foreskins a small price to pay as compared with life as a Muslim pirate in North Africa.

Rogue States: The Maghrib

Known as the Barbary Pirates, these Muslim ter­rorists operated under the protection and sponsor­ship of rogue Arab states. The Barbary States— modern-day Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Lib­ya—are collectively known to the Arab world as the Maghrib (“Land of Sunset”), denoting Islam’s territorial holdings west of Egypt.

With the advance of Mohammed’s armies in the Christian Levant in the seventh century, the Medi­terranean was slowly transformed into the backwa­ter frontier of the battles between Crescent and Cross. Battles raged on both land and sea, and reli­gious piracy flourished. It was also a lucrative busi­ness, one that yielded great riches to the pirates and to the regimes that gave them refuge.

In contemporary terms, this system of piracy was simply state-sponsored terrorism, an extortion racket in which the pirates and the petty North African states were all complicit—as was the Otto­man Empire, to which three of the four states owed at least nominal allegiance.

The European states disapproved of all this, despite their own robust tradition of piracy and pri­vateering. After all, such practices were increasing­ly considered incompatible with a globalized world that was increasingly dependent on overseas com­merce. Nonetheless, these mercantilist nations remained more or less content to pay the extortion and appease the pirates, deciding that it was cheap­er and easier than trying to defeat them. Also, the stronger nations of Europe quickly realized the benefits of manipulating the pirates to stave off commercial competition.

Pursuing Peace Through Appeasement

America’s struggle with the terrorism of Muslim piracy from the Barbary States began soon after the 13 colonies declared their independence from Britain in 1776 and continued for roughly four decades.

After the War of Independence, America lost British protection in the Mediterranean and began worrying about Barbary depredations. In very short order, the precariousness of American interests abroad was brought into sharp focus when the American merchant vessel Betsey was taken by Morocco in October 1784.

Soon thereafter, two ships with a combined crew of 24 men fell to the pirates of Algiers—the Maria of Boston was captured on July 25, 1785, and five days later the Dauphin of Philadelphia was taken. The hostage crisis was significant, and Congress became greatly alarmed. Destitute of finances and military might, however, the United States pursued a multilateral diplomatic effort at peace. Conse­quently, between 1785 and 1793, a total of 13 ships and 119 men were taken by Algiers.

Obviously, the way forward was deemed to be the pursuit of peace treaties—appeasing terrorism. In 1792, for instance, Congress hoped for a peace trea­ty with Algiers that was to cost upwards of $40,000, with up to $25,000 to be paid in annual tribute. Ransoming enslaved Americans, it was thought, would cost an extra $40,000. Unsurprisingly, these terms were unacceptable to the pirates—why, after all, should they settle so cheaply?

The peace treaty was finally concluded with Alg­iers only in 1796, and the terms were far from appealing—$642,500 in cash up front, followed by a pledge of healthy annual tribute and sundry naval stores. The total cost of this transaction, Congress later determined, was $992,463.25, or about $14,300,000 in today’s terms: By way of compari­son, the entire federal budget for FY 1796 was $5.7 million.

Washington Warns Congress: Be Ready for War

Then, as would happen with some frequency, the situation in Barbary changed as new rulers came to power, resulting in new realities and forcing new deals. President Washington warned Congress in December 1793: “If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace…it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.”

Suitably moved, the House of Representatives on March 10, 1794, passed, and on March 19 the Sen­ate ratified, a bill that gave birth to the United States Navy. As the legislation states: “Whereas the depredations committed by Algerine corsairs on the commerce of the United States render it neces­sary that a naval force should be provided for its protection….” Six ships were authorized at a cost of just under $700,000. Unfortunately, the birth of the U.S. Navy was no more exempt from the laws of politics than are mortals from the laws of physics. Thus, in an early example of pork-barrel politics, the ships were to be built in six different states.

As is the case today, party politics played a role in devising a national defense policy. The Federalists, led by John Adams and Alexander Hamilton, were pro-Navy, while the Democratic Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson, were anti-Navy. The pro-Navy party wanted to castigate the pirates, protect U.S. commerce and foreign interests, and assert American strength abroad to secure international respect and influence. Their opponents preferred spending money on westward expansion rather than on ships and distant enemies in foreign lands.

This was somewhat ironic, as Jefferson was oth­erwise a hawk when it came to the pirates and had previously argued at great length for a robust naval and military response. Jefferson even envisioned an international force, somewhat like what NATO is supposed to be today, that would be called into being expressly to deal with the Muslim pirates. No one ever took this idea particularly seriously.

Before long, however, national politics gave Jefferson his chance for hawkishness. Soon after he became President, the situation in Barbary degenerated.

The Coming of War with Tripoli

President Adams, before him, had been con­strained by the early peace efforts, and so was forced to comply with treaty obligations. These included the establishment of American consulates in the Barbary States and sending those regimes cash, armaments, warships, and naval supplies as well as sundry bribes. As the demands of the Bar­bary Nations increased, the inevitability of war loomed ever larger. This was particularly so with the Regency of Tripoli.

