| Hugh Fitzgerald: The Berbers and Islam as a Vehicle for Arab Supremacism (Part I)
| Friday, July 22, 2016
|In Algeria, before the Arab invasion and conquest in the seventh
century, the population was almost entirely Berber, and along with those
who followed traditional Berber religious practices, a considerable
Christian population (St. Augustine, he of Hippo, was a Berber)
When the Arabs swept in, subjugating the Berbers, they
brought with them an Islam that replaced Christianity. Even after many
Berbers converted, they were treated by the Arabs as second-class
Muslims, heavily taxed, and even enslaved. Islamization was accompanied
by what we call “Arabization,” which was a complicated and lengthy
That word “Arabization” is usually used to describe the large-scale
movement of ethnic Arabs into a non-Arab region, in order to change its
demographic character. But there is another form of Arabization that
does not involve a physical invasion; it consists, rather, in making
non-Arab Muslims forget or dismiss their non-Arab identity, attempt to
emulate the behavior of seventh-century Arabs.
Adopt Arabic at the
expense of their own languages, and even assume Arab names, in order to
transmute themselves into Arabs. And that is what happened over time to
many Berbers, whose descendants are convinced that they are Arabs, and
have always been Arabs.
Read it all here................
|posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 2:36 PM