Thursday, July 31, 2008

Iran and Islam

from Jihad Watch

Fitzgerald: Iran and Islam

Although the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the most fanatically Muslim of regimes, there is hope that Iranians, fed up with corruption and constraints that they rightly connect to the mullahs who represent a mental underclass, will begin to see, or are seeing, Islam in a new light.

And they have the possibility of doing so -- a possibility denied to the Arabs. The Arabs’ entire civilizational being is wrapped up in Islam, so that Islam and 'Uruba, or 'Uruba and Islam, are regarded as inseparable. But the Iranians are in a very different situation, because Iran has a long pre-Islamic history, one that is given great attention. And because many of its physical remains still exist, any Iranian can, if he wishes, ride in mental triumph through Persepolis, and consider how passing brave it is to be a Persian. Not a Muslim, mind you, but a Persian. The great hope is that this other identity will reassert itself. It is, after all, an identity that predates Islam, and is one that sometimes has been in opposition to Islam: see how Firdowsi, by writing his epic of the Persian kings, the Shahnameh, managed to help Iranian culture withstand the linguistic and cultural imperialism of the Arabs that in so many places effaced, or reduced to almost nothing, the pre-Islamic or non-Islamic portions of this or that people's or region's history.

I long ago mentioned that perhaps there would be, fantastical as it may seem, a return to Zoroastrianism in Iran. This return would not be based on anything intrinsically attractive about that faith, but rather on the fact that it was Persian, Iranian, before Islam (the "gift of the Arabs") came along to dislodge it and to send into exile some Zoroastrians (who in India were known as the Parsis, or Persians), and to reduce the dwindling remaining population of Zoroastrians to a status of dhimmi. That status was written about, and then observed close up, by the British historian of Zoroastrianism Mary Boyd.

In exile, Iranians are often quite different from Arabs. They are much more open, much less hysterically wedded to defending Islam. Alone among the Muslim countries of the Middle East, Iran has a long and separate existence; it is not merely one of those countries that we call "a tribe with a flag."

If anything is to be salvaged from the nonstop viciousness of the Khomeini regime, and that of Khomeini's epigones, it is that damage has been done, among thinking Iranians both in exile, and in Iran, to the status of Islam.

And that is a good thing -- for Iran, and for Infidels.

It is unlikely that those countries that are either Arab, or that have nothing but Islam -- I am thinking of Pakistan, which was founded, which exists, only because of Islam, to be a "land of the pure" -- will be able to create a sufficient number of people who can connect the economic and political and social and moral and intellectual failures of their own states and societies to Islam itself, but those Muslims who possess another identity, a non-Arab identity, can have hope.

And despite the current fanaticism in Iran, if that regime is humiliated and wounded, even if there is a brief period, possibly a few months, of rally-round-the-flag stuff even by Iranians who should know better but cannot help themselves, the Islamic Republic of Iran will be shaken, and permanently weakened. Such a humiliation could take the form of an attack on the nuclear project. After all, if the Islamic Republic of Iran ever does manage to produce such weapons, its prestige among the primitive masses will be sky-high, and the advanced Iranians will -- even if today some of them argue against such an attack -- find their cause set back, with the most fanatical Muslims safely in the saddle for a long time to come.

That's not the main reason for making sure that the Islamic Republic of Iran does not manage to produce such weapons. But it is an independent and very good reason: to hasten the day when the hold of Islam over Iran, over Iranians, is shaken sufficiently, so that other possibilities are discussed, are considered, are possibly even taken up.

Posted by Hugh at June 22, 2008 7:05 AM
See COMMENTS at the above--very informational!