In late May 1801, Jefferson, using his executive powers, sent a squadron under Commodore Richard Dale to deal with Tripoli’s ruler, Pasha Yusuf Qara­manli. Attempts to pacify him with money and bribes had already failed. Indeed, unbeknownst to the Administration, a couple of weeks earlier Qara­manli had beaten Jefferson to the punch. On Thurs­day, May 14, 1801, Qaramanli sent word to the American consulate that he was sending men over to chop down the American flagpole—the traditional method of declaring war in Tripoli.

Congress didn’t respond to Qaramanli’s actions until February 1802, when it empowered Jefferson to use the Navy in any way he deemed fit to protect “the commerce and seamen of the United States against Tripolitan cruisers.” Jefferson’s instructions to naval officers were explicit: “subdue, seize and make prizes of all vessels, goods and effects belong­ing to the Dey of Tripoli” and proceed with whatev­er measures “the state of war will justify.” Note, however, that war had not been officially declared.

Barbary naval warfare was to prove as frustrating as the earlier diplomatic dealings with its perfidi­ous tyrants. So frustrated was Commodore Dale that upon returning home from the Mediterranean in April 1802, he resigned his commission and, glad to be rid of the burden of Barbary, retired to Philadelphia.

Jefferson then sent another squadron under Com­modore Richard Morris. This effort proved even more ineffectual, however, and Morris demonstrat­ed a rather thorough incompetence. He was relieved of command in August 1803. For his exertions, such as they were, Morris was rewarded with a court of inquiry into his conduct. Adjudged “not competent to the command of a squadron,” Morris was dis­missed from service in the United States Navy.

“The Most Bold and Daring Act of the Age”

Another squadron was dispatched under Com­modore Edward Preble. Though he too would end up frustrated, the fighting officer from Maine believed naval force was the answer to Barbary maritime terrorism and was determined to chastise Tripoli.

Preble’s chief frustration was the loss, early in his tenure, of the USS Philadelphia under the command of Captain William Bainbridge. While chasing a small, insignificant pirate vessel on October 31, 1803, Bainbridge grounded the mighty frigate on an uncharted reef. This blunder was compounded by the fact that Bainbridge failed to destroy his per­sonal papers after surrendering and abandoning his ship—without a fight—just outside of the harbor of Tripoli.

Consequently, Yusuf Qaramanli now had a mag­nificent warship—renamed the “Gift of Allah” — 307 American hostages, and invaluable intelligence about the American squadron and Preble’s inten­tions. As the news quickly spread, American pres­tige plummeted to new depths.

While maintaining the naval blockade of Tripoli, Preble set aside his plans for a robust campaign and pondered his only two options for the Philadelphia: to recapture her or destroy her. The impracticabili­ty of retaking the mighty frigate forced the latter option. The plan called for Lieutenant Stephen Decatur to sail into the fortified harbor of Tripoli aboard the USS Intrepid, a captured enemy ketch, and come alongside the Philadelphia. At his signal, the nighttime raid would commence and his men, hidden below-deck, would swarm aboard Philadel­phia and burn her.

On the night of February 16, 1803, the Intrepid came alongside the Philadelphia. As enemy guards, suddenly suspicious, raised the alarm, Decatur yelled “Board!” while leaping over the side. His men rushed the ship and overwhelmed the guards with their sabers and tomahawks. Combustibles were placed at key spots around the ship and ignit­ed at Decatur’s command. The fire spread rapidly and uncontrollably.

Just then, the enemy’s gunboats and shore batter­ies came alive. Waiting until all his men were safely back aboard the Intrepid, Decatur leapt into her rig­ging as she pulled away. The successful 20-minute mission was over, and Decatur suddenly became an American naval hero. The mission had been styled “the most bold and daring act of the age” by Admiral Horatio Nelson. Indeed, Pope Pius VII said the Americans by this action “had done more for the cause of Christianity than the most powerful nations of Christendom have done for ages.”

Preble also launched several attacks against Tri­poli, but to no great effect. Frustrated with the lack of positive results and the growing costs of the war, Jefferson replaced Preble with Commodore John Barron.

“General” William Eaton and the Fall of Derna

In an historic and unconventional move, Jeffer­son also sent an odd, obsessed, and self-destructive man to the Mediterranean to lead what amounted to the nation’s first covert operation. William Eaton, formerly America’s consular agent in Tunis, had developed a pet scheme to overthrow Yusuf Qaramanli. Named Naval Agent for the Barbary Regencies in 1804, Eaton, a veteran of the Revolu­tionary War and Indian fighter, sailed with Com­modore Barron’s squadron to Barbary.

The scheme was ridiculous. Eaton was to find Yusuf’s exiled brother Ahmad, raise an army, march to Derna (the second largest city in the Regency of Tripoli), capture it, secure its harbor, foment rebel­lion, and then proceed to Benghazi and then on to the city of Tripoli. There, Yusuf was to be ousted and replaced by the U.S.-friendly Ahmad.

