afroasiacsemite:

The Battle of Algiers 

(Source: strangewood, via badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista)

America isn’t home

eastafrodite:

America isn’t home. It’s more of a comfortable and secure living than Eritrea, which admittedly is why my parents moved here, but it also comes at a substantial price.

Distance from relatives, material loss of culture, trying to bridge the “African” and “Black” identities, though seemingly similar, have many contextual differences and while never really having a significant connection to both, needing to vehemently justify labelling yourself “black” to people who’ve never heard and can’t comprehend the purpose for such a descriptor, while trying to retain your African identity in a nation that unfairly generalizes and brutally exploits the livelihoods of your people, being in constant worry that your family isn’t financially afloat, dealing with U.S. occupation of your homeland and subconsciously being aware that you, while tring to survive, undoubtedly exist within the imperialist machine.

Even little tangential things like making up excuses for why you can’t attend so-and-so’s sleepover or birthday party, feeling embarrassment and subsequent guilt for said embarrassment whenever your parents dress up in traditional clothing or speak in thick accents, shouting over substitute teachers before they butcher your last name and humiliate you in front of your peers, stating something, anything about America that you find less than amazing and promptly being told to “go back where you came from” as if everyone’s ancestors didn’t migrate here and thus realizing that you never get to proclaim yourself American. That title is conditional and contingent upon your ignorant adherence to “the American way”, which obviously is equivalent to never thinking, never questioning and never disbelieving.

But in Eritrea, there’s none of that. I’ve lived here my entire life and always felt a weird distance from the average American. Everything from what they find interesting topics to discuss to the things they worry about are strikingly foreign to me, which in hindsight, I consider incredibly sad. In Eritrea, I never had to worry about tediously justifying who I am, where I come from, why I was there. It was my country and I belonged.

I really miss that feeling.

(Source: maarnayeri, via thisisnotafrica)

African migrants face 'impossible' life in Greece

sinidentidades:

Stuck in a small Athens flat all day to avoid being caught by police, earning another stint in prison and possibly a beating, 29-year-old Cameroonian Eugene Manaa rues the day he came to Greece.

“Life is not just difficult here. It’s impossible,” says Manaa, who recently spent two months in prison on the island of Crete for illegal entry into Greece.

“There’s no work, no money, no housing,” he tells AFP. “There are fifteen of us sharing a flat, we face police checks at every corner, we are subjected to racism and we cannot go to another country.”

Like many of his compatriots, Manaa is among tens of thousands of undocumented migrants caught in a vicious trap.

Lured to the European Union from war-torn homes in search of safety and a better future, they find themselves in Greece at the worst possible moment in the country’s postwar history.

— Hostile environment —

Near-bankruptcy, recession and soaring unemployment have created a hostile environment for migrants and refugees who are seen to be taking jobs from suffering, law-abiding, tax-paying Greeks.

For the past few months, the government has been rounding up migrants who cannot prove residency and placing them in detention centres for repatriation. Over 61,000 people have been inspected since August and over 4,000 have been detained according to police figures.

Ironically, the operation is code-named Xenios Zeus, named after supreme ancient Greek god Zeus, protector of guests.

“You go out to buy bread and you vanish for three months, it happened to me,” says Eric, an Ivorian just released from a detention centre in Corinth.

Worse still, gangs of racist thugs now roam Athens and other main cities by night, looking for foreigners to beat up.

Violent attacks on migrants have escalated after the political success of a neo-Nazi group, Golden Dawn, which in June won over 400,000 votes in national elections and sent 18 lawmakers to parliament.

Though police have been unable to find hard evidence linking Golden Dawn to the attacks, migrant groups say victim testimonies incriminating supporters of the ultra-nationalist group are irrefutable.

A Congolese man who declines to give his name takes out his cellphone to show a picture of a friend, lying on a hospital bed after being stabbed on the street in one such attack.

“Four people attacked him,” says Guy, a fellow Congolese from Kinshasa.

“They chased him down the street like a goat.”

