Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Story of Bani Al-Nadeer Under Scrutiny

The Story of Bani Al-Nadeer Under Scrutiny

Ibn Kammuna

In this study, I investigate the story of the banishment of Bani Al-Nadeer, a Jewish tribe from Medina, by the prophet of forgiveness Muhammad (PBUH). No views are offered in advance, but rather the events are discussed as they come. At the end of this article, I present to the reader some of the related hadiths.

The Story
The full story can be found in “The Life of Muhammad: A translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah” translated by A. Guillaume – twenty first impression, 2007 (pages 437-8). A summary of the story follows this sequence of events:

1. The prophet Muhammad goes to Ban Al-Nadeer, along with some Muslim leaders like Abu Bakr, Umar and Ali, and asks them to help him in paying bloodwit money for two men of Ban Amer killed by mistake by Muslims. It is important here to remember that Bani Al-Nadeer were under no obligation to help the Muslims here. The agreement between the Muslim camp and the Jewish tribes of Medina was to help each other in case there is an external threat to attack Medina (i.e. Quraysh coming to town to attack the Muslims, or the Medinan tribes).

2. Bani Al-Nadeer tell Muhammad that they will help him with money.

3. Muhammad leaves the other Sahaba in the meeting and vanishes. He actually went back home.

4. His Sahaba leave after they realize that Muhammad is not coming back

5. When the Sahaba see the prophet, he tells them that the Jews, Bani Al-Nadeer, were conspiring to kill him. How? By having someone go on the top of the wall that was behind them where they were meeting, and dropping a rock on him (Muhammad) thus killing him.

6. Muhammad gives orders to prepare for war against Bani Al-Nadeer, and marches against them. Muhammad lays siege to Bani Al-Nadeer, who sought refuge in their forts. He also orders the burning and destruction of their palm trees (Bani Al-Nadeer were mostly farmers who tended the land and raised crops). Orders were carried out to the letter.

7. Bani Al-Nadeer receive some promises of help from other tribes that never materialized.

8. Finally Bani Al-Nadeer struck an agreement with the prophet (PBUH) to allow them to leave town with all their belongings except their weapons. This, in fact, came to pass. Some of them went to Khaiber and some went to Syria.

9. All of their left property and land became Muhammad’s. He distributed it amongst the first immigrants, and a couple of Ansars who were in need. (What a generous thief!!)

The above, pretty much sums up what happened. Please note that Bani Al-Nadeer were in no position to fight the Muslims. The reasons for my claim here is that Muhammad has become the main war lord of Medina. Earlier, he had successful attacks against the Meccan commercial caravans. He had attacked unprovoked Bani AL-Mustaliq. He had gotten rid of the Qainuqa tribe from Medina. He had just assassinated Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf, the Bani Al Nadeer leader. He suffered no consequences from all this. This, in my view, indicates that a farming community like Bani Al-Nadeer was in no position to put up a good fight against the Muslims.

So, when Muhammad went to them asking for money to help the Muslims who killed two men from another tribe, Bani Al-Nadeer were under no obligation to help the Muslims financially. But they knew what Muhammad was up to. He was looking for their refusal to pay, so that he can have a reason to attack them in war and take their belongings. However they were smart enough to tell him that they’ll help him. That answer did not sit well with Muhammad, and so he leaves in a hurry and invents the story that they were plotting to kill him with a big rock dropped from the top of a wall behind where they were sitting.

What a ridiculous story! Even a naïve person can read between the lines and see that they, Bani Al-Nadeer, could have killed all the Muslims’ leaders who were in that meeting if they wanted to. After all, Muhammad and his Sahaba in the meeting were probably no more than five or six men, sitting in in the heart of Bani Al-Nadeer tribe. Bani Al-Nadeer could have killed them all right then during that meeting. This did not take place, and we are supposed to believe that ridiculous story about the Jews trying to kill his holiness, Prophet Muhammad the First, with a big rock! Only a man with no reflective thinking ability can believe such a story.

The fact of the matter is, Muhammad wanted to attack them, one way or another. He hoped they will say no to his money request. When this did not work out, he invented the “rock from the top of the wall” story. And, amazingly enough, Muslim apologetics buy into such a story. Religious fervor blocks their brain cells, and no analytical thinking is done. They just believe a ridiculous story and move on.

Hadiths and Qur’an references related to the Bani Al-Nadeer incident

Hadith- burning of palm trees:
Muslim -Book 019, Number 4324:
It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) ordered the date-palms of Banu Nadir to be burnt and cut. These palms were at Buwaira. Qutaibah and Ibn Rumh in their versions of the tradition have added: So Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, revealed the verse:” Whatever trees you have cut down or left standing on their trunks, it was with the permission of Allah so that He may disgrace the evil-doers” (lix. 5).

Hadith – prophet Muhammad gets all of the Bani Al-Nadeer’s properties
Muslim-Book 019, Number 4347:
It has been narrated on the authority of Umar, who said: The properties abandoned by Banu Nadir were the ones which Allah bestowed upon His Apostle for which no expedition was undertaken either with cavalry or camelry. These properties were particularly meant for the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him). He would meet the annual expenditure of his family from the income thereof, and would spend what remained for purchasing horses and weapons as preparation for Jihad.

Hadith – Qur’anic Sura “Al-Hashr” was revealed because of the above incident

Muslim-Book 043, Number 7185:
Sa’id b. Jubair reported: I said to Ibn ‘Abbas about Sura Tauba, whereupon he said: As for Sura Tauba, it is meant to humiliate (the non-believers and the hypocrites). There is constantly revealed in it (the pronoun) minhum (of them) and minhom (of them, i. e. such is the condition of some of them) till they (the Muslims) thought that none would be left unmentioned out of them who would not be blamed (for one fault or the other). I again said: What about Sura Anfal? He said: It pertains to the Battle of Badr. I again asked him about Sura al-Hashr. He said: It was revealed in connection with (the tribe) of Banu Nadir.

Here are the links in Arabic and in English to this Sura: Sura is no more than a Muhammadan justification to take over the belongings of Bani Al-Nadeer, mixed with a lot of threats from Muhammad’s sock puppet, Allah.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

L’Islamisation de L’Afrique du Nord (Tamazgha)

La conquête arabe Au VII siècle les Arabes débordent de la péninsule arabique et se lancent, sabre à la main, à la conquête de “l’île du Maghreb” pour répandre le Coran et soumettre tous les peuples à la foi islamique. L’arrivée inopinée des arabes et leurs succès bouleversèrent le cours des choses tant pour le monde berbère que pour le populations chrétiennes et juives romanisées. Mus par l’obligation de divulguer et (...) suite

La lettre du Roi Perse au successeur de Mahomet !

