Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Terra Incognita 20 Jewish Philanthropy, American Dynasties, the ICC and England

Terra Incognita
Issue 20
A Publication of Seth J. Frantzman
Jerusalem, Israel

Website: http://journalterraincognita.blogspot.com/

January 29th, 2008

Why do we live with terrorism? How is it that we came to live in a world where a few men in a small apartment can decide to spread havoc and murder us at their whim? Terrorism is not the act of ‘militants’ or ‘insurgents’. It is an attempted genocide. Leftists should protest terrorism and we should never tarry of killing terrorists and deporting its supporters until it stops.

Our disgusting dynasty politics in America: Bush. Clinton. Bush. Clinton. Should our children have to read about America becoming a dynasty? Our ancestors fought to rid the world of the monarchy. So why are we allowing ourselves to be treated as peasants once again and allowing two families to run the United States?

A history of Jewish philanthropy: In the days of Benjamin of Tudela the Jewish communities were self-sufficient. In the days of the Rothchilds, Warburgs and Montefiores the wealthiest Jews took care of poor Jews in far away places. Today under the guise of ‘Tikkun Olam’ Jewish philanthropies believe they are responsible for the whole world, while they ignore the poor among their own nation.

Who would colonize themselves? Lately prominent Russian, Israeli and American intellectuals have tried to foist foreign powers upon their own countries. Kasparov spoke English when he was arrested. An editor at Haaretz tells foreigners to ‘rape’ his country. Americans demand foreigners judge their president for war crimes. Why would anyone allow a foreign to colonize them?

Where does the International Criminal Court draw its power? A court derives its powers from the people. This is especially true in a democracy. Lately democracies have surrendered themselves to the power of the courts. The International Criminal Court is the primary example of a court whose powerbase is only itself and which somehow has projected its jurisdiction to include the whole world.

England's evil double-standard: Before the Holocaust England made sure Jews were prevented from entering Palestine. After the Holocaust only 1,000 Jews were permitted to immigrate to England. Yet today English students, intellectuals and authors claims Israel should not exist and that Israel is the source of the conflict between Islam and the West. We admire Churchill, but this other England, this England of hypocrisy, has a long and dreadful history.

My World Without Islam: A review and critique of Foreign Policy’s ‘World without Islam’ article. The article in question claimed a world without Islam would be the same as the world we live in today. I grew up in a world without Islam. In my rural hometown people lived peacefully and children didn’t recite verses of hate in school and women dressed as they pleased without fear that their own brothers would murder them. Don’t kid yourselves. A world without Islam would be very different than the present world.

Why do we live with terrorism?
Seth J. Frantzman
January 27th, 2006

Does it seem odd when you stop to think about terrorism? Does it seem odd that we live in a world where people detonate bombs, sometimes strapped to themselves, in order to kill people. There goal is only to kill people and they decide which people have to die based on the ethnicity, religion or country of origin of those people.

The media obscures terrorism and fabricates it so that we are not shocked by its very existence. The media calls the terrorists 'militants' and the media rarely if every tells us anything about the victims of the terrorism. When is the last time the BBC showed a picture of the victim of a terrorist act? When Benezir Bhutto was killed it was styled an 'assasination' and Ban Ki Moon described it as an 'assault on stability.' In this way terrorism which is the murder of innocent people, becomes part of a 'conflict' or a 'struggle'.

But terrorism is not part of a conflict. What conflict involves people with bombs and civilians going about their daily life? That is not a conflict. To say that terrorism is part of a conflict is to say that a mugger and his victim are 'in conflict' over money. But they are not in conflict. One person initiates a crime and the other person suffers it. There is no back and forth. In order to convince us that the terrorist is part of a conflict we are told that anti-terrorist units of the state are fighting terrorism and terrorists are fighting back by killing civilians and it is part of a 'cycle'. This is like saying that since the police try to prevent muggings that therefore the police, the innocent victim and the mugger all part of a cycle of violence where the mugger is fighting against the police and the victim. It would be like insinuating that the Nazis were fighting the Jews and the Soviets and that the Holocaust was therefore merely part of the war, rather than a separate crime.

To claim that terrorism is part of our world and that it is committed by militants is to admit that we cannot stop terrorism and that we must 'live with it.' But why do we have to live with it. Why must we always be waiting for the next terrorist act. Does anyone sit back and try to understand what we are dealing with? We are dealing with a society where people decide one day that they want to murder as many people as possible, based solely on the fact that those people are different. In Iraq the media pretends that the terrorists are fighting an 'insurgency' or a 'war' against the government. The media reports that "forty people died in a bombing" but that does not tell us the whole story. The terrorism in Iraq seeks only to murder civilians and more than not those people are murdered simply because they are a different sect than the terrorist. It is not an 'insurgency' and it is not a war these terrorists are fighting.

Terrorism is genocide. This is what everyone should realize. There are no 'insurgents' or 'militants'. The terrorist genocidaire is no different than the Hutu killers in Rwanda who waged war against civilians. They are no different than the Janjaweed or Pol Pots Khmer Rouge, or the Nazi Gestapo. You may rightly point out that terrorism is more incompetent than the above regimes. Sure, it hasn't killed a million people. But in Iraq it has killed 10,000 people. In Israel it has killed more than 1,000 and in the U.S it has killed 3,000. If you add up all the death tolls it approaches a genocidal figure. Remember the definition of genocide doesn't have anything to do with succeeding. Milosevic was accused of genocide and yet the Serbs only killed 2,000 Albanians at most. Only 7,000 Bosnians are reputed to have died in the 'act of genocide' in Srbrenica. Its not numbers that make something genocide, it is the intent. Terrorism's intent is mass murder, the fact that terrorists can't accomplish their goals doesn't make them less evil.

On Sept. 12th, 2001 there were no human rights protests against the murder of 3,000 Americans by Muslim Arab terrorists. After the Madrid and London bombings there was never a human rights protest. The terrorists were never charged with violating human rights by the International Criminal Court at the Hague. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have never issued a report that condemned terrorists for depriving people of their human rights. Minority Rights International has never done so either. Oh, you may note that HRW has condemned some acts of terrorism, such as the Hizbullah 'war crime' of firing rockets at the civilian Israeli population. But that is not enough. The human rights mafia and the students and all the leftists have never lifted a finger to protest terrorism. When a black man was dragged to death in Texas they protested. When six black students were charged with a crime in Jena in the U.S, they protested. When a gay man was murdered in North Dakota they protested. But when hundreds of gays and blacks were murdered on Sept. 11 there was no protest. When 300,000 blacks were killed in Darfur there was no protest. Why were the Jena 6 more important than the 3,000 dead Americans on 9/11? They are more important because the media and leftist thought has told us that those why die at the hands of terrorists die in a 'war' between us and the terrorists. But we aren’t at war with terror. It is not a war. To say it is a war is to say that their method of fighting, by murdering civilians, is acceptable. Terrorism is not a war, it is not a conflict and it is not practiced by militants. Terrorism is genocide and those who engage in it are mass murderers. They aren’t criminals, the way Wesley Clark wants them defined. They aren’t guilty of hate crimes or war crimes. They are guilty of attempted acts of genocide. There is no difference between the cowardly terrorist and the Nazi camp commandants like Klaus Barbie.

Our media and our intellectuals speak of 'no way to defeat terror.' For them terrorism is a fact of human existence and authors try to convince us that terrorism is 'as old as the Bible.' We are often told that fighting terrorism only creates more terrorists. Implicitly Gideon Levy's complaint that Israel resorted to the "brute force it is so fond of" in response to Hizbullah's attack that preceded the Second Lebanon War shows that we are supposed to react with peace when terrorists murder us. Levy complains that "Israel again turned to the weapon of war as the first option" when confronted with Hizbullah terror. For Levy the proper response is to 'hear their grievances.' But the terrorist grievance is merely our existence. Can we negotiate our existence? Should the Jews have 'negotiated' with the Nazis in 1939? Should the Darfur Africans negotiate their destruction with the Khartoum regime? Liberals and leftists can negotiate their existence, it is their right to do so, but other people prefer not to.

It is not a matter of not negotiating. It is not a matter of resorting to brute force. Brute force is not the only way to deal with the terrorist. We should forever put behind us this notion that terrorism can never be defeated and that by slaughtering terrorists it will only cause more. We didn't accept such a logic when we bombed Nazi Germany into the dark ages. Did some pacifist claim that we were creating generations of Nazis by daring to oppose such an ideology? Maybe. Maybe someone complained that FDR was resorting to 'brute force.' But Brute force worked pretty well in the end. It also worked well against the Japanese. They haven't started any wars since. We are forever walking a stupid tightrope where we negotiate with terrorists and then we claim that 'you can't negotiate with terrorists it only encourages them' and then we turn around and do it again. When I say 'we' I mean collectively every country afflicted with terror. They have all done it, from Sri Lanka to Israel, the U.K and the U.S.

The policy to confront terrorism should be the policy used against Nazi Germany. It should be a policy of unrelenting and brutal war exacted upon those places where terrorism has taken route. People are always so afraid of creating refugees. In the second Lebanon War there were 500,000 Lebanese refugees. So what? That is the best way to clear out the terrorists. If there are no more people left then there won't be any more terrorists. The Soviets understood this and it is why they expelled all the Germans from East Prussia and Poland. A word was created for this in order to try to stop countries from creating terrorist free environments: ethnic-cleansing. That is what the media calls it when you rid yourself of terrorism. But why is it ethnic cleansing to remove terrorists and their supporters? In Iraq there is little or no terrorism in Kurdistan because there are no Arabs in Kurdistan. By contrast there is terrorism in Turkey because there are Kurds in Turkey. Remove the problem, which is to say the population from whence the terrorist comes, and there is no more terrorism. America removed the problem in the early part of the 19th century when Jewish anarchists were nefarious terrorists. The ungrateful foreign Jews who came to America and tried to spread their murderous anarchist ideas around were rounded up and deported. Unsurprisingly anarchist terrorist stopped the instant the last anarchist Jew was put aboard ship and sent back to Europe. It could be called anti-Semitism, but it didn't affect the vast majority of Jews, just the murderous ones and their supporters. Expelling ungrateful foreigners is a good way to rid one's country of terrorism. Foreigners commonly commit terrorism because they have no respect for the society in which they have settled. Why should they? Its not their country and they aren’t murdering members of their religion or their family in their evil acts.

Expel, deport, and if necessary bomb. That is the best way to deal with terrorists. Terrorists and their supports are a surprisingly contradictory society. They like to blow up innocent civilians, provided those civilians don't come from their ranks. Watch the way Arabs whine and wail and complain when a few of them are killed. They have giant funeral processions. The Irish did the same thing. When a member of the 'heroic' IRA was killed there would be a giant funeral, and an even bigger one if an 'innocent' Irish Catholic was killed by the British police forces. But the Irish and the Arabs sure liked to celebrate when people died at their hands. Society is like that. The Germans loved it when their bombers were flattening Coventry but to this day they complain that the Americans flattened Dresden. It must be a common trait of humanity that people hate what they are. A person who lies is the first person to accuse others of lying. Thus the terrorist is the first person to complain when a civilian member of his family is killed.

But it is no matter. Expel, deport and if necessary bomb. That is the method of stopping terrorism. If it means that 'more' terrorists will be created, so be it. The Nazis also sent their Hitler Youth into battle at the end. But there came a time when all the Nazis had finally been killed. That is the way we must deal with terrorism.

Our disgusting dynasty politics in America
Seth J. Frantzman
January 26th, 2007


That is how students may one day view the history of the American presidency if Hilary Clinton wins the 2008 presidential election. If she wins reelection that could mean that America is dominated by two family dynasties for 28 years (1988-2016). That is a depressing thought given the fact that Americans have traditionally been adverse to political dynasties. Why is it that the dynasty has now come to prevail in American politics and why has it come to prevail in both major political parties, despite their very different cultures? Furthermore why aren’t Americans angry at the way the American presidency is being passed back and forth by these two families, like it is some sort of birth right?

The dynasty has always existed in American life. The Bushes and Clintons are not the first family dynasty in American politics. The Adams family had two presidents in the 19th century and a third Adams was a well known writer. The Taft family had one president and another who became a very respected senator. The Roosevelt family had two presidents. The Lodge family produced two important advisors to presidents. The Kennedy’s produced one President, an attorney general turned presidential nominee and a long serving senator as well as numerous other holders of lesser office. The Romney family had produced two governors.

The emergence of the dynasty has been a feature of the Democratic party more than the Republican one traditionally. This would seem odd given the fact that the Republican party is derided as the party of tradition and of money. However the democratic party has long suffered from an inability to produce mesmerizing leaders and thus falls back on the romance of aristocracy. It is perhaps the Republican’s luck that the Republican rank and file do not desire a Camelot-like romance with their leader. They have often preferred the Barry Goldwaters and Newt Geingriches. The ethos of the democratic party is filled with the need to have a romantic leader because the democratic appeal is to ‘the people’ and the people supposedly need to be led by a sort of god-king, someone to whip them up and stir their hearts. This is no surprise. Parties that base their support on ‘the masses’ need spectacle in order to motivate those masses.

Despite these cultural differences between Democratic and Republican rank and file, neither party has produced a large number of dynasties. The Kennedy family is an outlier in American political history. Most politicians have been solitary and it is infrequent that children follow their fathers into politics. But the American presidency is also an outlier, it is a unique office and it is therefore interesting that it has now become a football to be passed back and forth between two families.

The emergence of the Bush and Clinton families into presidential politics was perhaps improbable. The Bush’s were a family of oilmen. George W. Bush’s grandfather was the patriarch of the family and the first one to hold office. Bush sr., after a stint in the armed forces, was a career politician before becoming President. His sons George and Jeb both held governorships of two large states and it was primarily good luck mixed with a brilliant team of advisors that brought George Bush to the presidential limelight in 2000. One author has written a book titled the Revenge of the Bush Dynasty and other books on the rise and fall of the ‘House of Bush’ have followed. Was it revenge that brought George W. to the limelight in 2000. Was a thirst by the Republican party for revenge? It is not clear. Bush was young and he was the governor of Texas and he had proved that he could be a formidable politician there. He was also trustworthy and it appeared in 2000 that the Republican party could not produce anyone else with those traits. John McCain was viewed as too radical and not an adherent to the Republican philosophy.

But if the emergence of the Bush’s was accidental then the emergence of the Clintons is even more so. Bill Clinton did not come from a good family. He had no father and his mother was reputed to have been a prostitute or at least a woman of low repute. Bill did everything he could to distance himself from that, attending Oxford and being ‘first in his class’ wherever he went. However when it came time to run for office he returned to his home state. The strange alluring corruption of Arkansas and the Hicksville atmosphere in which Clinton was born never left his side. His wife, the cold and calculating Mrs. Clinton, who campaigns under posters of ‘Hilary’, road Bill into the white house and used sympathy over his philandering to obtain a senate seat in New York. Her path to the white house was therefore less traditional but more calculating and it was understood from the very moment that she was her senate seat in 2000 that it was a stepping stone to her party’s nomination in 2008. She was lucky to have Bush win in 2004 otherwise her plans would have been dashed. She could not have run in 2004 because of complaints about her inexperience and she wisely allowed John Kerry to take the fall to Bush’s second term. But we see now the true calculations of the Clinton family. While Hilary campaigns in California her husband Bill campaigns in South Carolina against her rival, Barak Obama. This is the ultimate slap in the face to America. Bush sr. did not sink so low as to campaign for George W; whether this was because he would have hurt George W. more than helped him or out of his respect for the fact that it was his son’s campaign and not his is not clear. But the campaigning by both Clinton’s is a cold and sleazy attempt to remind voters that a vote for Hilary is really a vote for Bill to have a third term, which everyone wanted him to have in 2000.

How did American politics descend to quickly into this morass. Americans point fingers at Mr. Putin and deride Russia as a dictatorship, but at least Russia does not have dynasties holding the lever of power. Americans may well say that our system is surely better for the elections are free and fair and the primaries allow anyone to run from either party. To be sure this is true. But then it is the American people and the party bosses who are to blame for transforming the country into a dictatorship of two families. It is the party bosses especially who have resorted to this cynical manipulation and have taken the ‘easy road’ by choosing people already familiar to the American people, and putting good advisors around them and running them as one might show a pony. The truth is there are no more Reagan’s or Goldwaters or Carters. There is no more individualism in American politics. The individuals such as McCain, Obama and Giuliani are being washed away. This is the great irony. Whereas the caliber of people who stood for the presidency between 1988 and 2004 was incredibly weak (Dukakis, Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry, Dean, Jesse Jackson), the caliber of people running today (Giuliani, Hukkabee, Obama, McCain, Romney, Richardson) is quite high. But it is not these high caliber people that appeal to the American people, it is the easy choice that appeals to Americans and that choice is Hilary Clinton and her husband.

We know that the Clinton daughter is already being ensconced in politics and she is being prepared with the accoutrements of royalty to follow in the footsteps of Hilary. We saw her campaigning in New Hampshire. Her campaign style is being honed; she does not speak to the press, which is precisely the type of condescension for the American people that is seeping into our system with the dynasty politics. George W. had it too when he refused to debate at one point in the primary season, refusing to appear on the same stage as losers like Alan Keyes and Dennis Kucinich in 2000. He was right to do so, but he was also condescending to do so. Jeb Bush was considering a run for the presidency but has, perhaps, wisely postponed it because he knows that American people will not vote for another Bush in 2008 after the troubles this administration has slugged into. But perhaps there will be another chance for a Bush to be in the white house in 2016. Then it will be clear that our country has taken a serious and disturbing misstep. For 200 years America steered clear of the dynasty. It brought some very good people to the halls of power and this hybrid vigor allowed the country to encounter one great success after another in the economic and political sphere. But now that vigor is dying and rigormortis is setting in with these Bushes and Clintons. Most disturbing of all, the media and the American people shrug their shoulders and resign themselves to this semi-feudal monarchy, much in the way the yeomanry of old did. That is precisely what a dynasty insinuates, it insinuates that the people are peasants, and perhaps that is what we have become.

