Is Africa, Again, The Dark Continent?

I was upbraided recently as “an idiot” in a discussion which began as whether Americans, and their President, are immoral for bringing up 9/11 in context with the Iraq War.

Below you find enlightenment on the historical context of Darfur, and some thoughts of what continued tolerance of this situation and the disinformation agenda of Islamists and their cohorts consists of and how it contributes to more of the same.

There are words I would expect, but “immoral” is not one of them, not that it was defined properly, through that was requested, …. and in the progress of the discussion I was upbraided on the subject of Darfur, most particularly. So in the spirit of education I retracked the history.

Christians have been aware of the Sudanese human rights problems for some many years. Keeping tabs on abuses especially in religious oppression of the Muslims against Christians in that area of the world. Human Rights Watch World Report 2002: Africa: Sudan

So in researching the present situation as it manifests in Darfur, I am interested in following a couple lines of theoretic thinking.

One is the impact of allowed genocide or allowed religion-based oppression as it moves through history. In this line of thought: how much of an influence in corruption of peoples standards does the allowance of one point of oppression have? Like this- does the killing and systematic enslavement, rape, and disenfranchisement of a particular group of one sort of people, lead to ever narrowing definitions? The killing of Christians is rationalized, then, Muslims who are not of Arabic connection in race? Then, Arabs who are competing for power, and on?

So the reasons for such oppression eventually is diffused and blame passed around, but the source for it all is lost in the smoke and explosions of events.

Here is an article reaching back a little farther, to 1995:
Sudan. Some excerpts,

Serious abuses of children’s rights continue in Sudan, Africa’s largest country, six years after a military coup overthrew the elected civilian government on June 30, 1989, and brought to power a military regime dominated by the National Islamic Front (NIF), a militant Islamist party. The civil war that commenced in 1983 has continued. The rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) seeks a united secular Sudan and autonomy, if not separation, for the African peoples living in the southern third of the country and the Nuba Mountains. The NIF government regards the war as a “holy war” for Islam and its soldiers as “holy warriors,” even where the conscripts asked to wage such a war are non-Muslims.
The children of Sudan, north and south, have been denied their basic rights by all parties to the conflict, and by the government of Sudan even in areas such as Khartoum where there is no war. Many who are considered street children, mostly southerners and Nuba, are removed from their families without notice. They are denied their right to identity when they are given new Arab names and denied their right to freedom of religion when they are subjected to forcible conversion; the government’s recent family reunification project may mitigate some damage done to these children.

Many southern and Nuba children have been captured and taken from their families during military raids on their villages by Arab militias and soldiers in the war zones. They are kept for use as unpaid household servants. The soldiers and militia members sometimes take these children with them when they return to their homes in western and northern Sudan, where the children continue to do unpaid labor inside the house or herding animals, on threat of beatings. There have been cases of sexual abuse of these children. There are reports that some are sold.

Army officers, soldiers, militia members, and others operate with total impunity from government prosecution, although their conduct violates laws against kidnaping and forced labor. The Sudan government has failed to live up to its obligations to prevent and punish such abuses under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 1926 Slavery Convention as amended, the 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the 1930 International Labor Organization (ILO) Forced Labor Convention (No. 29) concerning Forced or Compulsory Labor, the 1957 ILO Convention (No. 105) concerning the Abolition of Forced Labor, the African Charter, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The cases we found were of children who were located by their families, or who succeeded in escaping.

The factors from this time are race-based and religious-based, although that is greatly downplayed, and you have to read through the material to understand this form of the abuse.
At first it was simply accepted to commit atrocities against those of a different religion, and race, then it escalates to what is seen now: same religion, but narrowed field of acceptance based on being a ” lighter-skinned Arab people of the region”

…the best word to describe what is happening in Darfur is not “atrocities.” It is “genocide.” That word was coined by Raphael Lemkin as a direct result of the Holocaust. It combines the Greek geno, meaning “race” or “tribe” with the Latin cide, from cadere, meaning “killing.” More than any other individual, Lemkin was responsible for the creation and passage of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was ratified by the General Assembly on December 9, 1948. Article 2 states:

“In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
a. Killing members of the group;
b. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
c. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part….”

Because of its gravity, the term “genocide” is not used lightly by world leaders. But on September 9, 2004, Colin Powell, who was then the U.S. Secretary of State, used that word to define for U.S. senators the situation in Darfur.-from Teachable Moment

“Slavery is anathema in international law.” And yet, over and over we find instances of systematic continuation of it. Sudan has been one of the most obvious offenders.

It has become clear that the enslavement of black Africans did not stop with the demise of the Atlantic Slave Trade. That on this very day and hour, as you read this, black Africans are bought and sold in two North African countries. In the Islamic R epublic of Mauritania, black Africans continue to be enslaved by their Arab-Berber masters. Although slavery was declared abolished three times since Mauritania’s independence in 1960, it persists. Slaves are given as wedding gifts, traded for camels, g uns or trucks, and inherited. The children of slaves belong to the master and slaves who displease their masters or attempt escapes are tortured in the most brutal manner imaginable.

