Sebab Umat Islam Patani bangkit melawan SIAM (Thailand)

Peniaga Ayam Goreng di Haadyai

1-  Kenapa umat Patani bangkit berjuang melawan Siam ? Kerana tuntutan oleh naluri manusia supuya berbuat demikian , sebab kedatangan Siam ke Patani adalah Haram ,

kerana negara Siam berdasarkan EXPANSI dairah , atau cinta perluasan dairah; olehitu pada tahun 1786 mesihi   Siam melakukan tindakan pencerubuhan terhadap nagara Patani . lalu jatuhkan Patani ketangan Siam , sejak kekelahan itu  Patani   dijajah , ditindas,dirampas hak asasi manusia, dizalim , diperbudakan, dibakar hidup-hidup , diselam air , dikambus hidup ditangkap sebagai tawanan perang menjadi buruh paksaan dan hamba abdi , dipenjara dan dihalau keluar negeri .  

2-     Landasan gerakan kemerdekaan Patani  

A : Patani Daral harbi  :  kerana di jajah kapir bangsa Siam , peperangan dinegeri Daral harbi adalah pardu aini , hal ini telah bersepakat seluruh ulama Islam 4 Mazhab mengatakan bahawa   ” Jihad kemerdekaan adalah pardu aini bagi seluruh umat lelaki dan perempuan  apabila  negeri di cerubuh , dijajah, ditindas dan dizalim .  

B : Piagam PBB.telah menetapkan bahawa bagi tiap-tiap bangsa yang terjajah hak menentu nasibnya sendiri , serta meningkatkan penghargaan atas hak asasi manusia dan dasar kemerdekaan untuk setiap orang , justeruitu lahirlah gerakan kemerdekaan national diseluruh dunia , di Asia,di Afrika dan Latin Amerika .

  C : Berdasrkan perkara diatas Umat Islam Patani bangkit menunaikan kewajiban memerdekakan tanah air yang terjajah dan masyarakat tertindas oleh kaum penjajahan yang terkutuk , maka gerakan kemerdekaan Patani ini adalah merupakan suatu gerakan yangdipardukan kepada seluruh umat Islam Melayu  Patani .  

F :   Jika ada dikalangan umat Islam Melayu Patani yang sekungkul dan mendukung kaum pencerubuh dan penjajah bangsa Siam serta memberi pengiktirafan raja Siam dan permaisurinya sebagai bapa dan ibu dan sanggup mengaku dengan ikhlas bahawa dirinya berbangsa Thai ,berketurunan Thai dan berwarga nagara Thai adalah orang ini RADDAH ( martad ) mendarhaka kepada agama,bangsa dan tanah air .  

3 – Hukum jihad menurut shariat Islam :  

A :   Peperangan diantara nagara Daral Islam dengan nagara Daral kuffar maka berlakulah segala wasiyat Abu Bakar alsiddik kepada penglima Usamah dan tentera-tenteranya ; iaitu wasiyatnya melarang bunuh kanak-kanak , orang tua , orang perempuan , orang lemah , toksami , memutong pukokkayu tanaman , bakar rumah, sembelih binatang ternakan, menyiksa tawanan perang dan cingcang mayat.  

4 – Perspective dunia terhadap gerakan kemerdekaan Patani

  A :   Orang-orang Siam mencerubuh, menjajah, menindas,   membunuh , membakar hidup-hidup kambus hidup-hidup juga diselam hidup-hidup , dihalau keluar negeri seperti binatang ( di lakukan semua ini oleh Pukong Sharot keatas penduduk dairah Bacok dan Yingo, Pukong Sampech keatas penduduk dairah Saiburi ) terhadap orang -orang Patani , tetapi mereka berada dipihak yang benar dan adil . Disebaliknya jika orang-orang Patani melakukan tindakan yang sama keatas orang-orang Siam pencerubuh itu selalu dianggap oleh pemberita dan media amnya sebagai pengganas , kejam dan zalim.mengapa??!  

B :  Orang-orang Siam menghantar  askar-askarnya dan kelengkpan alat perang yang cukup bawa masuk kenegeri Patani yang bertujuan memerangi orang-orang Patani, membunuh , menyiksa dan menangkap kepenjara , mereka dianggap sebagai benar dan adil . Tetapi jika orang-orang Patani mengadakan tindakan atau serangan dinegeri Siam mereka dianggap penjahat dan pengganas .  

C : Orang-orang Siam membunuh berapa banyak guru-guru agama Islam Patani dan dibawakepenjara dengan tanpa kesalahan , maka dianggap semua itu benar dan adil?!   Tapi mengapa jika orang-orang Patani membalas dengan tindakanyang hampir sama dengan kezaliman-kazaliman yang pernah mereka kerjakan itu selalu dianggapkan ganas ,jahat dan kejam . 

16 Comments

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16 responses to “Sebab Umat Islam Patani bangkit melawan SIAM (Thailand)

  1. Dr Dennis Walker

    Konferensi tentang Cara Agamawan Membantu Membangun Perdamaian di Thailand Selatan:
    Catatan Lapangan
    Dr Dennis Walker, Monash Asia Institute,
    Monash University, Australia

    Sejak April 2004, Thailand Selatan (Kesultanan Muslim Patani di masa yang lalu) selalu bergolak akibat serangan pemberontak Muslim terhadap kekuatan bersenjata dan institusi-institusi pemerintah Thailand, dan juga serangan balasan yang dilancarkan pemerintah kepada mereka. Peledakan tahun 2004 dan kekerasan yang secara terus menerus berlangsung hingga sekarang datang sesudah satu dekade “tenang” di Selatan di mana kelompok-kelompok sempalan nationalism Islam berhenti melakukan serangan , dan beberapa orang Patani Muslim masuk dalam daftar electoral partai politik yang plural yang berkembang di Bangkok setelah beberapa dekade kudeta.
    Sistem Thailand yang “diliberalkan” telah memiliki pencapaian2 yang kongkret di Thailand Selatan yang menawarkan beberapa kesempatan modernisasi bagi kaum Melayu Muslim di Patani. Hal itu bagaimanapun dapat menjadi jelas apabila kita meninjau kembali bahwa didalam dekad tahun2 1990an Sistim Pemerintahan Thai tidak sepenuhnya belajar kepada beberapa pelajaran: sistem pembatasan2 terhadap Islam amatlah mudah dalam beberapa hal, akan tetapi pemaksaan Negara Thailand agar bahasa Thai menjadi satu-satunya bahasa tulis sebagai ganti bahasa Melayu telah dibayar dengan peristiwa yang belum pernah terjadi sebelumnya. Orang-orang Buddha Thai terus merupaykan kebanyakan pegawai kerajaan di Selatan di-Selatan Thailand.
    >Warga Melayu yang banyak di-Selatan Thailand (Patani) menginginkan solusi kompromis atas konflik, yang akan memelihara hal-hal positif dari dekad ketenangan seperti pembangunan infrastuktur, sebagaimana pemerintah Thailand telah memberikannya. Sistem Thailand pada period yang lebih liberal, di mana politisi sipil Thai lebih dominan daripada tentara, telah memberikan pendidikan secara massal dan modern kepada banyak warga Patani. (Perlu ditegaskan ini bukan pendidikan yang didesain untuk meninggalkan bahasa Melayu berwujud di-Patani dalam jangka panjang). Sebagaian orang Melayu dan Buddha menjadi kolega [rakan se-kerja] yang saling membangun. Orang-orang Patani moderat dan orang-orang Thailand moderat ingin mengamankan pencapaian2 ini dari gangguan kekerasan, para nasionalis ekstrem pemberontak, dan beberapa institusi pemerintah Thailand yang nationalist dan extrem juga. Kelompok Liberal dari kalangan Buddha melangkah maju ke arah perdamaian dengan Patani untuk keluar dari konflik , menuju kerjasama dan menyatukan komunitas Thai secara lebih serius masa-masa ini daripada wuktu yang lalu.
    >Lima tahun setelah pecahnya kekerasan di Thailand Selatan, proses membangunkan perdamaian mulai dipercepat. Hal ini tercermin secara baik dalam konferensi “Religions for Peace in Southern Thailand” (Agama-Agama untuk Perdamaian di Thailand Selatan) yang diselenggarakan di C.S. Hotel Kota Patani mulai 18-19 Mei 2009. Konferensi itu melibatkan lingkaran atas pimpinan agama Buddha dan Islam, serta pejabat pemerintah dan militer Thailand. Sebagai bagian dari kegiatan-kegiatan kerajaan Thailand, konferensi itu terlaksana di bawah pengawasan the World Council of Religions for Peace (Majlis Agama-Agama untuk Chapaikan Perdamaian Dunia) sebuah badan yang berafiliasi kepada PBB yang selama 40 tahun berupaya untuk memberikan bantuan guna menciptakan perdamaian di negara-negara yang dilanda konflik. Peserta inti dalam konferensi itu melakukan launching sebuah badan Inter-Religious Council for Peace in Southern Thailand yang memiliki anggota 20 orang, dengan komposisi dua pertiganya adalah tokoh2 Agama Budha dan Islam dari Thailand Selatan.
    >Alasan pecahnya perang mini di Thailand Selatan sangat banyak dan kompleks. Umat Islam diwilayah itu mengalami kemiskinan dan pengangguran yang lebih tinggi daripada yang lain. Dan adanya arus-arus militan yang mengatasnamakan agama untuk mewajarkan diri, baik di kalangan Buddha maupun Muslim: semua itu menjadi faktor terjadinya perang. Beberapa analis Barat mengaitkan kekerasan itu dengan ajaran agama terutama konsep Jihad di dalam Islam. Satu isu penting dalam segi itu ialah, apakah forum konferensi ini dapat mendesak kalangan Islam dan Buddha untuk berbicara secara terus terang tentang tradisi agama mereka di Thailand, suatu hal yang dapat mengantarkan mereka keluar dari nasionalisme sempit dan kebencian antara satu pihak dengan yang lain.

    Agamawan Budha
    >Agama Buddha di Thailand memiliki kepelbagaian yang tinggi. Selama berabad-abad, Sistem Thailand pecahan-pecahkan benang-benang dari Agama Buddha yang kemudian di-bentukkan sebagai wacana kesatuan yang memberikan justifikasi terhadap penaklukan-penaklukan dan kekuasaan tentera diatas kaum-kaum yang lain. Akan tetapi, kitab-kitab suci agama Buddha dapat menjadi perkakas yang bagus bagi analisis psikologis yang dapat memberikan kritik terhadap nasionalisme etnis. Agamawan Budha Phrakru Srijariyaporn mendedahkan ilusi konflik di forum tersebut: “masing-masing kelompok selalu memberikan kepada anggota-anggotanya informasi yang semakin keliru tentang yang lain bahwa mereka akan datang untuk melukai atau membunuh kita, menebar ketakutan yang dapat mengakibatkan penderitaan. Kita semua menginginkan kebahagiaan dan untuk itu diperlukan informasi yang benar, semua harus saling bertukar kebenaran yang seutuhnya agar dapat dimengerti oleh dua pihak kedua-duanya”.
    >Presentasi Srijariyaporn merupakan analisis yang objektif dan hebat. Ia dapat membidik gambaran psikologis kelompok-kelompok yang terlibat konflik di Thailand Selatan. Agama Buddha dapat mendorongnya keluar dari situasi kelompok yang merupakan asal-usulnya. Asumsinya bahwa semua konflik adalah ilusi, walapun itu membuatnya tidak dapat menyoroti konflik kepentingan2 ekonomi dan social, dan perjuangan kultur-kultur yang tidak cocok, akan tetapi “ilusi-ilusi” itu telah turut menyuburkan konflik antara Buddha dan Muslim di Thailand Selatan. Posisi ini sebenarnya dapat melemahkan potensi agamawan Budha yang tidak berpihak sebagai mediator konflik.
    >Pengalaman memediasi yang dilakukan para biarawan liberal Budha pada kesempatan sebelumnya barangkali tidak dapat membekali mereka untuk menghidupkan kembali perdamaian di Patani.

    Agamawan Muslim
    >Isma’il Lutfi Capakiya, Rektor Universitas Islam Yala, selama bertahun-tahun lebih memilih bekerjasama dengan sistem di Thailand daripada melawannya. Hal itu telah menimbulkan kebencian bahkan ancaman kematian dari kalangan Muslim Patani yang menginginkan “Jihad untuk kemerdekaan”. Dalam tulisannya dalam bahasa Arab dan Melayu, dia berargumen bahwa Islam Klasik mengijinkan hubungan kerjasama antara Muslim dengan pemeluk agama Budha atau yang lain, kendati motif teks2 suci dan generasi pertama Islam yang di-petikkan oleh dia tidak cukup menunjukkan adanya bukti yang valid dalam membangun kebangsaan dengan penganut Buddha dalam satu kesatuan Negara yang benar-benar terintegrasi, didalam sejarah Islam.
    >Dalam sambutannya yang penuh semangat di konferensi itu, Lutfi bahkan mengembangkan lebih jauh ke arah komunitas humanis antara Muslim dan penganut Budha yang akan mempertemukan mereka pada titik yang dalam. Mereka semua yang datang disebut sebagai “saudaraku” olehnya. Mengembangkan proses perdamaian di Thailand Selatan sesuai dengan prinsip perdamaian yang Islam menuntut keterlibatan semua aspek kehidupan. ”Semua manusia adalah saudara, ciptaan Allah. Kitab2 Suci agama2 yang lain juga berpendirian seperti itu. Muhammad diutus sebagai nabi bukan hanya untuk umat Islam akan tetapi untuk semua manusia, yang semuanya adalah seperti anak-anak untuk Allah. Muslim yang menolak untuk berbicara dengan pemeluk agama lain berarti telah berdosa sebab mereka juga di-khalqkan oleh Tuhan. Qur’an memperkenankan Muslim untuk berperang hanya melawan musuh bersama yaitu setan, bukan manusia.
    >Ismail Luthfi menggunakan bahasa yang bergelombang untuk menarik semua orang di Thailand dalam projek itu. Apakah ia terbawa emosi ataukah terteror seperti semua faction2 yang ada di Thailand Selatan? Ketika saya berbicara dengannya saat ia hendak meninggalkan tempat acara, itu memperlihatkan bahwa dia adalah sosok yang sangat cerdas, kuat dan dingin intelegensinya, dan dengan mudah dapat menangkap hubungan politis-nya dengan saya sebagai seorang peneliti Barat yang sedang menulis satu buku tentang masalah bahasa dan identitas di negaranya. Dia amat cerdas sebagaimana terlihat sebelumnya.
    >Pidato Dr. Ismai’l Ali Rektor Fakulti Kajian2 Islam (Kulliat ud-Dirasat il-Islamiah) di Universitas Prince of Songkla Patani, berupaya mengaitkan sebab-sebab konflik dengan sistem Thailand yang harus diubah. Ia mengesampingkan explikasi biasa dari konflik itu. Agama tidak menyebabkan penderitaan di Patani akan tetapi diskriminasi dan pemisahan orang Islam oleh sistem Thailand dan di masyarakat Thailand yang telah terpecah: segi2 kezaliman ini dia yang merupakan penyebab penderitaan dan pergaduhan di Selatan Thailand. Umat Islam tidak memaksa pemeluk agama lain untuk memeluk Islam, kerana Islam mengajarkan agar menghormati pemeluk agama lain. “Beberapa akademisi mengatakan bahwa konflik bersumber dari sejarah” [yaitu tentang cerita kejayaan dan kemuliaan Kesultanan Patani sebelum penaklukannya oleh Keraan Siam] “akan tetapi saya menyatakan bahwa sebab utama konflik ini adalah ketidakadilan yang terjadi di semua peringkat/level”. Untuk menyerukan agar Sistem Thailand memperlakukan Patani secara adil sebagaimana warga Thailand lain termasuk dalam anggaran/funding, Ismail Ali mengambil kesatuan nasionalisme Thailand: “Kita semua adalah bangsa Thailand”. Dia bagaimanapun menyadari bahwa kultur, bahasa, dan agama di antara mereka berbeda, “akan tetapi pemerintah mesti memperlakukan kita secara adil sebagaimana warga Thailand yang lain” dalam alokasi berbagai sumber2 dan peluangan2.
    >Ali meminta maaf kepada orang-orang Budha di Thailand Selatan atas kekerasan yang menimpa mereka: Umat Islam dahulu tidak pernah memiliki persoalan dengan agama lain dalam hal cara hidup. Di kataannya ini, Isma’il ‘Ali tidak mendengarkan tuntutan2 organisasi2 nasional Patani pada tahun 1970-an dan 1980-an bahwa kerajaan Bangkok harus menghentikan kirim para peneroka Budha kepada Patani. Pada akhirnya, Ali mengakui bahwa para pemberontak pada titik tetentu berhasil menciptakan konflik agama antara Muslim dan tetangganya yang beragama Buddha. Mereka berusaha menggunakan ajaran agama untuk menjustifikasi aksi-aksi kekerasan mereka. Pada titik ini mereka menyamai organisasi-organsasi di Irlandia yang membawa agama untuk menjustifikasi kejahatan politik antara penganut Katolik dan Protestan. Ismail Ali menghalangkan mereka dengan gagasan-gagasan Kristen atau Teosofi: barangkali prinsip2 Islam sama dengan sebagian prinsip2 yang ada dalam agama Budha: ia memiliki teman seorang biarawan Buddha.
    >Dr. Isma’il ‘Ali dan Dr. Isma’il Lutfi termasuk akademisi yang memperoleh didikan Arab Saudi dan yang berupaya mengembangkan sistem post modern (dalam IT dan bahasa Inggris) melaui membangunkan lembaga2 pendidikan tinggi Muslim di Thailand Selatan dengan bantuan Negara Thailand. Mereka tidak lagi mencari (barangkali tidak lagi diizinkan untuk mencari) bantuan dana dari Negara Arab guna membangun dan memperluaskan institusi2 mereka. Fakultas Kajian2 Islam yang mereka dirikan di Universiti Prince of Songkla dan Universii Islam baru Yala, dan pencarian beberapa wacana untuk masuk dalam Sistem Thailand daripada membuang-buang waktu untuk melawan Kerajaan itu, merupakan projek yang besar. Kendati demikian, mereka tetap mengakui bahwa wacana para pemberontak yang menyerukan Perang Suci untuk membebaskan Patani dari “belenggu” Thailand saat ini memperoleh perhatian yang lebih besar dari sebagian massa.
    >Pada gilirannya dalam konferensi itu, para pejabat pemerintah dan militer Thailand berupaya mengemukakan sungutan2 warga Muslim biasa di Thailand Selatan dan mengemukakan peningkatan keberhasilan di mana para pemberontak menawarkan “perjuangan yang Islami” untuk kemerdekaan sebagai jalan keluar.