A history of Jewish philanthropy
Seth J. Frantzman
January 29th, 2008

When Benjamin of Tudela, a 12th century Jewish traveler, visited Jewish communities from Spain to India he mentioned many things about them. They varied greatly in their diversity and language and even in some of their traditions. From the greatest communities such as Baghdad where 40,000 Jews lived to the smallest communities of a few hundred he saw all aspects of Jewish life. Although he mentioned many things he did not touch on one thing that seems to be central to Judaism today; philanthropy. He mentioned Jewish communities in which the community cared for itself and where the poor received charity from the wealthy. But he never mentioned an instance in which Jews formed non-profit organizations and helped to provide flood relief to Africans or helped provide money for 'Jewish-Arab coexistence.' He did not mention any groups of wealthy Jewish donors traveling hither and thither trying to find 'worthy' causes to help. Perhaps Benjamin was ill-informed.

The enshrinement of Jewish philanthropy began officially in the 19th century with such famous Jewish patrons as the Rothchilds and Moses Montefiore. These giants of Judaism were wealthy men and they took on their shoulders the needs of the Jewish community in which they lived as well as Jews abroad. Montefiore lobbied furiously for Jewish rights in North Africa and in his many journeys to Palestine he helped establish new communities for Jews outside the walls of the Old City, where they had hitherto lived in cramped and disease ridden areas. Rothschild too provided charity for the Jewish ghettos of Europe and for the nascent Jewish farming communities of Palestine. In the history of these Jewish philanthropists we do not see donations to non-Jews. Their principle interest were Jewish communities.

Beginning in 1881 the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society began to help Jewish refugees and those fleeing persecution. Beginning in 1914 the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) began to function as a Jewish philanthropic organization aimed at easing the suffering of Jews in Palestine and Eastern Europe. Together with other organizations these large philanthropies were at the forefront of Jewish giving in the 20th century. They provided relief for Soviet Jews and Jews in Eastern Europe in the 1920s and after the Holocaust they provided resettlement opportunities for Jews to move to Palestine and elsewhere. After the creation of Israel they provided social services for the sick and elderly. In addition they provided aid for Jews in places such as Egypt and Algeria who were either persecuted by the government or forced to flee. In the 1980s and 1990s they provided aid to Jews of the former Soviet Union and Ethiopian Jews.

But along the way something changed. In 1986 the JDC created the International Development Program or IDP to provide 'non-sectarian aid' which was a code word for 'aid to non-Jews.' HIAS also boasted of helping 4.5 million immigrants, many of whome were not Jewish. The motivating factor behind this change in tact was a new interpretation of Jewish culture. According to the JDC, "one of Judaism’s basic tenets, tikkun olam, tells us that we cannot be bystanders in a world where pain and suffering abound. It challenges us to embrace communities everywhere; especially those touched by catastrophe, poverty and injustice. Since inception, JDC has offered aid to non-Jews in crisis overseas." HIAS speaks of "The central teachings for Jews emphasize offering welcome, protection and love for the Ger (stranger)." This is interesting. Although Jewish organizations claim that this newfound need to help non-Jews is enshrined in the Torah (according to HIAS it is mentioned thirty-six times) one wonders why Benjamin of Tudela, Montefiore and the Rothchilds were so blind in their understanding of the Jewish religion. Maimonidies too and the Vilna Gaon fail to mention that aiding non-Jews is a central tenant of Judaism.

How did this idea of Tikkun Olam become central to so many Jews and so foreign to other Jews? Why did Jews decide that they must take on their backs the suffering of the world. One reason that Jews decided that "since we have suffered so much persecution we must help others" is because Jews became secular. Secular Jews make up a large majority of the wealthiest Jewish donors to organizations and they make up the only Jewish donors to the 'non-sectarian' programs that Jewish philanthropies and non-prophets specialize in.

But Jewish donation policies have recently gone one step further. As the quest to find new non-sectarian donors grows Jews have realized that the most favored community to give aid to is not Jews or Israeli Jews but rather the Israeli-Arabs. According to one Jewish philanthrpist it is a Jewish responsibility to help the 'natives' of Israel, which according to him are the Palestinian Arabs. Recently a group of wealthy Jewish donors arrived in Israel and travelled up to Umm-Al Fahm, an Arab village and begged the local Arab leadership to allow Jewish money to flow to Arabs in Israel. Oddly enough the Arabs dared to boycott the Jewish donors. The Jewish donors were up in arms, declaring that the Arabs were not helping 'coexistence' by failing to put out their hands for the Jewish dole.

It is an odd situation to see Jews begging to give Muslim Arabs money. For 1200 years Jewish resided under Muslim colonial occupation throughout the Muslim world. Jews were sold as virtual slaves in the Yemen. In Egypt and Greece they were used as prostitutes. They were forced to wear a special color clothing that marked them as Jews and they were could not rebuild their synagouges, ride horses, own weapons or build their houses bigger than their Arab neighbors. At the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the holiest site in Judaism, an Arab neighborhood called the 'mughabi quarter' was constructed and a new Muslim holy site of 'al-Burak' was discovered. The Muezzin was told to yell extra loudly on Yom Kippur, the holiest Jewish day. In other places such as Algiers Jews were forced to wash the streets on Shabbat. They were expelled from their homes and their lands by such Muslim regimes as the Almhohades and they had to pay a special 'head tax' or Jizya for being 'Dhimmi'. Sometimes rioters slaughtered them as took place almost every century in Safed. In short, they lived the lives of a discriminated minority. Not once in Jewish history in the Muslim world did wealthy Muslims provide charity and philanthropy for Jews. But as Jewish donors note, 'since we were persecuted so much we must give aid to others.' It is odd that this policy did not apply to starving German children in the 1950s or the ruined German cities that were gutted by the war. After all why did the Jews not recall that "we were perseucted so we must help others' then? Where were the Jewish donors to go to Germany in 1950 and make sure that the Germans received enough financial aid? Where were the special programs for coexistence and the free concerts for Germans? After all the Germans only suppressed the Jews for a decade, the Muslims did so for 1200 years? It is odd that this Jewish love to help those who harmed Jews is so strong. One would be tempted to say that only Jews would do this. Only Jews could create people like Nick Berg's father who felt sympathy for the people who beheaded his son and said "at least they looked into his eyes unlike George Bush" when he wrote an editorial in the Manchester Guardian. But one would be incorrect. Not all Jews are like Nick Berg's father or the donors at Umm al Fahm begging to help Islam.

There are Jews who do not such thing. These Jews are the spiritual descendants of Benjamin of Tudela and they have never heard of this concept of Tikkun Olam, or rather they have interpretted it differently. For those religious Jews there are no wealthy non-profits with photos of Arab women in headscarves and starving Arab children. They prefer to help their own starving children and their own women who cover their hair. According to many they are not the 'good' Jews just the fundamentalist Christians are not 'real Christians' because they don't 'turn the other cheek' and preach love for homosexuals the way 'Jesus would have'. The religious Jews and religious Christians apparently share this fate: they are not viewed as 'good' members of their religions by secular people. It is odd that secular people take such a deep interest in religion suddenly when it comes to helping the 'other'. Secular people normally don't care about God but when it comes to finding an excuse about why they must help starving African children they suddenly quote the Bible with glee. Tikkun Olam and the Ger suddenly get mentioned. A secular Jew may not know a word of Hebrew and we might own books like "the greatest stories of the Bible" without ever reading the actual Bible, but he will be versed in saying "Tikkun Olam" and taking on his shoulders the need to help every anti-semite in the world and every starving African.

One cannot condemn Jewish philanthropy for its predeliction to mostly help non-Jews or give to non-sectarian causes. It is all with good intentions. Jews give to non-sectarian causes because they don't want to be 'racist' and only give to Jewish causes. In this the Jews are unique; they are the only minority in the history of the world that have decided that helping the poor among themselves is 'racist'. So while Jewish children starve and poor Jewish families live in hovels in Israel, hundreds of millions of Jewish dollars go to help Africans and Europeans and Arabs and Muslims the world over. It is healing the world. One just wonders where that world was in 1942 when the Jews needed a little healing. One wonders where it was in 1945 when the International Refugee Organization (IRO) forbid giving one cent to aid Jewish refugees in Europe. One wonders.

Who would colonize themselves?
Seth J. Frantzman
January 8th, 2007

Who would invite colonizers to their country and give away their independence? It seems like an obvious question. No one would do such a thing. But history is full of the opposite example.

When the roman General and leader Pompey arrived in Syria in 63 BCE, the Jewish Hasmonean brothers, who were locked in a civil war sent their delegates to Pompey. Both demanded Roman aid. Pompey favored Hyrcanus II over Aristobulos II, deeming the elder, weaker brother a more reliable ally of the Roman Empire. In short order the independent Kingdom of Judea was swallowed up by Rome. 110 years later a vicious revolt broke out against this Roman rule and eventually lead to the deaths of two thirds of the Jewish people. It was certainly an inadvertent request by Arisobulos II to ask a foreigner to colonize his own country if only to get back at his own brother, but it was a request nonetheless.

Cortez did not conquer the Aztecs without allies. In fact most of the history of European colonization finds that the Europeans had many active collaborators seeking their aid against other enemies. In many cases the result was total annexation to Europe and the destruction of both the requester and his enemies. The Shona people of modern Zimbabwe are no exception. They asked for European help only to find their lands as well as those of their Ndebele enemies given away to friends of Cecil Rhodes and his British company.

But the process of encouraging foreign colonization of the self is not a character flaw of native peoples. It seems to be inherent in most societies. Petain and his Vichy generals welcomed the Nazis and their colonization of France. Republican Spain allowed Stalin's agents to massacre tens of thousands of Republican Spaniards. The Nazi sympathizers in England hoped for German colonization.

When Garry Kasparov was arrested in Russia recently he spoke English to the police rather than Russian, his native language. He spoke English because his court of public opinion is in the West, rather than his own country and yet he pretends that his country is undemocratic because it does not elect him. But how many people would vote for someone whose financial and emotional support is derived from outside the country? This is an all too common case with human rights activists, they frequently ally with the other and the foreigner against their own country because they are able to get published abroad, but they do not realize the degree to which the more they enslave themselves to the foreigner the less appeal they will have at home. Iranian dissidents and other famous dissidents such as Alexander Solzenitsyn were careful to reconcile this problem and careful to remain patriots while living abroad. George Bernard Shaw, who supported Stalin in the 1930s and covered up the famine in the Ukraine, was once asked why he didn't just move to 'heaven' of the U.S.S.R. He replied that his own England was a hell and he was a small Devil.

Recently the editor of Haaretz, David Landau, was reported to have said to Condolezza Rice that Israel needs to be "raped by the United States. While his comments seem extreme due to their language it is a comment that is heard quite often among Israeli leftists, academics and activists. The incident took place on Sept. 10th, 2007 and according to reports "Landau, who was seated next to Rice, was said to have referred to Israel as a 'failed state' politically, one in need of a U.S.-imposed settlement. He was said to have implored Rice to intervene." Haaretz is Israel's most 'intellectual' newspaper and considers itself the 'newspaper of record' for the country. Why its editor would encourage the colonization of his own country is not clear. What is clear is that this encouragement by left wing Israelis, disillusioned by their own country, for foreigners to 'force' Israel to do something is quite common. Given the history of people who have begged for their people to be subjugated, only to find out it isn't what they thought it would be, the modern Aristobulus IIs might do well to keep their mouths shut.

Where does the International Criminal Court draw its power?
Seth J. Frantzman
January 8th, 2007

A court is an institution of a state. It derives its power from the people. That is how a democracy works. A court has checks and balances in the form of other courts. In the United States the ultimate check is the elected official who can pardon people convicted of crimes. This is how a court system works. There are lower courts and there are higher courts. Courts are resorted to after people are either sued or arrested for breaking the law. The laws themselves are enacted by elected officials. The court has the power only to enforce the law. The court can order people held without bail and can infringe the normal rights of individuals in certain ways such as this. But even these powers of the courts are only given to it by the people whose elected officials allow the courts the power they have. The court is not independent of the people. In some cases, in the U.S, judges are even elected. A judge is not above the law. In only certain circumstances, such as the supreme court, does the power of the court and longevity of judges on the bench contradict this norm. But even the Supreme court is not above the constitution. These are the simple and very logical explanations of what a court normally is in a democracy.

By contrast in a dictatorship a court is a servant of the state. Its findings are predictable because it is controlled by the dictator. It brings people to justice without a code of laws and it does as it pleases. It enacts laws itself because it is imply an organ of the state. There are no bounds on this type of court.

When Charles Taylor and Slobodan Milosevic and other people have been transferred to the International Criminal Court in the Hague they have been transferred by governments. While these governments may have had the right to eject these people from their countries it is not clear from where the court itself derives its power to prosecute these people. Liberia and Serbia did not sign a protocol that surrendered their sovereignty to the court. They did not agree that this international court should have the power to arbitrarily arrest whoever it pleases. What is the burden of evidence that the International court goes off of? What laws does it enforce? The International court does not have laws to enforce because there are not, as of yet, international laws that govern the behavior of all people everywhere.

The International Court surely likes to look to other 'special' courts as its heritage. The Nuremburg trials are such an example. In the case of the Nuremburg trials the court was set up by the Allies, specifically the United States and an American judge from the state of Maine was chosen to preside. America transplanted its own values to the court. The defendant received the right o have an attorney to defend them. The outcome was not a forgone conclusion as is evident from the fact that of those Nazis on trial received different sentences. But the Nuremburg court was set up because the German court system no longer functioned and it was felt that the international community had an interest in the proceedings of the court, since the crimes of the Nazis had been against people outside of Germany.

But the ICC is no such court. It was not set up by a government. The U.S set up the Nuremburg court and controlled it. The ICC is not controlled by any government. It is not elected by any government and no elected official oversees it. It sits in the Netherlands, a tiny country that cannot claim to have the right to decide the future of the world. Yet it does just that. This court does not put people on trial based on their having killed citizens of the Netherlands. It puts them on trial based on whoever it feels it should go arrest. But where did it derive this power to issue warrants for the arrest of people? Where is the check on its power?

When the United States invaded Panama and brought Manuel Noriega to justice there was a great deal of outcry that the U.S had no right to kidnap a foreign leader and bring him to trial in the United States. But the U.S argued that Noriega's involvement in drug trafficking was enough to bring him to trial on those charges in Miami. In 1992 Noriega was flown to Miami where he faced 8 counts of drug trafficking, money laundering. The trial was held in the U.S District court for the southern district of Florida. His mug shot was taken by U.S Marshalls who are federal agents. Noriega is now facing charges in France for money-laundering. While Panamanians and others demanded he be tried for human rights violations this was not the case. In a sense Noriega was brought to justice as Al Capone was, not for his crimes but for a more minor offense. This is how the rule of law works. The U.S could not charge Noriega for crimes he committed in another country beyond U.S jurisdiction.

The establishment of the Guantanamo Bay facility to house detainees in the war on terror would seem to contradict this policy. But the detainees at Gitmo, denied access to attorneys and other normal judicial procedures, sit in a gray zone because of their having been captured in war and yet without uniform. But even in the case of the Gitmo detainees, the U.S holds them because of their involvement with terrorism against the U.S.

But the case of the ICC is different. It has given to itself the power to indict whoever it wants without rhyme or reason or the ability to appeal its ruling. Even in the case of Gitmo lawyers for the imprisoned people have successfully brought challenges to the legality of the facility in the U.S. That is the rule of law. But who can bring a case on behalf of Charles Taylor and the violation of his civil rights by the ICC. This is the problem. Even the Gitmo detainees actually receive more rights than those 'brought to justice' by the Europeans at their ICC.

The most important question is who gave the ICC its mandate. Who oversees it? Where does it derive its power to indict people? Under what law? Where is the check and balance for the ICC? Why is there no higher court above it? Why is there no way to challenge its rulings and its procedures? How was it able to decide that its jurisdiction would be the entire world?

But more disturbing is the selective and arbitrary nature of the ICC indictments. Since it files its own indictments without any ruling body above it then it has violated the central tenant of the write of Habeas Corpus. The writ of habeas corpus has historically been an important instrument for the safeguarding of individual freedom against arbitrary state action. Also known as "The Great Writ," a writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum is a summons with the force of a court order addressed to the custodian (such as a prison official) demanding that a prisoner be brought before the court, together with proof of authority, allowing the court to determine whether that custodian has lawful authority to hold that person, or, if not, the person should be released from custody. The ICC has no such writ. Where does it derive its power to arrest Charles Taylor and Slobodan Milosevic and indict General Nkunda of the Congo and Mladic of Serbia and others? Why have indictments been filed against only certain individuals. If the ICC worked off of a code of law then it would be required to indict all those criminals in the world who violate human rights, which is what the ICC has decided it wants to prosecute. But the ICC has no issued indictments against known and wanted terrorists. Hizbullah chief Nasrallah remains unindicted as does Bashar Asad, Bin Laden and numerous others. The greatest killers in the world in Khartoum remain unindicted, although two of their underlings have been investigated. Why is this? The ICC didn't bring the Rwandan genocidaires to justice. It didn't bring any number of mass murderers to justice. But it went after Charles Taylor? Why? Why just Charles? Why just Slobodan?