Eaton had managed to convince Jefferson that the mission was worth a shot and that it could be done cheaply. That was more than enough for Jef­ferson, but almost from the moment Jefferson gave Eaton the green light, he started to have his own doubts about it.

The expedition began on November 26, 1804, when Eaton landed in Alexandria, Egypt. Accom­panying him was a small detachment of United States Marines led by Lieutenant Neville Presley O’Bannon.

Eaton steamrolled ahead to Cairo, picking up Ahmad and assorted “warriors,” and then embarked on a roughly 500-mile march westward across the desert. The newly self-appointed “Gen­eral” Eaton was able to muster a roughly 400-man army of European mercenaries and disaffected Arab fighters. Due principally to religious tension and mistrust, this motley army nearly collapsed into mutiny and bloodshed at nearly every turn. The only binding element was Eaton and his Marines.

William Eaton overcame odds that might have stopped a saner man. At the fortified city of Derna, in April 1805, Eaton confronted a force much larg­er than his own. His strategy was to lead a charge straight into the enemy’s guns and, with the sup­port of U.S. Navy gunboats offshore, capture the city. The effort was a smashing success. When Eaton’s Marines flew the Stars and Stripes at Derna, it was the first time a U.S. flag had been raised in conquest in a foreign land.

It is this action, and the valor and conduct of the Marines, that is forevermore enshrined in the open­ing lines of the Marine Corps hymn: “From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli.” The action at Derna also gave us the Mameluke sword that is worn on parade and formal occasions by Marine commissioned and warrant officers. The sword is patterned after the sword worn by Ahmad Qaramanli, which he carried while a refugee with the Mameluke in Egypt. Ahmad presented his jew­eled sword to Lieutenant Neville Presley O’Bannon as a tribute to the Marine’s bravery and valor. It is also the oldest weapon in continuous use by the United States Armed Forces.

The fall of Derna shook Pasha Qaramanli to his core. It also gave Eaton the momentum he had hoped for. The Pasha envisioned the forthcoming reckoning, Eaton the vindication and glory.

Unknown to Eaton, however, Jefferson had authorized U.S. diplomat Tobias Lear to negotiate a peace treaty at the same time that Eaton was under­taking his daring and dangerous mission. It was Jef­ferson’s way of hedging his bets. Whichever effort succeeded first, the President would be able to declare victory.

While Eaton planned his westward advance in his head, an enormously relieved Pasha Qaramanli was busy cutting a sweet deal to end the conflict and retain his position. Consul General Tobias Lear negotiated a peace treaty with Tripoli. The United States agreed to pay $60,000 for all American pris­oners; agreed to withdraw all U.S. forces and sup­port from Derna; and granted a secret stipulation that the Pasha be allowed to keep Ahmad’s family hostage to prevent future mischief. The Americans were freed, peace was declared, and Ahmad Qara­manli was betrayed without a moment’s hesitation.

An Elusive “Peace”

Jefferson declared “victory,” but the “peace” proved rather political. The Senate ratified the peace treaty with Tripoli, and it was proclaimed on April 22, 1806. The Federalists did not manage to derail the peace treaty, although they did manage to embarrass and, at junctures, discredit President Thomas Jefferson and forever tarnish the career of Tobias Lear. Five years later, the now alcoholic, 47-year-old William Eaton died in anonymity. For what it is worth, Thomas Jefferson and James Mad­ison saw to it that Lear continued in government employ until his death. He committed suicide in 1816 and left no note.

The piracy didn’t actually end there, however. America simply chose to ignore it as more pressing matters took center stage.

Finally, in 1815, Barbary piracy once again emerged atop the country’s national priorities. The War of 1812 finally over and the Treaty of Ghent ratified, President James Madison was at last able to concentrate on the situation in the Mediterranean. Once again, diplomacy had failed. Again, bribery had also failed—the money was never enough.

Unlike Thomas Jefferson, Madison was eager to pursue the war against the Barbary terrorism with real gusto. On March 2, 1815, Madison secured a declaration of war from Congress. He sent two squadrons under Commodores William Bainbridge and Stephen Decatur to deal with the Barbary tyrants.

Decatur reached Barbary first. He quickly defeat­ed the enemy at sea and forced tough new peace treaties on American terms, “dictated at the mouths of our cannon.” These new terms finally spelled victory. This was the first time any nation had suc­cessfully stood up to the Barbary Pirates. It was suf­ficient to ignite the imagination of the European powers to rise up against Barbary and take action.

In late August 1816, a combined British and Dutch fleet under the command of Lord Exmouth unleashed hell upon Algiers, effectually ending pira­cy against most of Europe—excepting France. The French eventually grew tired of Barbary as well and sent an invasion force in May 1830. France con­quered the city and regency of Algiers and remained there until they were finally chased out in 1962.

Lessons for the War on Terrorism

Although there is much in the history of Ameri­ca’s wars with the Barbary pirates that is of direct relevance to the current global war on terrorism, one aspect seems particularly instructive to inform­ing our understanding of contemporary affairs. Very simply put, the Barbary pirates were commit­ted, militant Muslims who meant to do exactly what they said.