    Orang2 Pemerintah dan Militer
    >Krissada Boonratch Wakil Gubernur Yala dalam konferensi itu menyatakakan bahwa distorsi2 dari pelajaran2 agama Islam yang benar merupakan motivasi para pemberontak. Di beberapa sekolah agama yang diawasi dan dibiayai pemerintah, anak-anak berumur sepuluhan tahun memperoleh pelajaran bahwa Tuhan menginginkan agar mereka menempuh jalan Jihad.
    >Karena itu, para pemimpin Islam harus maju ke depan dan memberikan contoh yang benar mengenai Islam yang dapat mengesahkan dan menyokong Negara Thailand. Ajaran seperti itu akan mengurangi tindak kejahatan. (Perubahan yang terjadi ini akan ada sempatan untuk ‘ulama’ dan akademik2 Patani yang didikan Saudi untuk mereka dapat berkembang di bawah Sistem Negara Thailand sebagai partner junior). Akan tetapi, “kami masih menangkap lebih dari 4000 orang yang dicurigai, sebagian besar mereka berusia 35-40 tahun” (=mereka jelas bukan anak-anak belia yang masih mudah rangsang secara emosional, akan tetapi Muslim Melayu yang sudah matang yang memilih jalan hidupan mereka dengan pertimbangan pengalamannya selama bertahun-tahun dengan Kerajaan2 Thai dan orang Buddha).
    >Letnan Jenderal Udomsak Thamsarorach mengakui bahwa pemberontakan melibatkan nombor agak besar dari orang Melayu Muslim, dan bahkan setelah lima tahun berperang, tentaranya masih belum mengetahui siapa yang dilawan. Udomsak menunjukkan pikiran analitis yang sangat fleksibel: dia merasa bahagia lahir sebagai orang Budha akan tetapi ia juga belajar di sekolah Kristen dan juga di Kuil Budha, dan bahwa dia juga memiliki teman-teman Hindu dan Muslim. Watak konflik yang rumit telah mengganggu katagori-katagori pikirannya. Ia tahu bahwa agama yaitu Islam telah menjadi tempat berkumpul (rallying–point) di mana para pemberontak telah membawanya ke dalam konflik Selatan untuk menciptakan kebencian. Banyak penganut Buddha di Thailand lebih siap menyatakan bahwa Islam dalam bentuknya seperti di Timur Tengah dapat mendorong pemberontakan di Patani daripada mengakui identiti dan sejarah orang Melayu Patani yang khusuus. Bagi Udomsok sebagai orang Buddha Thai, pemberontakan tahun 2004 bukanlah didorong oleh impian menghidupkan kembali Kesultanan Patani Raya yang merdeka, yaitu kerajaan yang pernah dibasmikan Thailand pada pergantian menuju abad-20.
    >Segi serius dan sungguh di-dalam posisi2 Udomsak Thamsarorach terhadap perdamaian, kini, justru menjauhi Islam dan kekhususan Melayu, — yaitu ciri-ciri khusus kebudayaan Patani, — yang hujungnya membuat konflik menguat. Konflik sesungguhnya berasal dari persoalan yang juga terjadi di propinsi lain di Thailand yaitu meliputi distribusi Negara atas kekayaan dan keterbelakangan yang berlangsung hingga bertahun-tahun didalam Selatan. (Kondisi ini misalnya terjadi di kawasan Timur Laut Thailand dimana berduduk Isan yang bercakap di-bahasa Lao: satu golongan yang sudah menderita kemiskinan dan diskriminasi untuk waktu yang panjang melalui dekad-dekad). Sebuah perasaan bahwa mereka mengalami diskriminasi, menjadikan sebagian orang Patani mengangkat senjata untuk melawan demi keadilan, sebagaimana yang lihat Letnan Jenderal Udomsak Thamsarorach itu. Kata dia bahwa semua staf dalam angkatan bersenjata Thai ingin menemukan solusi melalui cara-cara yang damai: “kita melakukan yang terbaik mungkin untuk menyelesaikan persoalan keamanan”. Letnan Jenderal Udomsak Thamsarorach dalam hal ini percaya bahwa sebuah sumber pokok dari kebencian adalah kekerasan yang dilakukan oleh tentara dan polisi Thailand di-atas orang Islam. Tentara harus dapat membuat kerjasama yang kongkret dengan para penduduk biasa yang masih membisu, dengan jalan mengenakan kontrol yang tegas terhadap tentara dan orang-orang pemerintah. “Jika praktek-praktek yang salah masih terjadi maka harus ada hukuman untuk menghentikan kesalahan2 itu. Masing-masing harus memiliki tanggungjawab untuk menyelesaikan persoalan ini”.
    >Akan tetapi, mampukah tentara, polisi dan agen pemerintah Thailand membuat langkah-langkah seperti itu agar orang Patani bersedia bernegosiasi? Pengadilan dan hukuman2 yang sama untuk orang Melayu dan orang Buddha dia jalan yang satu-satunya untuk meyakinkan banyak Muslim agar mereka merasa “bermakna” untuk memanggil dirinya sebagai orang Thailand.
    >Letnan Jenderal Udomsak Thamsarorach merasai keazaman pemberontak yang seperti batu granit dan tidak ambil berat kepentingan2 duniawi dan korban2. Para pemberontak memiliki strategi jangka panjang bahwa mereka tidak menginginkan otonomi, tetapi bantuan internasional untuk memisahkan diri dari Kerajaan Thailand (=Negara2 Arab dan Islam dan Negara Asia Tenggara yang menggunakan Melayu sebagai bahasa komunikasi). Mereka berupaya menciptakan aktor dan faktor sebanyak mungkin. Untuk meningkatkan saling kebencian antara Melayu dan Buddha di Thailand Selatan mereka menyebarkan ajaran jihad “yang telah di-memutarbelitkan” untuk memberikan justifikasi pemisahan diri dari Thailand.
    >Mereka (orang pemberontok) secara sengaja memotong kepala orang-orang Buddha untuk menciptakan histeria. Negara Thailand tidak mudah mengkonter distorsi2 ajaran2 agama semacam ini. Pemerintah Thailand dan organisasi yang berkaitan denganya seharusnya memperkuat produksi literatur2 dari agamawan Muslim yang kooperatif agar teks-teks keislaman ini dapat memberikan justifikasi terhadap kedaulatan Negara Thailand. Akan tetapi, banyak penduduk di daerah pedalaman desa tidak dapat membaca, sehingga meskipun berbagai booklet itu didistribusikan kepada rakyat jelita di bawah di kampung2, dan itu sangat sulit dilakukan, hal itu mumkin tetap akan gagal untuk meyakinkan kepada audience yang dituju mengenai ajaran Islam yang benar yang mensyaratkan Muslim menerima pemerintahan
    >Di atas semua itu, Udomsak adalah orang yang sangat realistis, dan kadang2 liberal. Kaji selidiknya yang umum menunjukkan bahwa tentara Thailand tahun 2009 ini perangkan melawan gerakan nasionalis Melayu Islam sebagai suatu yang mencengangkan —- mereka tidak faham musuh Muslim mereka.
    >Siripong Hudsiri datang dari Pusat Administerasi Propinsi perbatasan Selatan (SBPAC), penerus sebuah institusi sebelumnya yang didesain untuk membawa pegawai badan2 intelejen, askar2 dan police dan beberapa eks-nasionalis Melayu bersama-sama untuk bekerjasama dalam berbagai kegiatan dan kepentingan: umpamanya seludup dan pengenalan pemuda nasionalist yang baru. Siripong Hudsiri berupaya mendeligitimasi kelompok pemberontak sebagai kelompok yang sangat kecil. Rakyat biasa mendengar bom dan desingan peluru setiap hari, akan tetapi semua itu sesungguhnya bukan suara mereka, akan tetapi suara segelintir orang saja. SBPAC telah melakukan berbagai dialog dengan penduduk Muslim. Tetapi, Siripong juga mengambil kesimpulan bahwa rakyat yang para pemberontak bergerak diantaranya juga semakin marah dengan kemiskinan mereka dan rendahnya tingat pendidikan di-Selatan: sebagian ada yang merasa bahwa Negara Thailand tidak memperlakukan mereka secara adil.
    >Begitu demikian, Siripong berpindah dari (a) keyakinan bahwa pemberontak yang jumlahnya sangat kecil yang menimbulkan persoalan, ke arah (b) penjelasan2 dan huraian2 struktural tentang konflik dan kekerasan di Patani. Sebagian dari otaknya mengetahui bahwa sekelompok dari penduduk petani yang telah di-targetkan tengah ditarik untuk solusi yang menawarkan kaum mujahid itu, yaitu untuk membangun lain kali komunitas Muslim yang humanis dan positif dan juga untuk melawan kekufuran. Masyarakat perkampungan telah mengalami perpecahan. dan penghancuran. Para pemuda mulai meninggalkan agama dan menjadi penagih dadah2. Orang tua yang khawatir dengan kondisi tersebut menginginkan semacam institusi masyarakat yang menyatukan kembali komunitas Islam dan masyarakat tradisional. Pemerintah Thailand tidak mampu menghadapi persoalan2 tersebut secara efektif. Hal ini menyisakan kekosongan bagi kelompok lain untuk maju ke depan, Siripong menilai. Karena itulah, beberapa orang tua dapat menerima para pemberontak yang menawarkan pembangunan kembali komunitas social keagamaan.

    _ Rakyat Kecil_.
    >Banyak orang penting diatang pada konferensi “Agama untuk Perdamaian di Thailand Selatan”. Tetapi, momen yang paling istimewa adalah ketika seorang Muslimah muda mengambil mikrofon. Saudara perempuannya sudah orang biasa yang tidak menyokong pemberontak atau kerajaan tetapi di-bunuhkan “dengan tidak sengaja” di-perang yang kecil ini. Saudaranya tengah pergi ke sekolah di motorkar ketika dua orang teroris yang mengendarai sepeda motor berhenti di belakangnya. Sebuah motorkar besar melaju ke-depan dan menembakkan peluru motor sepeda: tetapi saudaranya tewas akibat tembakan yang nyasar tersebut. Jadi, usaha2 pemerintah untuk memburu para pemberontak harus memakan korban nyawa orang lain yang tidak bersalah. Pemudi yang biasa ini sudah kehilangan sekarang jumlah empat anggota keluarganya. Dia merayukan kepada anggota konferensi agar “mencari solusi, untuk membantu kami”. Dia menyeru kepada hadirin agar “mencoba mendengar suara masayarakat kecil di Thailand Selatan”.

    Upaya Mengkonsepsikan Persoalan Seiring Terbatasnya Waktu
    >Pada sesi kelompok kecil yang dibuat pada konferensi itu, menjadi semakin jelas bahwa dengan berbagai penderitaan orang-orang Thailand penganut Buddha merasakan hilangnya kontrol Negara mereka atas sebagian besar dari kaum Patani (yaitu wilayah2 kecil Patani, Yala dan Narathiwat yang di-kenakan oleh kerajaan Thai), tetapi mereka masih sangat sulit menerima identitas dan tuntutan orang-orang Melayu itu. Berbagai penjelasan sosial dan ekonomi, yang sementara dapat dipandang benar didalam dirinya, dapat membantu orang-orang Buddha untuk menghindari berbagai ciri khusus kaum Melayu Patani yang harus diberi resources untuk berkembang di dalam Negara Thailand, jika orang Melayu secara sukarela menerima Negara Thailand.
    >Di-titik ini, yang paling tidak diterima oleh orang nasionalist Thai adalah bahasa — bahwa bahasa Melayu harus menjadi bahasa rasmi Negara di samping bahasa Thai di-Patani. Diantara Melayu Islam Patani, ada kemarahan dalam institusi-institusi pendidikan yang tinggi, baik sekuler maupun Islam, terhadap “kelaparan” dan “pembunuhan” bahasa Melayu melalui proses sistemik dan panjang selama beberapa dekad oleh Negara Thailand. Sisi positifnya, konferensi untuk pembangunan perdamaian ini telah menawarkan penerjemahan berbagai cerama yang dibacakan dalam bahasa Thai itu ke dalam bahasa Melayu secara simultan. Sudah seperti menjadi keharusan bahwa pemerintah Thailand paksa dari 2008 untuk memasang papan pengumuman yang di samping bahasa Thai juga bertuliskan Melayu-Arab dan beberapa ayat al-Qur’an untuk mengirimkan pesan bahwa memberontak melawan Negara Thailand juga berarti mengingkari kehendak Allah. Ini merupakan tindakan prakmatis dari Negara, untuk mencadangkan bahwa dia tidak musuh Bahasa Melayu. Akan tetapi dalam beberapa tahun barangkali proses menyesuaikan akan menjadi penerimaan yang tulus terhadap keaslian bahasa Melayu Patani yang dipakai Negara — penggunaan rasmi yang bahkan mungkin menghentikan konflik. Hal itu barangkali dapat mengurangi konflik secara signifikan.
    Selama dua hari konferensi tentang “membangun perdamaian antara Buddha dan Muslim” itu tidak ada satu pun pembicara yang mengangkat isu agar pemerintah Thailand menjadikan bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa komunikasi tulis pemerintah di samping bahasa Thai sendiri. Tuntutan ini oleh para pemuda terdidik yang diyakini dapat menjadi orang 2 nasionalis juga tidak muncul dalam diskusi kelompok kecil di-konferensi. Didalam kumpulan kecil satu yang saya duduk didalamnya, seorang biarawan Buddha mengemukakan se-pintas lalu bahwa sebagian orang di Selatan masih berbicara bahasa Melayu, dan barangkali bahasa tersebut seharusnya diajarkan sebagai mata pelajaran di lingungan satu sekolah Buddha yang lokal untuk membekali para biarawan di Selatan Thailand dalam melakukan dialog dengan Melayu Muslim tetangga mereka dalam kehidupan sehari-hari.
    >Bagi sebagian orang Budha Liberal, nampaknya sulit untuk melangkah lebih jauh dan mengkonsepsikan bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa tulis yang menawarkan khazanah Islam klasik dan literatur modern yang pada tingkat tertentu akan menyaingi khazanah Thailand yang terdiri dari peradaban orang2 Buddha multi bahasa. Setelah satu abad berupaya menggilas bahasa Melayu, menjadi kepentingan pemerintah Thailand sendiri dalam banyak hal untuk menawarkan hubungan patronase dan menfasilitasi bahasa Melayu dengan huruf Arab agar bahasa Thai dan bahasa Melayu Jawi tumbuh bersama-sama sebagai bahasa2 tercetak di era postmodern ini, dan masing-masing orang Melayu dan Budha justru dapat saling belajar dari yang lainnya.
    >Akan tetapi ini bukan sekedar persoalan menjelaskan kepada orang-orang Patani bahwa dendam tutun temurun dari Phibul Songram terhadap bahasa Melayu berhuruf Arab telah berakhir. Penyelesaian kompromis untuk rekonsiliasi harus berhujung kepada dirikan penggunaan dua bahasa dalam sekolah-sekolah kerajaan dan berbagai departemen-departemen pemerintahan. Hal itu bukan hanya akan berarti bahwa orang-orang Melayu diberikan kesempatan untuk belajar bahasa Melayu sebagai mata pelajaran di sekolah-sekolah negeri, akan tetapi juga murid-murid Budha di sana harus pula mempelajarinya sejajar dengan bahasa Thai untuk kepentingan penggunaan praktis dalam profesi2 sesudah menyelesaikan sekolah. Patani sesudah proses rekonsiliasi akan menyerupai Quebec didalam federasi Canada: yakni minoritas penutur Inggris yang harus hidup di lingkungan negara Prancis itu di-paksa mengguna bahasa itu di-dalam kehidupannya seharian. Bilingualisme (penggunaan dua bahasa) adalah suatu cara kehidupan yang radikal.
    Sikap lemah lembut, dan kemampuan untuk menyeberang batas-batas loyaliti2 pada unit-unit komunal, merupakan ciri khas Budha Thailand yang barangkali dapat berguna bagi mencapai kompromi perdamaian di Patani. Akan tetapi, biarawan-biarawan Liberal barangkali terlalu yakin bahwa pengalaman masa lalu mereka sebagai mediator dalam upaya perdamaian cukup membantu perdamaian dengan orang Islam Patani yang sebenarnya sangat berbeda dari kelompok-kelompok pinggiran manapun yang pernah dibantu mereka untuk melakukan rekonsiliasi pada dekad-dekad sebelumnya. Para agamawan Budha Liberal sangat bangga dengan peranan2 mereka sebagai mediator di Timur Laut Thailand yaitu di wilayah yang sangat miskin yang terisolasi dari Bangkok dalam waktu yang amat panjang. Di sana, biarawan2 membantu menyelesaikan pertikaian antar klan lokal dalam persoalan air dan sumber daya alam yang lain. Para biarawan juga telah membantu rekonsiliasi antara Suku Isan di Timur Laut Thailand dengan pemerintah yang sebelumnya selalu “membabat” mereka di bawah payung Field Marshal Phibul Songgram. Akan tetapi, Suku Isan berbicara dalam suatu bentuk bahasa Lao yang sangat mirip dengan bahasa Thai, yang pemerintah Thailand telah mengganti tuturan lokal bahasa itu dalam beberapa dekad: tentu jauh lebih mudah untuk membangun rekonsiliasi yang konstruktif dengan mereka daripada dengan Patani yang tidak memiliki kedekatan apapun dalam hal bahasa dan agama. Setelah ketegangan yang panjang, sistem Thailand dapat menggabungkan kaum Isan dengan baik dalam Negara mono-kultural yang mereka membangunkan, dan orang2 Isan menjadi anggota2 setia didalamnya.
    >Dapatkah sistem Thailand melakukan hal serupa dalam kasus Patani? Kata-kata Ismail Lutfi Chapakia yang tulus bahwa “Orang Thailand Budha dan Muslim sebagai saudara” adalah kemajuan utama dalam pemikiran komunitasnya menuju identifikasi bangsa Thailand yang sejati. Pada sisi yang lain, banyak agamawan Muslim yang bergabung dengan sistem Thailand membawa harapan2 terbatas dengan mereka. Pidato Rektor Isma’il Ali telah menunjukkan betapa lancar dia sekarang di-bahasa kesusasteraan Thai yang sudah menimbulkan kesulitan untuknya di-zaman mudanya. Akan tetapi ia tetap memberikan karakter kepada sistem Thailand sebagai sangat diskriminatif dan melakukan kesalahan terhadap orang Patani hingga sekarang. Ia berupaya memberikan shock terapi kepada orang Thailand liberal.
    Beberapa biarawan Budha, aparat pemerintah Thailand, dan militer memahami bahwa beberapa perubahan harus dilakukan. Ini adalah segi positif dari konferensi itu yang menurut ukuran Thailand amat radikal. Akan tetapi, kita harus wait and see apakah mereka dapat menangkap persoalan secara utuh — isu penerimaan kepelbagaian agama dan bahasa, terutama untuk membuat beberapa perubahan segera sebelum Thailand Selatan mencapai satu titik tidak mungkin mengembalikan aman-damai kepada Thailand.

    ***
    Penerjemah Dr. Ibnu Burdah
    Pusat Studi Timur Tengah Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Kalijaga

  2. Dr Dennis Walker

    _Patani: Traditional Shafi‘i Learned Arabophone Islam: Its Evolution Since 1770_

    by Dr Dennis Walker,

    Monash Asia Institute,

    Monash University,

    Australia 3162.

    This essay assesses Middle Eastern intellectual elements and influence in Patani. Influences from Arabs and the Middle East will be intimate and wide for a long time because of the plural openings and conduits that the history and the structure of the old civilization of the Patanians offer them. Features of recent Patanian sufferings, in tandem with globalization, also draw ultra-topical experiences and resistance techniques to pour in from Islam’s heartlands. But Arabic-literate and nationalist Patanians have repeatedly asserted their title to select mainly what suits their country and interests from Arab civilization and Middle Eastern groups. It makes selection for local needs easier that the histories, intellectualisms classical and modern, histories and recent experiences offered by Arabic, the Middle East and Arabs are so compound and diverse. A Patanian can pick and choose as he or she wants without breaking the relationship that will remain inherent until a complete Thaiicization or secularization triumph.

    The founder of the school of Islamic law that Patani came to follow, Muhammad Ibn Idris al-Shafi’i (b. Gaza AD767, d. Egypt 820), has been recognized as an original and versatile thinker, even by Western scholars. In devising a methodology of legal science, al-Shafi’i founded fiqh (Goldziher). He defined the authenticated ahadith (statements of the Prophet Muhammad) and Muhammad’s practice as having the same authority as the God-revealed Qur’an. al-Shafi’i was somewhat eclectic and his legal methodology stood between (a) the historical or empirical school of Malik and (b) the speculative school of Abu Hanifah (who founded the Maliki and Hanafi school of fiqh): Margoliouth hypothesized that al-Shafi‘i displayed some acquaintance with Aristotelian logic. Joseph Schacht appreciated al-Shafi‘i as the first to lay down an Islamic legal theory that identified the four major sources of Islamic law : (a) the Quran, (b) the Sunnah, (c) consensus of scholars (ijma’) and (d) analogy (qiyas). A.H. Bin Haji Othman (2008) tried to show that al-Shafi’i’s legal theory was aimed at defending the Sunni fiqh still under construction against attacks from the Ahl al-Kalam intellectual theologians, and from other early schools of fiqh [Dr Abdus Salam Muhammad Shukri, "The Current State of al-Shafi'i Studies" ­_Hamdard Islamicus_ v. 31:1 January-March 2008 pp. 41-47. Bin Haji Othman's discussion of al-Shafi'i was in his 1976 PhD thesis _Shafi'i and the interpretation of the Role of the Qur’an and the Hadith_ (University of St Andrews 1976)]. Yet the extreme tone that al-Shafi’i — and others in his school of law long after him — assumed in attacking Kalam theology suggests that he was less responding to attacks from the al-Kalam theologians than trying to assert something novel of his own against a Kalam sector in learned Islam that had been established there for some time.

    Patani’s tradition of high literate Islam does have a liberal or experimental margin to it that can form and test hypotheses instead of jumping to conclusions. It has had some attitudes that at least some issues have not been finalized as yet and may need flexible new consideration. The Shaykh Dawud Ibn ‘Abdallah al-Fatani (1769-1847), the versatile writer who lastingly structured the psyche of literate Patanians, brought together diverse elements that sometimes sat together uneasily. Primarily, Dawud expounded Shafi’ite legalistic Islam. al-Shafi‘i condemned the Kalam theology that developed in ‘Abbasid Baghdad, and his late successor al-Sayyuti tried to bring together a corpus of literature to finish it forever. But al-Shaykh Dawud did not always follow his law school’s original rejection of that old Kalam in the Middle East.

    Asman Taeali (2004) has divided the history of writing on Fiqh Islamic law and its implementation into two periods. From the conversion of the Patanian governing class in the fifteenth century, Fiqh was taught, but only in the Palace, up to the end of the classical intact Sultanate of Patani. Taeali mentions bare names of specialists in Fiqh under the Patani Sultanate: Wan Husayn Thanawi and Faqih Wan Musa who opened the first pondok Islamic school in Patani. But it was seminal writers like the Shaykh Dawud al-Fatani and the Shaykh Muhammad Isma’il ad-Dawudi al-Fatani in the 18th and 19th centuries who then through their works in Malay enabled anyone in the general population to study Fiqh. They were among a host of writers whose works were early published from the Middle East using the new technology of the printing press so that they got through to the masses of ordinary Patanians [[Taeali, _Fikhnipoonkong Sheik Muhammad Bin Isma'il ad-Dawudi al-Fatani naingsa _Matla' al-Badrayn_ (The Methods of Writing of Shaykh Muhammad Bin Isma'il al-Dawudi in the _Matla' al-Badrayn_), submitted at the Faculty of Islamic Studies PSU (Pattani) 2004, pp. 23-27]]. Since the 1960s a new third period has evolved in which neo-Wahhabites tried to evolve a fresh Islamic Law and Theology derived from the Hanbali School in Sa’udi Arabia: they are not at their ease before the traditional learned Shafi‘ite thought that the Shaykh Dawud al-Fatani dominates.

    In his short treatise _Munyat al-Musalli_ (The Farthest Aim of He Who Prays), Dawud was equally concerned with the legalistic practice of the ritual prayer and also its deeper spirituality, which for him connected out to a special closeness that Sufi mystic individuals could achieve to God. Prayer could win a “delicious richness” (lazat manis) for adept individuals who lifted themselves to the stage of “loving servants” (hamba muhibbin) of Allah, to whom the Beloved clarified Himself. The exterior “visible” (zahir) movements of the body are to bring the “inner” (batin) sincerity, self-abasing submission, and yearning for God, and the process of coming to understand Him, that are their purpose [[Muhammad Uthman el-Muhammady, _Persuratan Melayu Wilayah Timur_ pp. 53-54]]. In some regions of the world, Sufi mystics have seen some striving towards the divine in some adherents of other religions. There was, though, nothing latitudinarian in regard to the ritual requirements of orthodox Sunni Islam in Shaykh Dawud’s writings. Dawud regarded those standardized Arabic prayers, shared with the rest of the Muslim world, as the indispensable departure point or frame for believers to draw towards the presence of God. Sunnism’s ritual prayers, of which there is a minimum of five every day, are mechanistic in the sense that every speech-block and every movement are laid down in a strict order by each of the four madhhabs or schools of law. For non-Arab Muslims, those words are in a foreign language (Arabic) so that ordinary Muslims may not understand what they chant. But Dawud’s Malay glosses made the letter of every phrase completely intelligible to ordinary Malays so that for them, too, ritual Arabic prayers became a rational experience. Again, in this conceptions-rich experience the Prophet Muhammad was the prescriptive model: “pray as you have seen me pray” [= no Sufi saint could modify those prayers, or would want].

    But that would not be quite enough on its own. Ritual prayer brings to those who love God a foretaste of Paradise: it is the mine (“al-ma‘din”) from which those passionate lovers extract the secrets of approach to God. Again, the physically intricate ritual prayer of Sunni orthodoxy is the way of access to that Divine: prayer is the head of the body of religion, and who can live once his head has been taken? The standard Arabic prayers were obligatory five times a day. Still, in the _Munyat_, and following his master al-Ghazzali, Dawud despised those who could perform the set ritual prayer only in its mechanical form (_rupa sembahyang_). al-Ghazzali certainly stressed the formal bodily movements of the standard Arabic prayers as crucial for eternal salvation, but if that be all the individual offers to God He will reject him/her: it would be like presenting to a king someone who had had members hacked off from his body, or a corpse, which would insult the status of that Monarch. Dawud al-Fatani excerpted what he presented as a _hadith _ of the Prophet Muhammad that prefigured the sense of Islamic mystics that they achieve a personal encounter with God in which the curtains of the mundane are lifted, so that the esoteric “secret truths” (_haqa’iq al-asrar_) are made plain to God’s passionate lovers — a state to which not so many Muslims ascend. This Arabic prayer attributed to Muhammad is beautiful in its joy to have got alone with God for almost personal communication with Him through that _salat_ ritual.