The ICTY or International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia decided, arbitrarily that it had the power to prosecute 'war criminals' from the Balkan wars of 1994-2000. According to its own explanation it was "spearheading the shift from impunity to accountability, it was the only court judging crimes committed as part of the Yugoslav conflict, since prosecutors in the former Yugoslavia were, as a rule, reluctant to prosecute such crimes." This would be like saying that since the U.S was slow to prosecute suspected mafia bosses that the U.N and a foreign power should have the right to do so, because the U.S. is 'slow'.
Milošević's claim that the court has no legal authority rested on the distinction that, as a result, it had not been created on a broad international basis. It was established on the basis of the Chapter VII of the UN Charter; relevant portion of the charter reads "the Security Council can take measures to maintain or restore international peace and security". Furthermore a disproportionately large number, 75% of inductees are Serbs whereas there have been very few indictments resulting from crimes committed against Serbs. Needless to say the ICTY has not brought to justice any of the Nato generals who illegally bombed Serbia and murdered Serbian civilians during the war. In addition the two-year budget for the Tribunal for 2004 and 2005 was $271,854,600 (USD). But worst of all the ICTY has been implicit in murdering those it indicted when it could not obtain convictions against them. On the 11th of March, 2006, after being denied medical treatment, Slobodan Milosevic died at the courts prison. Six days earlier on the fifth of March, 2006, Milan Babic was also murdered by the court. Since the court is above the law the Serbian authorities could not investigate the cause of death of their citizens and the Dutch authorities were not permitted to investigate the cause of death which took place within the ICTY's prison. Milosevic himself had been 'arrested' in 2001 and indicted in 2002 and his trial had lasted 4 years without any conviction.
The ICC has its own prison and police force located at in Scheveningen.
The ICC is in itself a violator of human rights. It has no right to imprison people who do not live within Holland. It has no right to arbitrarily indict people. If the world wants to stop genocide setting up a political organization like the ICC that only indicts certain people is not the way to do it. Only when the ICC indicts its first Muslim terrorist or Muslim head of state will it prove that it has any sort of fair mandate and even then it will remain a dangerous infringement on the civil rights of humanity. Charles Taylor should be sitting on trial in Liberia for his crimes, or even in Sierra Leone. But he should not be in Europe, an African man sitting in a European man's neo-colonial prison. And that is precisely what it is. Why is the ICC not located in Kinshasa or Hong Kong? Only when African leaders can establish an international court and bring Europeans to justice for colonialism and all the other crimes of Europe will we know that 'international law' is not merely a one way street whereby Europe is able to once again insert itself as an imperial power judging others without authority.

England's evil double-standard
Seth J. Frantzman
January 29th, 2008

England is the most virulently anti-Semitic country in Europe. Worse of all it is a nation of hypocrites. England invented the concentration camp and yet it is today the country that whines the most about 'human rights violations'. It attempts to charge IDF generals with war crimes when it never once prosecuted one of its own officers for such crimes. Its authors claim the Jewish people do not exist, they claim Israel should not exist and they claim Israel is the source of the world's problems. The latest book by Jonathan Cook claims that Israel is responsible for the 'Clash of Civilizations.' The aftermath of the London bombings caused English people to blame Israel and the Jews for fermenting this 'clash' and thus bringing terror to England. They insinuated that Israelis were cheering when it happened, happy that England was finally suffering as Israel had suffered. In the end the consensus was clear: the 'Middle East conflict' was to blame for Islamic terrorism in England. In England the schools have begun to stop teaching the Holocaust because it is 'offensive' to Muslim students and no English student has ever protested that England's Muslim Council of Britain's boycotts Holocaust memorial day. At Oxford Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites are given the podium of the most renowned debating society in the country as part of a campaign in the name of 'free speech'.

Before the Second World War the English empire forbid Jewish emigration to Palestine, thus sealing the fate of the Jews of Europe. After the war the English army was directed to treat Jews not as victims of the Holocaust but rather as members of the countries they came from. Thus German and Austrian Jews were put in camps with Germans and Austrians, placed behind barbed wire they were forced to do manual labor and if they tried to leave they were beaten and imprisoned. This was the English way of treating the Jews between 1945 and 1947, the survivors of the death camps were put in similar camps which Earl Harrison, an American sent to investigate, described as "the same as the SS camps except without the Jews being murdered."

English Quakers sent to Europe in the wake of the Holocaust, despite meeting survivors, refused to believe that a Holocaust had taken place. Yet when they arrived in Gaza city in 1949 they happily handed out food to Palestinian refugees. Quakers frequently accused the Israeli government of 'war crimes' as early as 1948, but they denied the Holocaust.

This has always been the English way. In the wake of the Holocaust when 250,000 Jewish displaced persons were starving in camps across Europe, many maintained because the British government would not allow the Jews to settle in Europe, England again refused to take Jews. America took 72,000. 200,000 immigrated to Israel. Even Canada took 16,000. Australia took 27,000. Yet England took only 1,000. This has always been the English way.

We romanticize Churchill and we talk of him as a representative of England and its bulldog tenacity. But perhaps we have always misunderstood England. What would England be without Churchill. Would it not be the Ernest Bevin's and Neville Chamberlains of the world? It would be the appeaser and the anti-Semitic socialist. Churchill was not completely English. Despite the fact that he penned a history of the English speaking peoples and a biography of his "great ancestor" Lord Marlborough, he was not completely English. His mother was an American. Americans have always loved Churchill and so have Israelis. But perhaps they are loving the Anglophile Churchill, the American who was only aping what he thought to be English traits. After all the Churchill trait is what we consider the English trait. The stiff upper lip and the bulldog resistance to Nazism and Communism. But perhaps Churchill was simply doing what he thought a good Englishman would do. But he was only acting the part, the real Englishmen would have appeased and given up.

Surely this is a radical hypothesis. Anti-Semitism is the lowest of all traits of humanity. It is the trait of the coward and the terrorist. It is the trait of the bully and the populist, the peasant and the aristocrat. It is never the trait of a noble person. Neither is racism. Why has so much of English history smacked of anti-Semitism and why is it that today the English are so anti-Semitic? Why are their colleges full of Khaffiyah wearing students chanting 'death to Israel' and burning Israeli flags and spreading propaganda about Israel? Why do they claim from time to time that the 'Jews' are behind every political scandal and that a 'Jewish cabal' runs England.

We have cut the English slack on their anti-Semitism because they fought the Nazis. But who fought the Nazis? Was it really the English? Was it not mostly Churchill? Was it not mostly American guns and American money and American planes pouring into England after 1940 under the lend lease agreement that helped save England? Was it not Chennault and his American volunteers that helped win the Battle of Britain. Churchill may have been right when he declared that the English would 'fight on the beaches and on the landing grounds'. There is no doubt the English are tough. Histories of the English people have often referred to them as a 'Warrior race' and it is no surprise that they coveted just such martial people that they found in their empire. But being tough doesn't make one good. Yes, the English empire was more humane than that of the French, German, Muslim or Spanish empires. Yes, the English abolished slavery. Yes, former English colonies are the most successful, outside of Zimbabwe. There is much to be proud of in terms of England and its culture and its modest Protestant ways. It stood up to the Catholic menace of Spain's Philip II in 1588. It stood against Napoleon.

But the English image will be forever tainted by its frequent bouts of anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred. It can never be forgotten that it took in a mere 1,000 Jews. 1,000. That is all. My American high school teachers tried to convince me that America was responsible for the Holocaust because America didn't take enough Jews. But the United States took more than England. In fact per capita most countries in the world took more than England, including tiny nations like the Dominican Republic. England's shame will forever be her anti-Semitism and her inability to realize that she herself helped create the 'Middle East conflict' that she now blames the Jews for. She herself made sure no Jews could enter England, only to have English college students wear their Arab headscarves today and claim Israel should not exist. The BBC's disgusting reporting will forever serve as a testament. It called the Jews 'terrorists' in 1947, but it calls the Muslims militants today. England has taken in millions of those 'militants' since 1960 so that the most popular first name in England today is 'Mohammed'. But it couldn't take in but 1,000 of those Jewish 'terrorists' between 1945 and 1950. Now the English claim Islamophobia is 'like anti-Semitism'. If only the English would treat the Muslims like they treated the Jews and lock their doors to Muslim immigration, but England welcomes Islamic terrorism with open arms. England demanded the Jews assimilate to England and yet the Muslims were always encouraged to celebrate their diversity. The Chief Rabbi of England, Jonathan Sacks got it right: multi-culturalism is a way of allowing virulent anti-Semitism to prosper among the immigrants. Shame on England. Shame on her for her history. One wonders if any English student, when they take time off from complaining about America and bashing Israel, realizes the role their country played in preventing the Jewish escape from Nazi Europe and the equally damaging role their country has played since. Europeans traditionally don't like to hear critiques of their own country, after all they are too busy blaming others for their problem, like Israel and America. Its time Europeans blame themselves, and there is a lot of blame to go around for all those countries and their past of appeasement, Nazism and Communism.

My World Without Islam
Seth J. Frantzman
January 23rd, 2008

Foreign Policy magazine’s January issue was pretending to be provocative with the front page screaming 'A world without Islam' with a minaret in the background. The graphic adorning the story inside the magazine showed a plane zigzagging around the Twin Towers rather than slamming into them. But that is where the provocation of Graham Fuller's article ended. This story was set amidst a series of stories portraying Islam as the new Macguffin of our era. Vanity Fair described the hardship tale of a Muslim Algerian man who, after running through half a dozen European girlfriends despite his 'modest' faith, was imprisoned, wrongly, on terrorism charges. The New Yorker has showcased the likes of Mr. Gadahn, a Jewish kid who grew up in California with hippie parents and found the religion where women avert their eyes to be superior to his own culture and eventually became Osama's public relations advisor. Then there are the articles by the likes of James Carrol and others that condemn the use of the word 'Islamofascism' and suggest that Islamophobia is sweeping our world.

Fuller notes that; "Islam seems to lie behind a broad range of international disorders: suicide attacks, car bombings, military occupations, resistance struggles, riots, fatwas, jihads, guerrilla warfare, threatening videos, and 9/11 itself. Why are these things taking place?" He then asks; "Is Islam, in fact, the source of the problem, or does it tend to lie with other less obvious and deeper factors?" But Fuller concludes that Islam is, of course, not the problem. Without Islam the poor, victimized Arabs would still have become terrorists because of 'colonialism'(ignoring the fact that most Arab states were never actually colonized and for the few that were it was for a bare ten to twenty years).

But some of us know what a world of Islam would look like. I grew up in such a world. There was no Islam when I was a child, or rather I was not aware of such a thing. I lived an ideal life in a rural setting with friendly people. When I was a child women dressed as they pleased and spoke when they felt like it. Men and women were equal before the law. When my parents instructed me they never told me to hate others and there was no talk of murdering the 'infidels'. People who might have had different beliefs than us, or who were religious, such as Catholics, were not called 'dogs' or 'pigs' by my family or anyone I ever met. There was no slavery and no genocide. There was no angry preaching. I lived in a world without Islam. There was no internal or external Jihad. There was no religious Shariah law. There were no special rights for Muslims, because there were no Muslims. There was no Muslim day at my school where children read the Koran and went on an imaginary Hajj and where girls covered their hair. I know what a world without Islam looks like. It is a world without hatred and terrorism and without discrimination based on gender and without slavery and without those all encompassing terms 'Dar al Islam' and 'Dar al Harb'.

The rejoinder to my naïve upbringing is that just because I was not exposed to vicious violence doesn't mean it didn't exist and just because Islam was not part of my cultural milieu didn't mean that within my United States there was not racial strife or murder or hate. To be sure there was. A gay man was thrown off a bridge in Bangor, Maine. Swastikas were daubed on Synagogues. When I grew older I began to hear my friends parents speak of 'niggers' and 'fags.' So this was no perfect utopia I lived in.

Today I reside in a world that is precisely in the middle of Islam where Islam and its facets and its ideas and its speech and its religion and its culture are part of everyday life. Jerusalem is a city divided between Arab and Jew but one cannot go threw a day without encountering the trappings of Islam. It begins around 7am in the morning with the Arab workers screaming profanity in Arabic at one another. Later on a bus it takes the form of the cowed Muslim women, her eyes averted, a sad expression on her face which is swaddled in a headscarf that chokes her and is so tight around her cheeks that it creates lines on them and maker her face appear fatter than it is. Later on the streets at night it takes the form of Arab youth everywhere wearing western jeans and t-shirts. They are out at night drinking and searching for women to meet while their sister, the girl on the bus, is swaddled in her all encompassing clothing and is at home observing her 5pm curfew. Sometimes during the day the encounter with Islam takes the form of the call to prayer of the muezzin, blasted at an unusually high volume from a cheap loudspeaker that pierces the air and produces sounds akin to a shrieking woman, a dying horse and a man beating a dog all rolled into one. "Allahu Akhbar (God is great)" it screams. The loudspeakers are always situated so that the Muslim call to prayer necessarily is projected loudest to non-Muslim areas of town and mosques are always situated as close as possible to churches, synagogues and non-Muslim areas. When the noise pollution dies down one has time to look at the newspaper with enough time to read of another Arab women murdered in Ramlah for 'harming her family's honor." She is the seventh woman in the family to be murdered by her male relatives in an 'honor killing.' Her father strangled her while her brother held her down. Later one will read that another gang of Bedouin villagers has been arrested for gang raping a non-Muslim girl from the coastal plain. Evidently to preserve the honor of their women the Muslim must rape or date non-Muslim women, because he can't wait for marriage to have intercourse, or even if he does wait his religion permits him to have as many sexual partners out of wedlock as possible.

To live in a world without Islam would not be to live in a utopian world. It would however mean living in a world without many terrible things. There would be one less hateful ideology in the world. There would be one less religion in which the youth were educated to hate others and to compare their neighbors to pigs and dogs. There would be 500 million women in the world who could now dress as they pleased and not have to risk being murdered by their male relatives should they stay out after 5pm. That is one thing that would definitely change. Muslim women are the only women in the world who suffer these 'honor killings'. The number killed each year is in the tens of thousands. Muslim women are the only ones in the world forced to cover their entire face and entire body due to their religion. They are the only ones shut up in their homes due to purdah(modesty). They are the only ones who live in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia that make it illegal for them to travel without male guardians and illegal for them to leave their hair uncovered in public.

Islam is not a religion, it is an ideology of hatred and a culture of suppression and murder and intolerance. It is not racist to hate Islam. There is no such thing as 'Islamophobia.' The very existence of Islam is the existence of one more hateful ideology. Islam offers nothing to the world except hatred. It is a religion that encourages the enslavement of others, the conquest of the world and specifically enjoins its members to wage war and murder people for not being members. It is a religion whose only basis is hatred and whose holy book only preaches hate and war and rape and murder. There is nothing else in the Koran. There is nothing about living a good life or about being honest or treating others well. The Jewish Bible speaks of being 'good to the stranger for you were once strangers.' The Christian Bible speaks of 'turning the other cheek.' There is no parallel in Islam. It is not a religion in the sense that there are other religions. It has no parallel with Buddhism, Hinduism, Greek Paganism, Judaism, Christianity, Zaroastrianism, Mormonism or Bahaism. It is alone in the world as a hateful religion and that is why in every country in the world where Muslims live they are terrorists and they murder their own daughters and they preach hate against others. In every country where large numbers of Muslims live with non-Muslims there is murder and killing every year. In countries where non-Muslims are a minority they are discriminated against before the law and their houses of worship are attacked every year.

We know instinctively in our hearts what a world without Islam would be like. We as a free people once yearned for a world without monarchy, we earned for a world without the all-powerful control of the church, we yearned for a world without Nazism, we yearned for a world without Communism. In each of those yearnings our prayers were answered. We now hope that this world will no longer have Islam because Islam is not something that can coexist with humanity, it is the anti-thesis of humanity. Muslims claim they merely protest materialism and the godless west and decadence and immorality and modernity. But we too protest those things and yet we do not murder our daughters and we do not murder others in the name of our religion. When a person strangles their own daughter they are showing their contempt for humanity. When a person does not defend the rape victims among them but instead murders rape victims, then one no longer is human. The Nazis were not human, in their use of technology and their Brutish disrespect for all things civil they showed their disrespect for humanity. Such is the disrespect Islam shows for humanity and it is the reason one should always hope for a world without it, where it never intrudes upon our life the way it did on Sept. 11, and where its hateful call to prayer is never blasted in our vicinity and where its terrible abuses of women are no longer seen.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Terra Incognita 19 Barak Obama, Barbados, Islam and Gaza

This Newsletter was delayed for a week because I was absent on a hardship mission to Barbados to investigate the Bajan elections and tides. The subjects covered in this newsletter are a return to the basics, a return to our roots. There is a good old-fashioned bashing on dictatorship and Communism, a defense of Israel, a discussion on the stupidity of race politics and a critique of Islam and Islamic historiography. Thus the five pillars that form this newsletter's themes are all covered; Islam, dictatorship/leftism/liberalism vs. democracy and free-markets, American patriotism, aggressive defense of Israel and of course the continuing interest in and critique of the issue of race in western society. Enjoy.

Elections in a small Caribbean island: Barbados had free and fair elections on Tuesday, January 15th, 2008 in which the opposition Democratic Labour Party of David Thompson beat Owen Arthur's Barbados Labour Party. Cuba is also having elections. Idealistic youth and old leftists like South African Nadine Gordimer romanticize Castro and Cuba. They would do better to romanticize the good people of Barbados and men like Errol Barrow.

Our Bi-racial consciousness: How did Barak Obama come to referred to in the New York Time as a 'bi-racial African American'? Who invented this ridiculous term and why? What does it say about race and race politics in America?

