Hugh Fitzgerald has often written here about the Arab supremacist aspect of Islam, which manifests itself most notably today in the jihad in Darfur. Now Berber leader Belkacem Lounes has registered a protest against that supremacism as recent expressed by the loony Libyan Qaddafi. “Berber Leader Belkacem Lounes: ‘There Is No Worse Colonialism Than That of the Pan-Arabist Clan that Wants to Dominate Our People,'” from MEMRI:
Belkacem Lounes, president of the World Amazigh Congress, wrote an open letter to Libyan leader Mu’ammar Qaddafi in response to the latter’s March 1 speech in which he denied the existence of a Berber or Amazigh  people in North Africa. In his letter, dated April 10, Lounes protested Qaddafi’s statements, saying that the 30 million Amazigh living today in North Africa cannot be ignored. He added that the Amazigh had played a central role in the fight against European colonialism, but that since independence they had been oppressed by the “internal colonialism” of pan-Arabism, which he labels an imperialist ideology. Lounes stated that it was archaic to consider diversity a danger, and calls on the North African governments to commit to democracy and human rights.
The following are excerpts: 
“What Worse Offense to Elementary Rights is There Than Denying The Existence Of a People?”
“You claim that Amazigh civilization disappeared due to ‘a century of drought in North Africa'”¦ It is difficult to imagine that you are unaware of the existence of 30 million Amazigh-speakers living today in all of the countries of Tamazgha [i.e. North Africa]”¦
“You let it be understood that the Amazigh are supposedly an invention of colonialism! What colonialism is capable of creating a people ex nihilo, with its language and traditions that go back several thousand years? How could colonialism have done this – given that when the first foreigner arrived on North African soil, he found that the Amazigh had already been there for a long time?…
“How to explain these contradictions and the brutal return to this desire to negate a tangible history and reality? You even denied the evidence, when you assured us that the Amazigh problem did not exist in Libya. But”¦ the Libyan Amazigh, like Amazigh elsewhere, face ostracism, exclusion, and discrimination of all kinds”¦”
“We like to think that colonialism no longer exists”¦ But there is no worse colonialism than internal colonialism – that of the pan-Arabist clan that seeks to dominate our people. It is surely Arabism, in that it is an imperialist ideology that refuses any diversity in North Africa, that constitutes a betrayal and an offense to history, truth, and legality.
“Even the Muslim religion has been put into the service of these projects of Arabization and domination. The Amazigh queen Dihya was the first, 14 centuries ago, to have understood this colonial strategy – which is why she declared to the Arabs who came to attack her kingdom: ‘You say that you are carrying a divine message? Fine then, leave it here, and return whence you came’… 
“In principle, it is the responsibility of every head of state to protect, respect, and promote the rights of his people. The challenge of establishing a culture of dialogue and friendship among civilizations and peoples requires a merciless struggle against all acts of intolerance, racism, and discrimination.
“Thus, we expect the Arab heads of state in North Africa both to abolish the policies of negation and exclusion of the Amazigh people and to [show] much more ambition regarding human rights. It is with respect to the recognition of the Amazigh people and its inalienable rights that the sincerity of the governments and their will to build peaceful societies will be measured”¦