    Clearly, Dawud regarded Muhammad as the founder of the mystics (those with the special knowledge — _al-‘arifin_ as he calls them). But as this is through Muhammad’s ritual prayers that all Muslims have to perform, may the question then become if the common people, once instructed by the correct writings of Dawud et al, can glimpse God directly themselves through their prayer without recourse to Sufi masters? For al-Ghazzali and Dawud, the bodily movements of the ritual prayer need the “spirit” (_ruh_) that brings the individual to the innermost reality (“haqiqat yang batin”). For them, this knowledge essential for salvation was brought out through the practise of Islamic mysticism. Yet _Munyat al-Musalli_ did not much project mystic saints or spiritual masters as figures with a special gnosis who could affiliate ordinary Malays to God.

    In _Munyat al-Musalli_ Dawud fused every step and movement in the intricate ritual prayer to a specific spiritual experience and gain. He stated in it that the some _‘awamm_ or common people neglected prayer and were close to being unbelievers: his career popularized Sunni orthodox legalism and mysticism among ordinary Malays. Clearly, he wrote this essay on multiple planes for plural audiences, among monolingual Malays and others literate in Arabic, who had disparate levels of knowledge [[al-Shaykh Dawud Bin ‘Abdallah al-Fatani, _Munyat al-Musalli_ (Pattani City: Matba‘atu Bin Halabi nd.) pp. 2-5; the _awamm_ p. 25]]. Conversely, the reason that Dawud in _Munyat al-Musalli_ seldom spoke specifically of some religious elite of Sufi legists may have been that he believed that most of his readers would be in or around that elite, and that his writings would induct many youth who read him into that elite stratum of professional Arabophone men of law.

    That Arabic was the only international Islamic learned language of Dawud al-Fatani — he had no direct access to radical later Persian mystics — narrowed the classical mystics in Islam’s heartlands he tapped to moderate earlier Arabs or quasi-Arabs. In _Munyat al-Musalli_ he mentioned early sober Sufi Hasan of Basrah (AD 657-728), al-Ghazzali of course, and Sayyidi Abu Madyan Shu‘ayb Ibn al-Husayn al-Ansari (1126-1198), the main founder of Sufism in North Africa and Andalusia. Ibn al-’Arabi termed Abu Madyan “the teacher of teachers”, and the al-Ghazzali beloved of al-Shaykh Dawud had been an early influence on his formation: Dawud duly translated and analysed in Malay Abu Madyan’s _Hikam_ or book of mystic maxims. Sufism and speculative Kalam theology in Patanian literate Islam were fitted into the sobriety and the legal imperatives of orthodox Sunni Islam. Dawud took up in Malay warnings by Abu Madyan so long before in his _Kanz al-Munan_ that believers should not credulously follow charismatic individuals merely because they can muster what look like the minor miracles (karamah) worked by real Sufi mystic saints. The criterion rather has to be if an individual carries out the statements and acts of the Prophet Muhammad and the injunctions and prohibitions of Islam’s law [[Muhammad Uthman el-Muhammady, _Persuratan Melayu Wilayah Timur_ pp. 55-56]]. The legist and mystic Wan Ahmad al-Fatani (1856-1908) near the end of the 19th century in his fatwa-letters (_al-Fatawa al-Fataniyyah_ letter 106 ) took up Dawud’s warnings about mental abuse and deception by fake mystics who put followers and children into trances with their emotionalism. Himself in the same Ahmadiyyah sufi order as the abusers, Wan Ahmad called for leadership in religion to go to real scholars who would know both the Islamic law and the mystic _haqiqat_(“Reality”) — be “the religious scholars of Sufism” (_‘ulama’ al-sufiyyah_) — in a balance like Dawud’s.

    While many of Dawud al-Fatani’s works were concerned with rituals of worship, Islamic law and jurisprudence, in others he addressed the _usul al-din_, the broad discussion of the qualities and oneness of God, although he wrote more about Tasawwuf_ mysticism. He defined the _Usul_ at the outset of his _al-Durr al-Thamin_ as the science to define the Being or Selfhood (_Dhat_) of God and his qualities with logical convincing evidences. At the onset of that treatise, Dawud recognized Abul-Hasan al-Ash’ari as the key founder of the Islamic tradition that he was now articulating in Patani, the Shafi’ite component in the orthodox Sunni _Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah_. Abu ‘Ali Muhammad Bin ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Juba’i of Basrah was one of the most celebrated writers of the Mu’tazilah “free will” theologians. Close to the opening of _al-Durr al-Thamin_, Dawud mentioned that al-Ash’ari spent thirty years as al-Juba’i’s adherent before separating to become the main polemicist against the Mu’tazilah in the classical Arabs’ _’ilm al-Kalam_ theology. While classical Arab works cite a dispute of those writers over three brothers and predestination as provoking al-Ash’ari to exit, Dawud Ibn ‘Abdallah’s account in Malay portayed a sleep vison of the Prophet, who promised al-Ash’ari his aid, as the inspiration. Henceforth, God helped al-Ash’ari with Qur’anic verses and hadiths to propound arguments and proofs without precedence in the discussions and books of scholars before him about the nature of God [[_al-Durr al-Thamin_ (Pattani City: Matba'atu Hallabi nd. 3-4]].
    Dawud alluded to trials and executions that sometimes occurred under the classical ‘Abbasid Caliphs when they tried to make Mu’tazilite or non-Mu’tazilite doctrines official and prescriptive. Still, his discussion leaves a strong impression that pluralism of opinions was frequent under that Caliphate and the tradition of _’Ilm al-Kalam_ theological intellectualism it bequeathed to the Muslim world. A fair amount of divergence of opinions, and dialogue between them, a certain freedom of thought, would characterize the Patanian Malay successor-intellectualism that Dawud launched to our own day. We shall see that the 20th century Patanian ‘Abd al-Qadir Wang was to be less appreciative of al-Ash’ari than Dawud, while still striving to maintain that old ‘Iraqi quasi-pluralism as neo-Wahhabis geared up to excise it from Patani.

    Like the _Usul al-Din_, Patani’s Shafi’ite Islam was a mystic Sufi tradition that always kept itself continuous with its prototype of Arab World Sunnism, with its strict and sometimes almost rationalistic criteria for scrutinizing all who claimed to be pietist and mystical and to have a God-granted title to govern. In testing all who claimed admission with a synthesis of Islam’s external law and regulations and the deeper inner reaching for God, this synthesis had some critical self-reflection also. This dominant quasi-official development of Islam in Patani had powers of subtle psychological analysis of others that were to distinguish resistance by Patanians vis-a-vis Thailand’s efforts to govern and change them and their country after 1908.

    A key issue in Patanian nationalism has been how much power political elites should maintain — and in particular, given Patani’s Sultanate structure before the Thai conquest, should monarchs. We saw that Islam forced the early Patani rulers to give up the immemorial Indic status of the ruler as God King of the Universe. As they embraced and internalized Islam, they found consolation in the doctrine of ‘Abbasid ‘Iraq that the Caliph was the “Shadow of God on Earth”: it too could condition the subjects to allow them (reduced) despotic powers. The Shaykh Dawud was ambiguous here. On one hand he wanted a strong Muslim government that would force the population to strictly follow Arabic-literate Shafi’ite Islam, and beat off the polytheist Siamese proto-Thais. But then the monarchy would implement Islam on the ground as a sort of auxiliary of the Shafi‘ite Arabophone clerics who would be the elite component that would plan and implement an Islamic society.

    al-Shaykh Dawud al-Fatani tried to place institutional scrutiny and checks upon ruling monarchs, but found only limited materials in his particular heritage of Islam. In regard to the motif of the “zillullah” or “Shadow of God on the Earth”, taken up by the Patani sultans to keep royal power as divine as Islam allowed, he attributed a statement to the Prophet Muhammad that a Sultan whom most respected was the shadow of God on this earth if he judged with fairness: but “if he shows evil the sin falls upon him while you have to stay patient/endure”. Muslim monarchs, then, were not all of one grading within Sunni institutional scrutiny by the Arabophone clerics. Monarchs can quickly become toxic and thus make bad decisions, although Sunni Islam is cautious about insurrection. From the time of the kings of the children of Israel, reflected Dawud, Muslim monarchs have had a male official who bears multiple copies of a sheet of reminders that the ruler is mortal, not a god, and that his place in the Hereafter will be determined by how merciful he may prove to his subjects in this life. When the monarch shows signs of anger, the official hands him the sheets one by one. In this pre-modern Islamist tradition of Patani, the monarch had the obligation to implement between people the laws and ordinances of God because only that can achieve their welfare and reconcile them. These arguments of the Shaykh Dawud had a universalizing sweep that wanted the Sultan to apply those laws’ justice to his non-Muslim as well as Muslim subjects. This can entail some critical scrutiny of the performance of at least some classical Muslim states. A Jew complained to the Umayyad Caliph ‘Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan (r. 685-705) that “some of your high officials have wronged me”. ‘Abd al-Malik twice refuses to listen but when the plaintif cites a Torah passage against the condoning of injustice dismisses that official and restores the entitlement of that Jew [[al-Shaykh Dawud, _Munyat al-Musalli_ pp. 31-33: the _awamm_ p. 25. In regard to the _hadith_ that the Sultan who rules with justice is the shadow of God in the world, Dawud al-Fatani often did not cite the specific collections of hadiths from which he drew those he cited. But a very similar hadith is sourced by http://www.alsunnah.com to the _Kitab al-Amwal_ by Ibn Zinjawayh (Riyad: Maktabat al-Ma'arif nd.): Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani dismissed the hadith as "weak" or forged]]. Classical Sunni Islam in the Middle East faulted the Umayyad Caliphs or monarchs of Damascus as less exemplary than the Rashidi state of the companions of the Prophet that they replaced. But Dawud may have deemed it unlikely that any state, or at least any monarch, could be perfect: even Hebrew prophet-kings of the ranking of David and Solomon had needed those warning sheets. Al-Fatani believed that the monarchical state of the Umayyads was still Muslim like the preceding non-hereditary Rashidi caliphs who knew the Prophet, if stumblingly so: if the subjects have avenues of appeal and complaints to monarchs, if those Muslim kings give some hearing to revealed scriptures, and if there are inbuilt checks or at least scrutiny in the system, then a reasonable degree of good governance can be built that will be Islamic in an imperfect way.

    [‘Abd al-Malik was the statesman who made Arabic the language of government administration in the Umayyad Empire, replacing Greek: he defeated the Christian Byzantines at the battle of Sebastopolis in 692, and built two glorious mosques in Jerusalem to cordially rival the beautiful Christian and Jewish religious sites there. Dawud al-Fatani’s image that this great Umayyad Islamic monarch saw some truths in the surviving Torah of the Jews that could scrutinize him may one day draw Patanian intellectuals towards an iota of theosophist tolerance of Buddhists within a Thai state-structure].

    The Shafi’ite traditionalist Sunni thought that Dawud popularised had some potential to scrutinize government and stratification. However, Dawud also had a strong sense of hierarchy determined by how much _‘Ilm al-Kalam_ and Sufi-mystical and legalistic knowledge individuals and groups had. This was the gap between (a) those who “knew” God with knowledge, and could cite the proofs and evidence — ie the _Ahl al-Khawass_ or elite —, and (b) those who have Belief merely through _taqlid_(tradition, imitation), following doctrines without themselves presenting any proofs or arguments [p. 5].
    The Shaykh Dawud stood for a realistic, sober, non-revolutionary, Sufi stream in Sunni Islam that nonetheless was never too optimistic about politics and statal power. Here he and his fellow Shafi‘i clerics were beset by a dilemma. On one hand they wanted a strong government to spread and impose Islam and hold off outside polytheist powers, with ‘ulama’ serving as officials. On the other side, they were well aware that kings and queens have their own interests and proclivities: so how to control them? In one passage that could foster an elite, the Shaykh Dawud juxtaposed (a) Muslims who were stubbornly lax or incompetent in the ritual prayer and thus had to be fought and perhaps killed with (b) kings who neglected prayer, the Ramadan fast, the collection of the religious tithe (_zakat_) and the interests of the ummah [[Dawud al-Fatani, _Munyat al-Musalli_ p. 25]]. Dawud did sometimes evince a sense that some Malay courts did not always implement Islam’s imperatives and morality.

    This tension or distinction between (a) Islamic scholars, legists and teachers and (b) courts and aristocrats was to carry over into the modern era and the Patanian nationalist movements it shaped.

    The setting of the historical relationship with imperialist Siam for centuries highlighted Patani monarchs and their courts and aristocracies as the defenders of Patanian national liberty. New generations of royal aristocrats were to be active in such successive nationalist organizations as the GEMPAR, the National Front for the Liberation of Patani (“Barisan Nasional Pembebasan Patani”: BNPP), the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (National Liberation Front: BRN) and the Patani United Liberation Organization (PULO). Such old works of the Shaykh Dawud still widely read in the 20th century as his _Munyat al-Musalli_ offered materials that commoners and Arabophone clerics could apply to scrutinize and limit the power of royalty and traditional aristocrats in such organizations and independence movements.

    Clearly, the Shaykh Dawud al-Fatani and his successor epigones were not way-out theosophist mystics for whom one religion was as good as another. The reach of all the elements that Dawud al-Fatani and his pupils drew in from the Middle East, but also the original ways in which they knitted them together, were impressive as a synthesis. They tried to actualize Islam’s claim to make all of life a single act of worship and to cover and unify all sectors of experience. This heritage is intellectually muscular and versatile, being based on a superb knowledge of Arabic, whose sciences these authors diffused (in part at least) in functional, clear Malay to masses at village level in Patani and other areas of the Malay-speaking world. Yet this ethos was sober and realistic about political and social power by Muslims, whether monarchs and governing aristocrats or mystics or ‘ulama’ who claimed special links to the Divine. The literate Shafi‘ite heritage endorsed plurality, and margins of choice, in classical Islam in the Middle East.

    Patani’s Shafi‘i traditional clerics and legists were more flexible thinkers than the “young people” Islamic reformists and then the post-War Wahhabites who were to come, and culturally richer than the latter at least. But on matters of the tenets, their ritual practices, the prohibitions of Islam and Infidelity, the learned Patanian traditionalists could be as severe as the school of Ibn Hanbal and its offshoot of Wahhabism that was to arrive.

    We now shift to a much later period in which Patani was heading towards the impact of the modern world, and the Thai state was thickening the small pockets of Patani that it controlled. The Shaykh Wan Ahmad Bin Muhammad Zayn Bin Mustafa Bin Muhammad al-Fatani (1856-1908), perhaps of Hadramawti descent, showed an unusual range of capacities in Islamic studies, in the Arabic language, and in the high politics of the Malay world. He was a polymath who did researches in the science of chemistry in a quest for the philosopher’s stone that could turn other materials into gold and was well attuned to such inventions of the West’s modern science (eg. trains, electricity and telephones) as came his way — a West-derived education might have made him a good scientist! Ahmad was active in worldly enterprises, becoming rich, and a valued advisor of the Raja of neighboring Kelantan, for instance on the treatment of people who were possessed by trances (_majdhub_). He composed poetry in Arabic and left works in it on the grammar and styles of the language that (in his ethos) was the medium of a Qur’an revealed by God [Ahmad Fathi al-Fatani, _'Ulama' Besar Dari Fatani_ (Selangor: UKM 2001) pp. 54-55, 57].

    Wan Ahmad grappled with the dangers to Islam posed by disregard of the religion among sectors of elite and ordinary Muslims, and by the stepped-up efforts by Thailand to establish stable governance in Patani.

    Wan Ahmad Bin Muhammad Zayn al-Fatani’s succinct essay _Faridat al-Fara’id fi ‘Ilm al-Aqa’id_ (_The Foremost Duty Imposed by the Learned Islamic Science of Tenets_), still a classic, was a mix of severity and moderation. The essay had a sense of Belief as something fragile in the souls of humans. A person can become an apostate by getting the idea that there is no God or by coming to doubt one of His attributes endorsed by the consensus (_ijma‘_) of the ‘ulama, such as his Unity, or by formally denying such prescriptions known to both elite and ordinary Muslims as prayer, fasting in Ramadan, or through unsureness about the truth of Paradise and hell and the duty of abstention from fornication, or by imbibing alchohol, and by oppression against other humans, for example through usury, or by running away from the combats against the infidels (“lari dari berperang dengan kuffar”).

    Once more, it is clear that mysticism in scholastic Patanian Islam did not have to lead to a lax attitude to the divergent beliefs of other religious groups, and particularly not if they threatened Muslim sovereignty: Ahmad al-Fatani developed the jihadism already marked in the great Dawud in the early 19th century. Ahmad was highly concerned that the Patanians continue to wage the holy Jihad against (hostile?) infidels who worship idols, and this recurring theme of his writings would have motivated some Patanians to give a good account of themselves in conflicts with Thais thrusting south to establish control over Patani. “In order to protect the Religion, it has been imposed by the Islamic law (_shar’_) to fight against all kafir harbi [=outside Muslims intent to destroy a Muslim state], and apostates from Islam, by preparing all the instruments of strength and measures at our disposal to ward off their wickedness”. For Ahmad Bin Muhammad Zayn Bin Mustafa Bin Muhammad al-Fatani, when someone becomes an open apostate, he has to be summoned by the ruler, for instance a king, to return to Islam: if after instruction he refuses twice then he has to be put to death. It is integralist, severe and has a clarity that Muslims who turn liberal and effete can lose. While Wan Ahmad al-Fatani defined riddah or apostacy in terms of blatant acts and statements, there was a potentiality for the concept to get out of control and justify totalitarian surveillance of society by Arabophone clerical professionals. It could then be twisted to justify jihad attacks on Muslim sub-groups over secondary divergences of opinion that did not go beyond the circuit of Islam. However, Shafi’ite scholastic notices did not always give an ethnically specific anti-Buddhist twist to the denunciations of polytheism in the medieval Arabic materials that the clerics tapped and diffused.

    Orthodox mystical Patanian Islam in its formal tenets barred the formation of community with Buddhist neighbors. The classical Arab materials made the Patanian scholars’ detestation of polytheism vital and central to their psyches. The Ash‘arite materials that the literate Patanian tradition recycled ridiculed the idea that there could be more than the one God, Allah. If God were split up, each of those plural gods would be weak and they in that condition certainly would not have been able to create this world, which is negated by its existence before us: God is self-evidently One, contended Wan Ahmad al-Fatani. [[Isma'il Benjasmith, Isma'il Benjasmith, _Botbaattan-karueksa-lae-karmuangkong chaik Wan Ahmad al-Fatani (2399-2451)_/_The roles of Shaykh Ahmad al-Fatani (1865-1908 AD) in Education and Politics_ (MA submitted to Faculty of Islamic Studies, Prince of Songkla University (P) 2007/BE 2551) pp. 19-20, 19, 7]]. Polytheism was the object of hatred from the learned Wan Ahmad, but an issue is how far he might give his animus ethnic specificity to make it denounce the Siamese Buddhists of his region. Wan Ahmad was able to visualize relations of recurring conflicts between Muslim groups and some “infidel kings”. In a fatwa judgement for Cham Muslims in Cambodia, he pluralized the infidels of Siam, China and Cambodia within the category of “the idols-worshipping unbelievers”, as against unbelievers with no coherent religion such as the forest-dwelling Pangan tribes in Kelantan. Although a zealous Sufi (if a swinging, manic one), Wan Ahmad did not when the context was sovereignty by non-Muslims seek for anything good in Buddhism or Hinduism. The original Torah that the Hebrews were once given and the Injil book revealed to Jesus were destroyed: the current Bibles were then “invented”. Hindus are fire-worshippers (Majusi) and the Buddhist Siamese and Chinese “idol-worshippers”. Wan Ahmad al-Fatani, then, was the reverse of an ecumenicist: he did not see the Muslims of Patani as having anything to learn from the practises, ideas, books and devotions of their non-Muslim neighbors. He assumed the right of Muslims to seize minors from infidel groups engaged in wars against Muslims (_kafir harbi_) and to make them concubines although those kafir females had to adopt Islam first before that role (his Fatwa 44). The scholarly literature assumes that very recent and novel influences from Arabs following WW2 transformed the Patanians into today’s jihadists: those jihadists then try to assassinate a Patanian mystic tradition that had been open and constructive to Buddhists: they “go for” both Sufis and Buddhists together. The writings of Shaykh Dawud al-Fatani and Wan Ahmad al-Fatani rather show that there is a very old corpus of materials in Patani’s mystic Shafi‘ite Islam that will stand up to Thai Buddhist incursions with Jihad: diverse anti-imperialist and jihadist motifs from Arabs are then grafted with care by Patanians onto this anti-Buddhist Jihadist aspect of personality as it evolves over centuries.

    Yet, the Shaykh Wan Ahmad hurled away to outside Islam self-proclaimed mystic saints (_wali_) who could have been insinuating that they were supplanting, or equalled, Arabia’s Muhammad as Last Prophet of Allah [590]: this followed immediately on his dismissal of Buddhism and Hinduism. There thus could have been some Sufis in Patani more compatible with Buddhism than his sector that pored over the Arabic legal books. Moreover, Wan Ahmad’s own references to Buddhists had some duality. His motifs that could firm up Jihad resistance read to have been reactive and defensive for the most part. There were two possibilities: Jihad resistance or co-existence, towards Buddhists. If an undertaking of security (_’aman_, _ta’min_) is given by a group of kuffar (unbelievers), then Muslims who in consequence did not enter their country in a furtive way or by force would have no right to steal their possessions or seize their minors amid fighting or purchase them under duress (fatwa 44). In his advice from Mecca to the Cambodian Muslims, Wan Ahmad al-Fatani wanted that Muslim minority to be constructive to that state, which to be sure was in “the Realm of War” (_Dar al-Harb_). Muslims there could purchase stretches of brooks or canals in return for the right to catch and possess the fish they contained as a long-term arrangement of benefit to both the Muslims and the king of the non-Muslim land (fatwa 46 of _Kitab al-Fatawa al-Fataniyyah_). Such Muslims and such Buddhists might lucratively coexist for a long time!