Collective Punishment, international law and the Gaza strip: The Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip is not collective punishment and neither is it a contravention of international law. If it were then why was the U.N allowed to blockade Iraq and place sanctions on it from 1991 to 2003?

A review of God’s Crucible by David L. Lewis: Mr. Lewis argues that if the Muslims had won the battle of Tours in 732 then Europe would have become a multi-cultural tolerant society free of slavery, hereditary rule and a priestly class. There is one problem. The Muslims brought slavery to Europe in the 8th century after the church had stamped it out and furthermore Islamic Spain was only as tolerant as the South was 'multi-cultural' before the Civil War and before the Civil Rights Movement.

Elections in a small Caribbean island
January 20th, 2008
Seth J. Frantzman

Barbados recently had free elections in which four political parties competed for thirty seats in their parliament. The elections went smoothly and the Barbadian media congratulated their people on not being like Jamaica where scores of people die on election days due to violence. Barbados is a democratic success story. A former British colony the island is both stable and prosperous. Nearby Cuba is also having an election. In the Cuban democracy things are done slightly differently. There are roughly 900 candidates up for various offices. There are no political parties. When people go to the polling station they have a choice. They can either vote for the people that are running or they can choose not to vote for some of them. But since there is only one candidate per office, the fact that they might not vote for every single person doesn't determine the outcome, it merely shows that some people chose not to fill in all the blanks on the voting card. There is, in essence, no choice. But Cubans brag about their 'right to vote' which they received in 1994.

Cubans aren’t the only ones bragging. When I was in high school a bunch of socialists came and spoke to us about a trip to Cuba for high school students. We would have the honor of working in the fields and aiding the starving Cubans. We might get a chance to meet Fidel. Later when I was in college and I sat on a student government panel that handed out funding to clubs we received a request from the Socialist club asking us to fund their trip to Cuba. They were going to show solidarity for the Cuban people and also to attend a socialist meeting. I was the only student senator who objected to giving the club thousands of American dollars so they could experience Cuban democracy.

The latest issue of Foreign Policy magazine carried an article by Nadine Gordimer, the celebrated Jewish South African author, entitled 'End the Embargo'. In it she argued that in order for America to heal its dismal global image it must end the embargo of Cuba. Gordimer noted that: "In 2006, 183 member states voted in favor of this [U.N] resolution [to end the embargo of Cuba], proof of the international community’s rejection of U.S. policy against Cuba, which is contrary to the charter of the United Nations, the principles of international law, and the relations among states(Gordimer perhaps forgot that she supported a similar embargo used against apartheid South Africa)." Gordimer also noted that it was regretful that America, "the most powerful, self-proclaimed upholder of democratic values" was boycotting poor little Cuba. In addition she noted that Cuba was losing $1.3 billion dollars in trade a year because of the embargo.

I have an idea. For all those who complain about how Cuba is being harmed by the embargo I wonder why they don't ask Cuba why it doesn't allow open and free elections and why it doesn't have a free press or free speech. All those people who romanticize Fidel Castro seem to forget that he is a thug. He is not romantic. He has enslaved an entire nation to his political will and his own self-aggrandizement. Otherwise why won't he retire. He can barely speak and get out of bed and yet he won't leave the stage. Yet this dictator is the person that idealistic young Americans look to for inspiration.

Cuba chooses everyday to remain a pathetic dictatorship. If the Communist government truly believed that it was popular it would allow people to challenge its leadership. History has shown that everytime people were given the choice to get rid of a Communist yoke they have chosen to do so. Cuba has all the choices. Cuba chooses everyday to be a dictatorship, just like Saudi Arabia chooses everyday to be a barbaric, disgusting inhuman country that enslaves half its people. These are choices. Nations, like individuals, make choices. They should suffer for those choices.

Barbados is an example of why there should be no tolerance for Cuba or any manifestation of dictatorship in this world. When one watches the local people in Barbados, from the wretchedly poor to the wealthy, from the oldest men to the youngest eligible voters cue up to vote in long lines one sees what democracy means to people. People yearn to choose their leaders. They yearn for the right to vote. Even if their vote is, at best, a token or a symbol, and in reality means little, they will cue up for it. The longest lines are in the countries with the newest democratic elections such as Iraq. When one sees what it means for people to vote and one looks over and sees the arrogant Cuban dictatorship proclaiming its disgusting warped version of democracy and then one sees the liberals like Mrs. Gordimer, who campaigned for South African democracy, supporting the dictatorship one must always know which side to be on. One must always know that they are on the side of the many, the side of the people, not the side of the wealthy liberal/leftist or the tin-pot dictator. Why it is that all the leftist intellectuals and leftist youth and students in the world cannot see the difference between Cuba and Barbados? Why don't they romanticize Bajan (Barbadian) leaders such as Grantley Adams or Owen Arthur, but instead insist on loving Fidel? This merely shows the degree to which wealth, privilege and education separates people from their desire to want government in their own hands. Wealthy leftists see Fidel and they think: "I could be him, I could run a whole country and have these people bow down and listen to my eight hour speech and read my editorials and there would be no Foxnews to distract them because we would ban right wing fascist broadcasts." But when one thinks of the socialist youth who trudge off to work the land in Cuba every year one can only smile recalling their intellectual ancestors who went over to Stalin's Russia to visit George Bernard Shaw's socialist Utopia and were thrown into the Gulag.

One just wonders if those leftists, as they rotted in the Soviet Gulag, if they ever heard of Errol Walton Barrow, the first Prime Minister of Barbados. Mr. Barrow was born to a poor family in the rural north of the island in the district of St. Lucy. At the age of twenty he enlisted in the Royal Air Force and flew 45 combat missions against the Nazis. As a founder of the Barbados Democratic Party he guided his country towards independence. No leftist will ever journey to Barbados and the slightly portly Mr. Barrow, who didn't smoke cigars, will never be a romantic figure to leftist whites. But Mr. Barrow was better than Fidel. He didn't give eight hour speeches. He left the press alone and he allowed the opposition Barbados Labour Party to come to power when it defeated his DLP in 1976. No friend of the United States, he was a harsh critic of Reagan and an ally of Michael Manley of Jamaica, Forbes Burnham of Guyana and Eric Williams of Trinidad. But he was better than Fidel Castro and he believed in democracy. American students and people like Mrs. Gordimer should pick better heroes. Mr. Barrow might be a good place to start.

Our Bi-racial consciousness
January 22nd, 2008
Seth J. Frantzman

How did Barack Obama become a bi-racial African American? On the face of it this is a pretty simple question. Obviously a white person and a black person had a child. In the old days they would have called that child a 'mullato'. In some places that child would have been known as coloured. But through the years this child has become 'bi-racial'. But he hasn't merely become 'bi-racial', he also received that second descriptive adjective: 'African-American'. So the bi-racial person gets the best of both worlds. He gets to be 'black' which means he gets all the coolness and affirmative action and romanticism and victimhood that goes along with being 'African-American' and he gets to be 'white' at the same time.

Bi-racial is an invention, sort of like bisexual. The term 'bi-racial African-American' is a contradiction in terms. Just as one cannot be a 'bi-racial white person' one cannot be a 'bi-racial black person'. Yet Barack Obama seems to have been lucky, or unlucky, enough to receive this title. How did he achieve such an honour?

There was a time when blacks who had light skin, due to their mixed ancestry, increasingly struggled to escape their 'human stain' of blackness. They did so in order to succeed in countries that looked down on people due to their race. This is why several wealthy educated blacks passed themselves off as Jewish or Indian in order to escape their race. But this was in the 1920s and 1930s. As years went by those educated people who engaged in discussions of race claimed that given the 'melting pot' most blacks in America would fade away and the issue of race would disappear because everyone would 'have sex with one another'. This was the 1960s dream, a big fat orgy that would erase the issue of race. Some people disagreed, notably those black power advocates and those other black intellectual descendants of Booker T. Washington who realized that erasing race and heritage through intermarriage was not a goal but a tragedy. Even without the black power movement the idea that race would fade away in a country in which 10-15% of the people were black was a myth. Norman Podhoretz and other authors such as Allan Bloom noted the degree to which blacks 'failed' to integrate racially the way Jews, Italians and Polish people had joined the Anglo-white majority. Blacks became like the proverbial Jews of Europe, an 'indigestible' racial problem that refused to go away. But that was in the 1980s.

In the 1990s things changed. The end of racial stigmas and the destruction of the myth of integration led to a romantization of blacks. Increasingly black roles in movies were as the 'cool' character. Whereas Airplane had poked fun at the blacks who spoke 'jive' the modern movie script required a black character to either play the black president of the United States, as Morgan Freeman did on at least two occasions, or play the fun comedy relief black person. The era where the black characters always died first in movies had ended. Rap and the romantization of 'black culture' became a major component of American culture. Black athletes broke out of Basketball and became the romantic leaders in such un-black sports as tennis and golf. By the late 1990s it was hard to find a white person in any classroom in America who didn't describe Martin Luther King as their greatest Hero.

On the surface of it this seems like an ideal America, the one Dr. King would have dreamed of. But then something happened. A black person ran for President. Barack Obama isn't the first black person to run for president. Jesse Jackson did so. Alan Keyes and Alan Sharpton contended. But they were all 'black' or 'African-America'. Something happened when Barack started to succeed more than the token 'black' candidate had in the past. Suddenly he seemed to have a chance of unseating the anointed Clinton dynasty from a third term. The 'first black President' of the U.S, Bill Clinton, was not happy about this and neither was the media.

What to do when a black person becomes to uppity? In the old days, as Michael Richards (Sienfeld's Kramer) put it at the Laugh Factory, "we would have had you upside down with a fork in your ass." But those were the 1950s. So instead the media did the next best thing, they changed the racial status of Mr. Obama to be 'bi-racial'.

While 'bi-racial' might seem like a pleasant enough description of someone, at harmony with the multi-cultural ideals of our society, in reality this was code word. The code, when deciphered, means that Mr. Obama is not 'black enough'. If one were to take a section of Obama's skin and place it next to a section of Jesse Jackson's skin and examine them one would find equal levels of pigmentation. In short, they would be equally 'black'. But for some reason Mr. Obama is a 'bi-racial African American' and Mr Jackson is an 'African-American'. Is this merely because people know that Obama's mother is white? What lies behind this re-classification of Mr. Obama. One thing that lies behind it is he fact that our country always defines those with even a limited amount of black ancestry as 'black'. Those with mixed parents, be they Lenny Kravitz, Tiger Woods or Beyonce, always identify with their black ancestry because in today' age, unlike the 1920s, that is the way to get ahead (this of course belies the idea that blacks have a hard time achieving things due to their race and that 'racism is rampant in American society.' If racism were truly rampant then people wouldn't stress their blackness. In fact mixed people almost always use their slight black heritage as a way to complain when things don't go their way, they inevitably say 'I am being discriminated against because I am black.')

The idea of classifying race is not new. In fact it was developed long before the race theorists of the 19th century. Early Portuguese ethnographers in Brazil described in excruciating detail some 16 levels of racial difference between the most pure bred Portuguese royalty and the darkest heathens of their colony. In the 19th century such differences took on a 'scientific' attribute. Those with the dark skin became the lesser people and those with the Aryan skin became the supermen. South Africa preserved racial classification into the 1990s with a complicated system of classification that at times bizarrely classified non-whites as 'white' and whites as 'coloured'. But no matter. That all went out in 1994. But somehow between the free elections in 1994 in South Africa and the 2008 American Democratic primaries the best South African racial classification scientists made their way to the New York Times and the Associated Press and were put to work on the case of Barack Obama. These men had ample education in the matter. They had been responsible for turning Jews and Arabs into 'white' people in South Africa. Their most difficult mission had been to turn Japanese into 'white' people so that they could play on the Golf Courses of South Africa. But Barack Obama would be a greater challenge. Here was a black person. Their goal was to make him white.

In the last six months they have succeeded through the use of their brilliant term: bi-racial African American. To a white person this means that the candidate is both 'white' in his sensibility and romantically black in his skin color. To a black person this means he is white. Thus Barack Obama has succeeded with well-meaning upper and middle class whites while Hilary Clinton has done well among racist lower class whites and among Blacks. This is the extreme irony. The Clinton alliance is today made up of racist whites and blacks, because the blacks have been convinced that Mr. Obama is 'not one of them' and the whites have been equally convinced.

This is a disturbing election year. Watching race politics play out in America is exasperating when one considers that the only difference between Mr. Obama and the rest of the candidates is his extraordinary life story (John McCain has such a life story as well). Why he must be denigrated with the term 'bi-racial' is beyond me. If 'bi-racial African American' was meant in a positive way then one would celebrate but the sinister way in which it appeared across the spectrum of the elite media leads one to suspect it is not a term that was coined lightly. Just like when the word 'Palestine' is let loose by Jimmy Carter, the Economist or Tommy Lee Jones, it is not done so without thinking. But just as Israel is not Palestine, Mr. Obama is not a 'bi-racial African America'.

Collective Punishment, international law and the Gaza strip
January 22nd, 2008
Seth J. Frantzman

Israel has closed all the border crossing to the Gaza strip. The power is out in Gaza city, so we are told. The U.N and the E.U and Human rights watch and Amnesty International warn of a 'humanitarian crises' and they claim that Israel is uses 'collective punishment' and 'disproportionate force' against the Gazans, thus contravening international law. The essence of this argument rests on the fact that Israel has, in effect, instituted a blockade of Gaza. Except for the Egyptian border crossing of Rafah, the strip's coastline and other border crossings are controlled by Israel. A blockade is in effect. But do blockades and sanctions truly constitute a violation of International law? Are they a form of collective punishment?

The idea of collective punishment might best be illustrated by a little known incident that took place in Rome in the early months of 1944. On the 23rd of March, 1944 an Italian partisan exploded a bomb that killed 32 German soldiers in Rome. On March 24th a total of 335 Italians, including 70 Jews, were taken to the Ardeatine caves outside Rome and shot by the Nazis. The 335 who were killed as a 'reprisal' had no connection to the Partisans who carried out the attack. The Nazi logic was simple; ten people would be killed for every German soldier who died at the hands of partisans. The same collective punishment and murder of civilians was common throughout the areas occupied by the Nazis. This is collective punishment. The British know something about collective punishment also. In each of their colonies, including Palestine and South Africa, they were experts at using such methods as the concentration camp against the Boers and Kenyans, the mass demolition of houses in Jaffa and other forms of this measure to combat resistance to their rule. In South Africa alone 27,000 Boer women and children died at the hands of the British in these camps. This is collective punishment. Europeans know it well.

But what of blockades? During the Napoleonic wars the British blockaded Napoleonic Europe. During the Civil War the northern navy blockaded the South. During the First and Second World Wars a blockade was in existence against the Germans and their allies. America has blockaded Cuba. In the 1990s the U.N itself enacted a blockade, known as 'sanctions', against Saddam's Iraq. Blockades are defined as an act of war according to 'international law' and they provided the Casus Belli for Israel's air and subsequent war strike against Nasser in 1967. But they are not usually defined as 'collective punishment' and 'war crimes'. If they were then one would expect that the U.N sanctions against Iraq that existed from 1992 to 2003 would have been illegal.

What seems to be at play in the international condemnation of Israel regarding the blockading of Gaza is merely another use of the old double standard. Europeans and the U.N know much about blockades and collective punishment and in their vicious condemnation of Israel they are merely saying that what is ok for Europe and what is ok for the U.N is not acceptable for Israel.

Meanwhile more than 2,000 Kassam rockets have been fired at Sderot and the south of Israel from Gaza. This form of 'collective punishment' against the Jews who reside in the areas near the strip has not been condemned by those organizations who now complain about Israel's actions. While England has reacted to a few terrorist attacks by creating the most expensive and hi-tech internal surveillance system in the world complete with 4.2 million CCTV cameras to monitor its people, one must ponder what Europeans would do if 2,000 rockets rained down on them. We know what they would do. They have done it before. They would blockade those firing the rockets and exercise the most extreme measures of collective punishment against them. Israel has learned well from the Europeans and it has learned that in war collective punishment does not work, but blockades do.

A review of God’s Crucible.
January 19th, 2008
Seth J. Frantzman

In the book God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215 by David Levering Lewis the author argues that were it not for the intolerant Europeans Islam would have created a multi-cultural borderless Europe and a wonderful world to boot. One reviewer has noted that “Muslim al-Andalus flourished - a beacon of co-operation and tolerance between Islam, Judaism and Christianity - while proto-Europe, defining itself in opposition to Islam, made virtues out of hereditary aristocracy, religious intolerance, perpetual war and slavery.”
His book begins by describing how news Christianized Visigoth Spain was already intolerant at hearing that friendly Arabs under the Berber chief Tariq ibn Zayid were going to invade their country in 711. But it didn’t stop there. Except for the kingdom of Asturias the entire Iberian peninsula was brought under Muslim rule. In a chapter dedicated to the ‘myth of the battle of Tours’ Mr. Lewis sets about the dismantle the idea that the battle of Tours was a positive development in European history. At Tours in 732 the Corolingian Frankish king Charles ‘the hammer’ Martel defeated a Muslim force led by Abdul Rahman and thus saved Paris and the rest of France from suffering the fate of Spain. But according to Mr. Lewis this was not a good thing. Instead Lewis notes that the battle of Tours actually encouraged more Muslim raiding of France. It also led to the evils of the ‘hereditary rule’ and ‘slavery’ and a ‘priestly class’. Had it not been for Tours, argues Lewis, Europe would have become part of the “multicultural” and “tolerant” Muslim world and there would have been no borders in Europe.