Take, for example, the 1786 meeting in London of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Tripolitan ambassador to Britain. As American ambassadors to France and Britain, respectively, Jefferson and Adams met with Ambassador Adja to negotiate a peace treaty and protect the United States from the threat of Barbary piracy.

These future United States Presidents questioned the ambassador as to why his government was so hostile to the new American republic even though America had done nothing to provoke any such animosity. Ambassador Adja answered them, as they reported to the Continental Congress, that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman [Muslim] who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.

Sound familiar?

Note that America’s Barbary experience took place well before colonialism entered the lands of Islam, before there were any oil interests dragging the U.S. into the fray, and long before the founding of the state of Israel.

America became entangled in the Islamic world and was dragged into a war with the Barbary States simply because of the religious obligation within Islam to bring belief to those who do not share it. This is not something limited to “radical” or “fun­damentalist” Muslims—which is not to say that such obligations lead inevitably to physical con­flict, at least not in principle. After all, peaceful proselytizing among various religious groups con­tinues apace throughout the world; but within the teachings of Islam, and the history of Muslims, this is a well-established militant thread.

The Islamic basis for piracy in the Mediterranean was an old doctrine relating to the physical or armed jihad, or struggle. To Muslims in the heyday of Barbary piracy, there were, at least in principle, only two forces at play in the world: the Dar al-Islam, or House of Islam, and the Dar al-Harb, or House of War. The House of Islam meant Muslim governance and the unrivaled authority of the shar­ia, Islam’s complex system of holy law. The House of War was simply everything that fell outside of the House of Islam—that area of the globe not under Muslim authority, where the infidel ruled. For Muslims, these two houses were perpetually at war—at least until mankind should finally embrace Allah and his teachings as revealed through his prophet, Mohammed.

The point of jihad is not to convert by force, but to remove the obstacles to the infidels’ conversion so that they shall either convert or become a dhimmi (a non-Muslim who accepts Islamic dominion) and pay the jizya, or poll tax. The goal is to bring all of the Dar al-Harb into the peace of the Dar al-Islam and to erad­icate unbelief. The Koran also promises rewards to those who fight in the jihad: plunder and glory in this world and the delights of paradise in the next.

Although the piratical activities of Barbary genu­inely degenerated over the centuries from pure con­siderations of the glory of jihad to less grandiose visions of booty and state revenues, it is important to remember that the religious foundations of the insti­tution of piracy remained central. Even after it became commonplace for the pirate captains or their crews to be renegade Europeans, it was essential that these former Christians “turn Turk” and convert to Islam before they could be accorded the honor of engagement in al-jihad fil-bahr, the holy war at sea.

In fact, the peoples of Barbary continued to con­sider the pirates as holy warriors even after the Bar­bary rulers began to allow non-religious commit­ments to command their strategic use of piracy. The changes that the religious institution of piracy under­went were natural, if pathological. Just as the concept of jihad is invoked by Muslim terrorists today to legit­imize suicide bombings of noncombatants for politi­cal gain, so too al-jihad fil-bahr, the holy war at sea, served as the cornerstone of the Barbary States’ inter­action with Christendom.

The Barbary pirates were not a “radical” or “fun­damentalist” sect that had twisted religious doctrine for power and politics, or that came to recast aspects of their faith out of some form of insanity. They were simply a North African warrior caste involved in an armed jihad—a mainstream Muslim doctrine. This is how the Muslims understood Barbary piracy and armed jihad at the time—and, indeed, how the phys­ical jihad has been understood since Mohammed revealed it as the prophecy of Allah.


Obviously, and thankfully, not every Muslim is obligated, or even really inclined, to take up this jihad. Indeed, many Muslims are loath to personal­ly embrace this physical struggle. But that does not mean they are all opposed to such a struggle any more than the choice of many Westerners not to join the police force or the armed services means they do not support those institutions.

It is very easy to chalk it all up to regional squab­bles, economic depression, racism, or post-colonial nationalistic self-determinism. Such explanations undoubtedly enter into part of the equation: They are already part of the propaganda that clouds con­temporary analysis. But as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams came to learn back in 1786, the situa­tion becomes a lot clearer when you listen to the stated intentions and motivations of the terrorists and take them at face value.

Joshua E. London is Deputy Director for Public Affairs with the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congrega­tions of America and author of Victory in Tripoli: How America’s War with the Barbary Pirates Estab­lished the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation (Hobo­ken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2005). He has written on politics and public policy for the American Spectator, Human Events, National Review Online, and Details: Promoting Jewish Conservative Values and holds an M.A. in Social Science from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Political Science from the Uni­versity of California, Davis.
Thursday 29 November 2007,


More about the the fledgling United States and the Moslem Barbary Pirates: http://islamicdanger4u.blogspot.com/2008/02/to-shores-of-tripoli.html



Monday, June 23, 2008

Ghosts of the caliphate
by Jean-Pierre Filiu

Fantasies of reviving the caliphate reveal a deep crisis of legitimacy within Sunni Islam

In October 2006, al Qaeda proclaimed the first online caliphate in Islam's 14 century-old history.