Voici la lettre du roi perse adressée au deuxième calife de Mahomet ! : De la part du roi des pays perses, YAZD GERD III, à Monsieur OMAR, fils de KHATTAB, calife des arabes. Dans ta lettre, tu nous a invité à nous plier à ton Dieu que tu nommes « ALLAH-EAKBAR » et à cause de ton inconscience et ta pensée de bédouin, tu ne nous connais pas, tu ne sais pas qui nous sommes et qui nous prions et tu nous demandes de prier ton « ALLAH-E-AKBAR » (...) suite

Mohammed n’existait pas !

Mohammed n’existait pas, estime le professeur Muhammad Sven Kalisch, qui forme les enseignants à l’islam à Munster(Allemagne). Les organismes musulmans veulent rompre avec lui.

La formation des enseignants de l’islam en Allemagne est dans une crise par un affrontement entre orthodoxie musulmane et la science libre.

En raison de ses déclarations concernant l’existence du Prophète Muhammad et l’authenticité du Coran, le ministère de la recherche scientifique de l’Etat de Rhénanie du Nord-Westphalie en Allemagne a relevé l’orientaliste Sven Kalisch de son service à la direction de Münster religieuse Research Center (SRC). Kalish insiste qu’il n’y avait pas de preuve historique que Muhammad a vraiment vécu et qu’il était douteux que le Coran soit la parole d’Allah.

Kalisch prépare un livre expliquant comment la forme actuelle du Coran est différente de sa précédente forme et qu’il sera publié dans un proche avenir.

Les organisations musulmanes ont déclaré hier en réponse à la critique de Kalisch qu’ils ne sont pas contre la liberté scientifique, mais Kalish va trop loin en déclarant que l’historicité du Prophète Mohammed soit une ouverture à des doutes.

Selon Kalisch, scientifiquement, on ne peut pas prouver l’existence ou non de Mohammed. Il a lui-même tendance à penser qu’il n’a pas existé.

L’Université de Münster accrédite Kalish, alors que les membres islamiques accusent leurs dirigeants de ne pas avoir stoppé les recherches de Muhammad Sven Kalischs.
A 42 ans, Kalish, de lignée protestante, s’est joint à un groupe minoritaire, la Zaidieten chiite, de l’islam du Yémen. Jusqu’en 2004, il a travaillé à l’université de Hambourg où il a développé un curriculum pour les futurs enseignants de l’islam. Dès sont arrivée il déclare qu’il n’y avait pas de tabous. Par exemple, il a voulu faire face à la doctrine de l’apostasie. Selon les vues orthodoxes un renégat mérite la peine de mort. Il ya des pays où cette peine est appliquée, comme l’Iran.

Dans ce contexte, Kalisch crée une tension entre l’orthodoxie et de la constitution allemande.
Kalisch suscite une observation et le débat doit s’étendre à des cercles universitaires allemands. Les chercheurs participant dans le projet du Coran à Berlin-Branderburg académie scientifique ont fait une déclaration rejetant les observations que soulève le doute sur le Coran et le prophète Mahomed.
Voir aussi :Un Juif nommé Mahomet
Réagir à cet articleDiscuter en direct dans les forums

Un Juif nommé Mahomet de Bernard Raquin

Un Juif nommé Mahomet de Bernard RaquinL’origine du Coran, ses erreurs et ses aberrations, expliquant le terrorisme. D’après les savants, Mahomet est un mythe ! Grâce aux découvertes archéologiques, aux traductions du sumérien, de l’égyptien et de l’araméen, chacun peut enfin découvrir l’origine des « textes sacrés ». Loin d’être parole de « Dieu », les religions révélées recyclent les vieux mythes archaïques. On verra pourquoi elles provoquent tant de massacres, en entraînant (...) suite

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Modern history of the Berber people in North Africa

After gaining their independence in the 20th century, the countries of North Africa established Arabic as their official language, replacing French. As a result, most Berbers had to study and know Arabic, with no opportunity to use their own language at schools.

North African states identified themselves as Arab nations, ignoring the existence and the culture of the Berbers. Political tensions have arisen between Berber groups and governments in North Africa during the past few decades, over linguistic and cultural issues. For example, giving children Berber names was prohibited in Morocco.

In response to the demands of the Berbers, Morocco and Algeria modified their policies. Algeria defined itself in the constitution as an Arab, Berber, Muslim nation. Currently, in Algeria, Berber is a national language and is taught as a non-compulsory language in the Berber speaking areas. In Morocco, Berber is now taught as a compulsory language regardless the ethnicity.

excerpt from


1 Berber groups
2 History
3 Berbers and Islam
4 Modern history

Berbers and Arabs

A history of the Berber people in Africa
by Frances Stanford


One of the most important influences on the history of the Berbers was the coming of Islam. It permeated all aspects of life and often replaced tribal rituals and practices. The Berbers were very quick to convert to Islam and to provide assistance to the Arab invaders in any way they could. Islam came to the Berber territory in the 7th century, but there were tensions between the Berbers and the Arabs because of the prejudice the Arabs had for the Berber people. In most cases they were regarded as second-class Muslims and were often forced into slavery. This resulted in a revolt by the Berbers in 739.

Many Muslim Berbers supported the Kharijite form of Islam, which afforded them more equality. The Kharijites established some tribal kingdoms, but most of these were short lived. The Berber communities established on the main trade routes, however, became very prosperous.

In the 9th century, the Banu Hilal tribe arrived in Northwest Africa. They had been sent into the area to punish the Berber Zind dynasty for having adopted Islam and abandoning Shiism. The arrival of this tribe was a significant factor in the Arabization of Africa and the spread of the nomad way of life in areas where there had been communities and agriculture.

It was not until the middle of the 20th century that Arabic became the official language of North Africa and this led to a rise in Berber nationalism with respect to the language. Berber is now an official language in Algeria and even though it is not recognized as an official language in Morocco, it is taught in the schools.

At one time in their history, Berbers were discriminated against in society. This is not true today as long as they do not openly display their political affiliations.


The ancient Berber language survived Islam

Subject: The ancient Berber language survived Islam

Moroccans learn to write Berber
By Martha Dixon
BBC News, Morocco

In a village school perched on a hill on the edge of Morocco's Atlas Mountains, Amazigh children are learning in their own language.

The Berber script - Tifinagh - is related to Egyptian hieroglyphics
Morocco has been dominated by Arabic culture since the seventh century when the Arabs swept across the Middle East and North Africa in the name of Islam.

Now the original inhabitants of this country are reasserting their influence.

The word Amazigh means free or noble, but the Arabs called the Amazigh people Berbers - or barbarians. Their language, however, is still called Berber.

The six-year-olds at the school are part of a scheme to make Berber teaching compulsory in all schools in Morocco within the next 10 years - a major step forward in recognising Amazigh rights.

Oral language

Arabic is the official language in Morocco - with French also widely used - even though 60% of Morocco's population, some 18m people, is Amazigh.

Berber is an ancient language - some historians place it at 5,000 years old. It was spoken across a huge swathe of North Africa before the Arabs came.

We are proud that our children can read and learn in our own language

Sadia Bussta
Six-year-old Oussayn is proud of his new reading skills.