Lewis is walking a well traveled trail. Already books about the ‘golden age of Muslim Spain’ predominate. Most speak of a Spain of tolerance and equality where Christians, Jews and Muslims ‘coexisted’. The antithesis of this is the Spain of post-1492, that of the Reyes Catolicos, Ferdinand and Isabella, who threw out the Jews and Muslims and created a Christian Spain after the Reconquista had ended.

While the Spain of post 1492 was certainly not tolerant one must wonder why people have therefore assumed the one before 1492 was tolerant. Just because someone is bad doesn’t mean that what came before it was good. Let's try to recall a few things about Muslim Spain that may enlighten us as to how it was a model of Coexistence. Between 711 and 1492 any person in Muslim Spain who insulted the Muslim faith was put to death. Many Christian priests dared to oppose Muslim rule by publicly insulting Islam and many of them became Christian martyrs for having done so. Coexistence apparently didn’t mean free speech in Muslim Spain. But if Muslim Spain wasn’t always nice to Christians then we are certainly assured that it was a place where Jews were always tolerated. But when a young Jew named Moses Maimonides was only 13 years old in 1148, just old enough to be a man according to his religion, the friendly and tolerant Almohad rulers of Cordoba of Spain ordered every Jews to either convert or leave Spain. Because of this young Maimonides fled Spain eventually living in Egypt and the land of Israel and becoming one of the greatest Jewish theologians of all time, the Rambam. But his legacy doesn’t belong to tolerant, coexistence, multi-cultural Spain, because Jews were expelled from Spain when he was alive. It is odd that 1148 is not remembered the way 1492 is. It is odd the Almohades have not come down for the same criticism as the inquisition. Mr. Lewis avoids discussing this chapter in the history of ‘Al-Andalus’, for fear it might make the reader question his narrative.

The myth of Muslim Spain is one of the greatest myths of our generation. It is one of the greatest myths of Islamic historiography. Muslim Spain was not tolerant. It was not a land without borders. It was not multi-cultural. It was not a land of coexistence. If Spain was tolerant it was only tolerant in the way the American South was tolerant before 1960. In the American South Blacks had there place, as long as it was at the bottom. As Edward Almond understood it “we don’t hate blacks, we just understand their capabilities better than northerners.” Yes, the American south was always ‘multi-cultural’ in the sense that it had more than one culture. Muslim Spain also had more than one culture. But that doesn’t mean it was tolerant.

Mr. Lewis blames the existence of a European slave trade after the fall of Muslim Spain on the fact that Europe was intolerant whereas Muslim Spain was tolerant. But Muslim Spain did not lack the institution of slavery. In fact it was Islam that brought slavery to every place it conquered and it was Christian Europeans that eventually ended the practice of slavery throughout the world. The Christian church in the 5-7th centuries was actually in the process of stamping out the old traditions of Roman slavery that had existed in Europe when Islam suddenly began colonizing European soil, beginning with Spain and Southern Italy. Islam brought slavery to Spain and Islamic armies ravaged France and Italy in search of slaves for the next 800 years after 711. In fact Islamic slavers ever ventured as far as Ireland to take slaves. Few recall today that as many as a million or more Europeans were sent as slaves to the Muslim world between the 8th century and the 19th. In the Ottoman empire slavers paid tolls to transport slaves and they paid different tolls depending on whether their slaves were ‘white’(European) or ‘black’(African). This is a chapter in Islamic history scholars like Mr. Lewis like to ignore. But every single place in Europe that Islamic armies colonized, from Spain to the Balkans to the Ukraine, also became a center of the Islamic slave trade. In Thessaloniki, Salonki, in Greece there was a thriving slave market. The buyers and sellers were only Muslims of course. This was Islamic tolerance. It was a tolerance and a culture that would have been at home in the American South before the Civil War.

Why is the culture of the American South, with its grand plantations and exotic culture, derided while that of Muslim Spain is made exotic. There was little difference between Muslim Spain and the American South in the 1830s. Like the Islamic world the American South also produced great philosophers such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The American South also had Jews. Jefferson even owned a Koran. The American South was quite diverse, it had native-Americans and blacks and all sorts of people. It was multi-cultural and tolerant. It was tolerant like Muslim Spain, it allowed people to exist so long as they were at the bottom rung of society.

This is what Muslim tolerance means. It means one people are in charge and everyone else is treated like a second class citizen. This is what it means to be a non-Muslim in Iran or the United Arab Emirates. This type of tolerance, where one people rule and the others are second class, is reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa. Like Muslim Spain, Apartheid South Africa was also multi-cultural. It had Africans and Jews and Asians. It was tolerant, in the sense that it allowed those people to survive.

But Muslim Spain was even more tolerant. It had separate styles of dress for each group. Jews were a certain color turban and Christians another color and Muslims another color. Non-Muslims could not build their houses higher than Muslim homes and could not build new places of worship. This was a form of ‘tolerance’ sort of like the Nuremburg laws. After all, every person had his place in society, sort of like in Nazi Germany before 1942.

Mr. Lewis claims that the intolerant Europeans invented hereditary rule and a ‘priestly class’ and slavery in order to combat Islam. Is he kidding? Hereditary rule existed long before European nations. Slavery existed long before European nations. A priestly class? Well one must look no further than the Jews and the Hindus to find such a class and, yes, the Jews and the Hindus existed long before Charles Martel.

Mr. Lewis fantasizes about a Europe in which Charles Martel was defeated at Tours in 732. But what would this Europe look like? It would like a lot like the Muslim world does today. Is this the world Mr. Lewis wants? Perhaps it is. But he shouldn’t pretend that this world is more tolerant and multi-cultural and full of coexistence than modern day Europe.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Terra Incognita 18 Tribal origins of African politics

Terra Incognita
Issue 18
A Publication of Seth J. Frantzman
Jerusalem, Israel

Website: http://journalterraincognita.blogspot.com/

January 5th, 2008

The tribal origins of African politics
Seth J. Frantzman
January 3rd, 2007

In a photo with the caption 'Kenyan democracy' three soldiers are huddled behind a stack of ballot boxes grasping their carbines. Today Luo rioters are torching Kikuyu homes in Kenya's worst slum and over 100 people have been killed. From Khartoum to Cape town African politics is primarily a contest between tribes. Whether it is Hutu and Tutsi, Hausa or Ibo, or Dinka or Xhosa and Zulu the politics of Africa have their origins in the tribe. The religiously divided African countries have religions that have their origins in tribes. Thus Nigeria is divided both by a Muslim north and a Christian south but it is also divided by Christian tribes in the south and Muslim tribes in the North. African politics cannot be understood outside this context and it is one reason that democracy may have a very hard time taking root.

A survey of each African country appears below these findings.


There has been a drift from south to north which has usually resulted in Islamification. Muslims once in power do not relinquish it. Nepotism is common, even Kofi Annan hired his son. Christians have tried to be more inclusive such as in the Ivory Coast or Cameroon. Genocide is reasonably common. Pastoral people are usually in conflict with agriculturalists.

The white minority governments of Southern Africa were in no respect unique. The fact that the Afrikaner tribe controlled South Africa for 46 years is not an outlier when one considers that other African countries have been run by men who represented the interests of minority tribes and also managed to place power only in the hands of their tribe's members. In fact the one aspect of South Africa's Afrikaner rule that was unique was the consistent elections that took place in the country.

Borders are the bane of Africa. Since few borders resemble those of the tribe most countries have ethnic groups that transcend borders. They also have language groups that do so. Thus Cameroon's east is French like the Congo while the west is English speaking like Nigeria. Only the countries of North Africa are completely Muslim and those of the extreme South are completely Christian. Those in the Middle usually contain minorities of one or the other or are split equally. Majority rule is not the norm in Africa. Most countries are run by a tribe that is a minority. This is partly due to the fact that most countries do not have a majority of one tribe.

Because some tribes, such as the Bakongo, have large presences in two states they may find that they will control one state to help the tribe in another resist the central government as was done in Angola. By contrast the Afrikaner involvement in Namibia was no exception to this rule, whereby the minority government of South Africa involved itself in neighboring Namibia to protect the interests of the minority German speaking and Coloured community. Some countries have been luckier. Lesotho, Somalia, Swaziland and Botswana are mostly made up of one tribe and are some of the few homogenous states in Africa. The small island states are mostly the same. But some small states such as Rwanda and Burundi and Zanzibar are split between two or more rival groups and this has led to the most extreme violence. Great diversity, as found in Nigeria, has not helped matter, violence is still the norm there. Tanzania is the one country who great diversity supposedly has been a stumbling block to tribal based violence. However as pan-African idealism and anti-colonial movements fade from the horizon Africa has become increasingly tribal based, rather than less so. Fifty years after independence nations such as Kenya and Zambia are more tribalistic than they were in 1960. Few countries have gone beyond tribalism. Some have worked to share power, as has been done with some success in Djibuti. Mostly, as in other multi-ethnic states such as Yugoslavia and Lebanon, this has been a failure. However attempts by tribes to seek independence have been brutally crushed, going against all ideas of self-determination. In Katanga, South Sudan, Darfur and Biafra the result was the mass murder of people. Why African countries are averse to self determination and why, despite all the complaints about how Europeans ignored the interests of the tribe and drew arbitrary borders, African leaders refuse to allow their countries to split apart is not clear. What is clear is that since the white man drew the borders of Africa the Africans have never altered those borders.

A Muslim website claims: "The colonial and missionary powers left Africa decades ago, but not before planting the seeds of ethnic and religious discord between the locals in their former colonies. Christian African leaders tend to favour the Christian communities while leaving the rest behind, due to religious, ethnic, or political affiliations." http://www.islamselect.com/english/php2/print_art.php?ref=6906&rb=0
Statements like this that claim that whites brought tribalism to Africa or exploited it are completely without substance. Tribal conflict was in Africa before the Europeans arrived and it has been the mainstay of the conflict after Europeans left. Only in a few cases, such as Belgium Rwanda, can it be shown that Europeans actually exploited and encouraged tribal differences. In most cases the jobs offered to Africans by the colonial powers were tribe-blind.

In 1988 James Brooke of the New York Times wrote; ''The South Africans have looked at tribalism since 1948 as a way to make sure they don't have a combined black opposition,'' a Western diplomat based in Pretoria said in an interview. ''When they developed the so-called homelands, the idea was to have as many nations as major ethnic groupings.'' South Africa's policy of creating 'bantustans' was much maligned in the west and no western government recognized the independence of the various Bantustans that South Africa gave independence. However the South African government seems to have been the only government to attempt to create countries based on tribes and grant self determination to tribal leaders. The result of the end of the bantustans in South Africa means almost every political party is based on a tribe, which can hardly be a more equitable system and is sure to lead to more bloodshed, just as the 1994 elections led to thousands of deaths when Zulus fought ANC Xhosa activists. Had Sudan, Nigeria and the Congo offered their people the chance to form a bantustan there is no doubt that millions of lives would have been saved. The same would have been true in Rwanda.

In an oped piece disguised as a news article the BBC’s ‘world affairs coorespondent’, Mark Doyle noted (January 3rd ‘Kenya Stokes Tribalism debate’) “Tribal differences in Kenya, normally accepted peacefully, are exploited by politicians hungry for power who can manipulate poverty-stricken population.” According to his simple BBC logic is simple: “African politicians know this formula [of tribalism] very well and many of them exploit it ruthlessly… there is a problem of tribalism on the continent - or, rather, a problem of the deliberate manipulation of tribal sentiment by selfish politicians… It is still possible for politicians to cheat at elections - for example through the vehicle of ethnicity.” According to this rubric it is now the Europeans or Apartheid South Africa to blame but ‘politicians’. But who are these politicians? They are leaders like tribal chiefs of old and many of them have actually been descended from local chiefs or even major paramount chiefs. The kings of Lesotho and Swaziland and the leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party and Botswana are all members of royal households. The west doesn’t like the African democracy seems to have failed because it has degenerated into tribally based factionalism. But democracy has also failed Africans because it has not led majority tribes to control their own destinies and it has led to brutal suppression of minorities. The fact that western countries have not encouraged self-determination in Africa and have instead insisted that African countries keep the borders that were bequeathed to them by colonialism. By dispatching an army of foreign white ‘independent observers’ and by showing posters of the stereotypical starving African child throughout Europe the West is only perpetuating imperialism and increasing its arrogance.

Survey of African countries, their politics, their tribes and the tribal influence on their politics: (Note: Most modern discussion of Africa, outside of Africa and outside of the press, speaks of ‘ethnic-groups’ rather than tribes. Using ‘ethnic’ rather than ‘tribe’ is a submission to anthropology and I have used the term that Africans use to speak about themselves; tribe. The reason Anthropologists and arrogant westerners use the word ‘ethnicity’ is because western social sciences have decided, arbitrarily, that tribe is an ‘orientalist’ term that has no connection to their ‘scientific’ reality. I have preserved the reality.)

Tribes: Wolof 43.3%, Fulani 23.8%, Serer 14.7%, Diola 3.7%, Mandingo 3%.
The country is 87% Muslim.
Léopold Sédar Senghor who ran Senegal from 1960 to 81 had a Serer mother and Fulani father. His successor, Abdou Diouf had a Hal Pulaar mother and Serer mother. The dominance of Muslim members of northern tribes led to a rebellion in the southern Casamance region of Senegal that began in 1982 and has not been completely put down. It is led by the Jola tribe which is part Christian, part Muslim and animist and whose leader (of the MFDC) is Abbé (father) Augustin Diamacoune Senghor, a Catholic priest.

Tribes: Malinke 34.1%, Fulani 16.2%, Wolof 12.6%, Diola (Jola) 9.2%, Soninke 7.7%,
The country is 95% Muslim.
Yahya Jammeh, president of the Gambia since his coup in 1994 has long been accused of favoring his tribe, the Jola, who form only 9% of Gambia. They dominate the government and positions of power. The Jola, who are 9% of the country, have had power far beyond their numbers.

Tribes: Balante 30%, Fulani 20%, Mandyako 14%, Malinke 13%, Papel 7%, European and mulatto 2%.
The country is 40% Muslim.
In Guinea-Bissau president Joao Vieira was from the Pepel tribe, which is about 7 percent of the population, served from 1980 to 1994.
Komba Yala of the Balante tribe was ousted in a coup in 2003. Correia Seabra, a prominent general was also a member of the minority Papel tribe and was killed in 2004. The Pepel, who are 7% of the country, have had a disproportionate amount of power.

Tribes : Fulani 38.6%, Malinke 23.2%, Soussou 11%, Kissi 6%, Kpelle 4.6%.
The country is 39% Muslim.
In Guinea Ahmed Sékou Touré was a member of the Malinke tribe. The current President since a coup in 1984, Lansana Conte, is a member of the Sousou(Susu) tribe who have been Muslim since their conversion in the 13th century. They were forcibly converted by the Fulani (the Susu trace their heritage to the Mali empire). Thus a country that is only 39% Muslim has been ruled by Muslims and minority tribes since its founding. .

Sierre Leone
Tribes Mende 26%, Temne 24.6%,Limba 7.1%, Kuranko 5.5%, Kono 4.2%, Fulani 3.8%, Bullom-Sherbro 3.5%.
The country is 45% Muslim.
In 1961 when the country gained independence the second president, Siaka Probyn Stevens (he became prime minister in 1968) was a member of the Limba tribe. He relinquished power in 1985. His successor, Joseph Momoh, was also a Limba and he served until 1992. In 1996 Ahmad Tejan Kinga, who worked for the U.N, is a Muslim and is a member of the Mandingo(Mende) tribe. He married a Catholic woman (Patricia Tucker) of the Sherbo tribe from the south of the country. Kabbah served until 2007. The current president, Ernest Bai Koroma is a Christian with a Mende father and a Limba mother. Thus the Limba who are 7% of the population have had a disproportionate influence on power.

The tribes are as follows: Kpelle 18.9%, Bassa 13.1%, Grebo 10.3%,Gio (Dan) 7.4%, Kru 6.9%, Mano 6.1%, Loma 5.3%, Kissi 3.8%,Krahn 3.7%, Americo-Liberians 2.4%.
Liberia was dominated by ethnic Amero-Liberians until 1980 when William Tolbert was killed in a coup. Samuel Doe, who overthrew Tolbert, was an ethnic Krahn. He was replaced by Amos Sawyer, an Amero-Liberian, who served from 1990 to 1994. Charles Taylor, the 'warlord' featured in the film ‘Lord of War’ served from 1997 to 2003 and his mother was a Gola (a tiny tribe of 100,000 people) and his father an Amero-Liberian. The current president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, is a Gola. Liberia is a striking example of a country whose domination by one tribe, the Americo-Liberians, led to a brutal struggle for power which resulted, not on power sharing, but domination by other minorities.

Cote de Ivoire
Tribes: Akan 42.1%, Voltaiques or Gur 17.6%, Northern Mandes 26.5%, Krous 11%, Southern Mandes 10%, other 2.8% (includes 130,000 Lebanese and 20,000 French).
The country is 40% Muslim
The first president of the country was a Baoule tribesmen and a Christian named Felix Houphouet-Boigny who ruled from 1960 to 1993. President Laurent Gbagbo has ruled from 2000 to present and the civil war that has enveloped the country pits his Bete tribe against Guillaume Kigbafori’s Soro tribe. Primarily it is a contest between the north and the south. But although the north is primarily Muslim the leader of the northern rebellion is Mr. Kigafori, a Catholic. The Dioula tribe, a Muslim one, was the main instigator of the rebellion in 2002. However Robert Guei, the 1999 coup leader, was from the south. Ivroy Coast suffered 33 years of dictatorship which naturally led to civil war between the north and south which was split by religion and tribe.