The old and new generation in Algeria

Fitzgerald: The old and new generation in Algeria

by Hugh Fitzgerald

from Jihad Watch

“‘The foundation of religion, I learned in school,' said Mr. Bou Bekeur’s son, Abdel Rahman, 25. 'We pray more than them and we know religion better than them,' he said of his father’s generation. 'We are more religious. My father used to drink. I never drank. My father asked me if it was O.K. to take a car loan. I told him, no, it is haram,' forbidden in Islam.
So his father did not take the loan. His father is a quiet man in a house of strong-willed people. He can barely help his children with their homework, because his Arabic is poor. And he worries about their future, and the future of his country."
-- from this article

And the new generation in Algeria, raised in a society suffused with Islam, is told that the highest aim for a Believer is to become a "slave of Allah" and to fulfill all of the duties of a "slave of Allah." This generation will gradually unlearn to think as the older generation managed, in some small degree, to do -- the one that had some exposure to French schools and French non-Muslim ways of thought. That exposure also came, of course, from contact with the more than a million non-Muslims who once lived in Algeria, and gave it what civilizational advances it at one time enjoyed.

The secular classes, those who studied in the French-language schools or who travel back and forth to France, or the Berbers, have never been “slaves to Allah.” The Berbers, of course, are a special case, as they always have been in Algeria. Their non-Arab identity offers them a conceivable way out of Islam, and their resentment of Arab cultural and linguistic imperialism, which has been felt most strongly since the protecting French left, helps to make Berbers in Algeria and in France more accessible to the message of proselytizers, or of other forms of quiet apostasy.

Notice, in the excerpt from the article just above, how the father simply asks the son what the rule on loans is in Islam. He does not think for himself. He does not question the rule: "‘My father used to drink. I never drank. My father asked me if it was O.K. to take a car loan. I told him, no, it is haram,' forbidden in Islam. So his father did not take the loan."

Emd of story. His not to reason why, his but to do and sigh. This is Prohibited, This is Commanded. That's Islam. A society suffused with that kind of attitude will end up as torment for those capable of thought. It is a society that is living on lies, conspiracy theories, and inculcated and permanent hatred of Infidels. It manifests incuriosity about the world, limited means of artistic expression, and no free and skeptical inquiry -- without which the enterprise of science, and indeed all progress, becomes impossible. In short, it is a nightmare. If the secular class (to which the stratokleptocrats of the regime belong) properly apprehends that and is, for all of its misdeeds, nonetheless willing to ruthlessly suppress the enemies of mental freedom (who are more dangerous to Algeria's future than is the thievery of the rulers), something might be salvaged from what Algeria has steadily become in the last forty-six years since the French left.

The stratokleptocrats live well. There's all that oil. There's all that natural gas. Some is stolen by the rulers, but a lot is left over to support the state. Then there is aid from France, a country that keeps thinking, and keeps believing, that it "owes" Algeria and the rest of the Maghreb something, apparently because of all those hospitals, schools, and infrastructure that the French put in (along with some semblance of civilization too) during their brief periods -- about forty years apiece -- in Tunisia and Morocco, and the much longer period of 132 years in Algeria, which is still nothing compared to the long history of Islam's conquest of North Africa. That is not to mention the inestimable gift of the French language, which was once taught all over Algeria. But as soon as the Ben Bella junta came in, the first thing to go was the dominance of French schools -- which is why, in the article, the father has imperfect Arabic but, no doubt, good French, while for the new generation, it is Arabic, the language of the Qur'an and of commentaries on the Qur'an and histories of the Arabs and of so very little else, that supplants the French language, the medium of one of the world's great cultures, Chamfort's "perfected civilization." Not a good trade.

He -- the "confused" and "torn-between-two identities" Algerian "youth" -- asks: “Can you help me? I want to go to New York and rap.”

Not on your life.

And not on ours either, if we know what's good for us.

Posted by Hugh at June 24, 2008 6:36 AM


The President of India was recently awarded an honorary doctorate at Oxford university. In his speech, he told those assembled that British rule in India was a great benefit to the Indian people. Naturally, his remarks caused a fire storm back home in India, but if all Indians were as honest as their President, they would acknowledge the truth in what he said. India today is a vibrant and stable democracy because the British introduced the Parliamentary system to the country, and educated generations of Indians in how to make it work. In addition, India today is undergoing an economic miracle largely because Most Indians speak English, and it is to the credit of India's founding fathers that they retained English as the official language of the country when the British left.