"I like learning in Berber because it's easier - it's what I speak at home," he says.

Traditional North African communities converted to Islam when the Arabs came and so were assimilated into Arab culture.

Despite the dominance of Arabic, the original language has not died out.

Berber dialects are still spoken from Morocco right across Algeria and Tunisia to Egypt and further south in countries around the Sahara desert.

But in most areas, the language has essentially become an oral tradition.

'Wiped out'

To resurrect the writing means bringing back an ancient script called Tifinagh, which originated around the same time as Egyptian hieroglyphics.

"The language and writing of the Amazighs is a sister of ancient Egyptian," says Professor Mohamed Oujama, a Moroccan historian.

The children find it easier to learn in their own language than Arabic
"The Tifinagh script was lost because the Amazigh elite were wiped out three times with successive invasions of Morocco. Now the Amazighs want to write again using their own alphabet - not the Latin or Arabic alphabet."

High in the Atlas Mountains, you can still see rocks with clearly engraved markings and crude pictures of animals and people, which were made before Morocco became part of the Arab world.

These ancestors of today's Amazighs would have written with the ancient Tifinagh alphabet.

In a village nearby, Sadia Bussta serves vegetable soup and dates to her family.

Like most Amazighs in Morocco, her family all speak Berber but they can't write it because all their schooling was in Arabic.

"Now that the ministry of education here in Morocco has integrated our language into public schools, we, as Amazighs will find our identity again. We are proud that our children can read and learn in our own language," says Sadia.

Amazigh oral traditions - songs and poetry - have been vital for keeping their language alive.

Now these people are once again learning to read and write in their own tongue.

Shirrush RE:The ancient Berber language survived Islam 12/20/2005 1:03:34 PM
And so did their music. Enjoy: link Thank you for your post, PSW, good news from the Maghreb are always nice to have.

12/20/2005 12:03:31 PM

History of Islam in southern Italy

History of Islam in southern Italy

The Islamic conquest and rule of Sicily, Malta, and parts of southern Italy was a process whose origin can be traced back through the general expansion of Islam from the seventh century onwards.[1] Though the Muslim presence was ephemeral on the peninsula and limited mostly to semi-permanent soldier camps—the Emirate of Bari existed for only twenty years or so[2]—their rule over the island was effective from 902, but their complete rule of Sicily lasted only from 965 until 1061, though they were not completely evicted until 1091.[3]

The Muslim conquest of Sicily and the subsequent Christian reconquest by the Normans was the major event in the history of Islam in Italy.[4] The conquests of the Normans established Roman Catholicism firmly in the region, where Eastern Christianity had been prominent during the time of Byzantine rule and continued with the natives during the time of the Muslim overlords.[5][6] Widespread conversion ensued, which coupled with the re-latinisation of the inhabitants led to the disappearance of Islam in Sicily by the 1280s.
1 First Islamic attacks on Sicily (652–827)
2 Muslims on the mainland
2.1 Emirate of Bari (847–871)
2.2 Latium and Campania
3 Islamic Sicily
3.1 Conquest of Sicily (827–902)
3.2 Aghlabid Sicily (827–909)
3.3 Fatimid Sicily (909–965)
3.4 Independent emirate of Sicily (965–1091)
3.5 Decline (1037–1061) and Norman conquest of Muslim Sicily (1061–1091)
4 Islamic and Arabic influence and legacy
5 References
6 Further reading
also at

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Creation of Mughalistan — UP-Bihar-Bengal-Assam corridor

Creation of Mughalistan — UP-Bihar-Bengal-Assam corridor - must read
Posted by jagoindia on November 17, 2008

This is a very crucial article explaining relentless expansion of Islam in India. Unless Hindus come together and combat this monster, it means untold miseries to millions of Hindus, right now totally unware to the danger lurking .
Click here

Excerpts below

There are Muslims in India today who dream of “Mughalistan” and are working relentlessly towards a further partition of India by creating “Mughalistan” in the UP-Bihar-Bengal-Assam corridor. It remains the focus of mainstream groups like the Tablighi Jamaat (who have methodically radicalised the ordinary Muslims) as well as underground terror groups like the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and the Indian Mujahideen, who have blown up several Indian cities killing thousands of people.

Now it is not about just Kashmir any more, it is all of India that Pakistan wants. And the creation of Mughalistan is not a question of “If”, but “When”. Unless we stand up and stop it.

Lest one mistakenly thinks that Mughalistan is the culmination of the Islamisation of India and that somehow the rest of India will be spared its fate, it must be stressed that this second partition of India is only the beginning. In Hyderabad of Andhra Pradesh, northern districts of Karnataka and certain areas of Maharashtra, the growth of Muslims is very high. Likewise, in Kerala, the Muslims now constitute 25% of the state’s population. Malappuram district was carved out to create a Muslim majority district by the Communist government headed by E.M.S Namboothiripad. Today, the entire Malappuram district enforces the weekly holiday on Friday (not Sunday) for schools and businesses, while Hindus in neighbouring Kozhikode (Calicut) and Kannur are intimidated through high-profile massacres like in Marad. The planning and execution is well underway to ensure a continuing Anschluss where several Muslim majority pockets such as Moplahstan (in Kerala) and Osmanistan (in the Deccan) will gradually spread in size and link up with Mughalistan to form a Greater Mughalistan.

This Greater Mughalistan is of strategic significance as it will provide a contiguous, strategic corridor linking the Ummah into a pan-Islamic Caliphate. The ISI-DGFI-Indian Jihadi triumvirate has fondly nicknamed this pan-Islamic Caliphate as Islamistan (meaning “Land of Islam”), a synonym for `Islamic World’ or `Dar-ul-Islam’. This geographical Islamic crescent will link the Islamic Middle-East to Islamic South-East Asia, with the new Islamic World stretching all the way from Morocco and Bosnia in the West to Malaysia and Indonesia in the East.

For full article with maps indicating growth of this cancerous green tide click here

Lebanon, the Arab Invasion, and The Arrival of Islam

Lebanon (IPA: /ˈlɛbənɒn/ Arabic: لبنان Lubnān), officially the Republic of Lebanon[2] or Lebanese Republic[3] (الجمهورية اللبنانية), is a country in Western Asia, on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east, and Israel to the south. It is close to Cyprus through the Mediterranean Sea. Due to its sectarian diversity, Lebanon evolved in 1943 a unique political system, known as confessionalism, based on a community-based power-sharing mechanism.[4] It was created when the ruling French mandatory powers expanded the borders of the former autonomous Ottoman Mount Lebanon district that was mostly populated by Maronites and Druze.


Lebanon is the historic home of the Phoenicians, a maritime culture which flourished for more than 2,000 years (2700-450 BC). Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the five provinces that comprise present-day Lebanon were mandated to France. The country gained independence in 1943, and French troops withdrew in 1946.[5]


Hiram I (Hebrew: חִירָם, "high-born"; Standard Hebrew Ḥiram, Tiberian vocalization Ḥîrām, Arabic: حيرام), according to the Bible, was the Phoenician king of Tyre. He reigned from 980 BC to 947 BC, succeeding his father, Abibaal.