Moor 70% (about 40% black Moor [Haratin or African Sudanic] and about 30% white Moor [Bidan, or Arab Berber]), other black African 30% (mostlyWolof, Tukulor, Soninke and Fulani).
The country is 99% Muslim.
Moktar Ould Daddah, a white Moor was president of Mauritania between 1960 and 1978. He was overthrown because he involved the country in a war in the Western Sahara against the Polisaria front (which is made up of Sahrawi tribesmen including both Beni Hassan and Haratin, the dark skinned former slave population). In the country the Action for Change (AC), traditionally considered the party of the Haratines helped bring down the government. In 2001, the Cabinet of Ministers consisting of 27 members, 20 of whome were white Moors(or white Moor mixed). In the same year out of the 56 member Senate body, 46 consisted of white Morr or mixed roots. From the 81 member National Assembly, 60 members were white Moors or mixed. Thus a country that consists of three ethnic groups, white and black Moors and other black African is governed mostly by White Moors who, according to recent stats, are a declining minority.

Bambara 30%, Senufo 10.5%, Fula Macina (Niafunke) 9.6%, Soninke 7.4%, Malinke 6.6%Tuareg 7%, Dogon 4.3%, Bobo 3.5%,
The country is 82% Muslim.
The president from 1992 to 2002, Alpha Oumar Konaré was the fourth son of a Bambara teacher and a Fula homemaker. Tauregs have long been suppressed by the government. The leaders have mostly been African rather than fair skinned.
Tribes: Hausa 53%, Djerma (Zerma) 21.2%, Taureg 10.4%, Fulani (Peul) 9.8%, Beri Beri (Kanouri-Nanga) 4.4%, Teda 0.3%.
Hamani Diori, the first president who served from 1960 to 1974, limited cabinet appointments to fellow Djerma, family members, and close friends. On the 15th April 1974, Lieutenant colonel Seyni Kountché, a Hausa, led a military coup that ended Diori's rule. Tension between Niger and Libya fuelled Libyan accusations of the persecution of the light-skinned, nomadic Tuareg population and eventually all non-Nigerien Tuaregs were expelled from the country. The President of Libya, Mumar Khaddafi, is a bedouin and sympathized with the Tauregs. In 1996 Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara, a Hausa, became president and served until 1999. The country has been governed by southerners and its northern nomad citizens have been pushed aside. It has also been increasingly Islamisized.
Burkina Faso,
Mossi 47.9%, Fulani 10.3%,Lobi 6.9%, Bobo 6.9%, Mande 6.7%, Senufo 5.3%,Grosi 5%, Gurma 4.8%, Tuareg 3.1% (1995) Muslim 48.6%, indigenous beliefs 34.7%, Christian 16.7% (of which Protestant 5.2%,Roman Catholic 9.5%) (2000).
The first President, Maurice Yomeogo, was born an animist or pagan (neither word is suited well to describe non-monotheistic religions). He was a Mossi. He served from 1959 to 1966. With the support of unions and civil groups, Col. Saye Zerbo overthrew President Sangoule Lamizana in a bloodless military coup in November 1980. Thomas Sankara, who reigned from1983 to 1987, was born into a Roman Catholic family, "Thom'Sank" was a Silmi-Mossi, an ethnic group that originated with marriage between Mossi men and women of the pastoralist Fulani people. The Silmi-Mossi are among the least advantaged in the Mossi caste system which is unique to Burkina Faso. The current president since 1987, Blaise Compaore, is a Catholic and a Mossi. Thus the Mossi tribe and its offshoots have governed the country since independence.
Tribes: Akan 41.6%, Mossi 23%, Ewe 10%,Ga-Adangme 7.2%, Gurma 3.4%, Nzima 1.8%,Yoruba 1.6%, other 11.4% (2000)
Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, was a member of the Nzima tribe, and not the Ashanti tribal groups whose members a large percentage of the country and who are descended from the kingdom of Ahanti. Nkrumah, a famous Pan-Africanist and independence leader, served from 1960 to 1966. The second president, who took power in a coup, was Joseph Arthur Ankrah, a member of the Ga tribe. There are about 600,000 Ga speakers, making up about 3% of Ghana's population. Ankrah served from 1966 to 1969. Jerry Rwalings who has served as president of Ghana several times (1979, 1981-2001) was born to a Scottish father and Ewe mother. John Kufuor who has served from 2001 to present is an Akan. Although Muslims make up 20% of the country, living mostly in the north as in Ivory Coast, they have never held the high office. Kufuor and Rawlings were Catholics. In Ghana, it is clear that ethnic Ashantis, for example, tend to vote one way while ethnic Ewes tend to vote another. For much of the country’s existence, until present, the leaders have been from minority tribes. As in Uganda the tribes associated with the African kingdom that once ran the country in pre-colonial days have been pushed aside.

Tribes: Ewe 22.2%, Kabre(Kabiye) 13.4%, Wachi 10%, Mina 5.6%,Kotokoli 5.6%, Bimoba 5.2%, Losso 4%, Gurma 3.4%,Lamba 3.2%, Adja 3%,
The country is 40% animist, 40% Christian and 20% Muslim.
Nicolas Grunitzky, who led a coup in 1963 and served to 1967, overthrowing the country’s first president, had a Polish father (like Jerry Rwalings and several other post-independence African leaders his father was European, something most African nationalist don’t like to talk about). Gnassingbé Eyadéma was president of Togo from 1967 to 2005 and was a Kabre (Kabiye) tribesmen. Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, son of the former president has served from 2005 to the present. He has been accused of putting people from his Kabiye tribe in key government and military posts. There are one million Kabiye in Togo and 30,000 in Ghana and a few thousand in Benin. Thus a tribe with only 13% of the population has had a commanding influence on the country.
Tribes: Fon 39.7%, Yoruba (Nago) 12.1%, Adjara 11.1% Bariba 5.6%, Aizo 8.6%, Somba (Otomary) 6.6%, Fulani 5.6%,
The country is 30% Christians, 30% animist and 20% Muslim.
The Fon mostly live in the south. Hubert Maga, the first President from 1960 to 1963 was a member of the Bariba tribe. From 1972 to 1991 the country was run by Mathieu (Ahmed) Kérékou, but as the years passed the northerners (like Kérékou himself) became clearly dominant, undermining the idea that the regime was not based in ethnicity and religion. Born an animist he converted to Islam in 1980 and later became an evangelical Christian. He was a member of the Somba tribe. The three-way political competition between Hubert Maga, leader of the northern Bariba ethnic group, Sourou Migan Apithy representing the southeastern Yoruba and Goun tribes, and Justin Ahomadegbe of the southwest and south-central Fon group, created twelve years of continuous ethnic tensions in Benin (Dahomey). During this period, military officers intervened six times to quell political bickering and calm ethnic and regional conflicts. Emile Zinsou invaded the country in 1977. Born a Muslim, Dr. Thomas Yayi Boni, who is now an evangelical, is the current president since 2006 and a niece of Paul-Émile de Souza. The country is split evenly between religious groups and it seems that this as well as tribal tensions have played a major role in its politics and problems. Like most countries in this area colonization led to the country encompassing a sliver of land that has nothing to do with the old tribal boundaries. The country’s border runs north south, taking in coastal tribes, jungle tribes and Muslim tribes in the northern plateau. The reason the borders of these countries were shaped like this was due partly to slaving. European countries built slave stations and inserted their influence further inland as time went by. So the land was carved into small slices like Togo and Benin.
Tribes: Yoruba 17.5%, Hausa 17.2%, Igbo (Ibo) 13.3%, Fulani 10.7%, Ijaw 10%, Ibibio 4.1%,Kanuri 3.6%, Egba 2.9%, Tiv 2.6%, Igbirra (Ebira) 1.1%,Nupe 1%, Edo 1%.
The country is 50% Christian and 40-50% Muslim.
There are 135 million people in the country and it is the most tribally diverse country in Africa. The north is primarily Muslim and the South is Christian. Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe who served from 1960 to 1966 was born to Igbo parents in the north and was a Christian. Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi was an Igbo who led a coup in 1966 and cemented Igbo control of the government, alienating Yarubas and Hausas, the Muslim tribes.Yakubu Gowon was a Ngas(Angas) from the north who helped lead a Muslim coup that subsequently led to the relocation of 1 million Igbos due to persecution and the outbreak of the Biafran war in which the igbo tribe, which was Christian, tried to succeed from Nigeria. Over a million Igbos died in the war and they lost control of the oil reserves beneath their lands. Emeka Ojukwu, an Igbo served as president of the Biafran republic from 1967 to 1970 and still lives in Nigeria. Gowon was suceeded by a Muslim, Murtala Ramat Muhammad who reigned from 1975 to 1976. Olusegun Obasanjo, a Yaruba from the west and a Christian, served as president from 1976 to 1979 and 1999 to 2007. Shehu Shagari a Muslim Fulani ruled from 1980 to 1983. Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim Fulani governed from 1983 to 1985. Ibrahim Babangida hails from the Gwari ethnic group and served from 1985 to 1993. Ernest Shonekan was born and raised in Lagos, the Nigerian commercial capital. The son of an Abeokuta, he was President in 1993. Sani Abacha was a Muslim of Kanuri extraction and served from 1993 to 1998. Umaru Musa Yar'Adua is the current president and was born into an aristocratic Muslim Fulani family in Katsina. The country’s great ethnicity resulted in a Muslim-Christian split and has led to Muslim-Christian violence. Sharia law is mandated in the northern states and the Igbos have had much of the oil wealth which sits below them stolen by the government and sent north in the form of welfare for the Muslim tribes. Thus, one of the few countries where oil sits beneath the feet of Christians finds that the oil must be taken from the poverty stricken Niger Delta Christian tribes and sent to the Muslims in the country, as if the genocide of 1 million Igbos by Muslims in the Biafran war was not enough.
Tribes: Sara 27.7%, Sudanic Arab 12.3%,Mayo-Kebbi peoples 11.5%, Kanem-Bornu peoples 9%,Ouaddai peoples 8.7%, Hadjeray (Hadjarai) 6.7%,Tangale (Tandjile) peoples 6.5%, Gorane peoples 6.3%,Fitri-Batha peoples 4.7%, Fulani (Peul) 2.4%, other 4.2%, Muslim 53.9%, Christian 34.7% (of whichThe country is: Roman Catholic 20.3%, Protestant 14.4%),animist/traditional beliefs 7.4%
François Tombalbaye who served from 1960 to 1975 was a Sara who are the prominent tribe in the south of the country. Tombalbaye's Africanization program failed to account for the large population in the north and center of the country, who were Muslim and did not identify with the Christian and animist south. Following rioting in 1969 more Gorane were included in his new government. The new movement promoted Africanization: the capital of Fort-Lamy was renamed N'Djamena and Tombalbaye himself changed his given name from François to Ngarta. Christianity was disparaged, missionaries were expelled, and all non-Muslim males in the south between the ages of sixteen and fifty were required to undergo traditional initiation rites known as yondo in order to gain promotion in the civil service and the military. The rites were only native to the Sara but were forced upon other animist tribes. His suceessor Felix Malloum (1975-1979) appears to have been non-Muslim. Goukouni Oueddei who served from 1979 to 1982 was a Teda of the Toubou ethnic group which is itself related to the Daza tribe. He was from north Chad and his tribe is thought to number only 50,000 people who are Muslim. He is close to Mumar Khaddafi, the Bedouin president of Libya. In 1979 he was replaced for a short time by Lol Mahamat Choua (Shawa), an adherent of Islam and a member of the Kanembu ethnic group (650,000 people). He came from western Chad. Hissene Habre who ruled from 1982 to 1990 is a member of the Anakaza branch of the Gorane (Toubou-350,000 and are Muslim living in the north of Chad and Libya and Sudan) ethnic group. In 1990 Idriss Deby came to power. Déby is of the Bidayat clan of the Zaghawa ethnic group. He added "Itno" to his surname in January 2006. the Zaghawa, who know themselves as Beri, are Muslims and live in Eastern Chad and the Sudan, where they have suffered the brunt of the Sudanese genocide in Darfur. The country’s history is thus one of Arab-Arican violence, Southern-northern violence based on tribe, Muslim-non-Muslim violence. This cocktail of divisions has led to poverty and civil strife.

Sudanese Arab 49.1%, Dinka 11.5%,Nuba 8.1%, Beja 6.4%, Nuer 4.9%, Zande 2.7%,Bari 2.5%, Fur 2.1%.
The country is 70% Muslim
Ibrahim Abboud (1958 to 1964) was an Arab Muslim and he imposed the Arabic language on the entire country. Ismail al Azhari served from 1964 to 1969. Sayyid Ismail al-Azhari was born in Omdurman as a Muslim and the son of a religious notable. He was also an Arab. Gaafar Muhammad Nimeiry ruled from 1965 to 1985. He was born in Omdorman but his family was from Dongola in the north. Nimeiry continued the Arabization and Islamization of the county, enacting Sharia law in 1983. He also changed the flag in 1970 to conform with other Arab nationalist flags (Red, white black). These policies of Islamization and Arabization caused the southern African Christian tribes such as the Dinka and Nuer to form the SPLA under John Garang, a Dinka and a Christian. He eventually became vice-President of Sudan in 2005 before dying, mysteriously, in a helicopter clash. He frequently feuded with the Nuer. What was known as the Second Sudanese Civil war stretched from 1983 to 2005 and pitted the Oil rich African Christian south against the Muslim Arab north. The North, as in Nigeria, has attempted to take the oil wealth of the south and send it to the north. In 2003 the government began unleashing its Janjaweed Arab militias against African agricultural tribes in the west of the country, including the Beri. Although Muslim these agricultural tribes were targeted for extinction so that pastoral Arab tribes could have their land. The SLM of Darfur is the political revolutionary movement of the African tribes there. However some of those charged with war crimes in Darfur has also been an African member of the government, Ahmed Haroun, a Bargou tribesman and an African. Meanwhile in Eastern Sudan the Beja and Rashaida tribes rebelled against the government and formed the Beja Congress and Rashaida Free Lions in 2004. The Rashaida are a nomadic Arab tribe. One of the Islamist Arab figures in Sudan has been Hassan al-Turabi. Daud Yahya Ibrahim Bolad (?-January 1992) was a Sudanese politician and rebel leader. He came from the Fur people of the Darfur region of the country. In the early 1970s, Bolad was nominated by the Islamist National Islamic Front to be the president of the Khartoum University Student Union (KUSU). He became the first KUSU president who was not from the Arab tribes along the Nile who dominate national politics. The current leader, Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir came to office in 1998. he was born in the north of the country. He is a Muslim and an Arab. Sudan is one of the most glaring examples of an African country where religion and ethnicity have played a devastating role. It has led to the genocide of African Christians and Muslims, the one because of their religion and the other because of their black skin.
Tribes: Oromo 31.8%, Amhara 29.3%, Somali 6.2%,Tigre 5.9%, Walaita 4.6%, Gurage 4.2%, Sidamo 3.4%, Afar 1.9%, Hadya-Libide 1.7%,. Ethiopian Orthodox 50.3%, Muslim 32.9%, Protestant 10.1%, animist 4.8%, Roman Catholic 0.6%

Addis Ababa
Dire Dawa
Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region

The country was ruled by emperor Haile Selassie who was born in Harrar, from 1930 to 1974. He was descended from the kingly line that supposedly stretches back to King Solomon. The kings of Ethiopia have been members of the Amhara tribe. Selassie incorporated both the Ogadan in the southeast and Eritrea in the east into Ethiopia. Many of the inhabitants of the Ogadan are ethnic Somali and Sunni Muslims. Many of those in Eritrea are Tigrey and Afar. In order to integrate with the imperial power and family, a large share of the Oromo converted to Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity during the last few centuries. As one of the last such developments, in the late 1800s Emperor Yohannes IV ordered the Oromo tribe of Wollo to convert to Christianity within six months at the threat of losing their property. The Oromo live primarily in the center and west of the country. When Muslims demanded a mosque be built in the Ethiopian holy city of Axuma the emperor demanded a church be built in Mecca first. Mengistu Haile Mariam, the Communist leader who killed Selassie, had a Amhara royal mother and a Konso father. He ruled From 1974 to 1991. Meles Zenawi has ruled the country as President and then Prime Minister from 1991 to the present. Meles Zenawi was born in Adwa, Tigray in Northern Ethiopia, to a Tigrayan father and Eritrean mother. He is Ethiopian Orthodox. Despite being Tigray, or perhaps because of it, the independence (Eritrea were taken over by Ethiopia 20th century) of the Tigrays of Eritrea has led to several wars between the two countries.


Tribes: Tigrinya 51.8%, Tigre 17.9%, Afar 8.1%,Saho (Red Sea coast dwellers) 4.3%, Kunama 4.1%,
The country is: Christian 50.5% (of which Eritrean Orthodox 46.1%,Roman Catholic and Protestant 4.4 %), Muslim 44.7%,
Isaias Afewerki was the first president of an independent Eritrea and he came to power in 1991 and served ever since. He is an Eritrean Orthodox Christian. It seems he has had much trouble with the Afars in the south of the country. He has also had to fight the Saho and Kunama 'liberation' fronts. Eritrea emerged out of a long was against Ethiopia that was based primarily on the desire by the tribes living in Eritrea to gain independence from Ethiopian rule. But the country is split by tribe and religion and given Africa’s history that can’t bode well.