“When I first arrived in Greece in 2011 there was not so much racism. Now it’s very hard,” says Guy, lowering his head.

The response of police authorities to these attacks is at best half-hearted. Rights groups say migrants are often discouraged from lodging complaints, and some officers are themselves suspected of beatings that go unpunished.

Out of a population of 10.9 million, Greece has around 1.5 million immigrants of whom around 600,000 lack residency papers. The largest group is Albanian but most come from Asian and African countries.

“A month ago, the other residents of the building who are Greek held a meeting and told us to leave,” says Eric.

“A few days later at the bakery, a woman spat at me, saying ‘Black man, why are you here, go back to your country’,” adds Eugene.

Many of these men would like nothing more than to leave Greece for other EU countries, where some have relatives and friends.

But hundreds are intercepted at the country’s borders, or by authorities in neighbouring countries and sent back to Greece.

“Some of these men have lost four, five consecutive air tickets after being intercepted at the airport,” says Father Maurice Joyeux, a Jesuit priest who holds mass for them every Sunday.

Unable to make a living, the small group face additional humiliation in having to ask their families and friends in Africa for help.

“I have to ask friends in Africa to send money so I can pay my rent,” says Manaa, reflecting on the bitter irony of his condition.

art-of-swords:

African Daggers

  • Culture: Mangbetu
  • Provenience: Zaire; Kasai District; Belgian Congo
  • Section: African
  • Medium: iron, copper and wood

Iron blades with long rectangular necks and elongated blades; wooden handles with hilts wrapped with a piece of fine copper wire.

Source: © 2012 Penn Museum. All rights reserved.

fifigoggo:

Fabric shopping in Ghana’s busy and bustling Makola Market

One of my favourite market-related activities in Côte d’Ivoire, after people watching and trying not to alarm small children with my epic pastiness.

(via blueklectic)

(via ausetkmt)

fuckyeablackart:

QUEEN AFRICA by ~yangzeninja

fuckyeablackart:

QUEEN AFRICA by ~yangzeninja

(Source: fyblackwomenart)


Smoke break XI…
A rebel fighter on the Ivory Coast with a Chinese Type-56 II. These were the side-folding bakelite stock models that were also exported and sold to the U.S civilian market. Very coveted and collectable, the stocks alone can cost upwards of $400 to $600 if all the parts are there.

Smoke break XI…

A rebel fighter on the Ivory Coast with a Chinese Type-56 II. These were the side-folding bakelite stock models that were also exported and sold to the U.S civilian market. Very coveted and collectable, the stocks alone can cost upwards of $400 to $600 if all the parts are there.

(Source: gunrunnerhell)

knowledgeequalsblackpower:

setfabulazerstomaximumcaptain:

bleu-lips:

nok-ind:

Africa’s Oldest Known Boat
8000 years ago, in the region now known as Nigeria. ”Africa’s oldest known boat” the Dufuna Canoe was discovered near the region of the River Yobe. The Canoe was discovered by a Fulani herdsman in May 1987, in Dufuna Village while digging a well. The canoe’s “almost black wood”, said to be African mahogany, as “entirely an organic material”. Various Radio-Carbon tests conducted in laboratories of reputable Universities in Europe and America indicate that the Canoe is over 8000 years old, thus making it the oldest in Africa and 3rd oldest in the World. Little is known of the period to which the boat belongs, in archaeological terms it is described as an early phase of the Later Stone Age, which began rather more than 12,000 years ago and ended with the appearance of pottery. 

The lab results redefined the pre-history of African water transport, ranking the Dufuna canoe as the world’s third oldest known dugout. Older than it are the dugouts from Pesse, Netherlands, and Noyen-sur-Seine, France. But evidence of an 8,000-year-old tradition of boat building in Africa throws cold water on the assumption that maritime transport developed much later there in comparison with Europe. Peter Breunig of the University of Frankfurt, Germany, an archaeologist involved in the project, says the canoe’s age “forces a reconsideration of Africa’s role in the history of water transport”. It shows, he adds, “that the cultural history of Africa was not determined by Near Eastern and European influences but took its own, in many cases parallel, course”. Breunig, adding that it even outranks in style European finds of similar age. According to him, “The bow and stern are both carefully worked to points, giving the boat a notably more elegant form”, compared to “the dugout made of conifer wood from Pesse in the Netherlands, whose blunt ends and thick sides seem crude”. To go by its stylistic sophistication, he reasons, “It is highly probable that the Dufuna boat does not represent the beginning of a tradition, but had already undergone a long development, and that the origins of water transport in Africa lie even further back in time.”