    Thai national historiography has directed its focus to low-key trade and economic exchanges between Buddhists and Patanians — that many Patanians went into the then-Siam, and Cambodia and China and that many Buddhists came South into Patani. In such a view of history, the constructive marketplaces taught the Patanians the languages and ways of the Buddhists, setting in motion the almost voluntary incorporation of the Muslims of Patani into a new Thai nation. The payment by the Patani Sultanate of the symbolic “golden flower” tribute to Siam, the military incursions and expansion by the proto-Thai states, and formal recognition by the British in 1908 that Patani had been annexed forever to Thailand, were in a sense beside the point of the gradual economic and acculturative self-affiliation by the Patanians to the Thai nation into which they entered with more good spirit than the romantic nationalist historians who wrote in Malay have allowed. The writings of Dawud al-Fatani, Wan Ahmad al-Fatani and many other Sufistic legists do let slip — although they preferred to live in the Middle East rather than be part of it — that some interactions with Buddhists were good for all involved: money could outweigh disparate tenets.

    On the other hand, the Malay and Arabic writings of Dawud al-Fatani, Wan Ahmad al-Fatani et al delivered to Patanians an Arabo-Islamic civilization so ornate, diverse and wide that it probably would rule out meaningful drawing-together of Patanians and Buddhists into one humane nationhood. Patani was not big enough for both mega-cultures together: could the flexible and patient striving of Thai officials to phase out learned Patani Islam make things easier for both groups?

    Self-defensive or otherwise, severity in Patani’s scholastic Shafi‘ite Islam connects out to a grid of elements in classical Arab thought that are pluralistic and disordered, and which those influenced by Wahhabism in 21st century Patani accordingly want to expunge from the country.

    The degree of input of Sufism-tinged legalistic scholasticism into Patanian nationalism can be measured from the case of Hajji Sulong (1895-1954). “Sulong” (=Sallum) was a Shafi‘i Muslim like most of his compatriots, and during his decades in Mecca from the age of twelve, his teachers were Arabs, including Shafi‘ite Egptians. His “School of National knowledge” (Madrasat al-Ma‘arif al-Wataniyyah) was dualistic: he sought a symbolic patronage of the Thai government, yet at the same time its exuberant but disciplined “parade exercises” looked to some to be like the early stages of military training. One of the teachers had came from Egypt which had seen continuous political protests against the British presence since 1918. Sufism was long regarded sourly in some sectors of Arabo-Egyptian nationalism in Egypt, but among the books taught at al-Hajj Sallum’s school were the standard works of the mysticism-steeped traditional Shafi‘ite great writers of Patani : the _Munyat al-Musalli_ of al-Shaykh Dawud al-Fatani, the _Faridat al-Fari’id_ of Ahmad Bin Muhammad Zain Bin Mustafa Ibn Muhammad al-Fatani were prominent. A specialist in the interpretation of the Qur’an, al-Hajj Sallum’s lectures analyzing the provisions of Jihad Holy War at his school subsequently excited the public as well as his students.

    The classical Arab heritage is not just dogmatic-literalist, or legal. There are milieux in Patani in which, say, classical Arab Kalam or scholastic theology is a living tradition intertwined with current events and trends. One enduring instance was the short Jawi-Malay essay _Mabhath al-Kalam fi ‘Ilm al-Kalam_ (A Study of [God’s] Speech as Conceived in the Science of [Classical Arab] Theology), composed after World War 2 by the cleric ‘Abdul Qadir Wang, before the early 1960s, and republished in the 21st century by Saudara Press in Pattani City. It bore the immemorial Shafi‘ite discourse derived from Arabic that carries forward today in Patani issues of definition of God in 10th century ‘Iraq. Wan Ahmad al-Fatani had been ultra-careful about devising Malay equivalents to translate such theological terms of long-dead Arabs as _qadim_ and _qidam_ — “ancient” and “ancient pre-existence” as idiom to convey God as eternal (Wan Ahmad fatwa 4). Although he wrote from an Arab world in which he spent decades, Wan Ahmad sometimes tried to develop Malay from within its own indigenous vocabulary so as to make it a precise instrument to convey orthodox classical Islamic thought and law: he did not always take the easy course of simply adopting an Arabic term that was already exact. These lucid linguists of Patani, dyed though they were with Arabic, kept up a certain Malay authenticity.

    This is a Middle East-oriented religious intellectualism whose practitioners communicate skilfully to Patanians in general. It varies the levels of its pedagogical Malay to get its knowledge clearly across to diverse sectors of the population. ‘Abdul Qadir’s _Mabhath al-Kalam fi ‘Ilm al-Kalam_ looks to have been directed to the pupils in pondok schools and as a “lamp” for disturbed youth still groping around in darkness (the introduction by al-Hajj Ahmad al-Fusani 1375H/1955 ). The work considered the theological issues of the classical period’s Arabs and Muslims, primarily the attributes (sifat) and names of God: His qudrah (capacity) that rules out weak as a name for Him, God’s qidam or eternal pre-existence, God’s distinctness from occurrences or ’a‘rad, His indivisible Oneness, and His speech or _kalam_.

    Abu Hasan al-Ash‘ari (died 935 AD) has to be accounted one of the founders who assured the future supremacy of Sunni Islam, given his tightly-reasoned retorts under the ‘Abbasid Caliphs to the rationalistic Mu‘tazilah and his refutations of Shi‘ism and its claims to political leadership of a Muslim state by an Imam with some blood-line from the fourth Caliph ‘Ali. Wan Ahmad al-Fatani in matters of the _usul al-din_ followed closely al-Ash‘ari, whom neo-Wahhabites in Patani today charge smuggled into that science ‘Ilm al-Kalam theology that often was just camoflaged philosophy. A fair amount of discussion in _Mabhath _ pivoted around the term “kalam” for speech — the speech of God. The Mu‘tazilites in the classical Arabs’ ‘Iraq had argued that speech consists of “letters” (huruf) and sounds (aswat) to be put in a specific order: that dispensed with the idea of an eternal word of God (=the Qur’an). al-Ash‘ari argued that speech was an entity independent of the letters and sounds: this provided one motif for argumentation by the early Sunnites that the Qur’an had eternally existed in God (Gimaret). This Malay post-WW2 theological essay _Mabhath al-Kalam_ recycled such themes and terminologies from that world of classical Arab ‘Iraq in the 1960s. The essay was written in a crisp and clear formal Malay. There are many words — and even declensions and syntax — from classical Arabic in it, but it went over some inquiries several times with different levels of language for plural audiences: this would make most of it intelligible to even a Malay layman with limited Islamic education. Probably ‘Abdul-Qadir did not expect that most pupils and youth reading his work could follow the Arabic of the classical Islamic Middle East that is given substance in his essay. For those who were coming to understand Arabic, though, he went so far as to provide two and a half pages in Arabic from the book _Tahdhib al-Kalam fi Tahrir al-Mantiq wal-Kalam_ by the Perisan polymath Sa’d al-Din al-Taftazani (1322-1390 CE), which reviewed Kalam theology, turning around the subject of Divine and human modes of speech. al-Ash’ari was by no means consistent on some issues of theology in his voluminous writings, and differences of opinion were also marked between a range of formative Sunni authors and theologians. The Arabic work excerpted by ‘Abdul-Qadir notes the “almost irredeemably disordered variations of opinions [among the Arabic writers on the issue], especially the Ash‘arites”. In his resolve to affirm the total power and pervasiveness of God, al-Ash‘ari and his school had denied chains of causality apart from Him: they reduced all other things to a succession of discrete ephemeral “accidents” (_‘arad_: pl. _a‘rad_) that He ceaselessly created. The issue was still alive in Patani in the wake of World War 2! ‘Abdul-Qadir asked someone (a Malay? a category of Malays?) who were speculating about how much capacity, hearing, vision etc humans had, if he/they were drawing from some text of the Ash‘arites. He dismissed those texts: the views of the Ash‘arites were opposed by other (classical Arab?) scholars, although the long-standing argument had never been resolved.

    _Mabhath al-Kalam_ was a Malay theological study that projected conceptions of the attributes of God and an Eternal Qur’an in the mode of the Shafi‘ite Sunni sector of learned Islam. It did not do so rigidly, but encouraged its readers to think through the issues on their own account to some extent. They should not jump to conclusions: did not the Prophet warn that “haste comes from Satan while drawn-out consideration fits well with Belief”? The phrase that he pens again and again as he discusses issues he knows humans find hard to settle finally with full understanding, is “wallahu a‘lam” — “but God knows best”. The persona that ‘Abdul Qadir projected was one of humility. He opened the essay by observing that when a person achieves a high standing and office he should abase himself: as a bonus that will make people like him the more. On the other hand, if someone who has only a minor position and status puffs himself up, everyone will hate him. A nice guy and a good bloke our author — or a veil for toxic control of his students, hegemony through the pondok schools? Who was he trying to control from getting above themselves: the lecturers or the students? [[‘Abdul-Qadir Bin Wang “from the Village of Sekam in Patani”, _Mabhath al-Kalam fi ‘Ilm al-Kalam_ (Pattani City: Saudara Press c. 2002) pp. 2, 7, 14; my characterization of the classical Arabo-Islamic _Kalam_ theologians is from Daniel Gimaret, _Le Doctrine d’al-Ash‘ari_ (Paris: CERF 1990) passim]].

    ‘Abdul Qadir Wang carried forward the sense of the earlier great clerical authors of Patani, such as Shaykh Dawud al-Fatani and Wan Ahmad al-Fatani, in sometimes voicing a sense of a non-religiousness in daily life at the grass roots, a corrosion of morality there, that had to be fought by an Islamic government. This was the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s before Thai culture had its major impact on Patanians at the grassroots. The youth had to safeguard their bodies from the fleeting — fatal — joys of this brief world by thinking through the warnings of the Qur’an. God said “Do what you wish: verily He perceives all that you do” (Q 41:40). However, those who follow “fashion” derive from the verse a warrant for them to do what they want. It indicated, though, the grip that literate Islam and Arabic retained on Patanian society that young people who wanted a modern life-style and materialist success had to justify that from the Arabic Qur’an, which they read. God knows all actions we commit: let every soul be wary of the effects of those actions tomorrow, fearing God (Q 59:18). All have to order their lives through intelligence and “the religious sciences studied by the ‘ulama’ of the Sunnis, not the ‘ulama’ of the Mu‘tazilites, Shi‘ites or Wahhabis. That would only lead to confusion and disorder as we have witnessed in some events of these times”. We have seen from ‘Abdul Qadir’s own _Mabhath al-Kalam_ that the ideas of the Mu‘tazilites, although finally rejected by the Arabic Sunni tradition that the Patanians chose, could still unsettle Patanian intellectuals in his era, and that he still held the door open for them to speak by refusing to declare them kafirs or infidels. So long as one is arguing against the long-disappeared Mu‘tazilah they live still!

    In regard to the influence of Wahhabism in Patani by the 1980s, Patanians were still going after World War II to Mecca and Medinah to study, where Arabia had been under a resourceful Wahhabi government since Ibn Sa‘ud’s conquest of the Hijaz and the two holy cities of Mecca and Medinah in 1924: Patanian students and ‘ulama’ maintained some Shafi‘ite academic settings there but the Wahhabite reinvention of Sunni Islam was coursing all around them by now in the holy lands, corroding some. Towards the close of the 1980s, Wang completed a book (he noted 18 Dhul-Qa ‘dah 1409H/31 August 1988) _Irshad al-Jawiyyin ila Sabil al-‘Ulama’ al-‘Amilin_ (_Guidance to the Malays to the Path of the Diligent/Power-Exercising ‘Ulama’_). Broad-gauge issues of life and death and morality, and the importance of studying Arabic, had inspired Wang to pen this work of guidance to the youth of the Malay World: however, he felt enough concern to refute at length a Wahhabism that had been proposing itself through the implantation of Sa‘udi programs and institutions as Patani headed towards a compromise peace and a parliamentary form of government.

    Before everything else, this 1980s essay of ‘Abdul Qadir Wang sought extensive Arabic ritual prayers that went well beyond the five each day imposed as the compulsory minimum (_fard_) by Islam. Many in Patani were unreceptive, but here Wang was fighting a remissness and an inattention to prayer that was of the propertied elite as much as common people: it was a corruption that threatens Islam in every place and time because it springs from human nature and the prompting of the Devil (_Shaytan_). “Beloved teenagers (_anak-anak yang kasehi_),… God forbids any believers to neglect the prayer imposed by God and the Hereafter because of property and children… the sickness of choosing things that do not last while leaving those that do — that they could make themselves servants of their desires and the devil until both bring them to death… on their tickets to hell-fire”. ‘Abd al-Qadir Bin Wang into the 1980s was no doubt a true successor of the 18th-century Shaykh Dawud al-Fatani in the stress that this Arabic-literate Sufi-Shafi‘i tradition places upon frequent ritual prayers beyond the minimum five that Islam made compulsory (_fard_) for each day. He succeeds the Shaykh Dawud in his insistence that the prayers combine the “external” Arab words and movements (_zahir_) and their inner spirituality (_batin_) that is to be defined by “the ‘ulama’ of Mysticism” (_‘ulama’ Tasawwuf_): God will accept on the Last Day only believers who combined those two.

    This elaborate Shafi‘i Arabic-chanting Sunni orthodoxy was strict about ritual worship, but for it those Arabic prayers need not excise some local and built-up things and some religious forms in human community impulses, that have been assailed for decades as bid‘ah or heresies by some of the “young people” reformists, and then by Patanians colored by Wahhabism. Downgrading the status ascribed to the Prophet Muhammad before God, and railing against feasts justified as honor to him, were controversies by which a few Wahhabis had been highlighting themselves before a wide range of groups in Patani by the close of the 1980s. Still, the writings of ‘Abdul-Qadir Bin Wang bring out an established ethos whose Sufic traditionalist-Shafi’ite ‘ulama have the peerless Arabic learning to fight new groups every step of the way in terms of Islam in the Middle East itself. We trace the doctrinal-political struggles between these groups later. However, that the body of Arab knowledge upon which the Shafi‘ite clerics drew was disorderly and diverse, and that the “young” “reform” modernisers of the religion had to deal with it in controversies and elsewhere, equipped youth of the two intellectual groups to attempt new forms of pan-Islamic conjunction with the Middle East after WW2.

    Modern liberal pan-Arab and Islamic discourses in Egypt, where generations of Patanians studied, from around 1880 drew upon many motifs and slabs of prose from that classical kalam theology and philosophy in ‘Abbasid ‘Iraq. Patani’s Arabophone strata, from childhood with its parallel Arabic-Malay holy texts, live the experience of always having before them two languages, originated in two worlds widely separated from each other in geography. The data that that duality provides can help Patanians who want to understand contemporary Arabs and connect to them (if often selectively). They share some strings of the classical DNA of today’s Middle Eastern Muslims from which to start. The Patanian clerics were most interested in ‘Iraq’s classical theology and _fiqh_, but understanding the Qur’an forced them to grasp the pre-Islamic poetry of the Hijaz: ‘Abdul Qadir quoted the second Caliph ‘Umar that the Muslim Arabs had to hold fast to their _diwan_ (corpus of bygone pagan poetry) to interpret their scripture from God, but also in order to speak their language with clarity. The Ba’thists in ‘Iraq ran shreds of the ancient Baghdad intellectualism of classical Islam into a new frame of Arab nationality, that highlights eternal conflict with the Persian nation. Very old ‘Abbasid elements in Patanian high Islam, theological and philosophical — different although the frames and selection were — were a good conversation-filler when opening negotiations with the more cultured of the Ba’thists who had the guns in the ‘Iraq of Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr and Saddam Husayn. al-Bakr and Saddam wanted to integrate the sects of ‘Iraq in one Arab nationality. The post-WW2 Patanian ‘Abdul Qadir quoted a political verse by Christian court-poet of the Umayyads, al-Akhtal, to refute as anthropomorphism the Wahhabites’ exegesis of the Qur’an’s phrase that God settled upon His throne [Irshad p. 30]. Patanian nationalism was less hospitable to non-Muslims than was the pan-Arabism of Nasser and the Ba‘th, also culturist and classicist in their more secular fashion. Yet Patanians who wanted military aid came to Syria and ‘Iraq aware from classical Islam that they had to lobby Christian as well as Muslim Arabs.

    As well as this understanding of contemporary Arabs, discourse-atoms or slabs from the old Arab civilization in ‘Iraq, the duality, also in themselves inculcate a flexibility of thinking that quickly grasps the Indic-Thai and modernist Western concepts and languages too. Since from their first formation as a literate Muslim nationality, the Patanians have been engaging with other groups that are distant geographically or from unconnected civilizations. They take what they want from them, or work out how to contain them and see them off, while surviving as a group that has an (Arab-tinted) Malay essence.

    We saw that ‘Abdul-Qadir Bin Wang’s _Mabhath al-Kalam fi ‘Ilm al-Kalam_ has been read in Patani down decades. It is one element among many diverse elements from the classical Arabs that make up a non-structured and disordered body of Islamic discourses. By being not structured strictly, this discourse tradition arouses interest and commitment and encourages flexible open thinking that can become hypothetical and innovate in novel situations — all notable in the Patanians’ avoidance, containment and even management of Thais. On the other hand, some in the new professional bourgeoisie who are intellectuals, and even if they are interested in maintaining literary Malay, deny that they know ‘Abdul-Qadir Bin Wang or his works. Such young intellectuals may have had their apprehension of traditional Shafi‘i Arabo-Malay thought narrowed by excisive Sa‘udi Wahhabism, Thai starvation of print-Malay, and the demands of modernization from the West, acting together. (Or it could just be a Stalinist-like attempt to excise figures like ‘Abdul-Qadir from the history of Patani: his works are frequently-read by one leader at Pattani City’s Chief Mosque who sees himself as ‘Abdul-Qadir’s disciple or ideological heir).

    The elements from classical Arabo-Islamic civilization long present in Patani provide strips of DNA that help the Patanians understand current Arabs and their discourses. Of course there is a gap between (a) the old Arabo-Islamic components in Patani, notably Shafi‘i Sunni law and Middle Eastern tasawwuf or mysticism, and (b) such current Arabs as modernizing Muslim reformists and Sa‘udi-patterned Wahhabists and salafists and their jihadist spin-offs. Nonetheless, the extent of the old Arab elements in Patani must be stressed. Shafi‘ite Qur’anic exegesis and law (shari‘ah), mainly developed in an Egypt the Patanians know well, offer symbiotic access out to a wide variety of Arab nationalist discourses, liberalism, neo-classicist literature, and Arab socialist writings in Shafi‘ite Egypt. All those modern Arab genres maintained or reinvented the _vocabulary_ of Shafi‘ite Islamic learning: thus they are intelligible to outside non-Arab Muslims who pursued the Islamic education of Egypt’s al-Azhar.

    We saw that the shaykh Dawud al-Fatani warned against excess and charlatanism by charismatic figures in or around Sufism. Towards a century later, the Shaykh Wan Ahmad Bin Muhammad Zayn al-Fatani had again rapped from within their shared Sufic-legist learned discourse mystic transports (_majdhub_) of some figures that were either solely improvised without reference to the books, or paths of journey along which they were taken by the Devil himself, not God. Such arguments query how much control the Sufi-Shafi‘ite intellectuals won over Patanian society. Wan Ahmad wanted scholars who would combine literate shari’ah with haqiqat (the mystics’ deeper engagement with God) — yet he could think of none apart from himself in his area so that he had to resort to the considered books of the mutasawwifs of the Middle East and Southeast Asia as guides for the Muslims of Kelantan-Patani. Yet this letter of legal judgement by Wan Ahmad (fatwa-letter 106 in his _al-Fatawa al-Fataniyyah_) was advice sought by the Sultan of Kelantan as to how he might deal with dubious trances and transports in local Sufism. Thus, Shafi‘ite mystical legists like Wan had their input into centers of political power in the Malay states and perhaps in the Ottoman Middle East.

    Some youth may have advanced from that margin of critical scrutiny of Patanians and Malays who claimed to be mystics towards that rejection of all mystics that we find from the law-school of Ibn Hanbal and his Wahhabite descendents in Sa’udi Arabia. On the whole, though, many aspects and associations of Patani’s mystic-Sunni intellectual tradition have clashed with the spread of Wahhabism in Patani since the end of WW2. The traditionalist Shafi‘ites held fast to their vision of the Prophet as not just a postman but a super-human intercessor with God. Ordinary people without enough religious knowledge link up to God through the intercessions of Muhammad, who commanded all generations of Muslims to “entreaty God through my standing”, but also those of a host of other Muslims of distinction. ‘Abdul Qadir Wang narrated that the second Caliph of Islam, ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab, appealed to God to send down rain through “invoking our [late] Prophet Muhammad — may God bless him and give him and his family peace — and the intercession of the paternal uncle of our Prophet” [=‘Abbas Ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib]: “so give us that water we need, God”. Those in the graves are aware and can intercede. It was not because Muhammad was dead by then that ‘Umar supplemented him with his living pious Uncle ‘Abbas. In the view of learned mystical Shafi‘ism in Patani, to seek intercession with God through the Prophet Muhammad or his companions or through sufi scholars of Arabic living or dead could become shirk (polytheism) only when the prayer sees the human intermediary as accomplishing the things that only God can [[‘Abdul Qadir Bin Wangah, _Irshad al-Jawiyyin ila Sabil al-‘Ulama’ al-‘Amilin_/_Guidance to the Malays to the Path of the Diligent/Power-Exercising ‘Ulama’_ (Pattani City, Saudara Press nd) pp. 14-15. Intercession is a matter of the status of the great with God: after eating of the fruit that God forbade, Adam sought His forgiveness through the intercession of Muhammad who had not been born then. The previous motifs from this essay are in pp. 7, 3, 6, 30]].

    The stature of the Shaykh Dawud al-Fatani as the founder of analytical Malay prose and the disciplines of Islamic Law in Patani remains high in the new Patani of the 21st century, yet often only in a superficial way now. There are now some in new intellectual institutions — neo-Wahhabites and modernists — who relativize and patronize him and other Shafi’ite authors, and in some cases try to eviscerate him and the learned Shafi’ite Islam of which he was an outstanding representative for the entire Malay world.
    In his thesis _Fikhnipoonkong Sheik Muhammad Bin Isma’il ad-Dawudi al-Fatani naingsa _Matla’ al-Badrayn_ (The Methods of Writing of Shaykh Muhammad Bin Isma’il al-Dawudi al-Fatani in the _Matla’ al-Badrayn_), submitted at the neo-Wahhabi-linked Faculty of Islamic Studies at PSU in 2004, Asman Taeali gave such current neo-Wahhabite clerics/scholars as Dr Isma’il ‘Ali, Dr Isma’il Shukri and ‘Abd al-Halim a status that equalled (or surpassed?) that of al-Shaykh Dawud and al-Dawudi al-Fatani. One point at which the neo-Wahhabis were at muted variance with al-Shaykh Dawud was the issue of feasts given by relatives following the death of a Muslim in Patani. Such had become luxuriant indeed in South East Asia, but Dawud argued from hadiths that the Prophet Muhammad (s) had allowed collective meals after deaths in Arabia. Taeali cited an Arabic report in which the Prophet Muhammad went to the house of a dead man and ate the commemorative food, but in the neo-Wahhabi style interpreted that Muhammad was not so eager to do so: it was not _halal_ but _makruh_ (disapproved) — and the luxuriant feasts around deceased Muslims in the Malay world _haram_ (=prohibited) by implication (pp. 35-39). This issue of lavish feasts with reference to the dead would from the 1950s be more and more denounced by modernists and those influenced by Sa’udi Arabia as influenced by polytheistic Buddhism and animism. The neo-Wahhabis argue that many of the hadiths of such classical authors of learned Shafi’ite Islam as Dawud al-Fatani and Shaykh Muhammad bin Isma’il al-Daudi al-Fatani are invalid: they cite against them their own set of hadiths that further their tenets. Yet they cannot break openly with those pioneer exponents of the school of al-Shafi’i in Patani, although presenting themselves as the successors who fulfill al-Shafi’i as his equal.
    Traditional Shafi‘ite Islam keeps up warm relations with the Prophet Muhamad, his outstanding companions and the scholar saints who came to know God, be they above or below ground. They maintain prayer to God that goes through, or at least evokes, some great humans, in the teeth of Egypt-inspired modernist clerics and the neo-Wahhabis who ran somewhat parallel on this one but were never the same. But an outstanding feature of Patanian Shafi‘ite clerics and intellectuals was their flexible sense that there can be no final totalist closed systems in religion: important issues about God and about implementing the law will always remain open. “God knows best!”: to some extent every individual has to think for himself or herself.