During Hiram's reign, Tyre grew from a satellite of Sidon into the most important of Phoenician cities, and the holder of a large trading empire. He suppressed the rebellion of the first Tyrean colony at Utica, near the later site of Carthage (Against Apion i:18).
The Bible says that he allied himself with King Solomon of Israel, the upcoming power of the region. Through the alliance with Solomon, Hiram ensured himself access to the major trade routes to Egypt, Arabia and Mesopotamia. The two kings also joined forces in starting a trade route over the Red Sea, connecting the Israelite harbour of Ezion-Geber with a land called Ophir (2 Chronicles 8:16,17).

Both kings grew rich through this trade and Hiram sent Solomon architects, workmen and cedar wood to build the First Temple in Jerusalem. He also extended the Tyrean harbour, enlarged the city by joining the two islands on which it was built, and built a royal palace and a temple for Melqart (Against Apion i:17).



an interesting introduction to this topic

Originally Posted by syrian
Look, im not an SSNPer, but the truth is, the middle east is one entity when it comes to ancient civilizations and culture (canaanites, pheonicians, arameans, syriacs, etc...)

i hate to be called an arab only because i speak arabic... i dont look like an arab, i dont think like an arab, i dont dress like an arab, i dont live like an arab... AND i dont have the same heritage as an arab... i want to be called syrian, or middle eastern, and i want people of the middle east to be called the same... i dont care about the political borders, all i care about is our heritage which defines our identity...

the arabs came here less than 1400 years ago, but that doesnt make me one... this is the land of canaan and aram, this is where trade and sciences flourished... this land hosts the most ancient cities of the world, why should we erase all that glory by adopting a foreign identity - the arabic identity??

arabs have their land... their civilization and culture are so different... they never had science, but superstition instead... they never had cities, but tribal gatherings...

we speak arabic, so what? brazil speaks portugese because of the occupation, but brazilians are not called portugese...

So you're saying when الغساسنة‎ (Christian Arab tribes) came to Syria and Lebanon, they never mixed their blood with Canaanites ? That was an ancient civilization and its long gone, it was replaced by different tribes. The Arab tribes started coming in the second and third century and inhabited that land. Its funny how you think tribes and civilizations never change. Phoenicians, then Canaanites then a few others then Arabs. You accept all of them except for Arab because you think they are Muslim, while in fact they started off as Christians.

Originally Posted by elhakeem2jours
well said syrian, and i want to be called lebanese because we are a rare people native in the region and to our land, with our own culture that survived several islamic conquests, our own heritage, our own food, our own music, our own style, our own ingenuity around the world, our own history....

let the arabs call themselves arabs, if u feel like an arab-- by all means call yourself that! do you hear americans call themselves whites before americans? nah, calling yourself arab means you see thru the borders of the middle east and all peoples as one people. in most cases arab nationalism is closely linked with islamism (arab culture = islamic culture, created by mohammad)

i have no problem with arabs, but i do have a problem with those who feel the urge to tell others what they are.

i am lebanese, and only lebanese.....if u consider lebanese arabs, thats your choice, i am lebanese, nothing more and nothing less

etc., etc., etc.


an interesting Comment by "Danny" in response to "DNA research traces Phoenician past in Middle East. (Reuters)" from "I'm Gina Smith" at

"I love this story. DNA research is blurring religious boundaries in Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East. Story excerpted below.

"BYBLOS, Lebanon (Reuters) - A Lebanese scientist following the genetic footprint of the ancient Phoenicians says he has traced their modern-day descendants, but stumbled into an old controversy about identity in his country."
etc., etc. etc.

DNA, J2 haplogroup or late John Paul II's comments when he visited Lebanon that the Christians of Lebanon should be Arabs, the fact remains that history and truth is on our side when we say:

"Lebanon at its roots is not Arab or Muslim but has in it Arabs and Muslims given the flush of Arab/Muslim conquering armies from the Arabian Peninsula towards the East Mediterranean basin and leaving behind them settlers.

Later, Muslims from North Africa and Turkey joined the first wave. Since Arabs & their offspring Islam arrived to Lebanon and this country has not had a single day of rest."

By published law Lebanon is an Arab country. Nonetheless, an intelligent observer would wonder why more than 90% of names of towns and cities are not Arabic but rather Aramaic, Phoenician, Canaanite, Amorite, etc.

Though the REVISED constitution (1989) says that Lebanon is Arab in Identity and Belonging, the 1st consititution does not mention that. Of course, the revision is a whorish twist to truth and history and was forced on Christians by Arab countries, namely Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Arabs can do some things but are unable to clear their prints. Why? These can bring an ammendment to the Lebanese constitution but it is declaration of war if any attempt is done to ammend the National Anthem, which is more important. The Anthem does not mention directly, tacitely or indirectly that we Arabs, which at least the natives of Lebanon are not.

The melody of the Anthem has nothing to do with Arab art or culture, as compared to Anthems of Arab countries.

If an observer examines the Lebanese flag and its Art, and if one removes the Christmas Tree, the Cedar Tree, from its midst, one would think he is examining the flag of Austria. Red White REd.

For goodness sake, Arabs are known to claim what is not theirs and re-register it as their own. Why? Well, in Islam they believe that "Allah" the God of the Muslims is the Cheater of cheaters ie. if need be." Qur'an Sura III 54.

In conclusion, Arabs were successful in forcing their language on us, but, they have never will never be able to force their culture on us.

Posted by: Danny September 20, 2007 at 12:33 AM

Islamic Arab rule [in Damascus, Syria from which Lebanon was ruled]

Historically, Syria included Jordan, Israel and Lebanon as well as the area now known as Syria.
After the death of the prophet Muhammad, the Arab fighters began to spread Islam through battles and faith preaching. Under the Caliph Omar Bin Al Khattab, Syria was taken over form the Byzantines, in 636 the Muslims fought against the Byzantines in the battle of Yarmuk (on the river Yarmuk).

Damascus was conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate during the reign of Umar by forces under Khaled ibn al-Walid in 634 CE. Immediately thereafter, the city's power and prestige reached its peak when it became the capital of the Umayyad Empire, which extended from Spain to India from 661 to 750. In 744, the last Umayyad caliph, Marwan II, moved the capital to Harran in the Jazira,[3] and Damascus was never to regain the political prominence it had held in that period.

After the fall of the Umayyads and the establishment of the Abbasid caliphate in 750, Damascus was ruled from Baghdad, although in 858 al-Mutawakkil briefly established his residence there with the intention of transferring his capital there from Samarra. However, he soon abandoned the idea. As the Abbasid caliphate declined, Damascus suffered from the prevailing instability, and came under the control of local dynasties.