Egypt’s oldest known boat is 5000 years old.

P. Breunig, The 8000-year-old dugout canoe from Dufuna (NE Nigeria), G. Pwiti and R. Soper (eds.), Aspects of African Archaeology. Papers from the 10th Congress of the PanAfrican Association for Prehistory and related Studies. University of Zimbabwe Publications (Harare 1996) 461-468.
ISBN: 0908307551

Oh, so what you’re saying is… they finally realized we’re not their racist stereotype of primitive and fecund nativity? Clap.

Bolding mine.

Let me add some more deliciousness to this knowledge soup by discussing Mansa (King) Abubakari II of Africa’s ancient Mali empire.

Citing the book written by the famous Egyptian scholar, Ibn Fadi Al-Umari in 1342, there were two large voyages across the Atlantic Ocean preceding that of Columbus. Both expeditions were pioneered by one man, Abubakari or to give him his rightful name, Mansa (King) Abubakari II.
In the time of the Malian Empire, the general conception was that on the other end of the Atlantic lied the end of the world. This delusion took its roots from then primitive Europe. Abubakari on the other hand was far from convinced. If the Niger had its beginning and its end, then the Atlantic Ocean must have its end with people living on its shores. He also felt this could be a sea root to Mecca (The kings of the Mali Empire had already converted to Islam).
With the quest for knowledge burning in him, Abubakari sent out 200 ships. Their duty was to sail across the Atlantic, with the aim of finding out what lied beyond. It was recorded that only one of the ships returned. Its captain claimed to have turned around when he saw the other ships disappear into the wild ocean.
Abubakari was not convinced by the captain’s testimony. This further increased his thirst to discover what lied on the other end of the Ocean.
13th century Mali was a center of excellence in Abubakari’s time, though reaching its peak after his era with Timbuktu having the second oldest University at that time with students numbering more than that of New York University. Courses such as mathematics, geography, history, astronomy, chemistry as well as Islamic studies flourished in Timbuktu. Mali was a center for trade, the exact spot to meet all who made the world spin. With the aid of the ship builders from Egypt and Mali, Abubakari built ships off the coast of Senegambia. His ships were 2000 in number. With this, he was to use to discover the end of the ocean. Abubakari was no coward. He insisted on accompanying the ships across the ocean.
In the year 1311, Abubakari abdicated his thrown to Mansa Musa. Not a son of his (contrary to contemporary literature). Abubakari equipped 1000 of his ships with the finest men, sorcerers, physicians, sailors and navigators. Every ship had supply ship attached to it. The number of ships totaled 2000. The other 1000 ships were loaded with foodstuffs, drugs, fruits and drinks to last his team for 2yrs. It was believed that Abubakari arrived on the other end of the Atlantic in the year 1312. Proof of the Malian expedition can be noted in the names given to places in Haiti as the Malians renamed places after themselves. Examples of such are Mandinga Port, Mandinga Bay and Sierre de Mali.
Lots of other proof abound and many more keep unfolding. There is also a Malian folktale which gives reference to  this great expedition.
How could this be possible in Abubakari’s time? From a scientific point of view, the Atlantic is governed by 2 currents, which usually remain the same irrespective of month or season. These are the Guinea Current and the Canary Current. Both possess currents powerful enough to pull a ship form the coast of West Africa to the Americas. It is at end of these currents that you see the signs of negroid presence in the Americas.
It would therefore be suspected that Columbus employed similar knowledge of the currents of the Atlantic to sail across to the Americas. Such could only have been possible through the help of someone familiar with the rout. Hence the speculation that Columbus was accompanied by an African, Pedro Alonso Nino, who helped him navigate the Atlantic, appears more credible. It must be made clear that Columbus recorded seeing blacks in America. He also recorded seeing a building which looked like a mosque. The Malians were Muslims and hence there is a possibility that the mosque could have been erected by Malians. Columbus also recorded seeing a ship, filled with goods just departing the coast of Guinea and heading in the direction of America.
In addition to the above, another proof of this voyage comes from words of Mansa Musa, the successor to the thrown. Upon his arrival in Egypt, it was obvious the Egyptians were expecting to see Abubakari for the Hajj. On arriving in Egypt, Mansa Musa was quoted as explaining how ascended the thrown of Mali. Once again citing the manner King Abubakari had given up his thrown to contribute to global knowledge.
The presence of the Malians on American soil may thus be the reason for the presence of African crops such as Banana Plants and mango to mention a few.