  3. dennis walker

    _Current Research: Notes on Muslim Groups in Sub-Saharan Africa and their Links to Arabs_, by Dr Dennis Walker, Monash Asia Institute, Australia

    _ISLAM, THE ARABS AND POLITICS IN POST-INDEPENDENCE GHANA_

    Islam in Late Colonial and Independent Ghana_.

    The attitude of West-tinted governing strata to Muslim compatriots and Islam was similar in one or two, too, there was some openness even among some of the missionary-educated to Arabs as a result of the pan-Arab states’ moral and material support for decolonization. Many West-tinted people who governed, basically secular by reason of the inherent nature of the general Western cultures that mission schools, too, had been spreading despite themselves, had vaguely positive, open attitudes to Islam, but — as with some Christian nationalists in Sen other new states of West Africa where Muslims were minorities, unlike in Senegal. Thereegal — felt distaste for traditional African Islam as it stood as something that was not contributing to progress. These new states’ great need for resources and expertise from abroad, and good images associated with modernizing Arab regimes, made Ghanaian governments court input from Egypt, and as the peninsular Arabian states won more oil revenues, from, for instance, Sa’udi Arabia as well. Some West African regimes held out to the Arab states roles as modernizers of their Muslim minorities whose function would be to replace traditional Islams with new slimmed-down salafite Arab-patterned Islams that were to clear the way to further the educational and economic modernization of the African Muslim minorities.

    Kwame Nkrumah, who led independent Ghana from 1952-1966, was married to an Egyptian (albeit Christian) woman: his “socialist” pan-Africanism was ideologically compatible with the one-party “socialist” pan-Arabism of the Egypt of Gamal ‘Abd al-Nasser, with which Ghana took part in the “Casablanca group” of the “radical” African states formed in 1960. The 1960 census had set Muslims at 12% of the Ghanaian population, Christians at 42.8% and animists at 38.2%. There were important Muslim communities in the North in particular, and Muslim quarters or zongos in the towns of the South as well as in Ashantiland.

    Political expressions of Islam in the lead-up to, and after, Ghana’s independence were associated with regional and sectional interests and thus outside the Ghanaian political mainstream that formed around Kwame Nkrumah and his Convention People’s Party (CPP), formed in mid-1949, which was the party that led the country to independence. On the other hand, the atmosphere as Ghana became an independent state was positive to Muslims and the heartlands of Islam given that anti-British broadcasts from Cairo had been one source of encouragement to radical Ghanaian nationalists in 1955. As president of Ghana from 1957-1966, Nkrumah promoted industrialization and health and welfare programs in a way parallel to Nasser’s etatist-nationalist regime.

    During the 1950s and 1960s, Muslims were more numerous in the northern regions of Ghana, particularly in the Ashante areas. Kwame Nkrumah’s had been the only party with strong appeal across all regions of the Gold Coast (Ghana) because it promised industrialization, the mechanization of agriculture, free schooling and hospitals, and to empower ordinary people, in terms of the Ghanaian nation that was being constructed. Thus, it won hands down in the 1951 elections and Nkrumah was released to become proto-Prime Minister. But in the June 1954 general elections the CPP faced considerable opposition in the north from a Northern People’s Party newly-formed, with which was associated a small Muslim Association Party. A small Ghana Congress Party spoke for the reformist intellectuals. Still, the CPP won 71 seats out of 104. But then in 1954 the new CPP government sparked hostility among Ashante farmers when, to fight inflation, it fixed a price for cocoa that was below world market prices. The resultant National Liberation Movement formed at the end of 1954 in Kumasi drew wide support from farmers, Ashante chiefs who disliked the commoners’ party, intellectuals turned off by crass aspects of the CPP, and from the small Muslim Association Party. A shaky jumped-up political Islam had thus become associated with sectional interests in the North that were calling for a “federation” in contrast to the demand for a unitary independence by Nkrumah and the Convention People’s Party. Nkrumah’s party was the representative of coherent all-Ghana nationalism in this struggle, so that the CPP convincingly won the final pre-independence polls that the British held in mid-1956, although it predictably fell short of a majority in the North. Nkrumah had no intention of honoring the format of strong regional assemblies that the elections were supposed to usher in. As a government in power, Nkrumah and the CPP moved to knit the country together with an excellent network of trunk roads and opened hospitals and health centers, and spread primary and secondary education to the point of being able to announce the aim of free, compulsory primary schooling. At the same time, a series of punitive measures were enacted against the Opposition which had tried to draw together as a “United Party”. In mid-1958 there was an unexplained “army plot” for which the General Secretary of the United Party was held responsible. The Government reacted sharply with deportation of Muslim leaders, the prohibition of tribal and religious parties, the detention for five years of two opposition Members of Parliament, and the abolition of the Regional Assemblies.

    Clearly, the political Muslims had been on the wrong side of history in the lead-up to Ghana’s independence. Nkrumah and his CPP had both the will and the means as an administration to deliver positive, modern resources and benefits to people throughout the country, which enabled it to build support in outlying areas that had been lukewarm [[Colin Legum, _Africa: A Handbook_ (London: Anthony Blond 1965) pp. 220-221, 197-199]].

    However, an attempt to assassinate Nkrumah in August 1962 made him withdraw somewhat from ordinary social life: this tension and his growing obsession with grand pan-African projects and ideology-formulation progressively put him out of touch with the realities of common-day Ghanaian life with which he had so skillfully interacted in his creative period. He more and more declared himself a “Marxist nationalist” —- although also a drifting “non-denominational Christian” who increasingly consulted traditional Islamic sufi holy men. The one-party system Nkrumah imposed in early 1964 did not change the growing economic crisis and shortages of foodstuffs and on February 24, 1966 he was overthrown in sardonic symbolism by the rightist military while he was away on a state visit to Communist China. Although Christianity was still superficial for most Ghanaians drawn into the web of its educational and other institutions, it won more life within politics when Nkrumah’s critics within Ghana itself and in West Africa blasted Nkrumah for consulting Islamic _mutasawwifs_ in the town of Kankan in leftist Guinea. This non-Christianness was linked prior to (and then by) the officers who seized power (with denunciations of recourse to “fetishes” of old animist African religion by Nkrumah and his colleagues) to his supposed irrational dictatorial tendencies [[These charges were taken up by Col. A.A. Afrifa, a key player in the coup, who had received secondary education in Christian schools in the hope that he would become a priest, but who then chose the army: A.A. Afrifa, _The Ghana Coup: 24 February 1966_ (London: Cass 1967) pp. 123, 43-47]]. (The attitude of the by then mostly Christian but leftist new generation that entered adulthood under the military was to be that Kankan is in Africa and that Nkrumah was within his rights as an African to consult African Muslim clerics there. The new Ghanaian generation that was to be open to Muslims and “the African Arabs” carried forward a positive memory of Gamal ‘Abd al-Nasir and cooperation by his Egypt with the hero Nkrumah’s Ghana) [[Late 1979 conversations at Australian National University with Nyanekeh Blay, then a Christian Ghanaian post-graduate researcher in international law who also supported the Eritrean independence movement, despite his pan-Africanism]].

    The constructive wish of non-Muslim governing Ghanaians for involvement by Arab Muslims in the modernization of the lagging Muslim minority continued after the military deposed Nkrumah in 1966, for instance under the National Redemption Council regime of Ignatius K. Acheampong (1972-1979). The wish to tap that Arab help for functions in development and in the modernization of Muslim citizens was voiced, for instance, at a mid-1972 ceremony marking the Birthday Anniversary of the Holy Prophet Muhammad held at the Burma Camp in Ghana. Major R.J. A. Feli, a member of the National Redemption Council, urged Islamic countries to give financial and material assistance to Ghana’s Muslims to enable them to build “more acceptable places of worship” and establish English and Arabic educational centers. [=Poverty-stricken Muslims in Ghana, even where numerous, often lacked real mosques so that they were reduced to praying in the open or within Christian structures, use of whose space they cadged]. Here we again have the sense by those with power in the new African states of traditional Islam as something embarrassing in modernity, and a quasi-desperate wish for the Arab states to act to lift up those minorities educationally.

    Major Feli said such assistance would not only be appreciated by the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs of Ghana but also by the National Redemption Council, and he added that, as custodians of the Islamic Religion, the Islamic countries were under an obligation not only to see to the propagation of Islam, but to ensure that mankind lives in an atmosphere of peace and harmony at all times and in all places [=he wanted the Arab countries to diffuse ideas of composite nationalisms along with Islam in a Ghana that still had to be integrated]. He congratulated King Faysal of Saudi Arabia for what he described as the wonderful assistance his government and people had given to the Muslims in Ghana, and he urged Ghana’s Muslims to come together in the interests of Islamic peace and solidarity and to respect and “always be guided by the incomparable and selfless principles laid down by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s Blessings and favor)” [ie. they had to stop brawling with each other]. Alhaji Mahmoud Lamptey, Chief Imam of the Ghana Armed Forces, in his turn called on the Muslims in the Armed Forces to be loyal to the Government, and to close their ranks and come together as one people in accordance with the teachings of the Prophet (may peace be upon him); he later led the assemblage in prayers for the National Redemption Council and the continued prosperity of the Nation [[“Islamic States Asked to Aid Ghana’s Muslims,” report from Tijiane K. Enum, _al-Jihad_ (Capetown) Jumadal-Ula 1392 p. 11]].

    _ISLAM AND POLITICS IN POST-INDEPENDENCE UGANDA: 1963-1979 —1_

    The great East African Muslim intellectual ‘Ali Mazrui in 1979 took issue with “journalistic estimates” that set the Muslims of Uganda at not more than 3% of its population: he put them closer to 12% though this was still very much a minority as he conceded. Under the British and following independence they “had been among the most socially despised of the nation’s people”, in contrast to the disproportionate power and influence they were to win under ‘Idi Amin [[Ali Mazrui, “Language Policy After Amin”, _Africa Report_ September-October 1979 pp. 20-22]]

    In the years following Uganda’s independence in 1963, the President, Milton Obote, faced many problems in integrating the feudal kingdom of Buganda into a single Ugandan state. Obote was also faced with the at that time less prominent problem of antagonism between the Nilotes of the partly Islamized and more isolated North, and the Bantu of the more Christianized and educated South. The North’s Nilotic peoples had got into the modernization process decades late. Efforts by the Northern leaders to bring their region into the mainstream of national development made them liable to be accused of wishing to favor “the North” with its Islamic contacts against the South. These elements were taken up and manipulated by politicians in the North and the South. Religions thus became a factor in Uganda’s modern political development as the 6% Muslims, much less advanced at independence, increasingly entered the contest for development and political favor.

    A Muslim Ugandan lumpen-bourgeoisie had taken shape in the Obote years, although its formation under the British had been hampered by WASP Islamophobia that had kept them out of mission schools. Changes to rectify the North’s lesser development and under-representation, and the worse under-representation of its Muslims, bore only slow fruit. The Uganda Muslim lumpen-bourgeoisie was becoming dissatisfied with measures that were not adequately delivering to them the extent of political and economic power that they felt their ratio in the total population should have entailed. Despite the Southern complaints, the overwhelming majority of senior posts in Obote’s cabinets always remained filled not by Northerners but by the more educated Southerners. More or less the same ratio of Southerners to Northerners continued in his ministries up to his fall as existed before the crisis of 1966 when Obote’s federal troops crushed the autonomous feudality of Buganda, and Uganda, in effect, became a unitary republican state.

    An incident towards the end of 1968 showed that elements in the Muslim community now becoming more militant or radicalized might in frustration join in political opposition against Obote by the Ugandan literate classes in general. Under the sweeping new Emergency Powers Act, a member of parliament, Mr. Abu Bakar Kaakyama Mayanja, and Rajat Neogy editor of the magazine _Transition_, were arrested in November 1968 and charged with having “brought into hatred or contempt the President, Dr Obote” by repeating a “rumor that the appointment of Africans to the Uganda judiciary had been held up, mostly for tribal reasons.” In a letter in _Transition_, Abu Mayanja had at least gone through the motions of dismissing the rumor of such a sidelining of the recommendations of the Judicial Service Committee for appointments, but he had assailed Obote’s government as “happy to retain colonial laws to suppress freedom of association and expression.” His own fate certainly bore that out: his January 1969 trial found him not guilty, but he was only rearrested under the new emergency regulations and _Transition_ ceased to appear [[Colin Legum and John Drysdale, _Africa Contemporary Record: Annual Survey and Documents 1969-1970_ (Exeter: Africa Research Limited 1970) pp. 216-217]].

    These arrests were widely criticized abroad as leveled at the intellectual freedom that _Transition_ championed, but, in fact, other suspicions may have developed in the mind of the Government so far as Abu Mayanja was concerned. Although he had started his political life as a radical nationalist, he had in recent years moved increasingly towards leadership within the Muslim community. He became prominent in the affairs of the East African Muslim Association which was in rivalry to the National Association for the Advancement of Muslims with which Mr A. A. Nekyon was involved. There had been a clash between the two rival Muslim groups in the remote Karamajong area which had led to violence and killing. Mayanja, it was alleged, had been on a trip to the Middle East in August to seek support for his Association’s activities. The authorities also seemed to suspect that there was a secret agreement between the East African Muslim Association (whose patron was H.H. the Aga Khan) and the Kabaka Yekka which was working for the restoration of the Kabaka to his now non-existent Bugandan throne [[Legum and Drysdale, _Africa Contemporary Record 1968-1969_ (Africa Research Ltd 1969) pp. 231, 234-5]].

    Summing up, in the first years of independence most Ugandan Muslims could envisage no escape from the geographic isolation and economic backwardness crushing their community save some client relationship to established Christian-dominated political parties. This Muslim approach was personified by A. A. Nekyon, the Muslim community leader, who until the 1966 troubles played the role of “close adviser” to Premier Milton Obote. But now it had become possible that a more militant, politically activist Muslim approach, or synthesis of approaches, could develop. Already, some Uganda Muslims were striving to involve the Arab states, which might not stand silent in the event of any repression of their Muslim brothers-in-faith in Uganda. Still, the activists, perhaps too highly educated to be representative of the Muslim masses of Uganda, in their turn were trying to construct common interest and identity with their peers among the liberal “Christian” Ugandans, as the accommodationists were with another faction of non-Muslim Ugandans.

    Under Obote, pan-Islam was for a time not salient for some important Muslims who were advancing or on the make, and certainly not in affairs of state. Uganda’s Muslim minority did not have much input into the foreign relations that Obote’s post-independence system constructed. Uganda had an agreement with Israel for training its air force, although Muslims everywhere were tending to become more hostile to the expanding Zionist state as the 1960s proceeded. Some votes by Uganda during its tenure of membership of the Security Council had been unsympathetic to Israel in the wake of its 1967 expansion, and pan-African linkages to secular Arab regimes and care to court Uganda’s Muslims contributed to such gestures by the governing elite. PM Obote’s policy was one of non-alignment and thus balancing: he chose the Soviets to train another equal section of his air force. Israel had trained some African Muslims in the Ugandan armed forces and they seemed willing to act in ways that would fit into its interests. Now chance events shifted more power to barely literate Muslim elements in the military. After his 1967 abolition of the feudal kingdoms within Uganda, Milton Obote purged his army and police of Southern elements to replace them with Northern, mostly Muslim, personnel who, he perhaps thought, might be more loyal to his regime. Notable was his detention of Brigadier Opolot, who was replaced as Chief of Staff and Military Adviser to the Cabinet by the Muslim Brigadier ‘Idi Amin, whose place as army commander was in turn filled by another Muslim Brigadier Suleiman Hussein, and by another Northerner, Pierino Yeree Okoya.

    This strengthening of Muslims in the military for some time did not look likely to promote pan-Islamic ideas and Muslim communalist protest currents in Uganda. In that country, Islam and Arabic were variables of identity whose functions changed according to the contexts of other variables that were stronger. Forms of pidgin Arabic current in Northern Uganda were a case in point. Amin’s Kakwa tribe and thus he himself spoke a mutation of auxiliary Arabic that a portion of Muslims in Uganda nonetheless shared with some Christians in the North — and with many non-Muslims in the Equatoria province of the Southern Sudan. Most Muslims in Uganda were converts or children of converts. Creolized Arabic for them could function as a medium for social relations with pagan or Christian Southern Sudanese — seen as close African relatives — as much as with farther-removed Muslim Arab groups that were more different in some ways. As a commander in the Ugandan armed forces, Amin accordingly acted as a conduit to get Israeli arms through to anti-Arab rebels in the Southern Sudan. Obote’s Uganda was the only government that refused to receive delegations that Khartum sent to all African states following the 1969 Left-Arabist coup headed by Ja‘far al-Numayri, and the country may have harbored anti-Arab emigres active in the South [[Legum and Drysdale, _Africa Contemporary Record_ 1969-1970 pp. A68, B218. The Sudanese embassy protested at vocal spokesmen for the rebels operating from Kampala, but the government assured that it would not allow people admitted as refugees to conduct political or other (=military) activities from Uganda]].

    To preempt his own elimination, Amin seized power from Obote in January 1971, and Israel’s influence in Uganda increased for a time. The conjunction of Amin with the Israeli society of his trainers had extended to matters scatalogical. But Israel may have refused to give Amin some military resources for use against neighboring states. Then Amin’s confiscation of Israeli companies in Uganda opened up into tightening conjunction with Arab nationalist states such as Libya and with Palestinian nationalists that provoked the Israeli attack on Entebbe international airport in July 1976. The Ugandan media came to assume a tone of ideological engagement with Arab anti-Zionism and the Palestinian cause. But research is needed into whether the final anti-Zionism of Amin’s Muslim military clique may not have already been ethnically latent in their first engagements with Israeli society, and the sub rosa intimacies that had not always been good for either party.

    The expectation of the Israelis had been that they could have long-term relations with Muslim Africans: that the ones in Uganda at least did not have a comprehensive anti-Muslim drive or world-view in politics. The Israeli foreign affairs and military personnel believed that mutual interests, not the religions, of the parties, would determine the interactions between Israelis and Ugandans. ‘Idi Amin interacted intimately with Israelis in his earlier military career. Yet the innermost reactions of Muslim Ugandan soldiers remain to be investigated. Amin may have been radiating sub-texts and alternative possibilities even at the height of his alliance with Israel: the Arab press did briefly note it when on a visit to Israel he prayed in Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque which was a symbol of Palestinian nationalism [[Interview with Muhammad ‘Awf August 15, 2004]]. (Or was he just signing that Islamic piety and Israel could go together for Muslim Africans?) After Amin expelled the Israelis, an anti-Zionist discourse surged up in official communications and in the Ugandan media. Had the Muslim Ugandans in question already harbored such feelings when they were in Israel or cooperating with Israelis? How much Arab propaganda had been getting through to Muslim Ugandans while their state was still friendly to Israel and had it already had impact? To some extent, anti-Israeli actions and statements under ‘Idi Amin had been designed to win aid from Arab states, yet there may have been other ideological and cultural factors at work as well.

    That the ‘Idi Amin regime of 1971-1979 was a government with more links to Islam and Arabic provided a friendlier setting for efforts to consolidate the shaky Muslim middle classes and to nourish the growth of a literate Islamic clergy and intellectual life on Arab and Pakistani lines. He at first was at pains to avoid any impression that his government as such would give any special corrective facilities or allocations to the underdeveloped Muslims. Amin perhaps revered the institutional might and value of the Christian churches in Uganda, most crucially in education. In September 1971 he asked that four of his sons be trained as Roman Catholic priests at a ceremony in which he laid the foundation stone for the Bukalasa Seminary’s library. In a speech after a mass conducted by Archbishop Belloti, General Amin urged that the “firm African character” the seminary inculcated be exploited to the utmost [--- all such statements could have had in them masked hostility to the stronger group the Christians]. Present at the ceremony was Catholic acting Chief Justice Ben Kiwanuka, a politician who was a former PM [[_Daily Nation_ (Nairobi) 6 September 1971]]. These words of Amin, along with his visit — the first by a Muslim head of state — to Israel, made Arab World Islamists and Pakistan’s Jama’at-i-Islami papers repudiate him as “a henchman of the Zionist state of Israel and the Vatican.” Amin’s self-abasing gestures, though, could not placate the mission-educated ultras among Catholic and Protestant Ugandans with their stance that their Muslim compatriots were sub-humans and not to be allowed in modern institutions or positions. Catholic high clerics in particular now went out of their way to place “Christianity” — which was to say their own stratum and its long-term interest — at the center of a political campaign against Amin and his colleagues, which led to the arrest of Benedicto Kiwanuka. There developed a “confrontation [that] is being led personally by the Catholic Archbishop of Rubaga, who has called for a nine day’s period of special prayer which is due to end in a religious gathering at the Buganda Martyrs’ Place” [[Colin Legum, “Amin Close to War”, _Observer_ 24 September 1972]]. It was a spiritual violence that courted death and mayhem in order to contrive a harsh dichotomization, uniting religion and politics, between Muslims and Christians — a binary opposition crafted from both sides by new bourgeoisies and clergies to replace the very diluted roles Christianity and Islam hitherto had had within the day-to-day African culture of Ugandans.

    —2_ [Dr Dennis Walker, c/o Balaclava Post Office, Melbourne 3183, Australia]

    Amin had to give or arrange some nourishment for the Muslim minority as Protestant and Catholic churches moved against him in disregard of his dignity-sapping overtures on seizing power.

