The second great fissure in Islam, after that of the Sunnis and Shia, and to which our discussion of the Berbers in Part I is obviously relevant, is that between Arab Muslims and the 80% of the world’s Muslims who are not Arabs. It bears repeating (see the first paragraph of Part I), that because Allah chose to deliver his message in Arabic to a seventh-century Arab, because Muslims should read, recite, memorize the Qur’an in Arabic, because Muslims must turn toward Mecca in prayer at least five times a day, because Muhammad the Perfect Man and Model of Conduct was Arab, because the Qur’an was written in the Arabs’ language, and they are its only true transmitters, because the earliest Muslims, whose customs and manners, written down in the Hadith, constitute the Sunnah, were all Arabs, because the Arabs were the first to conquer vast territories for Islam — all this naturally produced a feeling of superiority in the Arabs. And wherever they conquered, along with Islamization came Arabization. That word describes two different things: first, the physical movement of Arabs into what were non-Arab lands, as in northern Iraq, where the Kurds live, and Saddam Hussein moved Arabs onto lands taken from them, in an attempt to change the demographics of the area, to “Arabize” it. But the Arabization that takes place even in Muslim lands without Arabs is different, and describes the change in the non-Arab population that follows Islamization: they lose their original identity and try to become, culturally, “Arabs.”
Among the outward and visible signs of this, think of how many Muslim non-Arabs have eagerly given themselves Arab names and false Arab pedigrees, and copied Arab dress of the seventh century. (Imagine someone in the Congo wearing a suit, carrying an umbrella and wearing a homburg, and calling himself Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper.) They wanted the prestige of being thought “Arab.” In Pakistan, to take an extreme case, millions claim to be “Sayids” – that is, descendants of the Quraysh, the Prophet’s tribe.
But there were also those non-Arabs who, as with the Berbers, resented being severed from their own culture, resented Arab indifference to, or hostility towards, the languages, cultures, and histories of those whom they conquered and converted; in short, they resented this cultural imperialism. The Berbers, by and large, nowadays do not want to be Arabs, and some of them don’t even want to be Muslims, to judge by their online sites, and they identify Islam with centuries of oppressive Arab rule. The Arab attempt to efface every memory, no matter how innocuous, of Berber culture, has backfired. This anti-Arab feeling among non-Arab Muslims is not to be deplored, but encouraged by the world’s Infidels. It is one way to weaken the hold of Islam on four-fifths of the world’s Muslims.
Among non-Arab Muslims, the Kurds and the black African Muslims in Sudan are the latest victims of Arab atrocities. The Arab military of Saddam Hussein managed to kill 182,000 Kurds during the qur’anically-titled Anfal. Then more Arabs were moved into Kurdistan to Arabize the region. And not a single Arab ruler, diplomat, or intellectual, inside or outside of Iraq, protested this massacre of the Kurds. This is the memory that needs to be kept constantly fresh in Kurdish minds. We do not have a stake in Kurds remaining in Arab-ruled Iraq, as our leaders have in the past insisted. Rather, the interests of Infidels are better served by an independent Kurdistan, grateful to the West for its aid, and ideally carved out of territory that was formerly part of Arab Iraq and Arab Syria (the Kurds in Iran and Turkey will have to wait).
As for the Sudan, northern Arabs attacked and murdered, over several decades, millions of black African Christians and animists and, more recently, Arab militias (the Janjaweed) murdered, in Darfur (in the western Sudan) nearly half a million black African Muslims. Given the attempts of Muslims in the West both to find allies among blacks (CAIR with its solicitousness for “Black Lives Matter”) and the apparent attractiveness Islam holds for some blacks in Europe and North America (especially in prisons, where the conversion rate is high), there is ample reason to keep talking not only about what the Arabs did in the Sudan in the recent past, but about the longer history of the Arab slave trade in East Africa.
That Arab slave trade began earlier, and lasted longer, and claimed more victims, than the Atlantic slave trade of the Europeans. This trade was particularly hideous because the Arab slavers castrated young black boys while they were still in the bush, and only 10% survived to make it, by slave coffle to the coast and thence by dhow, to the Muslim slave markets of Egypt, Arabia, and Istanbul. For the same reasons, to create doubts among would-be black converts, we in the West ought to be discussing not only that African slave trade of the Arabs, but the continued enslavement by Arabs of blacks in the Sudan (see the testimony of the “Lost Boys”) and Mauritania. It would also be useful to remind would-be black converts that Saudi Arabia and Yemen gave up slavery, reluctantly, and only because of terrific pressure from Great Britain, as late as 1962, and that there are reports of slavery continuing to exist in the Saudi interior, just as, despite being officially outlawed, it still exists in the Sudan and Mauritania. And finally, that Muhammad himself was a slave-owner, thus legitimizing slavery in Islam, needs to be more widely known, in order to dampen Islam’s appeal among blacks.
We can keep impressing on non-Arab Muslims the facts of Arabization, of the loss of their own languages and cultures and histories, and of all the ways that Islam has created and reinforces Arab supremacism. They can try to deny that painful fact, but eventually reality will break in for many non-Muslims, and with that, resentment should built against the cultural Arabization that has accompanied Islamization. But we need leaders who are cleverer and more nimble than those who have so far been conducting, confusedly and half-heartedly, a campaign of self-defense.
Some non-Arab Muslims will need no persuading that, as the late Pakistani writer Anwar Shaikh argued in his polemical study “Islam, the Arab National Movement,” that “the prophet Mohammed subjected all non-Muslim Arabs to the cultural imperialism of Arabia…He made Arab-worship the cornerstone of Islam. Thus, those who embrace Islam naturally feel inferior to Arabia.”
Those Muslim peoples who have been most obviously mistreated by Arabs – the Berbers, the Kurds, the Sudanese blacks – have the least difficulty in accepting this observation. They have had direct experience of Arabs; they live in the same countries with them. In such places as Indonesia, or Pakistan, where there are no Arabs, Arab supremacism is maintained not through violence, but by means of cultural imperialism. Westerners can help non-Arabs to recognize this, not by attacking them, but by expressing sympathetic indignation at this state of affairs and, by dint of polemical agility, may help undermine Islam’s hold on the minds of some non-Arabs.
The most important fact to keep in mind is that 80% of the world’s Muslims are not Arab. Their ethnic identity can be made to subvert, rather than reinforce, their commitment to Islam. When they see other non-Arab Muslims stand up successfully against the Arabs, they are likely to begin to think along the same lines. The Berber recovery of Tamazight, once suppressed and now “official” and perhaps – who knows – in the future perhaps even compulsory in schools in the Berber-populated regions, is one heartening example of such success. If the Berbers can demand, and finally get, full recognition of their language as equal to Arabic, and can revive Berber music (in the past, Berber singers such as Lounes Matoub have been killed by Islamic extremists), preserve Berber art and encourage its continuation (possibly with a museum of Berber crafts?), Tamazight-language poetry (including that which predates the arrival of Islam), other non-Muslim Arabs may begin to think of what they lost culturally when they “gained” Islam. This heightened consciousness of being subject to Arabization through Islam, is a point of entry to deliver the message that Infidels need to keep repeating, again and again: Islam is a vehicle for Arab supremacism.
This statement, once heard, cannot be unheard. It is easy to prove and impossible to refute. And we Infidels, who seek to tell home truths and thereby sow discord within the Camp of Islam, will at long last have gone – not a moment too soon — on the ideological offensive.