My professor also said that some of the gold in the Americas has been traced back to Mali.
And to reiterate, Columbus reported the presence of Negroesin the “New World” on his third voyage. Even after the very first voyage, Columbus knew that Africans had already “discovered” America because he received a present of “guanines” from the Native Americans he encountered.

“…and he (Columbus) wanted to find out what the Indians of Hispaniola had told him, that there had come to it from the south and southeast Negro people, who brought those spear points made of metal which they call guanin, of which he had sent to the king and queen for assaying, and which was found to have in thirty-two parts, eighteen of gold, six of silver, and eight of copper”


(via Born Black Magazine, Raccolta, part I, vol. I, pg96)

knowledgeequalsblackpower:

setfabulazerstomaximumcaptain:

bleu-lips:

nok-ind:

Africa’s Oldest Known Boat
8000 years ago, in the region now known as Nigeria. ”Africa’s oldest known boat” the Dufuna Canoe was discovered near the region of the River Yobe. The Canoe was discovered by a Fulani herdsman in May 1987, in Dufuna Village while digging a well. The canoe’s “almost black wood”, said to be African mahogany, as “entirely an organic material”. Various Radio-Carbon tests conducted in laboratories of reputable Universities in Europe and America indicate that the Canoe is over 8000 years old, thus making it the oldest in Africa and 3rd oldest in the World. Little is known of the period to which the boat belongs, in archaeological terms it is described as an early phase of the Later Stone Age, which began rather more than 12,000 years ago and ended with the appearance of pottery. 
The lab results redefined the pre-history of African water transport, ranking the Dufuna canoe as the world’s third oldest known dugout. Older than it are the dugouts from Pesse, Netherlands, and Noyen-sur-Seine, France. But evidence of an 8,000-year-old tradition of boat building in Africa throws cold water on the assumption that maritime transport developed much later there in comparison with Europe. Peter Breunig of the University of Frankfurt, Germany, an archaeologist involved in the project, says the canoe’s age “forces a reconsideration of Africa’s role in the history of water transport”. It shows, he adds, “that the cultural history of Africa was not determined by Near Eastern and European influences but took its own, in many cases parallel, course”. Breunig, adding that it even outranks in style European finds of similar age. According to him, “The bow and stern are both carefully worked to points, giving the boat a notably more elegant form”, compared to “the dugout made of conifer wood from Pesse in the Netherlands, whose blunt ends and thick sides seem crude”. To go by its stylistic sophistication, he reasons, “It is highly probable that the Dufuna boat does not represent the beginning of a tradition, but had already undergone a long development, and that the origins of water transport in Africa lie even further back in time.”
Egypt’s oldest known boat is 5000 years old.
P. Breunig, The 8000-year-old dugout canoe from Dufuna (NE Nigeria), G. Pwiti and R. Soper (eds.), Aspects of African Archaeology. Papers from the 10th Congress of the PanAfrican Association for Prehistory and related Studies. University of Zimbabwe Publications (Harare 1996) 461-468.
ISBN: 0908307551

Oh, so what you’re saying is… they finally realized we’re not their racist stereotype of primitive and fecund nativity? Clap.