The pagan Canaanites, the early Lebanese, became Christian. Christianity flourished in Lebanon and by the close of the second century Tyre had become the seat of a Christian Bishop as has Sidon, whose Bishop attended the council of Nicea in 325 in which the Nicene Creed was formulated, furthermore in the year 335 a church council was held in Tyre. At about the same time, Frumentius, a Tyrian missionary introduced Christianity to Ethiopia. From early in the 5th Century and throughout the 6th, through the works of the disciples of St. Maron the people of Lebanon, the Phoenicians, joined the Maronite Church.

For many years the Maronite Lebanese worked the land, terraced the mountains built their villages and expanded their cities. Soon a human tidal wave was not only to change the demographics of Lebanon but was also to change the history of the civilized world.

In a little know area of a Byzantine province in 570 AD was born, to a camel trading father, a child known to history by his honorific name Mohammed, or 'highly praised'. The religion founded by Mohammed in Arabia was that of Islam, and he is regarded by his followers as a prophet. The book he, an unschooled man produced, was written by one of his followers and is considered by the Islam (Muslims) to be the literal word of God told to Mohammed by the Angel Gabriel. By the time he died in 632, Mohammed had converted the Arabian peninsula, mainly by the sword, to Islam.
[The eastern shore of the Mediterranean was predominantly Christian from the time of the Roman imperial conversion in the early fourth century until Islamic invaders arrived in the mid-seventh century.,2933,365626,00.html?sPage=fnc/scitech/archaeology]

In 633, a year after Mohammed's death, in a valley just south of the Dead Sea, a group of Arabian Muslims fought their first battle outside of Arabia against the Byzantines. By 637 almost the entire Middle East had fallen into Arab hands. The victory of Islam was in three parts: Islam the state; Islam the religion; and Islam the language, Arabic.

Lebanon, however, remained a Christian island in a sea of Islam. It is in Lebanon that Islam the state did not govern, Islam the religion did not convert, and Islam the language did not take over from Aramaic Syriac for over a thousand years, and even then never as a spoken language but as the written one.

[color emphasis mine. lw]

In Lebanon today there is a huge difference between the spoken Lebanese and the written Arabic, Lebanese being a mixture rich in Syriac. A great part of the coastal population of Lebanon joined their fellow Christian countrymen high in the mountains out of Arab reach. The mountains offered no attraction to the desert Arabs, agriculture was considered below their dignity, and and they knew little of industry, and even less about maritime trade. The Arabs did not realize the strategic importance of Lebanon and they left it to itself and so opened the way for Byzantine naval raids. Such incursions were a prime reason why an inland seat of government, Damascus, was chosen by the Arabs. As a result of the coastal inhabitants of Lebanon refusing to convert and moving to the mountains the Lebanese coast was left undefended and so it became necessary for Muawiyah the Caliph, in 663, to transplant Persians and Arabians to the Lebanese coast so as to provide a measure of protection against naval incursions by the Byzantines.

By the end of the 7th century the Arabs and the Persians, newcomers to an ancient land, began to settle on the Lebanese coast and in the Bekaa valley and the native Lebanese moved deeper into the mountain.

[color emphasis mine, lw]

The transplantation of outsiders into Lebanon in 663 was not the only one to occur in Lebanon's long history.
Lebanon's refusal to be assimilated so infuriated the Mamluks that in the years following the departure of the Crusaders from Lebanon the Mamluks launched heavy military reprisals against Lebanon. In 1307 the Mamluks under al-Nasir Muhammad went so far as to occupy the coastal strip between Beirut and Tripoli and divide it between three hundred transplanted and newly introduced nomadic tribes from north east Persia. The Mamluks hoped that the settling of these thousands of pro Mamluk nomads would not only provide a measure of protection against Mongol attack or Crusader raids from Cyprus but they hoped that such a step would over time change the very orientation of Lebanon itself. These measures however failed to reorientate Lebanon and the Lebanese remained a thorn in the side of the Mamluk established order.

Over the many years that were to follow the Arab invasion, the religion of the Muslim and the mainly Maronite Christians, coupled with the Maronite siege mentality, kept the two peoples firmly apart as they had very little in common. The sea crossing and mountain dwelling Maronites share nothing in the way of culture with the desert Arab, even their language was different, the Maronites speaking Aramaic (Syriac) well into the 19th century.

Marriage between the Shiite Muslim Persians and the Sunni Muslin Arabs was at times acceptable, but for the Christians of Lebanon marriage outside of one's own village was rare, and marriage between Maronite and Muslim was non-existent, even today it is extremely uncommon. The Muslim and Christian blood lines thus remained pure, even the most modern of the Lebanese are still in touch with their ancestral village and have a good knowledge of their forefathers. The resistance of Lebanon to absorption ensured it maintained an individual identity and remained a separate entity.

The history of Lebanon as a separate entity from its neighbours began many thousands of years ago, long before the modern state was born. In fact it is doubtful whether any country in the Middle East, apart from Egypt, can claim such a long and continuous history as a separate political entity. Certain unique features had appeared as far back as the Byzantine Empire, but the modern Lebanese entity emerged in the late 16th century during the rain of Fakhr al-Din II when within its territory an evolving form of political authority continued without interruption to our own time, giving Lebanon and the Lebanese a separate and distinct identity and a strong sense of nationality.


Since Arabs are a Semitic people originally inhabiting the Arabian peninsula, who spread throughout the Middle East, N. Africa and Spain in the 7th and 8th centuries A.D., its is clear that a large part of the Muslim population of Lebanon are of Arab origin.

There is no doubt however that when the Arab arrived in Lebanon, it was already inhabited by the Maronites who are of Canaanite origin, and not Arab. The Canaanites had lived in Lebanon for many thousands of years before the arrival of the Arab, and Lebanon was touched by Christianity some 600 years before being touched by the Arab and Islam.

It would seem that any country with a dual Canaanite and Arab identity should consider itself truly blessed. With the infusion of Greek, Persian, and Armenian elements, whose contribution of the evolution of Lebanon has been nothing short of remarkable, Lebanon's identity becomes truly multi-faceted.
etc., etc., etc.


Islam in Lebanon is divided between four Muslim sects; Shiites, Sunnis, Alawites, and Ismailis including the Druze. All but Ismailis enjoy proportional representation in parliament.
Muslims (including Druze) account for 59.7% of the total population of Lebanon, where 39% are Christians.[1] About 25% of the Lebanese population is Sunni, concentrated largely in coastal cities. Shi'is - about 35% [2] of the total population of Lebanon - live mostly in the northern area of the Beqaa Valley and southern Lebanon. A religious data in 1985 suggests that the number of Muslims has risen, with 75% compared with Christians at 25%.[3]. By the 1980s Shi'is became a large confessional group in Lebanon, leading to demands for better educational and employment opportunities and redistribution of power based on actual numbers. Druze constitute about 5 percent of the population. Alawis are numerically insignificant but have risen in importance since the Gulf War of 1990-1991 due to the growing influence of Syria, where Alawis dominate the government. Ismailis number only a few hundred and play no significant political role. Religious officials of each sect maintain jurisdiction over personal status law. The distribution of political power is based on religious affiliation: the president must be Maronite Catholic Christian, the speaker of the parliament must be Shiite Muslim and the prime minister must be Sunni Muslim.