Contrast that with the post colonial period in most Islamic countries. Once their European overlords were gone, they immediately made a head-long dash for the 7th century, and they haven't stopped yet.

The tragedy isn't that there was European imperialism, it's that it didn't last long enough in the Islamic world. Maybe -- just maybe -- another hundred years of French rule in Algeria might have modified the influence of Islam on the minds of the Algerian people, but then, we'll never really know, will we?

Posted by: rational at June 24, 2008 7:35 AM

In addition, India today is undergoing an economic miracle largely because Most Indians speak English, and it is to the credit of India's founding fathers that they retained English as the official language of the country when the British left.

by rational

How much of this can be attributed to the Muslim presence in India? It gave the Hindus and other groups a reason not to revert and not to break up along tribal lines. There is nothing like an existential threat to draw people together. Given the choice between Arabic (the ultimate result of allowing Muslims to dominate) and English, they chose English. They also chose unity in one India rather than breaking up into myriad kingdoms.

Posted by: PMK at June 24, 2008 9:58 AM

Comments are turned off and archived for this entry.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Challenge of Islam

Mordechai Nisan

Islam, as a later and last monotheistic faith appearing in Arabia in the seventh-century, never considered itself just another religion, but the last and final religion totally complete in doctrine and superior in rule.1 The Muslim believers sought power for Islam as the supra-successor faith to Judaism and Christianity, and the ultimately universal faith for all of mankind. The frenzy of religious struggles in history would, from that moment on, set Islam on an ineluctable course to conquer the world. The Qur`an elucidated the religion’s warring spirit by praising those Muslims “who fight for the cause of Allah” (4:95-96) rather than those who avoid the battle and prefer to stay at home. In distinction from Judaism and Christianity, the Muslim community considers that “the holy war is a religious duty because of the universalism of the mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force”; and this, added the classical 14th century historian Ibn Khaldun, is because “Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.”2

Islam cannot be compared with any other religion or understood by analogy. It bears a unique militant ethic from its origins. This cannot be said of ascetic Buddhism or otherworldly Hinduism. Judaism, though equipped with “commandments for war”, did not promote conquest or experience power in any exceptional way. Christianity was born beset with sin, preaching poverty and practicing withdrawalism by fasting and virginity, pining for martyrdom through persecution.3

Islam evoked a far different collective sensibility. It brandished the sword, yelled Allah Akbar (God is Great) – as at Qadisiyya in southern Mesopotamia/Iraq in 637 – charged into battle, and plundering its spoils with delight.

We live at the beginning of the 21st century when the “return of Islam” has raised the challenge against the Jewish state of Israel, Christianity world-wide, Buddhism, and virtually all and any other belief systems and faith communities. . . .

Continued at . . .

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Nothing Less than Victory: Military Offense and the Lessons of History

A Book by John Lewis Ph.D.

(Under contract, Princeton University Press. Expected publication: fall, 2008)

War is the ultimate human failure--where reason, ingenuity and productive energy are bent to the purpose of organized killing, across continents and years. This book grew out of my realization that there were certain conflicts in history that stalemated for long periods of time--in a cacophony of brutal slaughter--but then were ended quickly with a military offense against the center of their enemy's political, economic and ideological power. To investigate the reasons why this has occurred became all the more important when I discovered that some of these conflicts resulted in long-term peace--peace that lasted more than a generation, and in some cases peace that has not been broken to this day. These cases--rare as they are--warrant our study.

Nothing Less than Victory considers seven major events in history--the Greco-Persian Wars (547-446 BC), the Theban / Spartan Wars (385-362 BC), the Punic Wars (262-146 BC), the wars between the Romans and the Goths, Palmyrenes and Gauls (AD 270-275), the American Civil War (1861-1865), and the British appeasement of Hitler, as well as the American defeat of Japan, in the Second World War (1939-1945).

The reasons why human beings fight are not to be found in technology, economics, innate depravity or genetic predispositions. Wars begin when people choose to fight--often through years of preparation, negotiations and pretexts. The will to fight—a motivated decision and commitment to use military force—is the universal human element that transcends terrain and technology, and both starts and sustains a war. The distinctly political decision to wage war is a product of ideas, and is anchored in a social and ideological context, from which political leaders draw their strength. The willful decision and commitment to fight is the central, irreplaceable factor in the initiation and prosecution of every war.