Bolding mine.

Let me add some more deliciousness to this knowledge soup by discussing Mansa (King) Abubakari II of Africa’s ancient Mali empire.

Citing the book written by the famous Egyptian scholar, Ibn Fadi Al-Umari in 1342, there were two large voyages across the Atlantic Ocean preceding that of Columbus. Both expeditions were pioneered by one man, Abubakari or to give him his rightful name, Mansa (King) Abubakari II.

In the time of the Malian Empire, the general conception was that on the other end of the Atlantic lied the end of the world. This delusion took its roots from then primitive Europe. Abubakari on the other hand was far from convinced. If the Niger had its beginning and its end, then the Atlantic Ocean must have its end with people living on its shores. He also felt this could be a sea root to Mecca (The kings of the Mali Empire had already converted to Islam).

With the quest for knowledge burning in him, Abubakari sent out 200 ships. Their duty was to sail across the Atlantic, with the aim of finding out what lied beyond. It was recorded that only one of the ships returned. Its captain claimed to have turned around when he saw the other ships disappear into the wild ocean.

Abubakari was not convinced by the captain’s testimony. This further increased his thirst to discover what lied on the other end of the Ocean.

13th century Mali was a center of excellence in Abubakari’s time, though reaching its peak after his era with Timbuktu having the second oldest University at that time with students numbering more than that of New York University. Courses such as mathematics, geography, history, astronomy, chemistry as well as Islamic studies flourished in Timbuktu. Mali was a center for trade, the exact spot to meet all who made the world spin. With the aid of the ship builders from Egypt and Mali, Abubakari built ships off the coast of Senegambia. His ships were 2000 in number. With this, he was to use to discover the end of the ocean. Abubakari was no coward. He insisted on accompanying the ships across the ocean.

In the year 1311, Abubakari abdicated his thrown to Mansa Musa. Not a son of his (contrary to contemporary literature). Abubakari equipped 1000 of his ships with the finest men, sorcerers, physicians, sailors and navigators. Every ship had supply ship attached to it. The number of ships totaled 2000. The other 1000 ships were loaded with foodstuffs, drugs, fruits and drinks to last his team for 2yrs. It was believed that Abubakari arrived on the other end of the Atlantic in the year 1312. Proof of the Malian expedition can be noted in the names given to places in Haiti as the Malians renamed places after themselves. Examples of such are Mandinga Port, Mandinga Bay and Sierre de Mali.

Lots of other proof abound and many more keep unfolding. There is also a Malian folktale which gives reference to  this great expedition.

How could this be possible in Abubakari’s time? From a scientific point of view, the Atlantic is governed by 2 currents, which usually remain the same irrespective of month or season. These are the Guinea Current and the Canary Current. Both possess currents powerful enough to pull a ship form the coast of West Africa to the Americas. It is at end of these currents that you see the signs of negroid presence in the Americas.

It would therefore be suspected that Columbus employed similar knowledge of the currents of the Atlantic to sail across to the Americas. Such could only have been possible through the help of someone familiar with the rout. Hence the speculation that Columbus was accompanied by an African, Pedro Alonso Nino, who helped him navigate the Atlantic, appears more credible. It must be made clear that Columbus recorded seeing blacks in America. He also recorded seeing a building which looked like a mosque. The Malians were Muslims and hence there is a possibility that the mosque could have been erected by Malians. Columbus also recorded seeing a ship, filled with goods just departing the coast of Guinea and heading in the direction of America.

In addition to the above, another proof of this voyage comes from words of Mansa Musa, the successor to the thrown. Upon his arrival in Egypt, it was obvious the Egyptians were expecting to see Abubakari for the Hajj. On arriving in Egypt, Mansa Musa was quoted as explaining how ascended the thrown of Mali. Once again citing the manner King Abubakari had given up his thrown to contribute to global knowledge.

The presence of the Malians on American soil may thus be the reason for the presence of African crops such as Banana Plants and mango to mention a few.

My professor also said that some of the gold in the Americas has been traced back to Mali.