There is no certainty as to when the Shi'a community first established itself in Lebanon, though they were well settled across the Levant by the tenth century. Later still Shi'a emirates were establlished in Tyre though these collapsed at the time of the First Crusade in 1099. After the fall of the Crusader kingdoms, the Shi'a peoples, who had withdrawn to the hinterland of Lebanon, were persecuted by the new conquerors, the Sunni Mamelukes. People were forced out of the mountainous areas of Kisrawan where they had taken refuge in the wake of the Crusaders, moving through the Beqaa plain, to new strongholds in Jezzanine and Jabal Amil, in what is now the south and east of Lebanon. During the time of the Ottoman Empire the Shi'a were largely ignored, though they found themselves competing for scarce resources with the expanding community of Maronite Christians.

During most of the Ottoman period the Shi'a largely maintained themselves as 'a state apart', though they maintained contact with the Safavid dynysty, which established Shi'a Islam as the state religion of Persia. These contacts made them all the more suspect to the Ottoman Sultan, who was frequently at war with the Persians, as well as being, in the role of Caliph, the leader of the majority Sunni community Shi'a Lebanon, when not subject to political repression, was generally neglected, sinking further and further into the economic background.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century the Comte de Volmy was to describe the Shi'a as a distinct society, outside the main currents of Lebanese life; and so they were perceived by their Sunni, Druze and Maronite neighbours, right into the twentieth century. It was by default that they found themselves as part of the new state of Grand Liban, created by the French in September 1920. The Sunni had attempted to resist the French mandate; and when they were defeated, refused to participate in the administration of what they considered to be an artificial political entity. Sunni opposition had aimed at the creation of a 'greater Syria', where the Shia would have been a permanent minority. But in the new state of Lebanon they acquired both an independence and a far greater political significance in relation to the size of their community. This was further emphasised by French colonial policy, which sought to reach out to the Shi'a, with the intention of preventing a possible alliance with the Sunni.

After independence in 1943, although the Shi'a remained part of Lebanon's delicate confessional and political balancing act, their homelands were still economically among the most backward areas. Many of them gravitated towards the slums of Beruit, progressively becoming more radicalised in the process; they also became deeply resentful at the affluence of the Sunni and Christian middle classes, prospering in the liberal atmosphere of the 1950s. In 1959 the Shi'a acquired a more determined and unique voice, when Musa al-Sadr arrived from Qom to take up the position of Mufti. In 1967 he established a Supreme Islamic Shi'a Council, regulating the affairs of the community, and giving it as high a profile in the state as the corporate bodies set up by the Maronite, Sunni and Druze. People who had been carried along by left-wing and secular currents were slowly drawn back into a reinvigorated Islam, many joining Amal, the militia founded by Sadr in 1974. Although Sadr disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 1978, his influence, and his radical message, lived on, contributing later to the rise of Hezbollah. The Lebanese Civil War, and Israeli intervention in southern Lebanon, also went a long way towards consolidataing a new and more radical Shi'a identity.

LEBANON: Radical Islam Comes to Town
By Mona Alami

TRIPOLI, Lebanon, Jul 14 (IPS) - In the centre of one of Tripoli's squares in north Lebanon, a large statue has been erected inscribed with the word 'Allah' in Arabesque calligraphy. The statue reflects the city's reality, especially in light of the recent rise in Salafism, a radical form of Islam.

In Abi Samra on one of Tripoli's hills, men with long beards, dressed in white dishdashas -- a style unusual for Lebanon -- walk along whitewashed buildings, attesting to the growing grip Islamists have on the city.

"Salafism was founded in the sixties in Lebanon by Sheikh Salem el-Chahal," says Sheikh Bilal Chaaban, head of the Tawhid movement (another radical Islamist faction, separate from Salafism). After the death of its founder, Salafism branched into various factions, one of which is headed by the founder's son, Dai Islam el-Chahal.

"During his lifetime, Sheikh Said Chaaban, founder of Tawhid, was supported by other Salafists. After his death, however, both movements drifted apart, with the Tawhid still clinging to the dream of establishing a Muslim state in northern Lebanon," says Moustapha Allouch, MP.

Other small Salafist schools also emerged in Tripoli, such as the Siraj Mounir Boukhari and Safwan Zoabi movements.

"Salafists believe in a strict interpretation of the Quran and in practising Islam as it was at the time of the prophet Muhammad and his disciples," says Sheikh Omar Bakri, a radical cleric who was expelled from Britain in 2005 for his alleged links with al-Qaeda. According to the cleric, Salafism is essentially built on three pillars: belief in one god, the 'daawa' or the missionary task, and 'jihad'.

"Most Salafists, however, only apply the first two principles of true Islam without fulfilling the third, the jihad. True Salafism thus does not exist in Lebanon," he says.

Lebanese Salafism is of a doctrinal and missionary nature that has been allowed to grow because of the country's complex and diverse religious undercurrent (Lebanon, a country of four million, officially recognises 18 religious communities). In Tripoli, Salafist factions rely on a network of mosques, NGOs and schools, and receive financing from various Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.

The armed bodyguards surrounding the headquarters of some Islamic and Salafist organisations, and the relative opulence of the homes of the clerics reflect the growing affluence and number of such extremists flowing into the city. "The allegiance of Salafist factions to the foreign powers that fund them has promoted division among their ranks, as they reflect the alliances or dissensions of their foreign allies," says Bakri.

The intricate political and social fabric within the various Salafist movements is deeply divided, as with the rest of Lebanon. Not only are Islamic factions in Tripoli manipulated by foreign powers, but they are also pawns in the hands of local politicians, who use them in their political game.

"By radicalising people, political factions can guarantee a larger base of supporters in the upcoming 2009 parliamentary elections. Salafists, like many others, are lured by false Messiahs," says Sheikh Chaaban, referring to the role of politicians in the ongoing violent conflict in Tripoli between Sunnis (including radical Islamists) and a pro-Syrian minority.

Different sources interviewed by IPS report that most Salafists seem to follow the government's majority bloc, while other radical Sunni factions, such as Tawhid, are sponsored by either Syria or Iran, and hence, support the opposition.

"Most Salafists are allied to the Saudis and, thus, aligned with American Middle East policy. They maintain excellent relations with the government and the Hariri family," says Bakri. The Hariris are a powerful Lebanese political clan with strong ties to Saudi Arabia. Saad Hariri, son of slain prime minister Rafik Hariri, heads the majority parliamentary coalition in Lebanon.