Tribes: Somali (Issa) 46%, Afar 35.4%, Arab 11%, mixed African and European 3%, French 1.6%
Religion: Sunni Muslim 97.2%, Christian 2.8% (of whichRoman Catholic 2.2%, Orthodox 0.5%, Protestant 0.1
Djibouti is a Muslim country and was known by the French who colonized it as a country of the Afars and Issas, its two main ethnic groups who fought a civil war in the 1990s. Both of its presidents, Hassan Gouled Aptidon (1977 to 1999) and Ismail Omar Guelleh (1999 to present) have been Issas. It has had Afar Prime ministers such as Ahmed Dini Ahmed from 1959 to the present except for one year in 1977. The Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy was the political movement of the Afar people who fought the government in the 1990s. The government has traditionally been controlled by the Issas with the Prime Minister being an Afar and that group receiving less power and resources.
Somali 92.4%, Arab 2.2%, Afar 1.3%, Sunni Muslim 99.9%, other 0.1%
The country is 99% Muslim.
Being one of the few homogenous countries in Africa has not saved Somalia from civil war and successionary movements. Muhammad Siad Barre ran the country from 1969 to 1991 and was a Communist sympathizer. Aden Abdullah Osman Daar ruled from independence in 1960 to 1967. Ali Mahdi Muhammad ruled from 1991 to 1997. Since then power has degenerated into chaos with a central government currently run by Nur Hassan Hussein and a country occupied by African peace keepers and the Ethiopian army. Most of the north of the country has seceded from the government and other parts of it, such as Puntland, are autonomous. The Islamic courts union, an Islamist organization briefly seized power in 2006 but the Ethiopian invasion pushed them back. Somaliland in the north, with its capital in Hargeisa, has declared independence since 1991. The major clan family in Somaliland is the Isaaq.
Tribes: Fang 19.6%; Bamileke and Bamum 18.5%;Duala, Luanda and Basa 14.7%; Fulani 9.6%; Tikar 7.4%; Mandara 5.7%; Maka 4.9%; Chamba 2.4%; Mbum 1.3%;Hausa 1.2%; Fench 0.2%
Ahmadou Babatoura Ahidjo, a Muslim from North Cameroon was president from 1960 to 1982. He was succeeded by Paul Biye, a Christian from South Cameroon who was a member of the Beti-Pahuin ethnic group, and of the Fang tribe. A coup attempt followed in 1984. Northern Muslims were the primary participants in this coup attempt, which was seen by many as an attempt to restore that group's supremacy; Biya, however, chose to emphasize national unity and did not focus blame on northern Muslims. He has also been strongly criticized by the Anglophones, the English-speaking people of Cameroon who live in the region formerly under British colonial rule, for their marginalization and oppression. Cameroon counts over 250 ethnic groups, spread all over the country. For this reason, ethnicity is rife in the country, with the tribe of the leaders of the ruling party dominant in every major field. In general the northern part of the country is composed of Fulani tribesmen and ethnic groups from Sudan, as well as Shuwa (Baggara) Arabs who still live in the country near Lake Chad. The U.S. Department of State claims that some Muslims discriminate against Christians and followers of traditional beliefs in the north. Anglophone Cameroonians are the people of various cultural backgrounds who hail from the English-speaking provinces of Cameroon (Northwest and Southwest provinces). The two English-speaking provinces of Cameroon make up 15% of a population of 16 million approx. The Social Democratic Front, the largest opposition political party in Cameroon's parliament, is headed by an Anglophone. A secessionist movement, the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC-the only secessionist movement in Cameroon), also clamours for the independence of the two English-speaking provinces. Biya is still the president of Cameroon. All the leadrs of Cameroon have been from what was formerly French Cameroon which was the eastern, southern and central part of the country and have thus been French speakers.
Central African Republic
Tribes: Baya (Gbaya) 33%, Banda 27%, Mandjia 13%,Sara 10%, Mboum 7%, M'Baka 4%, Yakoma 4%
Religion: Roman Catholic 18.4%, indigenous beliefs 15.4%, Protestant 14.4%, African Christian 11.6%,other Christian 23.4%, Muslim 15.6%, other 1.2%
David Dacko, the first President from 1960 to 1966 and again from 1979 to 1981 was born in the southwestern part of the Central African Republica (CAR). He was a member of the Nqbaka(M'Baka) tribe. Jean Bedel Bokassa came to power in a coup in 1966 and served until 1979. His father Mgboundoulou, a village chief, belonged to the M'Baka, a small tribe in the forest south of Bangui, distinguished for contributing an inordinate number of the country's civil servants. As in Cameroon he was supported by France until 1979 when France helped overthrow him and install Dacko once again who was a Catholic. André-Dieudonné Kolingba was President after he led a coup in 1979 and he reigned until 1993. Many members of Kolingba's ethnic group, the Yakoma, obtained lucrative posts in the public, private and parastatal sectors of the CAR's economy during his era. This gave rise to growing tension between southerners (including the riverine Yakoma) and northerners (including the savanna Gbaya) in the CAR which led to violent confrontations between these groups during the Patassé era (1993-2003). Ange-Félix Patassé was elected in 1993 and served until 2003. However, during his first term in office (1993-1999), three military mutinies in 1996-1997 led to increasing conflict between northerners (like Patassé) and southerners (like his predecessor President André Kolingba. He has often mistakenly been assumed to belong to the Kaba ethnic group (of the Baya) who are some of his greatest supporters and which predominates in the region around Paoua. Patassé's father was a member of the Suma subgroup of the Gbaya people and was raised in a small village to the northeast of Boguila, on the road to Markounda. Patassé's mother, Véronique Goumba, belonged to the Kare ethnic group of northwestern Ubangi-Shari. Francois Bozize came to power in 2003 after leading a rebellion. He is a Pentacostal Christians and was born in Gabon to a Gbaya family. Thus the current president isn’t even from the country but is a member of one of its tribes.

Equatorial Guinea
Tribes: Fang 82.9%, Bubi 9.6%,Fernandinos, Europeans and other 7.5%
Religion: Roman Catholic 80.1%, Muslim 4 %, African Christian 3.7%, Protestant 3.1%,

Macías Nguema's (dictator 1968-79) violations of human rights during his reign caused more than a third of Equatorial Guinea's population to flee to other countries. The country's instruments of repression (military, presidential bodyguard) were entirely controlled by Macías Nguema's relatives and clan members. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, born into the Esangui clan of the Fang tribe in Acoacán, has been president since 1979. he is a devout Catholic but this did not prevent him from declaring himself god. Severo Moto Nsá is the main oppsoition leader and he resides outside the country. Being of the same Mongomo clan as Francisco Macías Nguema, the first president who ruled from 1968 to 1979, and Obiang, Moto was allowed to participate in government activities during the 1970s and 1980s. The Esangui clan of Río Muni has run the country since its independence.

Tribes: Fang 28.6%, Punu 10.2%, Nzebi 8.9%,French 6.7%, Mpongwe 4.1%, other Africans and Europeans 154,000
Gabriel Léon M'ba, the first president from 1960 to 1967 was a member of the Fang tribe. Albert-Bernard Bongo (El Hajj Omar Bongo Ondimba) converted to Islam in 1973 although only 3% of the country is Muslim. He is currently Africa's longer serving leader, having been in charge since 1967. One of his sons, Alain Bongo, has been foreign minister and defense minister. His wife is the daughter of Congo's president Denis Sassou-Nguesso. Bongo is a member of the Bateke tribe, which, along with the Eshira and Bapounou, are the other dominant tribal groups in Gabon. He has been accused of favoring the Bateke, which is a minority in Gabon but has a large number of members in both the Congos.
The Congo-Brazzaville
Tribes: Kongo 51.5%, Teke 17.3%, M'Bochi 11.5%,M'Bete 4.9%, Punu 3%, Sango 2.7%, Maka 1.8%,Pygmy 1.5%,
Religion: Roman Catholic 49.3%, Protestant 17%,African Christian 12.6%, unaffiliated Christian 11.9%,animist/traditional beliefs 4.8%, Muslim 2%
The first two leaders of the Congo, Fulbert Youlou (1963-63) and Alphonse Massemba-Débat (1963-1968) were from the south while the third, Marien Ngouabi was from the north. Ngouabi was a Kouyou, born in the village of Ombele and he worked to bring northerners into the government. He was also a Marxist. Jacques Joachim Yhombi Opango who served as President from 1977 to 1979 was from the north. Pascal Lissouba was from the south-west (1992-1997). Denis Sassou-Nguesso (1979-1992, 1997-present), is a member of the Mbochi tribe from the north.
Tribes: Luba 18%, Kongo (all Bantu) 16.1%,Mongo 13.5%, and the Mangbetu-Azande(Hamitic) 6.1%, Rwanda 10.3%, Bangi and Ngale 5.8%,Rundi 3.8%, Teke 2.7%, Boa 2.3%, Chokwe 1.8%,Lugbara 1.6%, Banda, 1.4% other 16.6% (1983)
Patrice Lumumba, the first President in 1960, was a Tetela(a Bantu tribe of 750,000 members), born in the middle of the country, Kasai province. His main rival was Joseph Kasa-Vubu who was the from the extreme west of the Congo(Bas-Congo/Kongo Central). Moshe Tshombe, who fought against Lumumba in 1960 was president of the breakaway republic of Katanga from 1960 until 1963 when the province was retaken by government forces under Mubutu Sese Seko. Mobutu was born in Lisala, Belgian Congo, a member of the Ngbandi ethnic group from northwestern Congo. He ruled from 1965-1997 when he was overthrown by Laurent Kabila. He fought off an invasion by Katangan rebels in 1977 (Shaba I) and again the next year(Shaba II). During his reign he became famous as one of Africa’s greatest ‘kleptocrats’ who stole the country’s wealth and gave it over to himself and his family. Mobutu was overthrown in the First Congo War by Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a French educated socialist and friend of Che Guevara, who was supported by Uganda and the Tutsi governments of Rwanda and Burundi. Tutsis had long opposed Mobutu, due to his open support for Rwandan Hutu extremists responsible for the Rwandan genocide in 1994. The Tutsi forces in eastern congo in Kivu province allied with the Ugandan president Museveni and the Rwandan president Paul Kagame to take over the country. Kabila was born to a member of the Luba tribe of Katanga. He was killed in a bombing in 2001 and his son Joseph assumed power. It was, in some way, the ultimate revenge for Mobutu’s suppression of the Katanga sucession in 1960 (Dag Hamarskjold, the first General Secretary of the U.N, died in a plane crash trying to force Katanga to be part of the Congo, the first time the U.N tried to colonize an African country. The U.N has not left the Congo to this day). Kabila's source of power has been the east of the country while his rival Jean-Pierre Bemba's power base is the West. Kabila is a speaker of Swahili. Currently Kabila is leading the Congo in a war against a number of rebel groups, one of whome is led by General Laurent Nkunda, a Tutsi from Kivu province, who has been fighting to rid the country of Hutus who participated in the Rwandan genocide and then continued the genocide in the Congo. He is a Benyamulenge, a Tutsi related clan. The presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006 divided the country along ethnic and linguistic lines.

Tribes: Hutu 85%, Tutsi 14%, Twa(Pygmy) 1%
The tribal basis for Rwanda's politics are well known due to the Rwandan genocide which pitted Hutus against Tutsis and resulted in 800,000 Tutsi deaths and a million Hutus fleeing the country. Since 1960 every prime minister has been a Hutu. Although Hutu are now 80% percent of the country they used to be only 75% before the genocide. Every president of the country was a Hutu until 1994 when the death of Juvénal Habyarimana set off the genocide and resulted in Paul Kagame, a Tutsi, coming to power. He has ruled every since.
Tribes: Hutu (Bantu) 80.9%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 15.6%,Lingala 1.6%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, other 0.9%
Burundi's politics have also been split between the rival Hutu and Tutsi tribes, one of whome is agricultural (Hutu), the other cattle owning (Tutsi), one tall (Tutsi), the other short (Hutu), one 'black'(Hutu) and the other 'fair' (Tutsi), one Bantu (Hutu) and the other Hamitic(Tutsi). Between 1996 and 1993 the country was governed by a Tutsi. For two months Melchior Ndadaye a Hutu ran the country and there was a civil war. Between 1994 and 1996 a Hutu, Cyprien Ntaryamira, ran the country. Between 1996 and 2002 Pierre Buyoya, a Tutsi was in charge and from 2002 to present the president has been a Hutu. The Prime ministers have rotated between Hutu and Tutsi. A small genocide that resulted in the deaths of 100,000 Hutu took place in 1972 in response to a planned Hutu genocide of Tutsis. In 1993 the first Hutu president was killed by Tutsis. The U.N claimed a genocide took place in 1993 against the Tutsi minority by the Hutu government that was in power for a short period of time. In neighboring Rwanda a similar genocide was taking place on a larger scale. Perhaps if the colonial powers had been more prescient they would have given Burundi to one of the tribes and Rwanda to the other, but the fact that the two tribes were interwoven economically and demographically probably made such a solution impossible.
Tribes: Baganda 16.9%, Banyakole 9.5%, Basoga 8.4%, Bakiga 6.9%, Iteso 6.4%, Langi 6.1%, Acholi 4.7%, Bagisu 4.6%, Lugbara 4.2%, Bunyoro 2.7%
Sir Edward Mutebi Mutesa II was the king of Buganda (from whence the country derives its name) from 1939 until 1966 and the president of Uganda from 1963 to 1966. As king he was also leader of the Baganda people, the largest of the many ethnic groups in Uganda. Milton Obote overthrew the king and, as profiled in the book 'In a Free State' and assumed control of the country from 1966 until 1971, and was in charge again from 1980 to 1985. He was a member of the Lango (Langi) tribe, a non-Baganda tribe. Idi Amin came to power in a coup in 1971 and was a dictator until 1979. He was born to a formerly Catholic family in the Kakwa tribe (his father covnerted to Islam in 1910). During Idi Amin's rule, members of the Kakwa tribe held many important government posts. He slaughtered another 100,000 or more people and expelled the Indian and Asian minorities who lived in the country. His bodyguards were also from the Kakwa tribe. After Amin was deposed in 1979 (by Julius Nyerere of Tanzania), many Kakwa people were killed in revenge killings, causing many to leave the area. Amin’s tribe also lives in the Sudan. Yoweri Museveni came to power in 1986 and has been in power ever since. He was born in western Uganda and is a Nyankole (Ankole, Nkore). The Ankole is actually a tribe of two peoples related to one of the four kingdoms of old Uganda. The pastoralist Hima (also known as Bahima) established dominion over the agricultural Iru (also known as Bairu) some time before the nineteenth century and they became the Ankole.

Tribes: Kikuyu 17.7%, Luhya 12.4%, Luo 10.6%, Kalenjin 9.8%, Kamba 9.8%, Kisii 6%, other
Jomo Kenyatta was president of Kenya from 1964 to 1978. He was a Kikuyu. Daniel Arap Moi came to power in 1978 and ruled until 2002. In 1955 Moi entered politics when he was elected Member of the Legislative Council for Rift Valley. In 1960 he founded the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) with Ronald Ngala to challenge the Kenya African National Union (KANU) led by Jomo Kenyatta. KADU's aim was to defend the interests of the small minority tribes, such as the Kalenjin to which Moi belonged, against the dominance of the big Luo and Gĩkũyũ(Kikuyu) tribes that comprised the majority of KANU's membership (Kenyatta himself being a Kikuyu). The current president, Mwai Kibaki, who assumed powers from Moi in 2002 is a Catholic Kikuye and his election has caused rioting by Luo. Members of the incumbent (and controversially re-installed) President Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe have been pitted against other smaller tribes. The rioting has resulted in the looting of shops that belong to Kikuyus and Kisiis. At a campus in the rift valley one professor recalled that “then they broke into the rented off-campus houses of some students and then a crowd of about 1,000 people surged to the university gate and shouted that they wanted to storm the university. They demanded that all Kikuyus, Kambas, Meru, and Kisii people leave the university within two hours. That was the only way to save the university from being stormed.”
Tribes: Black African, Comorian, Arab (279,935), Indian (18,334), European (507), 99% Muslim
Sheikh Muhammad Shamte Hamadi, became the first Prime Minister of Zanzibar in 1963. Sayyid `Abd Allah ibn Khalifa was the sultan from 1960 to 1963 and a descendent of Arab sultans who had governed the island since the 16th century. He was succeeded in 1963 by Sayyid Jamshid ibn `Abd Allah who was subsequently overthrown in 1964 by John Okello, Sheikh Abeid Amami Karume, leader of the Afro-Shirazi (which is so named because the Shirazis believe themselves to be descended from Persians who colonized the island more than a thousand years ago) party and Abdullah Kassim Hanga. Okello’s coup was based on black Africans who wished to assert the power of the Black African majority who were descended from former slaves brought to the island by Arab slavers. Between 8,000 and 20,000 wealthy Arabs were killed in the uprising known as the Zanzibar revolution (prior to it the Sultan had tried to have the country join the Arab League). Okello, who was born in the Lango district of Kenya had moved to the island of Pemba, another nearby former Arab slave station where he joined the Afro-Shirazi Party of sheik Abeid Karume. This party opposed the domineering position of the minority Arabs on the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. He later moved from Zanzibar to Uganda later in life and was probably killed by Idi Amin. Abdulrahman Muhammed Babu of the (Arabic) Umma-(Massa) Party became Prime Minister in 1963. In 1964 Zanzibar was united with Tanganyika, creating Tanzania. Skeikh Mwinyi Aboud Jumbe ruled Zanzibar as a ‘president’ or governor from 1972 to 1984 and was a member of the Afro-Shirazi party (ASP) until it merged with the Julius Nyerere’s Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) in 1977 to form the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). Amani Abied Karume is the current head of Zanzibar and a member of the CCM and he is an Afro-Shirazi. He speaks Swahili and English, rather than Arabic as the old ruling elite used to. On Pemba there is quite a large Arab community who immigrated from Oman and there were riots when the Afro-Shirazi leader Karume won in Zanzibar in 2000. The population is a mix of Arab and original Waswahili inhabitants of the island. Oman also controlled nearby Mafia island and it once had Arabs on it until in the mid 1820s, when the town of Kua was attacked by 80 canoes filled with Sakalava cannibals from Madagascar, who ate many of the locals and took the rest into slavery (a suprisingly effective way of ending the presence of Arab-Muslim slavery).
Tribes: mainland- native African 99%(of which Nyamwezi 3.6%, Sukuma 9.5%, Hehet and Bena 4.5%, Haya 4.2%, Makonde 3.3%,Gogo 4.4%, Nyakyusa 5.4%, Chagga 3%, Ha 2.9%), other (Asian, European, and Arab) 64.6% (2000)Zanzibar- Arab, native African, mixed Arab and native African
Religion: mainland- Christian 46.9%, Muslim 31.8%, traditional beliefs 21.3% (2000) Zanzibar - 99% Muslim, 1% other
There are 130 ethnic groups in Tanzania. Julius Nyerere, an influential African socialist, was the first president of the country and served from 1962 to 1985. He spoke Swahili, a mix of the Bantu native language and Arabic. He was a descendent of the chief of the Zanaki tribe which today numbers 62,000 people. E Ali Hassan Mwinyi became president of the United Republic of Tanzania from 1985-1995. He was born on the 8th May, 1925 at Kivure Village in Mkuranga District, Coast Region, on the Tanzania Mainland. He joined the Shirazi party and was a Muslim. Benjamin William Mkapa, born 1938, in Masasi is a Christian and served as president from 1995 to 2005. Jakaya Kikwete, the current president since 2005 who comes from Bagamoyo on the coast is a Kwere who are a tribe of only 98,000 members. He is a Muslim. According to those who are knowledgable on Tanzanian politics the presence of so many ethnic groups has caused less conflict in Tanzania.