And to reiterate, Columbus reported the presence of Negroesin the “New World” on his third voyage. Even after the very first voyage, Columbus knew that Africans had already “discovered” America because he received a present of “guanines” from the Native Americans he encountered.

“…and he (Columbus) wanted to find out what the Indians of Hispaniola had told him, that there had come to it from the south and southeast Negro people, who brought those spear points made of metal which they call guanin, of which he had sent to the king and queen for assaying, and which was found to have in thirty-two parts, eighteen of gold, six of silver, and eight of copper”

(via Born Black Magazine, Raccolta, part I, vol. I, pg96)

"People in the Third World are viewed as having too many children because they are ignorant and irrational; they exercise no control over their sexuality, and “breed out of control.” However, in many Third World societies, having a large family is a completely rational strategy for survival. Children’s labor is a vital part of the family economy… quite early in life, children’s labor makes them an asset rather than a drain on family income. Also, because the vast majority of people in Third World countries do not have access to insurance, pension plans, and social security, having a large number of children insures that there will be someone to take care of or provide for the family, especially aging parents… As long as the vast majority of people in the Third World countries remain impoverished, uneducated, and unhealthy, the large family will provide the only real source of social security. Birth control programs will fail to reduce fertility rates, as they have in the past, when there is no motivation on the part of poor families to limit their size, unless coercive methods of population control are used."

Seeing beyond the numbers: The human cost of population control in brazil (via pursuingchastity)

(via badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista)

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

“On August 14, 1791, a fearless Afrikan warrior queen named Cecille called together all the field slaves of the French sugar plantation island of Haiti (originally spelled ‘Ayiti ), to convene the launching of the most successful of all slave revolts…They performed the proper rituals in the ways of our ancestors, led by the vodun priest Boukman himself, forged the united front and agreed to commence hostilities in 8 days for what we must all celebrate and appreciate! The Haitian… ‘Ayitian…Revolution!…Long live the Ancestors of the Ayitian Revolution!”
-Zayid Muhammad 

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

“On August 14, 1791, a fearless Afrikan warrior queen named Cecille called together all the field slaves of the French sugar plantation island of Haiti (originally spelled ‘Ayiti ), to convene the launching of the most successful of all slave revolts…They performed the proper rituals in the ways of our ancestors, led by the vodun priest Boukman himself, forged the united front and agreed to commence hostilities in 8 days for what we must all celebrate and appreciate! The Haitian… ‘Ayitian…Revolution!…Long live the Ancestors of the Ayitian Revolution!”

-Zayid Muhammad 

theadvocacyproject:

Two men selling Fabric in Jankara market.

theadvocacyproject:

Two men selling Fabric in Jankara market.

(via nigerianculture)

(Source: kwisdom82, via suckmesleezi)

Assaulting tolerance in Mali [Al Jazeera]

Once an example of democracy in the region, Malians have grown tired of corruption [AFP]

The nation of Mali, and much of Sahelian West Africa, has long-standing moderate Muslim practices dating back to the ninth century. This broadminded intellectual, spiritual and cultural tradition is being undermined by a new wave of religious colonialism emanating from outside of the region, an especially violent and intolerant form of fundamentalist Islam. The hijacking of a secular separatist movement in northern Mali by outside Islamist groups, and the subsequent loss of human life, restrictions on basic freedoms, and destruction of historical monuments that comprise a UNESCO world heritage site, is the latest and most egregious act of aggression-cum-religion in this embattled country.

Having had elected governments for 20 years, Mali was considered a shining light of democracy in West Africa and a darling of Western donors. This facade came crashing down with a coup d’etat on March 22, launched by a group of young military lieutenants who were frustrated with the government’s inadequate support for the army in its ongoing fight against separatist Tuareg rebels in the North, a group that had become emboldened by a recent infusion of trained Tuareg fighters and heavy arms leaving Libya after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in late 2011.