According to a source, who chose to remain anonymous due to the topic's sensitivity, many Salafist preachers are on the payroll of Arab embassies located in Lebanon. Bakri says this support can be partly explained by Sunnis' growing fear of Lebanese Shias, represented by Hezbollah.

Bakri believes that although Fateh el-Islam (a terrorist group that battled the Lebanese army at the Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in Tripoli for over three months in 2007) might have been spawned by Syrian intelligence, it was then probably hijacked by local political factions from both sides of the divide. "This can be clearly observed in the series of bombings orchestrated by Fateh el-Islam, as some were condemned by their leader Chaker el-Absi while others were condoned, indicating conflict within the organisation."

As for al-Qaeda's possible hand in Lebanon's growing Salafist movement, the country's diverse sectarian landscape and traditional allegiance of Sunnis to the government has in fact hindered its influence. Although the organisation might have many staunch supporters who believe in the ideology it advocates, it has not necessarily been able to achieve an infrastructure.

According to IPS sources, most Salafist movements in Tripoli have regular contacts with the police, military or intelligence, and are being supplied with weapons. Allouch believes that most Islamist factions are now armed.

To curb the risk of a violent outbreak, the MP states that Saad Hariri worked on convincing Salafists to contribute to the project of state building, but this work was hindered by the May 7 events (when a demonstration organised by the opposition Shia Hezbollah and Amal parties turned into a one-week war that further exacerbated divisions between Sunnis and Shias). "Many Sunnis, who are aware that al-Qaeda will only bring a spiralling wave of violence, feel they are in need of an army to defend themselves against Hezbollah," says Allouch.

Hezbollah is currently the only Lebanese faction officially permitted to retain heavy weaponry, which could constitute the need for self-defence in the minds of some Salafists. Sheikh Abou Bakr Chahal, son of Sheikh Salem Chahal, believes the third aspect of Salafism, jihad, can be practised in certain threatening circumstances and under the banner of legitimate defence. "A re-enactment of the May 7 events could certainly prompt a new jihad," he warns. (END/2008)

from Free Lebanon

In 1988, President Amin Gemayel's term of office was nearing its end , and the different Lebanese factions could not agree on a candidate to be his successor. Consequently, when his term expired on September 23rd of that year, he appointed Army Commander General Michel Aoun as Lebanon's Prime Minister. General Aoun formed a government that worked toward the reunification of all parts of Lebanon, freeing Lebanon from all foreign armies, and the restoration of democracy and freedom in Lebanon. Meanwhile, Gemayel's acting prime minister, Salim al Huss, also continued to act as the de facto prime minister. As a result, Lebanon was divided between a Syrian-backed government in west Beirut, and the constitutionally legal government of General Aoun in east Beirut.

In March 1989, an attempt by Prime Minister General Michel Aoun to close all illegal seaports, and stop all kinds of drug production and smuggling, led to what has come to be known as "Hareb al Tahreer" or Liberation War. Syrian forces in the occupied parts of Lebanon opened fire on the liberated areas in order to bring down the Lebanese government's agenda. Lebanon's army under the command of Prime Minister General Michel Aoun defended the liberated areas against the Syrian attacks. Shelling by the Syrians and their counter-parts caused nearly 1000 deaths and several thousand injuries, and further destruction of Lebanon's economic infrastructure.

In May 1989, the Arab League empowered a High Committee on Lebanon, composed of Saudi King Fahed, Algerian President Benjidid, and Moroccan King Hassan, to work toward a solution in Lebanon. In July 1989, the committee issued a report accusing Syria of assailing Lebanon's freedom and independence. After further discussions, the committee arranged for a cease-fire in September, followed by a meeting of Lebanese parliamentarians in Taef, Saudi Arabia.

After a month of intense discussions, the Lebanese deputies were forced and bribed by Syria to agree on a Charter of National Reconciliation also known as the Taef Agreement. In this agreement Syria would redeploy its soldiers in Lebanon, rather than withdrawing. The Lebanese population residing within the liberated parts of Lebanon opposed the Taef Agreement, as it violates national sovereignty. For this, Prime Minister Aoun issued a decree in early November dissolving the Lebanese parliament, calling for elections under the supervision of the United Nations.

In November the dissolved parliament met at the Qleiat Air Base in northern Lebanon, where they approved the Taef Agreement and elected Rene Moawad as a president. Moawad was assassinated on November 22 by a bomb planted in his armored car, although he was under strong Syrian protection (guess who killed him!!!). The dissolved parliament met on November 24 in the Beeqa Valley and elected Elias Hrawi to replace him.

The Syrians renewed their attacks on the liberated Lebanese areas. Meanwhile, hundreds of Lebanese citizens rallied around the Lebanese Presidential Palace (Beit el Shaab) to show their support of Prime Minister General Michel Aoun, and to defend it against Syrian attacks. On October 13, 1990, a Syrian-led military operation, in which fighter planes were used by the Syrians for the first time in Lebanon, invaded the liberated areas of Lebanon. Prime Minister Michel Aoun was forced to take refuge in the french embassy. The French President, Francois Mitterand, declared that General Aoun's safety was a matter of honour to France, and negotiated Prime Minister General Michel Aoun's safe departure to France along with members of his government.

Today Lebanon is still occupied by over 40,000 Syrian soldiers, contrary to what the dissolved parliament had agreed upon in the Taef Agreement. The government in power in Lebanon is a puppet in the hands of Syria, denying people freedom of speech. There are daily arrests without warrants. There is an outcry as a result of the terrorizing methods employed by the Syrian intelligence service against the Lebanese citizens, coupled with the deteriorating economic situation in Lebanon. Prime Minister General Michel Aoun is still in France, where he heads a number of international organizations, working peacefully toward the achievement of a free Lebanon.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Arabization of the Berber Lands

Posted by Jugurten

A repeated theme among anti-Amazigh propagandists is that the Amazigh identity was created by the French and that the Amazigh militants are traitors, working for the French. A common insult is to call the Amazigh “sons of the White Fathers,” referring to the missionary Roman Catholic priests that worked in the mountains of Kabylia under French colonialism. Certainly, French colonialism changed the dynamics of North Africa, particularly in Algeria, and the issue of identity has its roots in the divide-and-conquer strategy of the former colonialist power. But it was the Arab identity that was created due to this strategy, and the process was institutionalized under the post-independence regimes, which were influenced by the pan-arabist ideology of the former Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Prior to French colonialism, Europeans referred to the area of North Africa as “Berberia”(1), recognizing that this was “Berber” land. Under colonialism, the area was called “L’Afrique Française du Nord” (French North Africa) and “Pays d’Atlas” (Land of the Atlas) by the French and “Africa Minor” by the Germans(2). In more ancient times, various names were used to refer to the area of North Africa or to parts of it, including: Afrikiyya, Libya, Numidia (central to eastern Algeria), Mauritanius (Morocco and western Algeria). At no time in history prior to the 20th century, was this area considered to be part of Arabia or Arab land. Under the French, the term Arab was used for the bedouins and as an insult. A look into a French or even English dictionary, will provide the meanings of “arab,” which includes a vagabond, or street urchin, in other words, someone without a settled residence. It was not always used literally, since the term was used to insult North Africans, sometimes followed by the word “dog.”