    Torture and killings by ‘Idi Amin’s military and intelligence forces had become frequent enough by 1973 for the International Commission of Jurists to denounce them. At that point, though, Amin still retained high credibility among Ugandan Muslims as a good-hearted if slandered leader with the practical skills as well as will to transform the conditions of their sect. Amin’s sharp focus on the nuts and bolts of uplifting Muslims was clear in his speech of 1 June 1972 on the inauguration of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council. The speech shows a man who was becoming a dictator moving to firm up his country’s 6%-15% Muslim minority as a subsidiary constituency that he was likely to need more and more now. But while he had a shrewd sense of needs of the new Muslim professionals and lumpen bourgeoisie he courted, they had set out to him in detail systematic approaches to actualize the needs, and had some bargaining power to make him move to deliver. Amin’s speech also pointed forward to possible radical internationalization of Ugandan Islam as Middle Eastern governments and institutions moved in much more strength into Uganda to fill the vacuum left by the exit of Israel and by Amin’s hamstringing of some meddling Christian churches.

    But all endeavors to improve the conditions of a range of Muslim classes had to face the fragmented and often fossilized nature of Islam in Uganda. General Amin was giving the Muslim minority, in the range of its elements, electric shock treatment to galvanize them into getting an act together. With brutal realism, he portrayed the — his — minority as “stagnant,” as having been almost disintegrated and brought to “extinction” by a host of unqualified Muslim leaders “who have sought to use our religion for the promotion of their own personal, political, tribal or sectional purposes to the exclusion of the welfare of the Muslims as a whole in this country.” The divisions had set off fighting in mosques, including one or two deaths. Thus, although 100 years earlier Islam had been “the first of the modern [sic] religions to be introduced into this country,” its growth has been by far the slowest and its impact, by comparison with other religions [=Christianities], “unimpressive”. Amin and his colleagues meant the new Uganda Muslim Supreme Council to settle those leadership disputes and divisions over interpretations. He also promised uneducated Uganda Muslims that the Council, in bringing unification, would end nightmarish features that practising their religion had long held for them. Various groups and sects had dealt with separate airlines and travel agents for the _hajj_, making it easier to overcharge and cheat pilgrims. An illiterate Ugandan lady unable to communicate in Arabic or English found in Jeddah that the leader of her group had missed her plane, leaving her without money, to starve. The leader of another rival group turned her away. Her family was informed she had died in Arabia: she was, though, afterwards brought home after two months of suffering. If the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, and the planned National Secretariat for Muslims, streamlined facilities for rituals of Islam — another need: setting one common, unifying date for each major Islamic festival — the ‘Idi Amin regime would garner support from the masses of the Muslims.

    However, upward pressure from the small new modernist Muslim bourgeoisie determined the clarity of some functions of the new Council. A Chief Qadi, able to issue authoritative rulings from Islam and thus unite the brawling Muslims, was now invested for the first time in Uganda’s history. By organizing the distribution of scholarships from Arab and other Muslim-majority states, the Supreme Council would greatly promote the training of a literate Muslim clergy imbued with Arabic. But the new Muslim bourgeoisie was determined to get into the modern professions that were the preserve of “Christian” Ugandans. ‘Idi Amin took up their drive to multiply themselves. Muslims in Uganda were lagging far behind in “secular education” and the new Supreme Council would “augment present facilities to accelerate the rate of educational advancement of the Muslims in Uganda.” [=This project would not be confined to upgrading the run-down Qur’anic schools that already existed --- education traditional and religious]. At the inauguration were high-ranking guests from Mecca, Egypt, the Sudan, Libya and Pakistan, and Amin projected that “this new relationship will grow from strength to strength”. The scholarships the Arabs offered in their states would help make Ugandan Islam Arabic-literate and more Arab in concepts and motifs over the long term. But the modernist Muslim neo-bourgeoisie also saw the Arab states, Arabic and study there as another source for modernity: secular, West-patterned subjects and professional specializations could be studied in, for instance, Cairo and Damascus. In any case, Amin and those collaborating with him were in a sense inventing or constructing a novel Ugandan “Muslim minority” that had never been integrated before. Himself a Muslim from the Nilotic North, his speech sketched a sort of macro-history of Islam in Uganda, taking in the first spread of Islam in the royal family of the (Bantu) kingdom of Buganda, and the vain efforts of its Kabaka Sir Daudi Chwa in 1924 to settle an early dispute on matters of ritual prayer that had split the Muslims back in that era too [[Speech of 1 June 1972 by President Amin on the occasion of the inauguration of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council: “Historic Speech by Ugandan President”_al-Jihad_ (Cape Town) 4:14 Jumadal-Akhir 1392 pp. 5-7]]. (Amin as commander-in-chief had led the attack on the Kabaka’s palace when Obote decided to crush autonomous Buganda: now his delimitation of Ugandan Islam to include Buganda’s Bantu and the South would help him live down that violence and where he came from). Amin’s drive to link all Muslims, whatever their languages, together over all areas of Uganda was the novel project of an emergent Muslim modern bourgeoisie now taking shape, a bourgeoisie that may have drafted the language of Amin’s speech for him. Yet the gutsiness and realistic social vision, the avuncular frankness and the sheer appetite for life that repeatedly breaks through the Latinate phraseology, was very much that honest Kakwa soldier’s.

    The Muslim neo-bourgeoisie in Uganda was often shambolic in the 1960s and 1970s, and projects and institutions to develop the minority from 1971-1979 precarious and thrown together over no adequate foundation. Yet at the top was a thin layer of some very good fresh-faced intellectuals almost perfect in both literary Arabic and English. Traditional Muslim clerical leaders in the Uganda of 1971 presented a dispiriting spectacle of ignorance and infighting that was sure to make any Ugandan think thrice before entering Islam. But the young Uganda Muslim activists compensated with an aggressive drive to propagate: they believed that they would convert the Christian educated classes themselves, wholesale. Their drive to make Islam and Arabic a respectable component within the courses at Kampala’s Makarere University was one long-term element in that thrust. They were pleased that some young Christians were now coming to the mosques and reading English-language Qur’ans and literature there, not considering that the coming to power of ‘Idi Amin and the resources and chances that would now flow to his coreligionists might now have been giving Islam a certain luster to bourgeois non-Muslims who wanted to make it. For young Muslims with hopes, black suits and briefcases of quality, the atmosphere in Uganda in the early 1970s was upbeat as they orated in Arabic in religious and other conferences across the Arab world. They carried, though, a multi-linguistic burden much heavier than that of “Christian” or agnostic elite Ugandans who had only had to learn English (a malfunctional burden in itself) for a literary language. One emerging Muslim Ugandan historian in 1973 (who had to leave to a university in the Sudan as Amin fell in 1978) wistfully told me that he had “spent half my life learning” the superb modern neo-classical literary Arabic with which he angled for resources for his people at Arab international conferences.

    Under Amin, Uganda Muslim intellectuals who spoke at conferences or gave lectures in the Arab countries to be sure lobbied scholarships in Islamic and secular-modern fields there. But they also asked any academics from the West who attended to try to arrange scholarships specifically marked for a Ugandan Muslim from their governments when they went back to this Anglo-Saxon country or that. (Given the better facilities that mission-educated Christian Ugandans had attended, the young Muslim Ugandan intellectuals did not expect that Muslim candidates would win many scholarships to Western universities by criteria that took no account of sectarian disadvantage). They wanted to develop a Muslim identity and a better Arabic, but this was a new Muslim elite determined to get something like the Western or West-patterned educations and professional functions that the Christianizing bourgeoisie had won.

    With President ‘Idi Amin’s encouragement, an Institute of Islamic Studies was established at Makerere University in Kampala, with the aspiration that it would operate like any other faculty. This was announced by the Minister of Justice, P.J. Nkambo Mugerwa, who presided over the first meeting of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council at the International Conference Center at the end of April 1972. The meeting was attended by 10 to 11 Muslim leaders from each district. Would the Islamic heartlands states now become able to move more quickly to get resources to African Muslims who needed help? The Ambassador of Pakistan, Air Vice-Marshal M. Khyber Khan, donated 20 Islamic books to be given to the Institute for the foundation of an Islamic library; he promised more. The minority’s fissiparousness was as much a threat to it as disdain from the thinly-Christianized established Ugandan educated classes: Mugerwa urged the Muslims to be honest and to do what they believed in and not otherwise and work as a team to preclude scandal. But it was not just that the government of ‘Idi Amin was trying to strengthen or build a Muslim constituency: it also was meeting the specific demands coming from that constituency below. At that first meeting of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council in April 1972, “most leaders from the districts complained that Muslims were left far behind in every sphere, whether administration or education… [They] pointed out that for the advancement of the country scholarships should be distributed equally so that educated Muslims also got a chance to go abroad, and not only to Arabic-speaking countries.” In reply, the Minister of Justice told them that their suggestions would not only be considered as problems of Muslims alone, but also of all the people because they affected the whole country [[“Faculty of Islamic Studies in East African University at Kampala (Uganda)”, _Yaqeen International_ (Karachi) July 22, 1972 pp. 61, 72]]. The pattern here for Uganda is similar to that in Ghana and Senegal where some Christian or in name Christianized members of governing secular elites did welcome with a constructive stance resources from the states of the Middle Eastern heartlands of Islam because the forms of education and literature those offer had enough functionalism and modernity in them to help guide traditional African Muslims towards the mainstreams of the new nationalist African states. At least some Christian governing Africans did have good intentions to Muslims, identifying with them as another section of the Nation whose advancement would make all its elements more prosperous and stronger.

    The later part of the period of Amin’s rule put in question whether such a judicious and positive relationship between new African mainstreams or states and essentially modern Arab Muslims was feasible. Sa’udi Arabia and Libya offered substantial economic aid to the Amin regime and Uganda in general, as some non-Muslim elite Ugandans understood. The PLO also established businesses in Amin’s Uganda, but these too could not be made profitable and develop amid the lack of confidence that Amin’s regime inflicted. A female aristocrat of Uganda who conducted many of his regime’s foreign relations found the Arabs concerned congenial and serious and that the economic aid and opportunities they delivered could have set off real development had it not been for the spreading disorganization under the dictator that left the country unable to absorb that aid [[See _Princess Elizabeth of Toro: the Odyssey of an African Princess : An Autobiography_ (New York: Simon and Schuster 1989: first published 1983)]]. al-Qadhdhafi’s airlift of 1,500 troops to Kampala when Tanzania’s cold Julius Nyerere invaded Uganda in late 1978 was a distinguished peak of fusion between Arab regimes and sub-Saharan Muslim minorities — but one that could not save Amin’s dispirited armed forces. Their collapse was followed by firings and killings of Uganda’s Muslims that for a time looked set to destroy them as a coherent community in Ugandan life, after Tanzania brought the now mortally-wounded Obote back. Under the new repression by Obote, “foreign links” to Arab countries that wanted to help them became difficult for Uganda’s Muslim minority. Yet the Uganda Supreme Muslim Council somehow survived, and then slowly rebuilt an organized, reasonably modern community life, although the attempt to attach serious teaching and study of Arabic and Islam to Uganda’s secular tertiary institutions collapsed with Amin’s exit.

    The period of the rule of ‘Idi Amin and other nominally Muslim soldiers from 1971-1978 saw a cultural-linguistic shift in Ugandan public life because their English was much poorer than that of the educated civilian elite they overthrew: they thus preferred to address their countrymen in the Swahili that had been established in East African barracks under the British. Dr ‘Ali Mazrui wondered in 1979 if ‘Idi Amin had bequeathed a basis for establishing Swahili alongside English as official languages in Uganda: such a governmental and parliamentary Swahili would then aid a regional union with Tanzania and Kenya where the language had been much stronger, and more fostered by state structures [[‘Ali Mazrui, “Language Policy After Amin”, _Africa Report_ September-October 1979 pp. 20-22]].

    _EGYPTIAN INTERACTION WITH SUB-SAHARANMUSLIMS IN THE 1960s AND 1970s_

    The writers of the neo-Salafi movements that became prominent in Arab Islam after 1967 engaged with Africa’s underprivileged Muslims but took no fair account of previous efforts after 1952 from the Nasserite Egypt that that Muslim Brothers tradition hated. My final text will argue that the multiple perspectives of Nasserite Egypt — Islam, but also secular Arabism and engagement with non-Muslim black African regimes and pagan African cultures — helped make that system’s engagement with African Muslims more judicious and truly helpful.

    Some sense that, despite variation in hues, the Arab and the other Africans shared some elements of blood and race, was one of the motives of al-Azhar intellectuals who strove to diffuse an anti-imperialist Islam in sub-Saharan Africa in the 1950s and 1960s. There was also some acceptance, not just of Christian compatriots but of pagan pasts or cultures as components for national integrations and new partly-secular states in which a new engaged Islam would flourish nonetheless. The Shaykh ‘Abdallah al-Mashadd in 1962 felt that Nasser’s United Arab Republic was bound to the other parts of Africa by “a single continent sited at the center of the world. The blessed Nile connects us to many other of its lands and we are the sons of a single race (jins wahid) and Islam unites us to 85 million in all its corners. From our land [in Pharaonic antiquity] rose the sun of civilization in the ancient world, and all the African states in the medieval and modern ages drew [from Egypt]. Our interests, aims and hopes are the same.” Al-Azhar was educating 300 from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanganyika and Zanzibar; from Senegal, Guinea, Gambia, the Ivory Coast, Dahomey and Nigeria 100; and from South Africa 15: all were being trained to go back home not just as religious preachers but to open schools to teach “freedom and independence”, whose struggles they might come to head, although this world-aware Shaykh thought such non-Muslim independence leaders as Jomo Kenyatta in Kenya were on the right track. This Egyptian who had been in al-Azhar’s fact-finding missions in Africa appreciated such indigenous African Muslim leaders as ‘Umar Taal, and Samory (Samadu Ture: 1830-1900) who resisted the initial French conquests. But he did not have an open stance to the pagan African cultures that an Islam that came through trade had replaced centuries before, identifying them with “cannibals” [[al-Shaykh ‘Abdallah al-Mashadd, “Athar al-Islam wal-Azhar fi Nahdat Ifriqiya” (The influence of Islam and al-Azhar on the Renaissance in Africa) _Minbar al-Islam_ 19:7 December 1961 pp. 58-60. The Guinean (Mandingo) Muslim reformer and military adventurer Samory Toure (ca. 1830-1900) founded a powerful kingdom in West Africa and resisted French colonial expansion from 1883 to 1898. At its height in the early 1880s, Samory's rule extended from the Upper Volta region in the west to the Fouta Djallon in the east. When a French military column ejected his forces from the Soudan, he tried to reestablish his kingdom in the upper Ivory Coast colony, where he pillaged Kong (1897) and Bondoukou (1898). Pursued by French troops, he was captured on the upper reaches of the Cavally River on September 29,1898: he died in exile. See Yves Person’s magisterial biography, _Samori: Une revolution Dyula_ (Dakar: IFAN 2 vls. 1968)]].

    Yet, the adaption of the salafite Islam of al-Afghani and ‘Abduh that was radiating out from Nasserite Egypt had in it some nationalist ecumenicism that could fit into the nation-building efforts of the new African states. An at points ignorant Egyptian article of 1962 highlighted Islam as a rallying-point for resistance to imperialism. Imperialism realized that Islam was a threat to it not so much as a religion but as one strong expression of unity and nationalism in the Arab and Islamic East. Islam binds the Muslims to their land and nationality including to their Christian Arab brothers: to maintain its exploitation of resources, Imperialism fought “every thread that connects Africans and Asians to each other.” The article had some intimate acculturation to Westerners, extracting anti-Islamic themes from the battle-hymns Mussolini made his conscripts sing as he shipped them off to conquer Libya [[Dr. Badawi ‘Abd al-Latif, “Mustaqbal al-Islam fi Ifriqiya l-Hadithah” (The Future of Islam in the New Africa), _Minbar al-Islam_ 19:12 May 1962 pp. 78-80]].

    There was a sense in some Nasser-era Islamic items of reciprocal cultural exchanges between Africans. An account was given of Timbuktu’s past role as a center that spread Arabo-Islamic culture in sub-Saharan African from 1336. The Kings of Songhai, in particular Askia Muhammad (16th century) presided over the period in which Timbuktu reached its literary peak, in part in a context of her exchanges with religious scholars of Cairo, some of whom came to lecture. Timbuktu fell under Moroccan rule from 1561-1750. The Arab writer gave a list of 15 Arabic works by Ahmad Baba, Timbuktu’s greatest scholar [[Dr. Abd al-Rahman Zaki, “Timbuktu: Markaz al-Thaqafah al-Islamiyyah fi Qalb Ifriqiya” (Timbuktu: the Center of Islamic Culture in the Heart of Africa) _Minbar al-Islam_ 21:5 October 1963 pp. 69-70]].

    It is true that there were lapses of sympathy. The mass-circulation magazine _Minbar al-Islam_ under Nasser sometimes projected a sense that Egyptians and Arabs did not have many fundamental things about Islam to learn from black Africans. The assumption of some of these writers was that the Arabs had a lot, or everything, to teach the Africans, and nothing to learn. For the most part, the Islam that was being projected to Africa from Egypt was that of Muhammad ‘Abduh: it was streamlined, modernity-seizing, politically activist and anti-imperialist and in its anti-imperialism derided traditional Sufi tariqahs or brotherhoods whether in Africa or the Arab World as instruments that the imperialists manipulated. It was a new activist Islam impatient of all old things that formed after the first period of Islam whether in Africa or the Arab countries.

    More than political unity between Christian and Muslim Africans/Arabs, the attitudes to African pagan religions were problematic. Still, Egyptian nationalist ideologues had had serious interest in pagan Pharaonic culture and religion from the 1920s. More secular-minded Egyptian academics and writers associated with Nasser’s institutions and his pan-African projects, including the Islamic plane, had an attitude that non-Islamic, non-Christian African cultures had worth and were worth engaging with in many aspects. For such Egyptian writers there was no reason why Islam had to destroy all culture and religious quest that preceded it: there could be synthesis. One article discussed some details of the composite beliefs and practices of the Yaw Muslims in Malawi [[Dr. Mahmud Salam Zanati, “al-Islam wal-Taqalid al-Ifriqiyyah: al-Islam wal-Nizam al-Ummi” (Islam and African Customs: Islam and Matriarchal Systems) _Minbar al-Islam_ 23:2 June 1965 90-93]]. al-Azhar was producing communications that had a sense of parallels, an ecumenical readiness to see something good, at least a striving towards God, in religions other than Islam [[‘Ali al-Khatib, “al-Samtu fil-Adyan” (Silence in Religions), _Majallat al-Azhar_ 37:7 January 1966 pp. 393-395]].

    Islam in its projection from Nasser’s industrializing Egypt was able to win over some Africans who were getting good West-derived educations from schools with evangelizing drives. In Ghana, Alfred Kobinawa had piously sought God but voiced revulsion when a pastor in his church pointed to an image of a helpless crucified Christ and said “this is God the Creator of the Universe and his mother Mary”. His feverish prayers to God to guide him were answered when he came across a procession of Muslims and took the name of Abd Allah in mid-1953. His wide readings in books about various religions had already fueled his quest for the absolute monotheism he now found in Islam. When he cut off wine and cigarettes, his brother followed him into Islam, and he subsequently converted another 57. He came from the 1959 pilgrimage to get a 5-year scholarship to study in Egypt the language of his religion that he loved. He would return to Ghana to preach the reform of its inadequate local Islam and stand in the face of the missionaries who were spreading everywhere [=the coming radical Christianization of Ghanaian society]. [[“Alfred Kubinawa alladhi Asbaha ‘Abd Allah Kubinawa”, _Minbar al-Islam_ 19:10 March 1962 pp. 145-147]].

    A contribution by Senegalese who had studied at al-Azhar denounced the efforts of the French authorities to end Arabic-medium education in Senegal. Despite all their efforts, the Union of Islamic Culture and various charitable organizations such as the Jam’iyyat al-Falah had established primary schools to teach Arabic in the main towns. Their preachers were conveying Islam through speeches, mosque sermons and articles in weeklies to counter the missionaries, and to expose the official Islam that the French authorities maintained. The writer, Basamba Hamid, appealed to the new Administration for Contact with Islamic Peoples lately set up by Egypt’s Ministry of Awqaf (Islamic Endowments) to send qualified Egyptians to teach Islam and to unite the Muslims — to break through the “barbed wire” set up by imperialism and the lies it propagated in Africa and other Islamic states. Egypt should concentrate on providing educations to Africans who came, in al-Azhar and in secondary schools and in Cairo University’s faculties of medicine, commerce, engineering, literature and law so that they could return to apply the knowledge back home. The Ministry of Awqaf should supply literary and religious books and curricula to help the Senegalese associations truly make Arabic a living language in the schools they were setting up. The writer thanked Gamal ‘Abd al-Nasser, “the leader of Arab and Islamic nationalism” for his painstaking attention to the needs of Senegalese studying in the United Arab Republic [[Basamba Hamid, “al-Islam wal-Senegal”, _Minbar al-Islam_ 18:1 June 1960 pp. 104-107]].

    African Muslim women as well as men communicated directly to Arab readers by contributing interviews and articles. Minbar al-Islam conducted an interview with a Miss Salimah Salim who had come from t Congo to Cairo with her sister to study Arabic — “the language of the Islamic religion”. She set the ratio of Muslims in the Congo at 20% of its overall population. The Congo was a scenic country whose mineral wealth had made the saliva of the imperialists flow. Salimah was dissatisfied with the traditional societies of her people “which have not yet progressed because the presence of imperialism there hampers its progress and civilization”. However, there had emerged a number of educated women leading the movement for women’s emancipation. She was impressed that Egypt’s modernization had provided openings for women. The aspect of Nasser’s new Egypt that had impressed her was the activity of its optimistic women. She hoped that her rapid progress in Arabic would enable her to study in Egypt to become a doctor ["al-Mar'at al-Muslimah fil-Kunghu" (Muslim Women in the Congo) Minbar al-Islam 19:6 November 1961 p. 177].

    Muslim women in Black Africa who wanted development and better opportunities for their sex sought lessons from Egypt’s socially activist feminists, who had kept up some emotional connection to Arabic and Islam: women in Muslim West Africa now had curiosity to learn more about both. When the wife of President Modibo Keita of Mali visited Egypt in 1962, she called in on the Women’s Association in Cairo and vowed to organize a women’s movement after her return to Mali. She had been accompanied by women social workers charged to study the institutions founded by women’s movements in various countries for guidelines for Mali. Mali’s women under the French had received French-medium education in schools and memorized the Qur’an without understanding: now, with independence, Arabic was taught alongside French in the schools they attended. The wife of the Malian ambassador in Cairo, Mrs. Ruqayyah, was pleasantly surprised by Egypt’s rapid progress (part of “the struggle binding all Africa’s struggling peoples together”): its women were sisterly. Women in Mali were thrusting through its outworn old customs to social and cultural equality with men [[“al-Mar’at al-Muslimah: Haramu Safir Mali al-Sayyidat Ruqayyah” (Muslim Women: the Wife of the Mali Ambassador Mrs. Ruqayyah) _Minbar al-Islam_ 19:12 1962 pp. 143-144; cf interview in ibid pp. 17-19 with her husband Ambassador Modibo Diallo. For Senegal's ambassador see M1 19:3 August 1961 pp. 15-17 and November 1961 19:6 176-179].

