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Forum LockedRacism in muslim north Africa

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    Posted: 17-Feb-2009 at 08:05
While everyone in the world today is familiar with racism in Europe and the Americas, most people tend to overlook another region of the world with perhaps the oldest history of black-white racism: North Africa.
 
The Berbers and Arabs living north of the Saharan desert were the first outsiders to traffic with black African slaves; and since the late middle ages, the bulk of their slaves have been black (different to Europe at the time when slavery still had no colour); and their were perhaps the first society to establish a social stratification based on the colour of skin.
 
Today, this legacy still remains, yet the situation differs from country to country.
 
In Egypt, where there has been a long history of integration of Nile Egyptians and Nubians, the colour of one's skin means as much as the colour of one's hair; which has no social meaning.
 
In Mauritania; the society is still divided between Moors and non-Moors (Black Africans of non Arab-Berber culture); and the Moors are then divided into White Moors (of Arab-Berber descent) and Black Moors (those descended from their slaves).
 
In Morocco, Algeria, and Lybia; there remains a rather deep-rooted prejuidice towards people coming from south of the great desert. At least Sub-Saharan immigrants in Spain often claim Morocco to be the "most difficult step" in the long journey to Europe; and the place where they're most likely to face open hostility because of the colour of their skin.
 
In Tuareg society, most slaves were also captured from black african populations; while the masters were traditionally "white berbers". However, the populations have pretty much intermixed now (like in Brasil perhaps); yet lighter-skinned Tuaregs are generally associated with higher social status.  
 
If there are any north africans on the forum, I'd like to ask if Magreb society is really as racist as it seems from the outside.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2009 at 15:28
Back when I attended evening courses in Arabic my teacher, who was Tunisian, told me of when he used to live in Mauritania. And certainly, the people there are strictly segregated based on skin tone and those with darker skin are more or less barred from public offices. At one point he stayed with a family of darkskinned Mauritanians, and during prayer time he would kneel down among them. His host family stared wide-eyed when he did this, as they could not believe a lightskinned Arab would want to pray alongside them. It goes to indicate just how deeprooted these attitudes are, when skin tone transcends even religion.
Hwæt! wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum,
þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2009 at 18:19

Good thread. This will open the eyes of many people that idealized the Moors and Africa. They don't realize the Moors (Berbers) introduced large scale internation slavery in Africa.

"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2009 at 18:29

There is a lot of racism in North Africa;muslim and non-muslim. They have been having issues with their neighbours to the south for millenia, religion dose not change that.

The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2009 at 18:32
Incidentally, if you want racism, SE Asia is the place to beat. Check this sign in a Thai bar.
 
 
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2009 at 19:02
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Good thread. This will open the eyes of many people that idealized the Moors and Africa. They don't realize the Moors (Berbers) introduced large scale internation slavery in Africa.


Really? I am aware that during the first half-century following the Arab conquest of the Maghreb, the taxes paid by the Berbers to their new Arab overlords was largely in the form of slaves. I don't know if this was because the Arabs wanted slaves, or if it was the only commodity the Berbers could offer them, or if was a Berber tradition to pay tribute in this way.
Hwæt! wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum,
þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2009 at 19:23
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Good thread. This will open the eyes of many people that idealized the Moors and Africa. They don't realize the Moors (Berbers) introduced large scale internation slavery in Africa.


Really? I am aware that during the first half-century following the Arab conquest of the Maghreb, the taxes paid by the Berbers to their new Arab overlords was largely in the form of slaves. I don't know if this was because the Arabs wanted slaves, or if it was the only commodity the Berbers could offer them, or if was a Berber tradition to pay tribute in this way.

Well, around here people seem to believe racism is a purely Euopean affair, which I guess is what he meant.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2009 at 19:48
Racism is a European/American affair, if you mean the puedo-scienftific variety practiced in the 19th century. But, certainly bigotry is global.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2009 at 19:52
Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

...Well, around here people seem to believe racism is a purely Euopean affair, which I guess is what he meant.
 
Racial minorities in SS Africa also have suffered quite a bit of racism. Pigmies are targetted of severe discrimination by Bantu peoples in places like Congo. Khoi-Sans also have been discriminated by the same group.
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2009 at 19:57
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Racism is a European/American affair, if you mean the puedo-scienftific variety practiced in the 19th century. But, certainly bigotry is global.


Well, that's what I meant. "Racism" isn't used, at least not here, in its original meaning anymore. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2009 at 20:38
There is racist behaviour and racist ideology.
The racist ideology, I agree with Sparten, is, or was a strictly European-American affair of the 19th century that classified people into different biological categories with strict seperation.
Racist behaviour, is any hostility, or feeling of superiority, over someone of a certain physical appearance or ancestry. Regarding this, then many North African countries are indeed very racist by the very fact that darker-skinned people are always associated with lower social status.
There might not be any biological ideology behind it; but I don't see black-white apartheid in Mauritania  and Tuareg society any worse than that practiced in South Africa and the USA.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2009 at 20:49
People feel animosity towards any one who is different and is a significant minority and will always find a way to differentiate between different people.
 
In the US it was colour.
 
In Europe it was ethnic origin and sometimes color (different degrees of whiteness).
 
Same goes even Africa where pygmies suffer much worse racism than in NA.
 
Western style racism is or was institutionalized with certain psuedo-scientific justifications. however racism in NA is social attitudes inherited from the old days.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2009 at 21:02
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Western style racism is or was institutionalized with certain psuedo-scientific justifications. however racism in NA is social attitudes inherited from the old days.
 
 
It's pretty much the same in Latin America.
Comparing Spain to northern European countries, I think that in Spain there had never been any racist ideology based on pseudo-science; unlike in Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Nevertheless, xenophobia and bigotry exists to a great extent here; especially towards North Africans (but much far less towards Black Africans).
I guess much of it has been inherited from history and the brainwashing of the Catholic church.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2009 at 23:47
In Latin America what exist in great extend is xenophophy. We really don't love much our "brother" Latinos immigrate to our countries, particularly if they don't look exactly the same as we do. So, these tensions exist in here very alive.
 
 
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 00historylover00 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 00:15
Well. Their racism all over the world, but the only thing to do about it is stop being racist ourselves. 

so what can we do if theirs racism in North America it's allempires posting on to this doesn't help. If your so interested in stopping this Do something about it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 23:37
So, you believe people in this forum are U.S. citizens only?
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mayra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 13:46
Hmmmm...interesting. When I was in Nigeria I didn't notice racism at all in the south, mainly because any Hausa that were around were awfully dark complected themselves. The muslims could be anyone, color wasn't an obvious marker of anything. For the most part it seemed muslim, christian and traditional beleivers make every effort to get along, helped by the highly complex social etiquette practiced. But everyone knows the yorubans can't stand the hausas and vice versa. The muslims run to yoruban traditional based religious priests when Allah is not providing just as the charismatic christian preachers do. They come under cover of dark to the house of the Babalawos to get their favors, works, whatever, taken care of.  I'm speaking from first hand here.  But racism I did not see or hear of in the south.
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 13:52

Mayra, what happens further South in Congo? Why such attrocities against pigmies happens there?

"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mayra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 14:00
I don't have firsthand knowledge of that but was talking to someone on nigerian net the other day and they say they are still being killed. I would have to google for news but they are being expelled from their land. There is an eco-park that was making like a tourism business for the pygmies to show about the plants as medicine, the animals, but I hear now it is closed and a war zone. But that is hearsay, but I have heard it enough there must be truth to it. I will look online...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 14:11
Here is some general info about the situation of pygmies:
 
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