Black soldiers are a particular target. "To have Negroes occupying us is a particular humiliation," Abu Mujahed said, echoing the profound racism prevalent in much of the Middle East. "Sometimes we aborted a mission because there were no Negroes."
To those of us who have been paying attention, this isn’t any great shock. When Islamists blew up the American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar-es-Salaam Tanzania in 1998, Americans were the main target, but black Kenyans and Tanzanians took the majority of the casualties. The same was true of Kenyans (again) as a result of the 2002 bombing of a Mombasa resort: it was a hit on the Israelis (the majority of the patrons of this resort). In all cases, that more black Africans were blown to bits than either Americans or Israelis is telling. The perps had no actual beef with the blacks. They simply did not care that a “few” abid got caught in the mix.
I liken it to a demolition company destroying a building. Who cares if the "vermin" in it are destroyed along with the building? For that is the cultural view that Arab Muslims hold for blacks, even for those blacks who are foolish enough to believe that being Muslims themselves will save them. Sudan, anyone?
This mindset is even more complicated than that of the American slave-holder and his progeny, the Jim Crow advocate (and apparently, much more difficult to marginalize).
The observant onlooker may notice that there have been many prominent Arabs with visible black ancestry. The assassinated president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, bore a striking resemblance to one of my uncles; Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia is a ringer for about a hundred brothas seen all over LA.
There’s a time-honored explanation for this phenomenon. During their on-going 800 year history of enslaving blacks, Arab Muslims murder and/or castrate the men and take the women into the household as slaves/concubines. Under Sharia law, children, sons in particular, hold the status of their father—in the case of Prince Bandar, Arab, free and royal. (That Prince Bandar’s mother was a slave concubine of Sudanese origin makes him a prime example of this phenomenon. Prince Bandar was born in 1949.)
Whenever I meet or read about a black American who has adopted Islam and/or an Arabic name, I view him/her with a certain amount of skepticism and pity (yes, even Laker legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, though I admire him to certain extent). As a black American who, through simple patrimony, was born honestly owning an African surname, I can definitely understand the desire of some black Americans to embrace the heritage denied to them and to their ancestors by American slave owners. So why not adopt a West African name? For a black American to adopt an Arabic name is to trade one set of now-symbolic chains for a set of real ones. One type of oppression is dead/dying; the other is still alive and growing. Like a tumor.
This isn’t to excuse the historic role that Europe and America have played in slavery, colonialism and racism. (Nor is it to excuse the role that Africans have played in enslaving each other.) But those blacks who would repudiate both Europe and America for their sins would do well to note that the Arab world doesn’t even acknowledge that it has sinned against blacks. In fact, a million dead black Sudanese voices—Animist, Christian and Muslim—cry out from their graves; not just from the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth centuries or even the twentieth century but from right flocking now.
Keep your powder dry. That should go for all who want to remain free.
UPDATE: As a reminder, the Islamist "insurgents" aren't all *that* racist. White people (and others; including other Arabs) are continuing to "enjoy" their tender mercies (Warning: very graphic, bloody images).