Bin Laden's deputies in Iraq tried hard to make it look legitimate, with jihadi leaders and tribal sheikhs pledging allegiance to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, appointed "commander of the believers." Their oath was about "ending the oppression to which the Sunnis are being subjected by malicious Shiites and the occupying Crusaders" and was open to all the Iraqi insurgent groups. Most of them refused to join in and continue to resent al Qaeda's imported agenda and terror. But Bin Laden and Zawahiri were making the connection between Baghdad falling to the Mongolians in 1258 and today’s American occupation of Iraq, with the Shiites always betraying Islam to its "infidel" foes.

Al Qaeda is, however, rather a newcomer in the modern caliphate game. It was back in 1953 that a Palestinian cleric, Taqiuddin Nabhani, disillusioned with the Muslim Brotherhood appeasement policy, founded his own Liberation party, known in Arabic as Hizb ut-Tahrir. The "tahriris," as these militants came to be called, had only one goal—the re-establishment of the caliphate. They were ruthlessly crushed by the various Arab regimes, while they had to face the shared hostility of nationalist parties and Islamist groups. This consistent repression reduced Hizb ut-Tahrir to little more than a sect in the middle east, and it took two generations for it to resurface at the periphery of Islam. This happened first in post-Soviet central Asia, where it became a convenient scapegoat for the Uzbekistan political police, while competing fiercely with Tajikistan's mainstream Islamist groups. Then it occurred in western Europe, with its most powerful openly operated branch in Britain, where it has been an organising force behind many radical demonstrations and has been accused of being a "conveyor belt" to terrorism despite being officially opposed to terror. Finally, it surfaced in Indonesia, where it could rally 100,000 people in a Jakarta stadium last August in support of the caliphate.

Heavily influenced by decades of underground culture, Hizb ut-Tahrir is a secretive organisation, and the estimate of 100,000 members in 40 countries is probably overblown. But it does represent the most coherent alternative to Islamist movements that have accepted the post-colonial state boundaries as their national framework of action. In its hands, the caliphate has become a weapon against national Islam or Islamic nationalism. The growing popularity of the "tahriris" in the West Bank stems from militant frustration with Hamas and Fatah alike. The "Hizb" shares al Qaeda's contempt for democracy as a despicable "corruption" and both organisations long to wipe Israel off the map. But Bin Laden's followers consider the tahriris soft-bellies, alienated from real jihad. And al Qaeda sees the caliphate as a strategic long-term goal, while Nabhani has described any day without a caliph as a sinful one for every Muslim.

The revival of the "back to the caliphate" motto also reveals a deeper crisis of legitimacy within Sunni Islam. When Atatürk abolished the caliphate in 1924, two years after toppling the Ottoman sultanate, he deprived the Sunni world of an undisputed guiding voice. Sharif Hussein of Mecca immediately tried to fill this void, but he was smashed by the rising power of Wahhabi Islam. Saudi Arabia was built on the ruins of this aborted caliphate, although its monarchs do not now claim a nobler title than "custodian of the holy places." Nowadays, to be called "commander of the believers" one has to be the king of Morocco, or Mullah Omar of Afghanistan, who assumed the title when, in Kandahar in 1996, he took up a cloak said to have belonged to the Prophet himself as a founding gesture for the Taliban emirate. The only Muslim leader who plays publicly with the notion of caliphate is Colonel Gaddafi, who recently saw in it the solution for trans-Saharan integration. The concept of caliph is rather flexible: its Arabic etymology just means "successor" and its institution was a pragmatic response by the nascent Muslim community to the trauma of Muhammad's sudden death.

When it comes to politics, there was never a golden age of Islam. Out of the four so-called "well-inspired" caliphs who followed the Prophet, three were murdered and, during their time, the bloody struggle for leadership ignited a civil war whose echoes are still felt today in the streets of Baghdad and Beirut. The road back to the caliphate is a dead end but, as often with global war and global jihad, the layers of propaganda surrounding it lend an appearance of substance to an illusion. Let us hope not too many people will fall under the spell of this ghost.

Jean-Pierre Filiu is professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (middle east chair). His last book was “Les Frontières du Jihad” (The Boundaries of Jihad), Fayard, 2006

Prospect Magazine
Issue 140 , November 2007

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


If you believe that Islam will implode because of internal strife, have another go at it!

It won't happen!

Take a look at how besides conquering non-Moslems, they fought and murdered each other. But still, the drive to spread Islam and subjugate all non-believers in the ideology of Mohammed went on despite Moslems killing each other.

There is only tried and true way to stop Islam: Beating it back to lick its wounds in resentment for another couple of millenia.

Islamic History (Chronology)



Caveat (Beware!): This is from an An Islamic da'awa (propaganda) site, hence, pro-Islam, proselytizing site, located in Karachi, Pakistan.

The Chronology of Islam will be helpful, though, for study of the wars of Islam throughout history.