    It was a process of reciprocal education between Arab and sub-Saharan African Muslims. Najat Ahmad al-Zaniri gave a sharp overview of the 114-odd tribes making up the population of Nigeria, and of Nigerian marriage customs: she approved of those “progressive movements calling for campaigns against polygamy” and for “the liberation of women and greater rights than she enjoys at present” — although not everything had been wrong about all traditional Muslim societies given that women traders had virtually controlled commerce in some parts of Nigeria. The general impression of the article is of a serious desire by an Egyptian woman to understand Nigerians or Africa and a fact-oriented drive to help the development of modernist forms of Islam like, or derived from, the West-accommodating salafite Islam that Muhammad ‘Abduh had developed in Egypt at the beginning of the century and which had also relinquished polygamy [[Najat al-Zaniri, “al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah … fi Nayjiriya” (The Muslim Woman... in Nigeria), _Minbar al-Islam_ 21:3 August 1963 pp. 190-191]].

    _Minbar al-Islam_ termed newly-independent Nigeria a great pearl that the British had done nothing to develop, in particular in the North. In the context of his awareness of the power of Federal Prime Minister, Abu Bakr Tafawa Balawa in the new state, ‘Abduh Badawi published a brief review of the life and formation of Uthman Dan Fodio (1754-1817) who built a state led by the mainly pastoral Fulani people in current-day Northern Nigeria — [one which tried to conquer not merely pagans but other Muslim states that Dan Fodio claimed needed to purge pagan survivals under the guidance from him they could not do without]. [[Badawi, “Uthman Dan Fodio” _Minbar al-Islam_ March 1961 18:10 pp. 57-8]].

    While they may have hoped for some diplomatic benefits back, it is unlikely that Nasser and his colleagues seriously expected any swift political returns from most of the bales of Arabic publications they shipped off in such huge quantities to Muslims in the emerging, shaky states of sub-Saharan Africa. There was something generous and altruistic — a pride that finds self-esteem in constructive engagement with others and helping others even when the latter are outside Islam — in this Islamic and pan-African self-projection coming in the 1950s and 1960s from a cash-strapped Egypt that did not have any operative oil-wells in that historical era.

    Overall, Nasserite Egypt’s Islam-fostering activities in sub-Saharan Africa kept within the frame of a forming pan-African system to be fulfilled in the OAU (Organization of African Unity): Egypt did not aid Muslim populations to challenge the new quasi-secular regimes even when those were West-aligned, and in fact tried to strengthen those systems and did help make them more functional by helping make sub-Saharan Muslims more literate and modernity-attuned in their religion.

    The issue of Israel and its roles was always the wild-card and became even more so after her defeat of Egypt and the Arab states in June 1967. Penetration by Israel in Black Africa was an issue connected to diverging cultural assumptions among the various religious confessions in Black Africa to which neither the Arab states nor the African Muslims could remain indifferent. Okoi Arikpo, an Ibo scholar, wrote: “A short while before the military coup of January 1966, the then [Muslim] Premier of Northern Nigeria shocked many Nigerian journalists by declaring that, for him, the State of Israel did not exist. In other words, the Government of Northern Nigeria did not recognize the legal Government of Israel. Many Nigerians considered this statement an affront to the Federal Government, which under Schedule I of the Independence Constitution had exclusive jurisdiction over external affairs” [[Okoi Arikpo, _The Development of Modern Nigeria_ (Penguin Books:1967) p. 135]]. Seen from the viewpoint of the Western civilization and the then rightist _Time_ magazine, Israel legitimately existed like the Crusader kingdom before it. Seen through the Muslim ethos, Israel was an attack from outside on the heartlands of Islam, a modern Crusader kingdom that had snapped the territorial continuity of the Arab and Islamic lands: some thought that state’s removal was one condition for that Arabo-Islamic world’s resurgence.

    The form relations with Israel took thus could become a test-case of the degrees to which a given newly-independent African state was affiliated to wider worlds and their civilizations. For those sections of Muslim Africans interested in pan-Islamic matters, recognition of Israel by the early 1960s already looked a calculated provocation that formally detached their lands from the larger world of Islam. For many Christians in the Western-educated elites ruling Black Africa, insistence that the Arab-Israeli dispute does not concern Africa, and diplomatic recognition for Israel, was an important token of their countries’ link to the international civilization of the West, just as, internally, Israeli military assistance was a valuable reassurance against pre-existing unrest among Muslim elements. The issue of Israel gave stronger focus to long-simmering tensions between Muslim Africans and somewhat Christianized Africa who had more political clout than they. In Nigeria’s tragic case it boded ill for the country’s and Africa’s future unity that quite a few educated Christian or animist Nigerians felt that the refusal of their Muslim countrymen to share their positive view of Israel somehow justified — or was one of the “injustices” that justified — the January 1966 physical liquidation of Muslim Nigeria’s outstanding political leaders, notable among them the Federal Prime Minister, Abu Bakr Tafawa Balawa, and the Northern Premier, Ahmadu Bello, that was to plunge Nigeria into a linguistic and religio-communal civil war, the consequences of which were to develop in Nigerian politics for decades to come.

    There were dangers in the efforts of movements of Muslim unrest in Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad and Senegal from the 1950s to involve the Arab and larger Muslim Worlds in Black Africa’s internal affairs. From the point of view of the most radical sub-Saharan Muslims orientated to insurgency, this strategy was a logical device to counter the Western commitment to client African governments allegedly hostile to Muslim culture and interests. However, most Arab governments were far from eager to move even against African governments that became allies of Israel. Nasser’s Egypt was wary about getting involved with movements intent to hasten the collapse of Haile Selassie’s feudal empire. True, one Zionist publicist, David Kessler, after a visit to Ethiopia, reported that “the so-called Eritrean Liberation Movement, which is causing a great deal of embarrassment to the Ethiopian Government, is simply an indication of the Arab ambition to control the only remaining stretch of Red Sea Coast which is not in their hands” [[_The Australian Jewish News_ June 5, 1970 p. 13]]. Such politics-targeted views ignored, or were attempts to obscure, the reality of increasingly profitable trans-African trade that, more than pan-Islamic sympathies or expensive ambitions to expand, guided most Arab states in their dealings with sub-Saharan African governments in the 1960s and 1970s. It did remain true, however, that popular feeling in the Arab countries at some point might push their governments to involve themselves in fighting in some African states if ill-treatment of Muslims there became glaring. Some populations of the Eastern Sudan, for example, are linguistically and ethnically closely related to some lowlander Eritreans, and the influx of Muslim refugees from Eritrea with their tales of Ethiopian Christian atrocities more than once pushed the Sudan and Ethiopia to the brink of armed confrontation. It was to prevent this that the government of Nasser’s UAR (United Arab Republic — Egypt) arranged for Abu Bakr ‘Awadullah, Sudan’s deputy premier, to attend the talks in Cairo between President Nasser and Haile Selassie in June 1970. According to UAR Foreign Minister Mahmud Riyad, “the object of the talks was to strengthen Ethiopian-Sudanese relations” [[_The Egyptian Gazette_ June 7, 1970 p. 1]].

    ‘Abd al-Nasser and Haile Selassie had been at pains to maintain workable relations with each other. On the other hand, Egypt’s officials and media had been concerned at Israel’s penetration of Ethiopia in the early 1960s. Emperor Selassie took care to attend the 1970 funeral of Nasser. As the insurrection spread and became more violent in Eritrea in the 1970s, _Minbar al-Islam_ under Sadat voiced pan-Islamic support for the mixture of Muslim and Christian Eritreans fighting for independence [[Muhammad Fahmi ‘Abd al-Latif, “Sha’bun Muslim fi Ifriqiya Yukafih al-Isti‘mar” (A Muslim People in Africa struggling Against Imperialism) _Minbar al-Islam_ 23:1 January 1975 pp. 100-101]]. Already back in September 1961, the UAR English quarterly _The Scribe_ had carried an article on Israel’s economic penetration of Ethiopia, although without raising any question of plural nationalities in Ethiopia (including Eritrea). The article emanated a cold attitude to the regime of Haile Selassie which was monarchical in that era of the Arab cold war between the “progressive” and the “reactionary” states.

    _ISLAM AND NATIONALISM IN ERITREA: 1941-1975_

    An Italian colony from 1889 until the collapse of Fascist Italy’s control in 1941, the 3,500,000 people of Eritrea, 50% Muslim, then came under British rule. Congruently with America’s strategic interests, the modern-minded Eritreans were forced in 1952 into a union with a feudal Ethiopia that was “pro-Western” at that time. The “country” won independence from Ethiopia in 1993. There had been in the early 1950s some differences of attitude between (a) the linguistically diverse populations of the coast which were Muslim, had Arabic as their lingua franca and wanted independence and (b) the Christian populations of the highlands which were not literate in Arabic and shared the Ge’ez liturgical language with

  4. Dr Dennis Walker

    From Dennis Walker, Australia.

    I would like to respond in a constructive way to Jean Murphy’s post of August 16, 2010 • 3:08 am to my book
    ISLAM AND THE SEARCH FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN NATIONHOOD: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam_ (Atlanta City: Clarity Press 2005). Murphy asks “what this book is about or why you’ve advertised it on this site”. “What does your posting have to do with the Cordoba House?”

    Jean, my book has everthing to do with the deep hope of Muslim-Americans who post on “Muslimmatters”
    that America will realize its liberal, humanist potential — the pluralism that has made America great because it brings diverse people people together . For that, America must let Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans build institutions as strong as those that Anglo-Americans, Irish-Americans, Catholic-Americans, and above all Jewish-Americans have been allowed to build. The institutions don’t just transmit specificities as groups, they equip the groups to understand each other and thus come together. For a long time, bigots among the Anglo-Americans, violating the tolerance of English culture, tried very hard to stop Irish, Hispanic and Jewish-Americans from building the institutions they had to have to transmit their identity to new generations in America. Indeed, some Anglos refused to recognize that the Irish in America were white, or should have the American rights that their group had.

    The efforts of a Muslim group to build a Muslim equivalent of the YMCA two blocks from Ground Zero is a
    crucial contest in the drive of Muslim-Americans to make themselves the equal of other American groups by institutionalization that those other groups achieved decades ago. Noone in America who wants to integrate America can try to block the proposed site designed to service the many New York young Muslims who don’t have proper institutions that most other U.S. groups have.

    In my book my book _ISLAM AND THE SEARCH FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN NATIONHOOD: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam_ (Atlanta City: Clarity Press 2005) I traced how the so-called “Black Muslims” pioneered what Muslim Americans are striving to build today. They built the independent nationalist Islamic schools that taught Arabic to successive generations of African-American kids, but blocked Arab governments and Third World Muslims from coming in to take over.

    Jean Murphy writes: “The African-Americans in the U.S. now are not a minority, by far. They aren’t suppressed unless they choose that path. There are colleges specifically for the African-American & much more”. You underrate the struggles they had to pass through to build either things of their own or to get into a country where “we were treated as though we were strangers” as the Imam Malcolm X (al-Hajj Malik al-Shabbaz) so truly put it. Some Irish people in America and Australia have been treated as though we were strangers also.

    Jean Murphy also questions if “this book of yours stipulates the fact that the slaves brought here so many years ago was done so by other Africans as well as whites? Betrayed by their own”. You underestimate the nuanced, complex intelligence of African-Americans who embraced Islam. Most Black Muslim leaders and thinkers — including Imam Farrakhan —- have specifically mentioned involvement by African “chiefs” in the transportation of enslaved Africans to America. Muslim Matters readers: check this from Dennis Walker, _ISLAM AND THE SEARCH FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN NATIONHOOD: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam_ (Atlanta City: Clarity Press 2005) .

    “I’ve never been a racist even as a child in Iowa. In grade school there were only a few black children & I was friends with each. My neighbor was also black & I was the babysitter for two young children. I applaud any African-American that does well or even better in this country”. But President Barrack Hussein Obama is not among them. I note with alarm that in a separate post you refuse to concede the title of Obama to be called President, although elected. Yet America passed a crucial test when most voters appointed an African-American fellow-American to the highest political office in their country. That is hope for the whole world.
    In my book, my book _ISLAM AND THE SEARCH FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN NATIONHOOD: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam_ (Atlanta City: Clarity Press 2005), I deal with the resolve of the hard-right micro-nationalist minority among Jewish-Americans to block the progress not just of Muslim African-Americans but African-Americans in general. That ideological minority does that to seize leadership over that American “Jewish people” by terrorizing ordinary Jews in New York and elsewhereout of their wits.

    Were Obama to change just some things about American policy in the Middle East we are thus likely to hear a lot of crying of wolves from Jewish American activists on the internet — and thus to some extent from mainstream Jewish organizations in central American life as well who must be seen to be maintaining the interests of Jews like their hard-right micronationalist rivals. They could not let themselves get outflanked.

    If Jewish nationalist denunciations of Obama and the growing role of African Americans in the U.S. central political system continue, this in turn may create a counter-dynamic among the black professional classes who do read the nationalist websites of the Jewish micro-nationalists and to some extent are shaped by them in their development of their own “black nationalist” counter-discourse. In tandem with past destruction of black American congressional representatives by Zionoid Jewish micro-nationalist forces, often involving the expenditure of millions of dollars in U.S. elections, even a spurious continuing fire against Obama from that Jewish micro-nationalist counter-elite is likely to make blacks in politics think quite seriously about contracting the resources for Israel from the system, to make it better serve the needs of black welfare. But the continuing massively violent events in the Middle East are going to force Obama, whether he’d prefer to deal with other issues or not, and fudge this issue or not, to take stands about the policies and actions of Israel and the Islamo-Palestinian nationalists.

    My dear brothers and sisters in the English language in America and fi bilaad il-Islaam: read about it all in my book my book
    _ISLAM AND THE SEARCH FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN NATIONHOOD: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam_ (Atlanta City: Clarity Press 2005)

    Salaam and Slan Agat

    From Dennis Walker, Australia.

  5. dennis patrick walker

    .
    Dr Dennis Walker says:
    August 27, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    James Johnson in 2008 hoped too strongly that the Arab-Palestinian minority in Israel is likely any time soon to achieve equal rights under a state of the rule of law. Arab citizens of Israel have suffered internal expulsion and systemic discrimination since the birth of Israel. However, I agree with him that Israel does have some positive things in its modernist institutions and hope that its Arabs one day will benefit from them.

    _Political Power of Western Jews in Israel in the 1950s and 1960s: Voices from Arabic-Speaking Minorities_

    by Dr Dennis Walker, Monash Asia Research Institute, Australia

    Left Zionism in East and Central Europe and in Palestine was a superbly-crafted state-instrument to lift working-class and lumpen Yiddish-speaking Jews up to bourgeois status and modernity. The Zionist settlement (Yishuv), kibbutzim (collective farms) and trade unions and their socialist facilities firstly in Palestine then from 1948 in the Jewish state of Israel were designed to offer education, health, empowerment and political power to Ashkenazi Jews. The power that once down at heel and bullied Jewish populations from Europe exercized over oriental Jews and Arabs in the state of Israel, though, was not much designed to help those other groups grow in wealth and power.

    _Oriental Jews in “Israel”_

    The Jews in the Iraqi-Syrian Fertile Crescent, Egypt and the other Arab countries lived in peace and harmony with their Christian and Muslim compatriots for many generations. Syrian-Iraqi Liberalism and tolerance made the Syrian-Iraqi Jews most unwilling to go to the Zionist state. Iraqi Jewish residents in “Israel” charged that the Western Zionists and their emissaries organized bombing campaigns in Iraq under the monarchy to terrorize Iraqi Jewry into migrating to Israel.

    Iraqi and Egyptian Jews charged that the Western Jews who received them in “Israel” had racist attitudes. As a group of Iraqi Jews stepped from their plane the only person waiting for them on the tarmac was dressed in anti-septic medical clothing, wore a sanitary mask and sprayed them with insecticide as though living in “Arab country had polluted them and made them unclean.

    The militant spokesmen for Oriental Jews in Israel charged that the white Western Jews in charge of Israeli education were straight racists who wanted to deculturize and degrade the Oriental children they taught.

    Michael Selzer was a militant Oriental Jewish activist in the 1960s. He voiced his rage in an article “The Trouble with Israeli Education” published in the _New Outlook_ of October 1965. He observed bitterly that “the Israeli educational network is, evidently, incapable of meeting the educational requirements of children of Oriental Jewish stock whose number (proportionally to the population of their age groups) in secondary schools and at universities are only a half and a quarter respectively of what they should be.” Selzer argued that this fact was fraught with the most alarming implications for Israel. It was clear that the identification of “poor and backward” with “Oriental”, so dangerously noticeable in the current generation of immigrants, was already destined to apply to the next generation as well. “The feelings of frustration and discrimination, the tensions and hostilities generated by this phenomenon, so inimical to the healthy evolution of Israeli society are, it seems, likely to continue as an enduring feature of Israel’s social scene. The fire under the Israeli educational melting pot is flickering dangerously”. As regarded Western Zionist educationalists “we find a kind of white man’s burden. Norman Bentwich’s cultural ethnocentrism and that of the educational system of which he writes is no less than fantastic.”

    Selzer wanted an educational system in “Israel” that would transmit literary Arabic to new generations of Oriental Jews, but in vain. “It is indicative of the way the Ministry of Education is preserving the image of each community that, apart from the evidence presented above, three percent of Israel’s Jewish school children are currently learning Arabic”. For Selzer, literacy in Arabic would give young oriental Jews access to their own ethnic heritage and to the wide Arab world. “Hebrew University’s John Dewey School of Education announced that it was launching a large research project to discover ways in which Oriental children “might better be adapted to the Western orientation of Israel’s school program”. In response to this cultural genocide, Selzer observed bitingly that “Israelis are avid cultural pluralists – but only in defending the rights of Soviet Jewry or in persuading American Jews not to ‘assimilate’ “. In Israel itself, the ruling Western white Jewish minority mercilessly crushed the discrete cultures of all other ethnic groups.

    The greatest pain was that felt by the Oriental Jewish intellectual “graduating (despite obstacles) from high school and perhaps university and forced to the explicit realization that his own identity and that of his ancestors has no validity in the state of Israel and that his only hope is to renounce his own identity still further and to assume the habit of the European Jew. Israel’s education system is playing a major part in ensuring the new generation will feel no less alienated and resentful. It is not only perpetuating the communal clash, but in placing it on a more profound and permanent basis”.

    A few bolder Israelis charged with “hypocrisy” the Israeli governments that until 1973 sent developmental experts to Black African countries while leaving Oriental Jewish migrants to vegetate in squalor in Israel itself. One such critic was David Hardom, who in 1965 wrote that “the word, backwardness, gave me a shock”. “He was quite right, of course: backwardness, in our own backyard. We send people without end to far away countries in Asia and Africa – instructors, doctors, engineers, scientists, teachers, all kinds of experts. There is less of a rush to go to the backward immigrant settlements in Galilee and in the south – and where are the people who will bring development and progress to the Arab villages amongst us?” (David Hardon: “Meeting With Young Arabs”, New Outlook, March 1965, pp 37 – 38].

    The Israel government kept some oriental Jews caged up without jobs in the mavarot (transit camps) for as long as seven years, dependent on meager state charity. One alarmed article published in the West was “Jewish Gap Widens” from the Tel Aviv office of the Jewish Telegraph Agency. “The education gap between Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews in Israel has widened in recent years and Sephardim even lag behind Israeli Arabs in academic degrees, according to a survey by Dr. Yaakov Nahon of the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies”.

    Nahon found that only 6.1 per cent of Sephardic Jews between the ages of 30 – 35 had attended institutions of higher learning by the mid-1980s compared to 28.3 per cent of Ashkenazic Jews in the same age bracket. Among young Arabs, 8.8 per cent held bachelor degrees as opposed to 6.1 per cent of Sephardic Jews. According to Nahon the gap was narrower for the older generation, where 2.7 per cent of Sephardim had an academic background compared to 10.7 per cent of Ashkenazim.

    _The Arab Minority_

    An impartial and first-hand account of the conditions of Arabs in Israel was given by the Nigerian traveler Olabisi Ajala, _An African Abroad_ (London 1963).

    He visited Taiba village, one of the more advanced of the Arab settlements in Israel. “It was thirty five miles off the main highway, over a dusty stony road. The general condition of the village was disgusting. Barbed wire encircled the entire place. The first impression I got was that of a bombed area, neglected and uninhabited. Yet human beings lived here”.

    “There was no fresh water, pump, clinic or even an elementary school. The narrow lanes of the village, not proper streets, were untarred. Not a single dwelling had electricity. Falling and dilapidated houses with leaking roofs dominated the scene. I saw dirty, naked children playing a game of hide-and-seek as they dashed from one house to another. This was a sight of horror and poverty at its worst”.

    The only presentable building in the village was the newly built police station. Lingering on its steps were a number of Arabs, over whom stood Israeli soldiers, brandishing rifles.

    “An ageing, leading member of the community, whose name I cannot disclose, unhappily commented: ‘Before we were brought here, most of us were living in our own homes and on farms in the richer parts of palestine. Then the Jews captured our land and here we are, living like cattle. Our mosques were burnt to the ground by the Jews. Our houses were destroyed and valuable property was confiscated. We became homeless and helpless. Today we are living on the border of starvation not knowing where our next meal will come from… We can’t use the land around here for farming, and the police watch us all the time”.

    Ajala saw segmentation and atomization typical of totalitarian race-states. The old Arab told him that they were not allowed to visit other villages or see their relatives around them. “Special permission is needed from the police before anyone can leave the village to buy food. We also have to be accompanied by two Jewish policemen to the city when we have any reason to go there.” (pp 175-6)

    A Negev bedouin, Abdul-Muhammad Dahi, told Ajala that “he and the members of his tribe were shipped like a herd of goats from Bersheeba and taken to a remote area where there was no farms and the land was not fertile. ‘We live in camps, tents and broken houses surrounded by barbed wire’.”