Tribes: Malagasay 95.9% ([Malayo-Indonesian] Merina 26.6%, and related Betsileo 11.3%, Cotiers [mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry] - Betsimisaraka 13.4%,Tsimihety 7%, Antaisaka, Sakalava 5.9%, Makua 1.1%), French 0.6%, Comorian 0.5%, Reunionese 0.4%, other 1.5%
Religion: Christian 49.5% (of which Protestant 22.7%,Roman Catholic 20.3%), traditional beliefs 48%, Muslim 1.9%,
Philbert Tsiranana, first President of Madagascar from 1958-1972 was a Sakalava, a tribe which numbers 700,000 and live in the west of the island. He was suceeded by Gabriel Ramanantsoa (1972-75) who was a member of the Merina ethnic group, and came from a wealthy family. Didier Ratsiraka was president from 1975 to 1993. He exploited ethnic tensions between lowlanders or coastal dwellers and highland Merina people. Ratsiraka was a lowlander, a côtier belonging to the Betsimisaraka ethnic group, a former Admiral and a socialist. Marc Ravalomanana (2002-present) is a Malagasay from the Merina tribe. The Merina and Betsileo are referred to as a Malayo-Indonesian and occupy the highlands and since the 1970s there has been tension between them and the lowlanders.
Tribes: Ovimbundu 25.2%, Kimbundu 23.1%, Bakongo 12.6%,Lwenea (Luvale) 8.2%, Chokwe 5%, Kwanyam 4.1%, Nyaneka 3.9%,Luchazi 2.3%, Ambo (Ovambo) 2%, Mbwela 1.7%, Nyemba 1.7%, European 1%,
Religion: Christian 94.1% (Roman Catholic 62.1%, Protestant 15%), indigenous beliefs 5%
The first president of independent Angola was António Agostinho Neto, a Methodist and Kimbundo, who founded the political party Movimento Popular da Libertação de Angola (MPLA). His accession to power led to civil war between his communist backed government and the Frente Nacional de Libertação para de Angola (FNLA) which was run by Holden Roberto and was primarily made up of northern tribes such as the Bakongo. Roberto received close support from allies in the Congo due to the fact that the Bakongo tribe is in both countries. Roberto married Mobuto Sese Seko’s sister in law. Beginning in 1961 he began to fight the Angolan government and only returned legally in 1991 to contest Angolan elections in which he received 2.1% of the vote. Jonas Savimbi founded União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) in 1964 and was an anti-Marxist and leader of the Ovimbundu people who made up much of the peasantry of central Angola. They are a Bantu people. Jose Eduardo Dos Santos who succeeded Neto in 1979 eventually ended the Civil war and reoriented his country towards the west. But as a Kimbundu, like the first Angolan President Neto, and having been born in Luanda, the capital, he perpetuates the tribalism of the country.

Tribes: Bemba 39.7%, Maravi (Nyanja) 20.1%, Tonga 14.8%, northwestern peoples 8.8%, Barotze 7.5%, Tumbuka 3.7%, Mambwe 3.4%, European 1.1%, other 0.9%

The African national congress in Zambia was founded before independence in 1951 and was run by Harry Nkumbula, a Tonga by tribe. Kenneth David Kaunda ruled Zambia from 1964 to 1991 and was a Bemba and although he was from Malawi he was deeply involved in Bemba ethnic agitation in the copperbelt, Luapula and the northern provinces of the country. Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba who ruled from 1991 to 2002 was also a Bemba. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa is a leader of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) which ousted Kaunda’s UNIP. The MMD is increasingly divided along ethnic lines (Bemba vs. non-Bemba) while power struggles inside UNIP have become more intense as political contenders seek to fill the power vacuum left by the departure of Kuanda. Mr. Mwanawasa has insulted the biggest voter population of the Bemba people in the North and the Luapula Provinces of the country. According to one commentator “he has described them as dirty and stinking people. He has told the workers that he can do without them.” Tribalism in Zambia is politically motivated—a political contest among the Tonga, Lozi and Bemba for ethnic domination. Today the Tonga and Lozi vote for the UPND while the Bemba vote for the MMD.
Tribes: Chewa 34.7%, Maravi 12.2%, Ngoni 9%, Tumbuka 7.9%, Yao 7.9%, Lomwe 7.7%, Ngonde 3.5%, Nyanja, Sena, Tonga, Asian, European and other 17.1% (2000)
Hastings Banda was born to poor parents of the Chewa tribe in the Kasungu District of Nyasaland, a British protectorate. He was reputed to have suppressed the northern tribes of Malawi during his rule from 1966 to 1994. The Banda regime pursued a policy of systematic ethnic discrimination, especially against Malawians of northern origin and, to some extent, against those from selected immigrant ethno-linguistic groups in the southern region. Between the 1970s and early 1990s, the civil service, the university, and important government departments and state-aided parastatal organizations were purged of northerners. In 1989 a quota system was introduced in university selection to restrict the numbers of northerners attaining higher educational qualifications. Thus the Northern and southern tribes supported the AFORD and UDF in the 1994 elections. Elson Bakili Muluzi, a Yao from the south, candidate for the UDF, got 75 per cent of the votes from the most populous southern region, as against 23 per cent in the centre and 7 per cent in the north. Bingu wa Mutharika formed the United Party in 1997 which he led to power in 2004. He is a Catholic and a member of a southern tribe.
Tribes: 99.66% African(Makuana 15.3%,Sena 8%, Makua 14.5%, Tswa 5.7%, Tsonga 8.6%, Lomwe 7.1%,Chwabo 8.6% and others 31.8%), Europeans 0.06%,Euro-Africans 0.2%, Indians 0.08%
Religion: Traditional beliefs 50.4%, Christian 38.4%(of which Roman Catholic 15.8%, Protestant 8.9%,other Christian 13.7%), Muslim 10.5%
Samora Moisés Machel was president from independence in 1975 to 1986 and all politicians since independence have been from the FRELIMO party. Samora Machel was born in the village of Madragoa (today's Chilembene), Gaza Province, Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique), to a family of farmers. He was a member of the Shangana(Tsonga) ethnic group who live in southern Mozambique and eastern South Africa. He is Christian. Joaquim Alberto Chissano led the country from 1986 to 2005 and was also born in Gaza province. Armando Emílio Guebuza led the country from 2005 to present and was famous for expelling many of the Portuguese residents within 24 hours in 1975. The RENAMO resistance to the socialist government of Frelimo was based in the center of the country.
Tribes: Ovambo 34.4%, mixed black/white 14.5%Kavangos 9.1%, Herero 5.5%, white 6%, Damara 7%,Nama 4.4%, Caprivian 4%, San [Bushmen] and Bergdama 7%, Kwambi 3.7%, Baster 2%, Tswana 0.5%,other 1.5% (2000)
Samuel Daniel Shafiishuna Nujoma (born May 12, 1929) was the first President of Namibia. He was inaugurated in 1990 and was subsequently re-elected in 1994 and 1999, serving until 2005. He was an Ovambo, a Bantu people who have a million members in the country. He was a member of the SWAPO political party. Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba served from 2005 until present and is also an Ovambo. He is an Anglican.
Tribes: Tswana (or Setswana) 66.8%, Kalanga 14.8%, Ndebele 1.7%, Herero 1.4%, San (Bushman) 1.3%, white/Afrikaner 1.3% (2000)
Religion: Christian 64.13% (of which African Christian 30.7%other Protestant 10.9%, Roman Catholic 3.7%), traditional beliefs 34.4%, Muslim 0.28%
Sir Seretse Khama, born in Serowe, in what was then the Bechuanaland Protectorate, was the grandson of Khama III, king of the Bamangwato (Ngwato) people, a sub-group of the Tswana. In 1948 he married a white Englishwoman named Ruth Williams and caused offence among both his tribe and to the Afrikaner government of South Africa. He was suceeded by Quett Ketumile Joni Masire who ran the country from 1980 to 1998 when Festus Gontebanye Mogae, who is another Bamangwato, was elected. The Vice-president and heir apparent of the country is General Seretse Khama Ian Khama (Ian a Seretse) who is the paramount chief of the Bamangwato. As a country that is dominated by one tribe it is no surprise that this tribe’s elders have provided much of the leadership for the country since independence.
Tribes: Sotho 80.3%, Zulu 14.4%, white, Asian, and other 5.3% (2000)
Lesotho is a kingdom run by the king of the Sotho people. Moshoeshoe II ran the country from 1960 to 1990. Although the Prime minister, Chief Joseph Leabua Jonathan, was overthrown by the Lesotho military under Justin Metsing Lekhanya, all the leaders have been Sotho. The current king, Letsie III has served since 1996.
Tribes: Swazi 82.3%, Zulu 9.6%, Tsonga 2.3%,Afrikaner 1.4%, mixed 1%, European and other 3.4% (2000)
Swaziland is another imperial state run by the Swazi tribe. Mswati III is the current king and has been since 1986. Interestingly these two tribal states, Lesotho and Swaziland, were created by the British in the second half of the 19th century, partly to show them protection against the Zulu and to enforce British power against the Afrikaners who were emigrating into the area. The creation of these tribe-states led to some of the only country’s in Africa that are tribally based and whose borders resemble those of the tribe.
Sao Tome and Principe
Mestico 79.5%, Fang 10%, angolares(descendants of Angolan slaves) 7.6%, European (primarilyPortuguese) 1.9%,
It was run by Manuel Pinto da Costa from independence in 1975 to 1991. Miguel dos Anjos da Cunha Lisboa Trovoada served from 1991 to 2001. Both leaders were dark skinned. Fradique de Menezes, a lighter skinned politician ran the country from 2001 to present and is the son of a Portuguese man and a local woman.
Comorian (a mixture of Bantu, Arab, Malay,and Malagasy peoples) 97.1%, Makoa 1.6%, French 0.4%, Arab 0.1%, other (Antalote, Cafre, Oimatsaha, Sakalava)0.8% (2000) 99% Muslim.
The Comoros have had a long relationship with Bob Denard, a French mercenary who overthrew four of their governments, converted to Islam and married 8 times. Neighboring islands Anjouan and Moheli have declared independence and fought against the government and France has intervened in the country’s affairs many times. In 2006, Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi, an imam who studied in Iran became president.
Seychellois Creole (mixed African, Asian,European) 93.2%, British 3%, French 1.8%, Chinese 0.5%,Indian 0.3%, Arab and other 1.2%
Roman Catholic 82.3%, Anglican 6.4%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.1%, other Christian 3.4%, Hindu 2.1%,
France-Albert René ran the country from 1977 to 2004. He is very fair skinned. ‘Mad Mike’ Hoare, a mercenary, invaded the island in 1981 at the behest Ian Smith of Rhodesia. Wavel Ramkalawan, a priest, is the main opposition leader.
South Africa
Tribes: Zulu 23.8%, Xhosa 17.6%, Pedi 9.4%, Tswana 8.2%, Sotho 7.9%, Tsonga 4.4%,Swazi 2.7%, other black 4.4%, Afrikaner 6.6%, white-British 3% colored 8.9%,Asian 2.5%, Jewish and other 0.6% (2001)
Beginning in 1910 with the election of Louis Botha to the Prime Ministership, the government of South Africa was dominated by the Afrikaner tribe. Its most influential leaders were Jon Christian Smuts (1910-1919, 1939-1948), Daniel Malan (1948-1954), Hendrik Verwoerd (1958-1966) and F.W. De Klerk (1989-1994) among others. In 1994 Nelson Mandela of the Xhosa tribe, and President of the ANC was elected and followed by Thabo Mbeki who has served since 1999. The Opposition has been led by members of the Jewish people, Tony Leon and Helen Zille. The current President of the ANC is a Zulu, Jacob Zuma. Many leaders of former Bantustans or Homelands have had a role in South African politics since their abolition in 1994. Mangosuthu Buthelezi was chief minister of his kwa-Zulu himeland from 1976 until 1994. In post-Apartheid South Africa he has served as President of the Inkatha Freedom Party. Bantubonke Holomisa, who was a general in the homeland of Transkei from 1987, has served as the president of the United Democratic Movement since 1997. General Constand Viljoen an Afrikaner who served as chief of the South African Defence Forces sent 1500 of his militiamen to protect Lucas Mangope and to contest the termination of Bophuthatswana as a homeland in 1994. He founded the Freedom Front in 1994. Lucas Mangope, former chief of the Motsweda Ba hurutshe-Boo-Manyane tribe of the Tswana and head of Bophuthatswana is President of the United Christian Democratic Party.
Tribes: Shona 67.1%, Ndebele 13%, Chewa 4.9%, British 3.5%, mixed and Asian 1%, other 10.5%
Ian Douglas Smith a member of the English tribe was Prime Minister of Rhodesia from 1965 to 1979. Canaan Sodindo Banana was the first president of the renamed Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987. He was a methodist minister and his mother was a Ndebele, while his father was from Malawi. Robert Mugabe became President in 1987, having served as Prime Minister since 1980. He was raised a Roman Catholic and was a member of the Shona tribe. Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo, a Nedeble, founded the ZAPU in 1961 and was a minister in the government from 1980-1982, it was aligned with the Soviets. In 1982, under the pretense that Nkomo was plotting a coup against Mugabe’s ZANU, Mugabe unleashed his North Korean-Chinese trained fifth brigade against the Nedeble living in Matebeland and killed between 10,000 and 30,000 of Nkomo’s tribe. Mugabe is still president and has caused the mass migration of Nedeble across the border into South Africa and has thrown out most of the English. Over three million people, a quarter of the country, have left. Morgan Tsvangirai, the head of the opposition MDC is a Shona.
Egypt and North Africa:
Egypt: Egyptian Arab 84.1%, Sudanese Arab 5.5%, Arabized Berber 2%, Bedouin 2%, Roma (Gypsy) 1.6%, Greek, Armenian, other European, Nubian and others 4.8% (2000) Muslim (nearly all Sunni) 84.4%, Christian 15.1% (of which Orthodox 13.6%, Protestant 0.8%,Roman Catholic 0.3%), nonreligious 0.5% (2000)
Algeria: Algerian Arab 59.1%, Berber 23.2%,Arabized Berber 3%, Bedouin Arab 14.5%, European less than 0.2% (2000)
Libya: Arab 87.1% (Libyan Arab 57.2%,Bedouin 13.8%, Egyptian 7.7%, Sudanese 3.5%,Tunisian 2.9%), Berber 6.8% (2000)
Tunisia: Tunisian Arab 67.2%, Bedouin Arab 26.6%,Algerian Arab 2.4%, Berber 1.4%, European andother 2.4% (2000)
Morocco: Berber 45% (of which Arabized 24%),Arab 44%, Moors 10%, other 1% (2000)
Egypt is 85% Arab with a 15% Copt minority. Since independence one half Nubian, Anwar Sadat, has been president, the rest have been Arab Muslims. In Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco there is a split between Arabs and Berbers and Arabs have always run the government. In Libya the President, Qaddafi, is a Bedouin. The Kings of Morocco are descended from an ancient line. Algeria expelled 10,000,000 French Pied Noir in 1962 along with 250,000 Jews. Egypt expelled and nationalized all the Armenian, Maltese and Jewish owned businesses beginning in 1952 and this resulted in the forced flight of 500,000 people. In the Western Sahara the Moroccan government’s 1975 invasion and subsequent colonization has led to the creation of many Sahrawi refugees and led to an ongoing war with the Polisario liberation front. In 1974 there were 74,000 Sahrawis and today there are an estimated 267,000 who are of Berber heritage and speak Hassaniya. Like the referendum for South Sudanese independence this is another place where a promised referendum will split on ethnic lines with Morocco trying to insert as many Moroccan Arabs as possible to keep the W. Sahara as part of Morocco. Although tribe and clan is an important part of North African society, and the Berber-Arab-Copt differences are as great as any ethnic cleavage in Africa the history of these societies is quite different from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Comparing the political map of Africa. with the tribal map (Murdock 1959) :