But the flagging military fight in the North offers only a partial explanation of the Malian coup. Mali’s population had grown weary of democracy’s promises, with multi-party elections yielding limited development gains, and corruption was on rise in recent years. Absent this frustration, the Malian population may have more vigorously resisted a coup that occurred a mere month before the then president, Amadou Toumani Toure, was ready to step down and democratic elections were to be held. 

A deeper loss

Political scientists, and Western donors who have supported governance efforts in Africa, will long debate the depth (or lack thereof) of democracy in Mali and the reasons for its fragility at that moment. Unlike its tenuous tradition of multi-party democracy, Mali now risks losing a much deeper and culturally ingrained custom of moderate Islamic practice and religious tolerance. This would be a loss to the entire Muslim World and the global community.

Things have gone from bad to worse in Mali since the March coup. Seizing on the power vacuum in the South, Tuareg separatist rebels, led by the secular National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), quickly overran the Malian military and captured the major cities of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu in the North, culminating in the declaration of an independent state known as Azawad on April 6. In the South, the situation started to look a little better when the putschist regime, led by Captain Amadou Sanogo, agreed to yield power to a transitional government following the squeeze put on them by sanctions imposed by the regional block known as ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States). However, the transitional Malian president, Dioncounda Traore, has been in Paris since he was attacked and beat up by a mob on May 21 that stormed the presidential palace. Now it is even more transparent that it is the military putschists that are incompetently running the southern part of the country.

In the North, the secular MNLA has been ousted by the Islamist Ansar Dine and al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Ansar Dine, whose sole stated aim is to impose sharia law in the North of the country, has unleashed a storm of religious intolerance on this once religiously broadminded and moderate Muslim region. Women have been whipped for not wearing the veil, music banned in this deeply lyrical society, the tombs of ancient Muslim saints destroyed, and the famous Timbuktu university and library (containing ancient manuscripts) is under threat.

What the outside world needs to understand is that Islam in Mali has long been tolerant and inflected with local traditions. Religious practices have generally not restricted women from economic and political activity, or social interaction. Until recently, very few Malian women wore veils. Not unlike most world religions which tend to absorb local practices as they spread, Islam in Mali often took on mystical elements, ancestor veneration and certain indigenous animist beliefs. Relations between the 90 per cent Muslim majority and religious minorities (mainly Christian and traditional animist) were also generally amicable. In fact, it was not unusual to find adherents to various faiths in one family or for practitioners of one religion to attend the important religious ceremonies of another, such as marriages, baptisms or funerals. 

Plenty of responsibility

It is not a stretch to suggest that Islam in Mali, and much of West Africa, had a lot to offer the rest of the Muslim world, and the global community more generally, in terms of its indigenous expression, tolerance of other religions, and freedoms accorded to women. Sadly, this rich tradition is being hijacked in the North of Mali by Ansar Dine and AQIM, groups that have significant ties to outside interests and funding. Make no doubt about it, this is not a divinely endorsed action, or the spiritual epiphany of an impoverished population, but externally financed religious colonial aggression designed to supplant and destroy local desires and practices.

In addition to the brutal dismemberment of religious tolerance and local expression in this part of world, this region is on the brink of a major famine due to turmoil created by recent power shifts in the North of Mali. 

We all have a role to play in sorting out this problem. Those foreigners with deep pockets who are financing AQIM and Ansar Dine ought to think carefully about the harm they are inflicting on innocent people in this part of the world, most of whom are Muslim. The Malian people must place increasing pressure on the current putschist military regime in Bamako to completely step aside and allow for the return of freely elected civilian rulers. The international community, including ECOWAS and the UN, must send peacekeepers to northern Mali to stop the killing of innocent people and the destruction of cultural artefacts, to make possible the delivery food aid, and to facilitate a democratic referendum on the future of this region of the country.

William G Moseley is professor and chair of geography at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA. He has worked and conducted research in Mali, on and off, for the past 25 years.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

(Source: crankyskirt, via karnythia)

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

‘PEOPLE OF AFRICA, STRANGLE THE COLONIZER!’

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

‘PEOPLE OF AFRICA, STRANGLE THE COLONIZER!’