Thursday, June 12, 2008






"En raison de leur nature sauvage, les arabes sont des pillards et des destructeurs"
--Iben Khaldoune

"Les Arabes sont une nation sauvage (umma washiyya), aux habitudes de sauvagerie invétérées. La sauvagerie est devenue leur caractère et leur nature."
--Iben Khaldoune

Conférence débat à Goulmima : "Le Mouvement Amazigh au Maroc, quels mécanismes pour quelles alternatives?" le samedi 07 juin 2008:
«Tamazight dans le rapport du conseil supérieur de l’enseignement Marocain» 6-7 juin 2008 à Agadir:
Marseille, Table ronde autour de la presse et de l’information en Algérie le Samedi 31 Mai 2008:
AMREC organise la troisième édition de festival national de film amazigh (FNFA) à Ouarzazate, entre le 28 mai et 1 ère Juin.:
Maroc: Agadir fête le film Amazigh du 11 au 15 Juin 2008:
Festival International du Film sur les Droits Humains (FIFDHM) 15 au 20 mai 2008, Rabat - Maroc:
Le royaume des Barghwata:
Ce texte n’a pas prétention d’apporter des éléments nouveaux sur ce royaume berbère tout au moins original . Il s’agit pour moi à travers cet article de la faire connaître un peu plus. En effet , très peu de chercheurs contemporains se sont réellement intéressés à ce sujet (mis à part l’excellent travail de Talbi et le travail sur l’origine du nom de M . Redjala ). Les sources historiques sont peu nombreuses et peu fiables pour parler sans prudence de ce royaume qui a pourtant duré quatre siècles .

Ibhen Khaldoune
Despite being born an Arab in what is present-day Tunisia, Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) lived for a number of years in the city of Granada in Muslim Spain. In his master work, al Muqaddimah,(written in 1377) Khaldun describes the nature of the desert Arab in, what to us, would seem to be extremely uncomplimentary terms.
Les Arabes vus par Iben Khaldoune
La moqaddima de Iben Khaldoune

...Précurseur de la sociologie moderne, Ibn Khaldoun est une référence incontournable dans le domaine de la réflexion sur l'histoire sociale des peuples et civilisations méditerranéennes. En réponse aux arabo-staliniens et aux arabo-intégristes, qui érigent les arabes et leurs "civilisation " en modèle "universaliste ", nous publions un extrait d' "AI Muqaddima" d'Ibn Khaldoun qui parle, justement de cette civilisation arabe et des arabes. Notre objectif est de lutter contre l'amnésie et permettre à nos lecteurs de se faire leur propre opinion. Ce serait ainsi que les arabistes seront invités à davantage de modestie et de relativisme, à se remettre en question et à se situer "objectivement" dans le concert des civilisations. ...

En raison de leur nature sauvage, les arabes sont des pillards et des destructeurs. Ils pillent tout ce qu'ils trouvent sans combattre ou sans s'exposer. Puis ils se replient sur leurs pâturages au désert. Ils n'attaquent ou ne combattent que pour se défendre. Ils préfèrent éviter les forteresses ou les positions difficiles: ils ne les attaquent pas. Les tribus que protègent d'inaccessibles montagnes sont à l'abri de la malfaisance et des déprédations des Arabes. Ceux-ci ne franchiront pas de collines ou ne prendront pas de risque pour aller chercher les montagnards.
Au contraire, les plaines sont livrées à leur pillage et en proie à leur avidité, si leur dynastie est faible ou qu'elles n'aient pas de troupes pour les défendre. Alors- les Arabes y fond des incursions, des pillages, des attaques répétées, parce qu'il s'agit de territoires accessibles. Les habitants peuvent succomber et devenir les jouets des changements de pouvoir, jusqu'à ce que leur civilisation disparaisse. Dieu est tout puissant!

Les Arabes sont une nation sauvage (umma washiyya), aux habitudes de sauvagerie invétérées. La sauvagerie est devenue leur caractère et leur nature. Ils s'y complaisent, parce qu'elle signifie qu'ils sont affranchis de toute autorité et de toute soumission au pouvoir. Mais cette attitude naturelle est incompatible (mund-fiya) et en contradiction (munâqida) avec la civilisation ('ùmrân). Toutes les habitudes des Arabes les conduisent au nomadisme et au déplacement. Or, c'est là l'antithèse et la négation de la sédentarisation (maskûn), qui produit la civilisation. Par exemple: les Arabes ont besoin de pierres pour leurs foyers et leur cuisine -ils les prennent aux maisons, qu'ils détruisent dans ce but. Ils ont besoin de bois pour leurs tentes, pour les étayer et en faire des piquets: ils abattent les toits, pour en tirer le bois dans ce but. La véritable nature de leur existence est la négation de la construction (binâ'), qui est le fondement de la civilisation. Tel est, généralement, leur cas. De plus, c'est leur nature de piller autrui. Ils trouvent leur pain quotidien à l'ombre de leurs lances (rizqu- hum fi zilâl rimâ-i-him). Rien ne les arrête pour prendre le bien d'autrui.