The commitment to fight is founded on something deeper than military expediency: a sense of moral rightness. Strategist B. H. Liddell-Hart, calling upon Napoleon’s principle that in war, “the moral is to the physical as three to one,” credits “the predominance of moral factors in all military decisions” to their status as “the more constant factors, changing only in degree, whereas the physical factors are different in almost every war and every military situation.” The people in a city-state—or a continent—will rise up passionately into organized killing, and will maintain the passion through years of death and destruction, only if they think, on some level, that it is morally proper to use horrific force to attain their goals. This is true for aggressors, who are motivated to conquer cities, nations and continents for aggrandizement, loot or slaves--as well as for defenders, who want to maintain their own freedom.

Granting moral factors their proper place over physical capacities lends a certain perspective to the study of war, which is not the study of a physical system, like a turbulent air flow, a pinball machine, or a climate pattern. War is human action, directed by human minds, with choices taken for human motives. It is anchored in a political, social and moral context, which conditions the goals that are chosen (a nation’s policy), the means by which they are pursued (its strategies), and the energy behind the struggle (the will to fight). The study of war is part of the study of man.

Material used in this book has appeared in the following:

Article: "'Gifts from Heaven': The Meaning of the American Defeat of Japan, 1945" in The Objective Standard 2.4, Winter, 2007/2008

Article: “‘A Balm for a Guilty Conscience’: Moral Paralysis, Appeasement, and the Causes of World War II,” in The Objective Standard 2.2, 2007

Article: “William Tecumseh Sherman and the Moral Impetus for Victory,” in The Objective Standard 1.2, 2006

Conference: “A Re-evaluation of Aurelian’s Bloodless Eastern Campaign against Palmyra,” Society for Military History Conference, Kansas State University, May 18-20, 2006

[For links to the foregoing articles by John Lewis, see ]


The Meaning of Victory: August, 1945

John Lewis

The Ayn Rand Institute

OCON 2007, Telluride, Colorado

July 6-15, 2007


In 1945 America gained an unconditional victory over Japan using the most horrific violence ever unleashed by man; the result has been the most benevolent turnaround of an entire nation in history. How was this victory achieved? What is its meaning? What lessons does it hold for us today? This course will consider first the basic events of the defeat, as a means to more deeply understand the concept of Victory, and its opposite, Surrender.

The 1945 victory has implications beyond Japan’s physical capacity to wage war. Politically, the Japanese were forced to confront—and repudiate—their values. This reduced their militaristic concepts to their essential, inescapable meanings. No one in Japan could again think of "war" without bringing to mind smoke, death, and Hiroshima. The victory affirmed the efficacy of the good, and allowed Japan to grow into a peaceful, productive society—the concrete meaning of the values they adopted after their total exhaustion and defeat.

This contains material from the forthcoming book, Nothing Less than Victory: Military Offense and the Lessons of History from the Greco-Persian Wars to World War II (Princeton University Press, 2008).

For More from John David Lewis--especially about his superb article "No Substitute for Victory," The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism, see

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Le destin des Imazighen

Le destin des Imazighen
15 juillet 2008

Les commentaires reçus :

Le destin des Imazighen : Quand l’islamisme est là, il n’y a pas de destin. Le destin c’est eux !19 juillet 2008, par Aghoro

Kabylia’s Berbers

Kabylia’s Berbers, the Brethren of the Kuchitic Oromos and Sidamas, Demand Autonomy in Algeria
10 July,
by Zorro

A great moment for the long targeted, colonized, subjugated, tyrannized and dehumanized Hammitic Nations of Africa was marked a few days ago, when the Movement for Autonomy of Kabylia, led by the famous Kabyle intellectual, artist and political activist Ferhat Mehenni, officially requested Autonomy Status for Kabylia. The Kabyles are the Western Berbers, the brethren of the Eastern Hammitic nations of Africa who belong to the Cushitic (Kushitic) family. Culturally and linguistically (…)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Last Night of a Damned Soul by Slimane Benaissa

