Scary writings II

Bernard Lewis fait encore des siennes.. sans le savoir..

Here is a deep analysis of Darfur’s current crisis in light of past writings done by Mr. Lewis.

So the author starts by telling us where he extracts his source of knowledge/power:

As the historian Bernard Lewis points out in Race and Slavery in the Middle East, the evolving perception of Africans had, as early as the 13th century, begun to focus on the alleged animalistic qualities of the Zanj or black Africans. “The Negro nations,” one observer remarked, “are submissive to slavery because they have little that is essentially human and have attributes that are quite similar to those of dumb animals.”

Unlike the Western slave trade, which was driven by early capitalism and the development of mass agriculture, the Eastern trade supplied Africans to work as domestics or in the brutal pearl-diving trade in present-day Iraq. Darfur, the region that is currently embroiled in conflict, initially served as a hub in the Saharan slave trade and a site for the castration of African boys who would then be sold as eunuchs to protect the harems of the wealthy. By some reports, Africans were culled by the hundreds and held on farms in Darfur awaiting sale to Arab traders.

Then he goes on to linking it to the current situation in Darfur:

The Trans-Saharan trade ended in the 19th century as the British began to extend their control over the region (the Sudanese Muslims became the most intractable foes of British colonialism during the era, and Darfur was not conquered by the British until 1916.) Given ten centuries of intermarriage and mixture, the descendants of Arabs and descendants of indigenous Africans in the region eventually came to be virtually indistinguishable from each other, even as their ethnic identities remained distinct. In the past decade, however, reports of continuing enslavement of blacks from Southern Darfur put Sudan’s human rights practices on the radar screen of African American leadership and human rights activists. (And the Bush administration has found new concern for Sudanese “human rights” given the fact that Sudan’s government provided asylum to Osama Bin Laden in the 1990s.) The hostilities in Western Darfur emerged, ironically enough, just as international pressure had brought a cease-fire between the predominantly Muslim north and the largely Christian South of Sudan, where blacks were being enslaved.

Something’s wrong here.. did anyone miss the connections between the source of knowledge/power and the understanding of current situation? because I certainly did. In what way the peculiarities of the slave trade in the Middle East has to do with understanding the current conflict in Darfur? The mystery remains.

Oh and what’s up with this difference between Western and Eastern slave trade? So there’s also difference in how one trade his slave because one slave is for ‘mass agriculture’ and the other is for ‘brutal pearl-diving’? شو يعني?

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