Que leurs yeux tombent sur n'importe quel bien, mobilier ou ustensile, et ils s'en emparent. S'ils arrivent à la domination et au pouvoir royal, ils pillent tout à leur aise. Il n'y a plus rien pour protéger la propriété et la civilisation est détruite.
D'autre part, étant donné qu'ils font travailler de force les artisans et les ouvriers, le travail leur parait sans valeur et ils refusent de le payer. Or, comme on le verra plus loin, le travail est le fondement du profit (al- a'mâl, aslu I-makâsib). Si le travail n'est pas apprécié, s'il est fait pour rien, l'espoir de profit disparaît, et le travail n'est pas productif. Les sédentaires se dispersent et la civilisation décline. Autre chose encore : les Arabes ne portent aucun intérêt ('inâya) aux lois (ahkâm). Ils ne cherchent pas à dissuader les malfaiteurs ou à assurer l'ordre public. Ils ne s'intéressent (hammu-hum) qu'à ce qu'ils peuvent soustraire aux autres, sous forme de butin ou d'impôt. Quand ils ont obtenu cela, ils ne s'occupent ni de prendre soin des gens, ni de suivre leurs intérêts, ni de les forcer à se bien conduire. Ils lèvent des amendes sur les propriétés, pour en tirer quelque avantage, quelque taxe, quelque profit. Telle est leur habitude. Mais elle n'aide pas à prévenir les méfaits ou à dissuader les malfaiteurs. Au contraire, le nombre en augmente: comparée au bénéfice du crime, la perte représentée par l'amende est insignifiante. En régime arabe, les sujets vivent sans lois, dans l'anarchie (fawda). L'anarchie détruit l'humanité et ruine la civilisation. En effet, le pouvoir royal tient à une qualité naturelle de l'homme. C'est lui qui garantit l'existence des hommes et leur vie sociale (ijtimâ'). On a déjà vu cela au début du chapitre.

Et puis, tout Arabe veut être le chef : Aucun ne veut s'effacer devant un autre, fût-il son père, son frère ou l'aîné de sa famille. Il ne s'y résout que rarement, et parce qu'on lui fait honte (-ayâ'). Aussi y a-t-il, chez eux, beaucoup de chefs et de princes, et les sujets doivent-ils obéir à plusieurs maîtres - pour les impôts et pour les lois. C'est ainsi que la civilisation décline et disparaît. 'Abd-al-Malik reçut un jour une délégation arabe. Il questionna un nomade (a'rabî) sur (le gouverneur) AIhajjâj, en escomptant en entendre un éloge pour sa façon de commander et son oeuvre civilisatrice. Mais l'Arabe répondit : " Quand je l'ai quitté, il était injuste tout seul! " On remarquera que la civilisation s'est toujours effondrée avec la poussée de la conquête arabe : les établissements se sont dépeuplés et la terre devint toute autre que la terre (tabaddalati l-ard ghayra l-ard). Le Yémen, où vivent les Arabes, est en ruine, à part quelques villes. La civilisation persane en Iraq est complètement ruinée. Il en est de même, aujourd'hui, en Syrie. Quand les Hilâliens et les Banû Sulaym ont poussé jusqu'à la Tunisie et au Maroc, au début du Xie siècle, et qu'ils s'y sont débattus pendant 350 ans, ils ont fini par s'y fixer et les plaines en ont été dévastées. Autrefois, toute la région entre la Méditerranée et le Soudan était peuplée, comme le montrent les vestiges de civilisation, tels que monuments, sculptures monumentales, ruines de villages et d'agglomérations. " Dieu hérite la terre et tout ce qui vit sur elle. Il est le meilleur héritier " (XXI, 89).

En effet, en raison de leur sauvagerie innée, ils sont, de tous les peuples, trop réfractaires pour accepter l'autorité d'autrui, par rudesse, orgueil, ambition et jalousie. Leurs aspirations tendent rarement vers un seul but. Il leur faut l'influence de la loi religieuse, par la prophétie ou la sainteté, pour qu'ils se modèrent d'eux-mêmes et qu'ils perdent leur caractère hautain et jaloux. Il leur est, alors, facile de se soumettre et de s'unir, grâce à leur communauté religieuse. Ainsi, rudesse et orgueil s'effacent et l'envie et la jalousie sont freinées. Quand un prophète ou un saint, parmi eux, les appelle à observer les commandements de Dieu et les débarrasse de leurs défauts pour leur substituer des vertus, les fait tous unir leurs voix pour faire triompher la vérité, ils deviennent alors pleinement unis et ils arrivent à la supériorité et au pouvoir royal. D'ailleurs, aucun peuple n'accepte aussi vite que les Arabes la vérité religieuse et la Bonne Voie, parce que leurs natures sont restées pures d'habitudes déformantes et à l'abri de la médiocrité. La sauvagerie peut être surveillée et s'ouvrir aux vertus, car elle est restée dans l'état de religion naturelle (fitra); loin des mauvaises habitudes qui laissent leur empreinte sur les âmes. Selon la Tradition: " Tout enfant naît dans l'état de religion naturelle. "