"Slimane Benaissa, an Algerian Berber living in France, is an author, playwright, and actor. He wrote The Last Night of a Damned Soul in reaction to the suicide bombings of 9/11. It is a noble and courageous response for a Muslim, as his intent is to tell the painful but illuminating truth about the Islamic jihad."
--from the following "Radio interview with Bill Warner"

Radio Interview with Bill Warner

July 10, 2008, 12:00 PDT, 3:00 EDT on the Web, BlogTalkRadio.

From the Bookshelf

The Last Night of a Damned Soul by Slimane Benaissa.

Slimane Benaissa, an Algerian Berber living in France, is an author, playwright, and actor. He wrote The Last Night of a Damned Soul in reaction to the suicide bombings of 9/11. It is a noble and courageous response for a Muslim, as his intent is to tell the painful but illuminating truth about the Islamic jihad ideology of death.

The protagonist, Raouf, is a computer programmer living in Northern California. His father, now deceased, was from Egypt and his mother from Lebanon. His well-educated parents are professionals and barely a cultural Muslim as is he.

Raouf has become depressed, fearful and emotionally empty after his father's death. When his devout Muslim friend and co-worker, Athman takes him to the ranch of a wealthy Saudi to celebrate the Feast of the Sacrifice, Raouf's life takes a sharp turn. He is touched by the sheik's sermon and feels that perhaps he can be saved from the void his life has become by submitting to the will of Allah and returning to the practice of Islam.

Raouf formally repents and is welcomed by the community of Believers. Little by little, he divests himself of all western ways, his Christian girlfriend, his beloved dog, and secular pleasures such as the use of alcohol. Even his treatment of his mother changes as he turns to religion for comfort and direction. His devotion leads him to make jihad but he still asks philosophical questions about the path he has chosen.

In retreat for two months, Raouf purifies his body by fasting and prepares his mind by prayers, Koran readings and sermons from the imams. Secure in his intent, he joins a terrorist cell to become a suicide bomber and takes an oath of loyalty to his Muslim brothers. His jihadi training to overcome the fear of death and to focus his concentration consists of sleeping in a shroud, stimulus deprivation and detachment from the material world, extreme fasting, drugs, chanting Koran suras and repetitive prayers to induce trance states, and quasi-mystical ceremonies. The jihad these mujahidin will make is the flying of hijacked airplanes into a tall building . . .

This book has been criticized for a lack of literary merit and didacticism including the inclusion of many sermons, quotations from the Koran and prayers. It is the last category that is the reason I recommend it. Benaissa shows us step by step how the process from Muslim "hypocrite" to mujahidin happens, how the religion of Islam is the catalyst for its politics, and how the pattern of jihad is contained in the Islamic trilogy of the Koran, the Hadith and the Sira. Benaissa gives us a chilling blueprint for the training of the jihadi, a key that unlocks the door of the psychology of the making of a suicide bomber.

CSPI's criticism of the book is due to the use of the words God for Allah and heathen for kafir. Allah is described in the Koran as anthropomorphic, misogynistic, a plotter and deceiver who delights in the torment and suffering of the kafirs. He is nothing like the God of the Jews, the Christians and Hindus. Muslims call their god Allah and that is how we should refer to him. In the same way, the word kafir is translated as heathen. Heathen is defined in Webster's Dictionary as an "uncivilized" or" irreligious" person, while the Islamic term kafir defines a person who is despicable, hated and sub-human.

The Last Night of a Damned Soul is a look into the indoctrination of a jihadi and as horrifying as any Stephen King novel. True, it is not a literary work, but it is well worth the read.

Bill Warner

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Kabylia (Algeria) The “Grande Kabylie” part 1

from "Notes from Numidia"

The district which the french, somewhat grandiloquently, call “La grande Kabylie”, is a rugged mountainous region, lying partly in that of Constantina.
It is inhabited by a race that in almost every particular presents a strong contrast to the Arab of the plains below. The Arab is lithe and slender in figure, and generally of an aquiline cast of countenance; the kabyle is squarely and sturdily built, rather broad-faced, and with a nose of the type which is described as “ordinaire” on a French passport.