Despite the fact that Ottoman rule in Algeria was nominal, the military, government, and even culture of some of the cities had a Turkish character until the take-over of the French. There was even a term for the offspring of Ottoman Turks and Indigenous north Africans: Kouloughlis. The population also recognized Andalusians, descendants of the exiled Moors of Spain. The term “Moor,” itself, refers to the earlier designation of western North Africa by the Romans (Mauritanius). The French, however, created the dichotomy of Arab and Berber, a false dichotomy, which not only ignored the diversity of the land, but imposed a mythical identity.

The French identification of Arabs, at least at first, referred to all nomadic plain-dwellers,(3) and the term “Berber” was used for the settled mountain-dwellers, which is misleading. For example, the Tuareg, a nomadic group, is Berber, not only having preserved its language and culture, but also its ancient writing style (Tifinagh). The French also used the term “Kabyle” in different ways in its early colonial history. At first, it was used for all the mountain dwellers they had not yet conquered, including those in Blida, “the Dahra and Ouarsenis ranges on either side of the Chelif river from Mostaganem in the West to Cherchell in the East, the Trara range near the moroccan border,” and the mountains of what is today known as Kabylia.(4) As the lands were conquered, the term “Kabyle” came to refer to a smaller part of the population, until it included only the people of today’s Greater and Lesser Kabylia. The term Kabyle was often used interchangeably with Berber, and no distinction was made at first between what we know today as Kabyles, Chaouis, etc. Nevertheless, these distinctions were created under the French and caused, or rather has caused, a confusion among readers, including scholars, about who the Berbers are. Much too often, Berber becomes synonymous with Kabyle, according to the latter’s current definition, and statistics undercount the populations because of this error. The 25-30% “berber population,” which is provided as the official Algerian statistic, is a result of the manipulation of this misconception, and thus, the number reflects only the population of Kabylia, ignoring the millions of berbers in Algiers, Blida, Tlemcen, Oran, Constantine, the Aures, and throughout Algeria. A similar problem has occured in Morocco, whose government officially recognizes 40 percent of the population as Berber (linguists recognize about 60 percent).

Together with the identification of people as Arab under the French, was the imposition of the Arabic language. In 1833, the French established the écoles arabes-françaises (French-Arabic school system). Until 1898, graduation tests were required in the Arabic language. While mostly Algerian Jews attended the schools and only an estimated 1,300 Muslims by 1870 (5), this created an elite class of Arabic-speakers. Arabic had heretofore been the religious literary language, and not the language of the streets. While Algerian (and other North African) “darja” (dialect) has a primarily Arabic vocabulary, its grammar and syntax is not Arabic but rather Tamazight. It is interesting to note that neither Ottoman and Persian are defined as Arabic dialects but languages in their own right, despite the use of Arabic characters and their majority Arabic vocabulary.

Although the French-Arabic schools were not popular among the majority of the indigenous population, in the 20th century, the movement begun in 1922 by Abd al-Hamid Ben Badis to “purify” Islam, or more accurately to easternize the religious beliefs and practices of Algeria, resulted in the growth of Qur’anic schools, which also taught Arabic. Although the French are depicted as anti-Islam, they controlled religious affairs under their ministry, and permitted, if not actually encouraged, the islamization and arabization of Algeria. Descriptions of the Berber laws and culture by French and British missionaries and anthropologists raise the question whether these people were, in fact, Muslim, as historians maintain, or if some Muslim terms and practices merely were incorporated into their own beliefs, influenced by the Ottomans, who were Sunni Muslims. The results of the combined islamization and arabization of North Africa is that today, the religion is equated with the language, considered holy and untouchable, despite the fact that the vast majority of Muslims are not Arabs, and Indonesians, Turks, Pakistanis, Iranians, and other non-Arab Muslims do not feel the need to define themselves as Arabs even if they are Muslim. In fact, they emphatically reject such an identification. Only in North Africa are the two equated.

After independence, arabization became more institutionalized. Arabic became the official language of all North African countries. In Algeria, this was an especially difficult transition since very few were actually literate in the language. Teachers had to be imported from Syria, Egypt, and Trans-Jordan. The Constitution defined the people as Arab and Muslim. Yet this was never the intent of the revolutionists who fought within Algeria. They had perceived a heterogenous Algeria, home to all Algerians, whatever their ethnicity or religion. With the murder of leading Amazigh revolutionists and the takeover by those who had studied, worked, or trained in Egypt, arabization became the official enforcement policy. Ben Bella, who made the infamous statement “We are arabs, we are arabs, we are arabs” (ironically in the French language) and Boumedienne, the first two presidents of Algeria, were both Berbers!

Despite the denial of the indigenous character of North Africa, of the root of its culture, its uniqueness, the maternal language of millions of its inhabitants, despite the virtual eradication of this identity in Tunisia and Libya and the ongoing struggle in Algeria and Morocco for full and official recognition of the Amazigh identity and language, human rights activists, academics, and the press refuse to call arabization by what it is: a racist policy of cultural genocide. None condemn the settlements and displacement of peoples to arabize these countries; yet, this is an ongoing process in both Morocco and Algeria. While the governments say they recognize that their countries is Amazigho-Arab and that Tamazight is permitted, the fact is that anything related to the Amazigh, including the language, music, art, etc., is relegated to the folkloric, to the “traditional,” painting anything related to Amazighity as archaic and nostalgic, rather than a living, breathing, developing reality. The limits are placed to bar Amazighity from becoming a practical and modern identity, from the Tamazight language being capable of official use, with the incorporation of modern, scientific terms, needed for any language to be viable. For this reason, all work in standardizing and modernizing Tamazight must be done from abroad by the diaspora. In the artistic field, few recognize that there is Amazigh music that is as modern as any pop, alternative, or metal music we hear today, its tunes being far from those traditionally played at weddings and other celebrations, and its words dealing with topics from the Amazigh struggle to romantic love. And while pictures of traditional wear and Berbers struggling in poverty are commonplace and popular due to its “exotic” flavor, the modern professional or blue-collar Amazigh, a more common and realistic portrayal, is invisible to most of the international community.

It is time—long past overdue—to confront the racist arabization of the Amazigh lands.

by Blanca Madani-
- 1. Humbaraci, Arslan. Algeria: A Revolution that Failed. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1966, p. 10.
- 2. Ibid.
- 3. Lorcin, Patricia M. Imperial Identities: Sterotyping, Prejudice and Race in Colonial Algeria. London: I.B. Tauris Publishers, 1999, p. 2.
- 4. Ibid, p 5.- 5. Ruedy, John. Modern Algeria: The Origins and Development of a Nation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992, p. 104.