Les Arabes, plus qu'aucune autre nation, sont enracinés dans la vie bédouine et s'enfoncent profondément dans le désert. Ils ont moins besoin, pour leur vie rude et dure, des produits et des céréales des collines. Ils peuvent donc se passer des autres. Il leur est difficile de se soumettre les uns aux autres, parce qu'ils sont un peuple sans loi, à l'état sauvage. Leur souverain a donc le plus grand besoin des liens du sang ('asabiyya), nécessaires à l'autodéfense.
Il est forcé de gouverner ses sujets en douceur et d'éviter de les heurter. Sinon, il aurait des difficultés avec l'esprit tribal, ce qui causerait sa perte et la leur. D'autre part, cependant, la monarchie et le gouvernement demandent une poigne de fer, seul gage de durée.

Comme les Arabes; par nature s'emparent des biens d'autrui, de même, ils s'abstiennent de tout arbitrage et de maintenir l'ordre public. Quand ils ont conquis une nation, leur objectif est d'en profiter pour s'emparer des biens de celle-ci. De plus, ils se passent de loi. Ils punissent parfois les crimes par des amendes, pour accroître les revenus du fisc et en tirer, financièrement, avantage. Mais ce n'est pas là un frein pour le crime. Ce serait même plutôt un encouragement, car le mobile d'un crime doit être assez puissant pour compenser le simple paiement d'une amende insignifiante. Ainsi, les méfaits deviennent de plus en plus nombreux et la civilisation décline. Une nation dominée par les Arabes est dans un état voisin de l'anarchie, où chacun s'oppose à l'autre. Ce genre de civilisation ne peut durer: il court à sa perte, aussi vite que l'anarchie elle-même.

Toutes ces raisons éloignent, naturellement, les Arabes de la monarchie. Il faut que leur nature soit profondément transformée par une structure (sibgha), religieuse, qui les amène à se modérer et à maintenir l'ordre public. C'est ce que montrent les dynasties arabes musulmanes. La religion a soudé leur pouvoir temporel à la loi religieuse et à ses prescriptions, qui -de façon explicite ou implicite- sont dans l'intérêt de la civilisation. Les califes suivirent cette voie. La monarchie et le gouvernement des Arabes devinrent grands et forts. Quand Rostam vit les Musulmans rassemblés pour la prière, il s'écria: "'Omar m'a rongé le foie! Il apprend aux chiens les bonnes manières! " 2.

Plus tard, les Arabes furent écartés des dynasties régnantes, pour des générations. Ils négligèrent leur religion, oublièrent la politique et retournèrent au désert. Ils ignoraient le rapport de leur esprit de clan avec la dynastie régnante, car l'obéissance et la loi leur étaient redevenues étrangères. Ils redevinrent aussi sauvages que dans le passé. Le titre de " roi " cessa de leur être appliqué, à l'exception des califes de race (jîl) arabe. Après la disparition du califat, le pouvoir sortit de leurs mains : des Barbares s'en emparèrent. Les Arabes restèrent alors Bédouins au désert, ignorant la monarchie et la politique. La plupart ne savent même plus qu'ils ont régné autrefois, ou qu'aucune autre nation n'a rayonné autant que la leur. Avant l'Islâm, ce furent les dynasties de' Âd et de Thamûd, les Amalécites, les Ijimyarites et les Tubba'; depuis, les Mudarites, les Omayyades et les Abbâsides. Mais, quand les Arabes oublièrent leur religion, ils n'eurent plus de rapport avec la politique, et ils retournèrent à leur désert originel. Farfbis encore, comme au Maroc actuel, ils dominent des dynasties trop faibles, mais leur supériorité ne peut conduire qu'à la ruine de la civilisation. Dieu est le meilleur héritier (XXI, 89) !

1. Autre passage célèbre sur les Arabes nomades, destructeurs de civilisation. Or pour Ibn Khaldun, celle-ci est liée à la culture sédentaire. Ces considérations font, aujourd'hui, vivement critiquer Pauteur par certains nationalistes, qui voient en lui le pourfendeur des Arabes, alors qu'il s'en prend seulement aux méfaits des nomades.

1. Il est toujours difficile de rendre, en arabe, J,'le mot " structure ". Aujourd'hui, la langue hésite entre bunya, bind, tarkfb, niâm, jihâz et surtout haykal. Ici, Ibn Khaldûn emploie sibgha. " Teinture, coloration ", qui reviendra souvent, dans ce dernier sens, dans son texte.

2. Mépris de l'Iranien raffiné pour les " Barbares " arabes.

Source journal Agraw N°:129 du 16 juillet 2004 Maroc

Headquarters: Amazigh World (Amadal Amazigh), North America
Copyright 2002 Amazigh World. All rights reserved.

Source journal Agraw N°:129 du 16 juillet 2004 Maroc

Headquarters: Amazigh World (Amadal Amazigh), North America
Copyright 2002 Amazigh World. All rights reserved.