The normal state of the Arab is that of a wanderer and a dweller in tents: he has no instinctive attachment to the soil, and when he does take to a settled life, it is as it were under protest; contenting himself with an unsubstantial and flimsy dwelling, and bestowing nomore labour on the ground than is required to raise him a scanty crop of barley. The Kabyle, on the other hand, clings as highly to his rocks as a limpet: he builds himself a comfortable, substantial house, with stones walls and a tiled roof, and changes the rough mountain side into a rich garden.

The Arab hates labour, and has few manufactures; the Kabyle is industrious, and a clever handicraftsman, especially in the working of metals. The Arab lies freely and objectlessly, and pilfers for the love of pilfering: his statement is valueless, except as a means of arriving at the truth by a kind of induction process. The Kabyle, as a general rule, tell the truth, and, unless you are at enmity with him, respect your property. He will make a hard bargain with you, but, once made, he will keep to it; unlike the Arab, who, if you leave him a loophole, will wriggle out through it. With strangers there is a mixture of shyness and obsequiousness in the Arab’s behaviour, while about the Kabyle there is an unmistakeable air of independence and self-reliance, as if he did not much care what you thought about him.

In short, there is little or nothing of the Asiatic about the kabyle. Even his Mahometanism is of an unoriental cast. Though he does not deny the lawfulness of polygamy, he considers that on the whole a man ought to be content with one wife, and admits the woman to be a perfectly rational being, quite fit to be entrusted with her liberty, deserving of social equality, and not born to do more than her fair share of the work of the household.
Fraser’s Magazine, July 1862 by Thomas Carlyle
Notes from Numidia, The “Grande Kabylie” part 2

[paraph division, for ease of reading, mine. lw]

The most recent articles at KABYLIA OBSERVER:

29 June,
by Zorro

A representative delegation of Berber-organisations in Kabylia ( Algeria ) , Morocco and the Toeareg-people ( Mali & Niger ) is coming up to meet representative elected members of the European Commission , the Flemish Parliament and the federal belgian Senate from Monday june the 30th until Wednesday july the 2nd. Repression against Berber-people is still increasing each day : deportation , torture , democratic parties are forbidden , racism , all kinds of violations of (…)

Official request for an autonomy status for Kabylia
24 June,
by Zorro
7 years after having formulated its first claim, MAK (Movement for autonomy of Kabylia) has formally officialised its request for a regional autonomy to state authorities; a copy was addressed to international authorities and to Nelson Mandela. Adekar was choosen by the autonomist movement to send the registered mail, this locality is located at 1000 meter above the sea , mid-way between Vgayet and Tizi-Ouzou and close to Amirouche’s headquarters at Akfou. The delegation was headed by Mr (…)

In the western Algerian city of Tiaret, a 37-year-old convert to Christianity is currently on trial for "practicing a non-Muslim religion without authorization".
17 June,
by Zorro

What's new on the Web
5 July – Scandaleux !
4 July – Vouloir libère
4 July – La charia pourrait jouer un rôle dans le système judiciaire en Grande-Bretagne
3 July – Condamnation de deux Algériens convertis au christianisme
3 July – MAK Jeunes, soirée débat sur l'autonomie de la Kabylie
3 July – Le déclin de l'homme blanc

Thursday, July 3, 2008




In the 680s the Arabs swept across North Africa from Egypt to the Atlantic. The Byzantines clung to their coastal cities. The Muslim leader Oqba ibn Nafi reached the Atlantic in Morocco and, according to legend, rode into the sea and slashed at the water with his sword in frustration that there were no more lands to conquer.

On his return march in 683, Oqba was defeated and slain by the Berbers. The Arab Conquest paused for a decade but in 698 the Muslims finally took Carthage, evicting the Byzantine Christians completely from Africa. Now the conquerors faced their last and most stubborn enemy.