In Sudan, Africa’s largest country, the Islamic Republic of the Sudan, as a result of an Islamic-vs.-Christian civil war, black women and children (mostly Christian) are captured in raids on their villages and sold as chattel slaves, sometimes, according to the UN in “modern-day slave markets.” article written by investigative journalist Samuel Cotton, the Executive Director of CASMAS

In today’s world, there is encrustation of other motivating factors to allow for the crushing of the populace, and widespread murder and mayhem. Now it is mainly political factions and ecomomic factors, but look underneath the surface before you think it will be so easily be dealt with.

People are tempted to think force is sufficient to deal with everything. It rarely is. To deal with great outrages, force will be necessary to wrest occasion from the oppressers hands, but after that? Restoring humane intent among the people, balancing the offending causes such as religious strife and racial prejudices.

It is an educational battle, there, friend. That is the only longstanding hope for change. It does need a fenced gateway, in the form of protection against known interlopers such as Sharia advocates, jihadists, and tyrants.

We forget how powerful ideology is, and how much the affairs of men are molded by it. It is not only economics, or circumstances, …. history is formed in the womb of the ideologists.

4 thoughts on “Is Africa, Again, The Dark Continent?”

  1. I think people have forgotten that Arabs were enslaving Africans before the Europeans got in on the deal.

    How bizarre that someone would think that it is “immoral” to mention 9/11 in the context of the Iraq war. Wasn’t it one of the motivating factors for the pre-emptive conflict in the first place? Not as directly as some believe but in terms of the larger picture of “stabalising” the region or at least forming another democratic ally in the Middle-East, and in an enviable geographical area from a strategic point-of-view. (Naturally these weren’t the only reasons.)

  2. People do forget, and there is a whole smoke and mirrors brigade to enable that further.

    Regardless of any criticism launched on whether it was wise or not, Iraq was the chosen point of entry in war against the terrorism that has been holding the rest of the world hostage and rendered the UN impotent.

    I find it very complex to thread out the reasonings, and perhaps we don’t have all the information, but 9/11 and Iraq were tied together in America’s determination to put an end to the atrocities done in the name of Islamofacism.

    That is still what is at stake. Will we encourage terrorism, giving them the capitulation they expect as reward for their heinous acts? Or will we defy their terrors and face them with courage and opposition at every turn where they think to perpetrate their wicked purposes?

  3. When I saw you had ventured into that comment thread, I felt bad for you. You got trounced pretty bad for linking the Darfur genocide with Christians, which pushed a button or two. Check out Wikipedia for “Darfur Conflict.” At first I had reservations about Wiki, but I have grown to rely on it more and more. Rather than advance one point of view against another, it looks like all get included when there is debate.

    As for the WTC-Iraq connection, it looks like a stretch to me since the perpetrators were Saudi, from the land where the king is hosted by the president at his ranch. Vivid contrast with a war costing thousands of lives, including many non-combatants.

    The flypaper concept of attracting the terrorists to Iraq to be killed rather than waiting for them to catch the next plane to the US may be working, sort of. In the process, however, no one is asking how many new enemies are being cultivated by what is dispassionately called “collateral damage.”

    Iraq is being treated in the Middle East with the same tragic, mean and cold-blooded manner that Italy has been used in European conflicts: a battleground, important more for its strategic geopolitical importance than anything else, least of all its history, culture or fragile ethnic diversity of its population.

    As for morality or morals, they are words I don’t use when speaking of any armed conflict.

  4. My {{friend}} don’t ever feel badly for me, I am out of practice with gauging the opposition, is all. As I explain myself here, I feel there is a Christian connection, but obviously I stepped into it when I made a comment that wasn’t well-worded and supported. Can we so completely slice up the problems in the Sudan? They are Islamic-based, religion-oriented problems. Even in Darfur- where the background reveals that the “insurgents” seek inclusion within a secular gov. and the prevailing Islamic coup (de facto) supports the janjaweed.

    It was a learning experience. Blogs are much more difficult to debate within- at least for me. I was not careful enough and rightly got caught. I research and reformulate- that is what I do, and don’t waste time trying to shore up my ego.

    I do not believe that the WTC-Iraq connection is something which is clear, or cut and dry. I do not believe that you can well clarify how the Islamic connections in terrorism interconnect. They are an arcane society.

    You may feel sympathy for the Iraqi people, but I can’t say that it is reasonable to dispute that there should be no battleground there.

    New enemies? I think it brings old hatred to the surface, hatred that is cultivated by fundamentalist agenda; and I also think the Iraqi people are working to their own disadvantage, but hopefully they will work towards their own stable independence. We’ll see.

    You don’t seem to have followed my research links here… they are much more in depth than Wiki.

Comments are closed.