Islamic cleric insults African people over British abuse

By Ligali Media Network | Tue 21 February 2006

A muslim cleric has compared the savage attack of unarmed children by British troops to that of being in an African jungle.

The British abuse video, filmed in Amara, Iraq during January 2004 showed a large number of British troops walking by as a group of defenceless Iraqi children were punched, kicked and attacked with batons, some to the state of unconsciousness by a squad of British troops. The video which included horrific scenes of violence included a sadistic commentary added to the footage by the cameraman. Drawing almost universal condemnation from everyone but British military personnel and politicians, news media outlets broadcast a plethora of responses to the abhorrent scenes of systematic military human abuse.

These responses included the comments of Yusuf al-Masari which were broadcast throughout news bulletins on BBC radio networks during programming targeting the African British community. Speaking about the abuse the Islamic cleric was heard to have said; “what we saw we feel… [was] like something in the jungles of Africa…. I think any human being now will condemn this”.

This was not the only allusion to Africa or African ‘racial identity’ on the matter. The BBC also published comments by Nawwaf Abd-Al_haja in Jordan’s newspaper al-Dustur which read “The pictures of British soldiers... demonstrate the extent of the black grudge harboured by those occupiers against our kinsfolk in Iraq”

These opinions are not new.

Shaka Wallace

African people under attack

An article in the Observer published in September 2004, exposed the endemic cultural hatred many arabs have of African people. Whilst interviewing Iraqi resistance fighters in Baghdad journalist Jason Burke wrote of how both African American and African British soldiers were a particular target. His article read;

“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.'”

The story was not much better on the other side. The ministry of defence is experiencing severe difficulties in recruiting fresh blood from African and other non european communities. This is despite their concerted attempts to woo young people from audiences after showing propaganda films and documentaries at community events. The various programmes which includes adverts on various urban music stations often highlight the historic presence of service people coming from impoverished and oppressed minority communities who fought and died for Britain.

However there was little mainstream media coverage about Shaka Wallace, an African Caribbean from Trinidad serving for the British army. Wallace states that he was sacked by the Queen’s Royal Hussars regiment after complaining about being subjected to a barrage of anti-African abuse. During his service he was told by commanding officers that he was “not worthy to wear [the British army uniform]”, had the words “die [n word]” scrawled on his barracks door and was labelled a ‘yardie’ because he had Caribbean heritage.

The British death toll in Iraq has recently reached over 100 but there are no official records kept on the deaths of Iraqi civilians murdered by British and American forces. More importantly for the African community is that there also isn’t any official figures revealing the vast number of African people believed to be either killed, injured, abused or mutilated serving for western forces, especially now it has been revealed that they face attack from both sides in the conflict.

External Links
Observer - One man
Guardian - New evidence backs rape by soldiers

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The recent comments made by the Islamic cleric clearly asserts that many muslims perceive African people as sub-human. Likewise the arabic newspaper also reminds us that the label ‘black (negro)’ which is the european imposed ‘racial’ moniker for African people is synonymous across the non-African world with ‘evil’ and ‘without worth’.

Why the BBC chose to use these quotes is less obvious, it was however a mistake. With the aggressive placement of army recruitment adverts targeting the disaffected young children in our community, it becomes imperative that all African people are made aware why under no circumstances are they to be manipulated into allowing our children to become drawn into this illegal war.

This episode also serves as a timely reminder of the not much discussed arab involvement in the enslavement of African people and the subsequent propagation of Islam across the continent by force. The insidious european ideology of race which aggressively sought to culturally disinherit African people thereby transforming them into ‘black’ people was also adopted by arabs. The current conflicts in Sudan instigated by european and arab squabbles over African resources have led to the humanitarian crisis in the region today.

As a result of modern recording technology we can occasionally get to see a glimpse of the continuing atrocities and human right abuses carried out by europeans belonging to the British, American and Israeli troops in Africa, Iraq and Palestine. These human right abuses are typically carried out against unarmed children and people who pose no military threat. We can only imagine the horrors that would have been recorded as trophies if europeans and arabs had access to the same equipment during the Maafa (enslavement of Mama Africa) when anti-African ideology was at its peak.

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