The Kahina's name is given variously as Dahiyah, Dahia, or Dhabba (Women in World History, v.8, p. 414.) The title Kahina meant Prophetess. The Encyclopedia Judaica (v. 10, p. 686) says that the term is derived from the Arabic "Kahin" ("soothsayer") and dismisses as error the idea that "Kahina" was derived from the Jewish term "Cohen".

The Encyclopedia Judaica notes that Arabic authors, notably the major 14th century historian Ibn-Khaldun, say that the Kahina and her tribe, the Jerawa of the Aures Mountains in eastern Algeria and Tunisia, were Jewish. Charles-André Julien, in his History of North Africa, notes that another writer gave the Kahina "the picturesque appellation of the 'Berber Deborah'" (after Deborah, the judge of ancient Israel). Julien believes that the Kahina's resistance to the Arabs was "nurtured, as it seems, by Berber patriotism and Jewish faith." On the other hand, the Encyclopedia Judaica concludes "her opposition to the Muslim Arabs was not religiously inspired; some authorities deny she was Jewish. The history of Kahina remains controversial."

What is known is that soon after the Arab general Hassan ibn al Numan took Carthage from the Byzantines, the Kahina's forces defeated him. Then, as during World War II, a single defeat in North Africa might lead to a retreat of hundreds of miles. Hassan retreated, probably all the way back to Egypt. The Kahina took Carthage and ruled most of Berber North Africa.

According to Ibn-Khaldun, as she waited for the inevitable renewed Arab assault, the Kahina carried out a brutal and disastrous policy. She declared that the Arabs wished to conquer North Africa only because of its wealth. She ordered Berbers who were still nomadic to destroy the cities, orchards, and herds of sedentary Berbers, to make North Africa a desert.

If the Kahina actually made this amazing decision, she was tragically mistaken. The Arabs were determined to take North Africa regardless of its wealth or poverty, because there were people to be converted to Islam, and because North Africa was a gateway to Spain and Europe. Unsurprisingly, according to Ibn-Khaldun, this savage policy of city burning cost the Kahina the support of city-dwelling Berbers.

In 702, Hassan again invaded the Berber lands and quickly defeated the Kahina. Julien writes, "on the eve of the final battle, the Kahina ordered her sons to go over to the enemy." Her sons had to convert to Islam to seal their defection to the Arabs. Julien believes that for the Kahina, the survival of her family and its supremacy over her tribe were ultimately more important than any questions of nationalism or religion.

Accounts differ as to whether the Kahina died in battle or was captured and executed.

Much more about the Moslem conquest of North Africa and the conversion to Islam of the Imazighen at this most excellent blog:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008



". . . there were hardly any Moors left in Spain. The re-conquistadors also destroyed all mosques, and reconverted them into Churches"

sic semper musulmanes (ojala)

El Cid

Statue of Rodrigo de Vivar, El Cid, in Balboa Part, San Diego, California, U.S.A.



The Guanches

and the Tamazight language



Los primeros habitantes del archipiélago canario hablaron el mismo idioma que, desde hace más de tres mil años, sirve como vehículo de comunicación en gran parte de la mitad septentrional del continente africano. Desde el mar Mediterráneo hasta la línea sur del Sahara y desde Egipto hasta la cordillera del Atlas (o, en su día, hasta las Islas Canarias), la comunidad étnica más antigua de las que pueblan el norte de África se expresa en una lengua común que recibe el nombre de tamazight o, en español, amazighe (aunque todavía es frecuente el uso de otra denominación, bereber, de origen peyorativo*).


The first inhabitants of the Canary Islands archipelago spoke the same language that for more than 3000 years had been the communication medium of the mid-northern Africa. From the Mediterranean to the southern edge of the Sahara, and from Egypt to the Atlas mountains (or in its day until the Canary Islands) the most ancient ethnic community that populated North Africa had a common language called tamazight or, in Spanish, amazighe (although often another label is used, Berber, of pejorative* origin).

*See Berbers (Imazighen) are not Arabs for the origin of the name Berber