    The Israeli governments’ policy of starving the segregated Arab schools of text-books, funds, and even buildings in which to hold classes persisted over the decades. In 1980 Muhammad ‘Abri Nassar, Chairman of al-’Arrabah’s local council, vented the anger of the Arab minority in Israel at the state’s failure to build classrooms for Arabs. “It would be pointless to yet once again state the lethal shortages of buildings and classrooms which on the Ministry of Education’s own admission has now reached 1,300 rooms. It would be equally inane for the Government to keep on talking about the grant of 80 million Israeli lira released for this year when it was really supposed to have been allocated for last year and has now lost more than half its real value” (through inflation). “Nor do we stand to get anything in the end as the Government talks on about releasing any portion of what the Minister called ‘the Reduced Emergencies Budget’ which has no actual existence. Our central demand is that [the Israeli Government] meet the deficit and draw up a properly studied and scheduled plan to solve the problem within a period not exceeding five years. We will not be satisfied with an admission of the problem and declarations of good intentions. Until today… we have not heard of any practical decision to solve this problem”. ["Muhammed 'Abri Nassar to al-Ittihad: We will Not Feel Any Reassurance Before we See Realistic Solutions to the Crisis of Arab Education", _al-Ittihad_ 15 June 1980 p. 6].

    Israeli courts kept the rapidly increasing minority population hemmed in within the existing housing. The courts could slap savage fines even for minor extensions of existing buildings: in 1980 the al-Afulah court fined villager ‘Ali Mahmud Darawish 100,000 shekels for adding a 74 square metre building to his private house, immemorially the property of his forefathers and within the precincts of Aksal village. ["Haramat Bina' Bahizah fi Aksal" (Severe Building Fines in Aksal), _al-Ittihad_ 15 July 1980 p. 3].

  6. anak melayu patani

    patani merdeka insya allah
    takbir3

  7. anak melayu patani

    sudah lama bumi ku di rampas ….sudah lama saudara ku di tindas….kini…ku mahu mengubahkan na’sib ….ayoh! bangunlah saudara ku dari kelalaian dan kelinaan mu ….
    marilah ! kita bersama-sama menegakan hak kita ….
    allahuakbar!

  8. Dr Dennis Walker

    Marable’s Biography is a fine contribution to our understanding of Malcolm X
    Malcolm was a sincere nationalist and a skilled politician who kept simultaneous good relations with Gamal Abdal nasser and Sau’udi King Faisal — each of whom wanted to destroy the other.
    Dear Friends, I have published a book of my own about the Nation of Islam. Please read it.
    See below
    Dr Dennis Walker

    ____Australian Writer’s Book on Islam in America: White Western World Recognizes Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam___
    The April 2007 issue of _The Journal of American Studies_, England, has published a review of the book of Dr Dennis Walker _Islam and the Search for African-American Nationhood: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam_ (Atlanta, GA: Clarity Press, 2005, $24.95). Pp. 597. ISBN 0 932863 44 2.
    The reviewer, JULIE SHERIDAN notes that of “Dennis Walker’s detailed study evaluates the influence of Islamic traditions, tenets and motifs on the formation of a distinctly African American “nationalist” identity. Walker traces the development of Islam in America from its partial cultural embedment during the colonial period (when Muslim slaves were first transported to the British settlements from Africa) to its current, highly politicized manifestation under the guidance of Louis Farrakhan, the
    charismatic leader of the revived Nation of Islam (NOI).”
    Dr Sheridan takes Walker’s point that Minister Louis Farrakhan has been a constructive leader who has concentrated on building a better future for his people. “Predictably,” she writes “the NOI’s often confrontational stance has drawn vociferous criticism from certain sections of the media, but Walker strives to rescue the sect from the extremist fringe of American discourse by highlighting the quietly integrationist impulses that he believes have always flourished beneath its “nationalistic fig-leaves”.
    Though mindful of the fact that the historical trajectory of the African American people differs in crucial ways from that of once-oppressed white ethnic groups, Walker argues that “the process of carving out a distinctive ‘enclave nation’ or ‘micronation’ in defiance of mainstream (i.e. WASP) society has been a rite of passage for all ethnic minorities wishing to penetrate –– and eventually prosper within — that society.
    Most white Western scholars outside and even in America now agree on this: the Nation of Islam is peace-loving and constructive and a group that has been positive for American life.
    However, Julie Sheridan does defend Jewish nationalist writers and organizations from Walker’s attempts to open them to critical discussion. “In seeking to provide a corrective to what he perceives as the wilful demonization of the Nation of Islam by Jewish American and Anglo-American print discourses, Walker sometimes eschews scrupulous objectivity in favor of what he terms a ‘positive-critical approach’ to the controversial sect. Particularly problematic is his attempt to offer a mitigating context for the notoriously anti-Semitic remarks uttered by Farrakhan during the early 1980s. Walker’s assessment of the ‘harmless’, ‘contrived’ nature of these remarks might carry a little more weight if his study were not so relentlessly skeptical of Jewish American viewpoints on the vexed issue of inter-ethnic relations. In choosing to devote a significant portion of his study to the deconstruction of the “far-from-‘benign’ myth” of a black–Jewish alliance based on a shared historical experience of persecution by white Christians, Walker risks making Jewish American “micronationalists” into the villains of his study. Ill-judged references to “the new Israel-drunk Jewish nationalist elite” and “portly salaried officials of Jewish organizations” do a disservice to Walker’s worthy ambition to intervene in a virulently polemical debate with
    a view to “deflat[ing] fears between U.S. ethnic groups”.
    African-Americans — and other Americans to whom Minister Farrakhan has provided direction and advice — can get Walker’s book and judge for themselves if he has been unfair to the nationalist minority among Jewish-Americans.
    [[Dr Dennis Walker _Islam and the Search for African-American Nationhood: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam (Atlanta, GA: Clarity Press, 2005, $24.95). Pp. 597. ISBN 0 932863 44 2]].
    ======================================= =
    =========================================
    ===========================================
    Dennis Walker, _Islam and the Search for African-American Nationhood: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam_
    uhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam
    by Dr. Dennis Walker
    Book price: $24.95
    ISBN: 0-932863-44-2 * 600 pages
    SUMMARY AUTHOR REVIEWS CONTENTS ORDER
    Special Discount Offer
    Summary
    The presence of Islam in America is as long-standing as the arrival of the first captive Muslims from Africa, making Islam one of America’s formative religions. But the long-suppressed indigenous Islam didn’t resurface in organized form until the 1930s, when it infused the politico-spiritual drive by the Noble Drew ‘Ali and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to address the appalling social conditions of the ghettoized black masses of the North.
    Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam would prove to be the most extensive, influential and durable of African-American self-generated organizations. Combining black cooperative entrepreneurship with indigenous Islam-tinged culture and spirituality, the NOI pursued a collectivist nationalist agenda which sought to advance the black masses’ cause–within America or without it. At its collectivist height, the NOI achieved a $95 million empire of interlocking black Muslim small businesses and farms–providing a model for “bootstrap self-development” by the marginalized and dispossessed, worldwide.
    Bourgeois elements developed within, or engaged by, the NOI sought to weld a united African-American nation out of a range of classes. Outstanding second generation leaders–Warith Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan and Malcolm X–would further imbed Islam in Black America, and extend its relations into the international community. Their media offered an informed and critical outlook on both domestic and international affairs that often paralleled progressive analysts.
    What seems clear, after two monumental marches in 1995 and 2005 to the nation’s capital, is that the NOI and African-American Muslims will have substantial input into the future direction of the African-American struggle.
    But it remains ambiguous whether the developing African-American nation will pursue its still-unfulfilled promise through secession, autonomy or long-term integration. To date, indigenous American Islam has been made a bogey by various white elites in order to regiment their own and other ethnic groups.
    ISBN: 0-932863-44-2 $24.95 2005
    About the Author
    Dr. Dennis Walker is a Celtic Australian specialist on Muslim minorities and author of two books on Islam and the national question. He reads five Muslim languages, and is author of numerous scholarly papers, articles and reviews in a number of languages, reflecting his wide travels and areas of interest. He has taught at Melbourne University, Deakin University and Australian National University.
    Reviews
    “Dr. Walker has drawn a portrait of this movement that deserves the attention of scholars. I strongly recommend it to teachers and students studying or writing
    about Islam and the African American experience.”
    — Dr. Sulayman S. Nyang, Howard University
    “It is not very often books of substance on African Americans, Islam and the Nation of Islam are written to set the record straight, or to reveal the truth about an historical legacy in the making. However, Islam and the search for African American, and the Nation of Islam, by Dr. Dennis Walker is an exception to the rule…
    …Dr. Walker’s book sets the record straight for an Islamic, African American and an Arab historical connection, the influences and impacting maze of geographical history, as well as the search for African American nationhood in the 21st century.
    This well documented book offers several defining points of views coupled with the elements of societies’ Black History, The Nation of Islam, race, class, and culture. Dr. Walker’s book also strengthens and confirms the longstanding relevance of media knowledge and networks within the African American communities and its impact on domestic and international relations.
    Islam and the search for African American Nationhood is an extensive scholarly treasure trove of African, Arab and Islamic history. This timely study on Islam and the African American movement and its leaders is worthy reading, yet goes beyond the expansion of the African American experience and its search for Nationhood.”
    — Leila Diab in Muslim Journal
    Table of Contents
    INTRODUCTION
    GLOSSARY
    I. THE NATION OF ISLAM AND ITS SUCCESSORS AFTER 1975: FROM
    MILLENARIAN PROTEST TO TRANS-CONTINENTAL RELATIONSHIPS
    1: TO ELIJAH MUHAMMAD’S DEATH IN 1975
    The Black Muslims’ Original Millenarianism
    The Drive for a New Economy and a New Language under Elijah Muhammad
    Theological Adjustments up to 1975: the Emergence of Warith ud-Deen Mohammed
    Arab World Attitudes to Black Muslims to 1975
    2: POST-1975 BLACK MUSLIM MOVEMENTS
    Relations with Other Faiths, especially Christianity,under Warith’s Leadership
    Coalitionism: The Farrakhan Group’s Attitudes to Christianity
    3: RESPONSES TO THE POST-1973 SOCIAL CRISIS
    The Muslim’s Struggle Against Ghetto Decay, Crime, and Black Lumpen Sub-Culture
    From Elijah’s Rhetorical-Secessionism to Frank Integration
    4: POST-1975 ATTITUDES TO OVERSEAS MUSLIMS AND AFRICANS
    Black Muslim Attitudes to Israel and Middle Eastern Affairs
    The New NOI Starts to Empathize with Powerless Whites in America
    The NOI and Overseas Islamists
    Cargoism
    Black Muslim Attitudes to Africa Below the Sahara
    Farrakhan and Ghana: 1986
    Africa in the 1990s
    5: THE RISE OF FARRAKHAN: THE CHALLENGE FOR WARITH
    1984: Farrakhan and the Jews
    Farrakhan and the East’s Orthodox Islam
    Ongoing Millenarianism
    The Farrakhan-Warith Contest to 1990
    6: MATURE WARITHITE ISLAM
    Classical Muslims and the Modern West
    Jews’ and Arabs’ Ongoing Input into African-American Identity
    II. AFRICAN ISLAM IN THE EVOLUTION OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN NATION:
    FORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICA’S MULTI-ETHNIC SOCIETY
    1: ISLAM IN AMERICAN SLAVERY
    Power and Dialogue
    Jihad? Integration?
    Syncretism or Dissimulation?
    Atoms from Islam Transmitted Down New Generations
    Post-1960 Reactions to Slavery and Forced Assimilation
    The Evolving Critique of Christianity
    Original Languages and 20th-century Nationality
    2: JEWISH PARTICIPATION IN SLAVERY AND SEGREGATION
    3: THE ANGLO-AMERICANIZATION OF OTHER WHITES AND THE
    FORECLOSURE OF MICRONATIONALISMS
    The Formation of the Ethnic Groups
    Ethnic Entry into the American Parliamentarist Political System
    4: EARLY ELITE BLACK HISTORIOGRAPHY VIS–VIS ISLAM
    Christianity Marginalized
    Arabic Writings of Africans Recycled
    Qualified Identification with the Wider Arabo-Islamic World
    Muslim Slave-Trade Palliated?
    The Long-Term Legacy for Scholarship
    New Historiography Unites Diverse Black Classes and Groups
    Long-Term Patterns of Meaning
    III. THE DIFFICULT REBIRTH OF ISLAM AMONG AFRICAN-AMERICANS, 1900-1950
    1: SOCIAL CHANGE AND THE BIRTH OF THE MOORS
    The Social Crisis in Which Indigenous Islam Took Form
    African-American Relations with Jews in the Early Twentieth Century
    2: THE MOORISH SCIENCE TEMPLE OF AMERICA
    3: THE GARVEYITE MOVEMENT AND ISLAM
    UNIA Interactions with Middle Eastern Muslims
    The Garveyites’ Responses to Muslim Insurrection Overseas
    Garvey and Zionism
    The Shifts and Opening to Islam in Religion
    The Moors and Political Black Nationalism
    4: THE MOORS EVOLVE
    Increased Awareness of Third World Muslim Countries and Concepts
    Purist Rejection of Arab Authority in Islam
    5: JEWISH-BLACK INTERACTION AND THE EARLY NOI
    Black-Jewish Cultural Relations
    WASP and Jewish Distortion of African-American Culture
    Ameliorism by Jews and Black American Self-Formation of Identity
    6: THE NATION OF ISLAM
    IV.THE HEYDAY OF ELIJAH:
    HIS ARTICULATION OF IDEOLOGY IN THE 1960S AND 1970S
    1: ELIJAH’S PERIOD CONTEXT
    The Emergence of Bourgeois Nationalism Among African-Americans
    2: NOI PROTEST RELIGION
    The Threat to White America
    Anti-Christianity
    Arabic and Islamic Elements in the Hybrid, Composite Religion
    Monotheism
    Secession from Islam?
    3: RESISTANCE AND ACCOMMODATION TO WHITE AMERICA
    Attraction to Creativity by Whites
    Economic Affiliation to America?
    Parliamentarism, U.S. Institutions
    Southern Background and Regionalism
    U.S. Prisons
    4: THE IMPACT OF ARABS AND MIDDLE EAST ISLAMS
    Middle Easterners and the Borders of World Black Community to 1975
    The Patterns of Ideology and Discourse to 1975
    V. ELIJAH MUHAMMAD’S MUSLIMS IN A CHANGING AMERICA
    1: THE NOI IN ECONOMIC MODERNIZATION OF BLACKS
    Class Status Shifts Through Conversion

  9. Dr Dennis Walker

    FOR PUBLICATION AND TRANSMISSION

    W.D. Warith Mohamed (1933-2008) — Steadfast U.S. “Black Muslim” Leader Who Built a Global Reach_

    by Dr Dennis Walker, Monash Asia Institute, Melbourne 3168, Australia

    The African-American people farewell in “W.D.” Warith Deen Mohamed a Muslim leader who worked to lift up the Black underprivileged and poor into the middle classes, who tried to negotiate better relations with the U.S. system, who built new interaction between Muslims, Christians and Jews of all races in America, on the basis that there was one American people, and who speeded up the entry of African-Americans into the Islamic, Arab and African worlds.

    Wallace/Warith Mohamed assumed leadership of the Nation of Islam in 1975, following the death of his father Elijah Muhammad. Some regarded Warith as having betrayed the black nationalist rhetoric that the NOI vociferated against the “white devils” from 1930. However, already under his father Elijah too these sects’ real enterprise already was the reformation and transformation of the “American Negroes” to make them competitive in the USA’s productive economy and society — not any real nationalist secession. In the economic sphere, Elijah Muhammad founded an empire of interlocking Black Muslim small businesses and farms. It was a black co-operative capitalism with Islamic emblems.

    The Black Muslim bourgeoisie that Elijah’s economic revolution created made sure that Wallace/Warith succeeded Elijah in February 1975. Warith made serious efforts to bring his sect into the mainstream of American life, urging his followers to vote in U.S. elections and enter local, state and national government. When Warith was lifted on the shoulders of 20,000 Muslims shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest), and thus proclaimed Chief Imam, the American economy was still performing strongly, which made prospects for taking his movement into the economic mainstream look bright. Warith’s integrationism and American patriotism looked an appropriate strategy for black Americans. The rise of oil prices from 1973 onwards, however, gradually sank the U.S. into economic depression: the effects on urban lower-class blacks were severe, and Reaganomics made the economy even less hospitable for Blacks with initiative.

    Despite two tough decades, Warith carried ahead his efforts to build up an Islamic private enterprise around his sect. By the 21st century, the Muslim followers of Warith were present in considerable numbers at all levels of government, and his adherent Keith Ellison became the first Muslim to win a seat in the U.S. Congress.

    I have discussed Warith’s career and roles in my book [Dr Dennis Walker _Islam and the Search for African-American Nationhood: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam (Atlanta, GA: Clarity Press, 2005, $24.95). Pp. 597. ISBN 0 932863 44 2]].

    Warith did carry through to completion the great project of his father Elijah Muhammad — the fusion of an atomized ill-treated people into a disciplined and hopeful community.

    In a misunderstanding, some among African-Americans dismissed Warith or “W.D.” as an agent of the FBI and the system. Some moderate stances of Warith were indeed embarrassing, but his critics missed that deeper steadfastness that held beneath the changes of Black Muslim ideology that Warith innovated to meet the transformations in Black conditions and life.

    It was not exactly true that W.D. Mohamed betrayed the nationalist project or militancy of his father by seeking a single American community with whites. Although his was an individualistic Islam that drew closer to that of the Arabs, he kept up a portion of his father’s collectivist religious nationalism. The blending of collective Islamic rituals such as Arabic group-prayers with “Black” economic endeavors continued. While now the property of individuals more often than the sect, the Black Muslim businesses under Warith continued to interlock into an economic circuit that rotates the monies to keep them “within the community” — the Islamic black nation.

    It was untrue that as he sought more integration and American citizenship for his followers, Warith became lukewarm towards the Arabs and Africans. The atmosphere in his sect was rather pluralist. Pan-Islamists for whom Palestine was important could write and print. The circulation of Warith’s newspapers fell far below that of _Muhammad Speaks_ in the heyday of his father Elijah Muhammad. Yet _The Bilalian News_, _World Muslim News_ and __Muslim Journal_ carried dense and well-documented data about the struggles of the peoples of the Arab world and Africa, educating African-Americans about their Islamic and African cultures.

    Warith educated African-Americans to link up with Arabs, Muslims and Africans in the Third World. The young Arabic scholars among his followers today study Islamic law in the original in Syrian and Egyptian universities. The tragedy was that the U.S. polity never utilized those international skills of his movement. America the has never made a just estimate of the contribution the Black Muslims one day could make to building friendship reconciliation and peace between Americans and the Arabs and the Muslim World.

    To his death, Warith continued to call for the full national independence of the Palestinians from Occupation as a pre-condition for a peace settlement between the Arabs and Israel.

    [Dr Dennis Walker _Islam and the Search for African-American Nationhood: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam (Atlanta, GA: Clarity Press, 2005, $24.95). Pp. 597. ISBN 0 932863 44 2]].

    Balas
    10.dennis walker Berkata:

    Februari 7, 2010 at 4:24 pm
    Dr Dennis Walker. “Islam and Christianity in South Africa under Apartheid: The Black African Dimension” , Monash Asia Institute, Australia.

    During apartheid, mainstream Muslim scholarly journals published from the Western and Islamic worlds discussed Muslim minorities of Indic and Malay descent in South Africa (the African nationalists were using the term Azania). It took longer, though, for them to focus on the changing attitudes of the country’s Black populations to Islam and to the new Muslim states of the Middle East.

    The _Journal of the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs_ in Jeddah, Sa’udi Arabia did try to tap specialists and participants from the country as the supremacy of the white Afrikaners headed for its collapse. Articles on South Africa’s Muslim minorities that appeared in the journal included: W.J. Argyle, “Muslims in South Africa: Origins. Development and Present Economic Status” (JIMMA 3:2 pp. 222-256); S.V. Sicard, “The ‘Zanzibaris’ in Durban, South Africa” (JIMMA 3:1 pp. 128-137); Mogamed Ajam, “Muslim Educational Effort in South Africa: A Report” (JIMMA 5:2 pp. 468-473); J.A. Naude, “Islam in South Africa: A General Survey” (JIMMA 6:1 pp. 21-33); Muhammad Haron, “Islamic Dynamism in South Africa’s Western Cape” (JIMMA 9:2) and S.V Sicard, “Muslims and Apartheid: The Theory and Practice of Muslim Resistance to Apartheid” (JIMMA 10:1).

    Considered only in the perspective of the long-standing Muslim minorities mainly descended from people from South Asia and the Malay world, the prognosis for Islam in Azania did not look very optimistic. The Muslims of South Africa/Azania were only a small proportion of the population: Naude (p. 25) noted that according to the figures for 1980, Muslims constituted only 1.34% of the total population of South Africa, that is 328,900 Muslims out of a total population of 24,615,960. “There is good reason to estimate”, he assessed, “that Muslims will present an even smaller part of the total population of this country in future. By way of contrast at least 56% of the total population of South Africa are Christians.” Most of the Christian population, of course, consisted of indigenous black Africans who had been Christian only for one or two generations. These black Christians often had an ambivalent attitude to a religion brought to them by white Western Afrikaners and British imperialists. Still, there was no doubt that the limited size of South Africa’s Muslim minority, the constricting effects that decades of racial segregation had on its intellectual growth and modernization, the minority’s lack of ideological interaction, or in shared institutions, with Azania’s resurgent African majority until relatively late, and the explosive context of white-black racial conflict, all made Azania’s Muslims a vulnerable minority.

    Despite the question-marks hanging around the future of Azanian Muslims, the minority in the 1980s drew some study in the Islamic heartlands for its substantial religious and intellectual achievements, both in anti-Christian apologetics (Ahmad Deedat was not alone) and in propagation among the African populations. Efforts by South African Muslims of Indian and Malay descent had manifested real dynamism since the mid-1970s.

    Of all JIMMA contributors, Naude was the only one who made substantial reference to recent Black South African (Azanian) converts to Islam. S.V. Sicard’s paper was on a different, compact Black African Muslim minority in Durban descended from enslaved Africans or ex-slaves from Mozambique or Malawi who were Muslim when they arrived in South Africa or who became Muslim soon after. Naude tangentially mentioned the South African Muslims’ drive to win converts from the Black African population, stressing the insecurity that Muslim (like Hindu) Indians were feeling as the Azanian blacks heightened their liberation struggle against the whites and advanced towards the seizure of political power in Azania. Some Indian Muslims, especially in Natal, economically exploited the blacks and collaborated with the ruling Afrikaners in their tricameral “multi-racial” parliamentary charade. In such a situation, “a growing number of South African Muslims believe that the solution to the problems of South Africa lies in convincing the black population that their future is in Islam.” [Naude p. 26]. There can be no gainsaying that Azania’s Indian and Colored Muslims in the 1970s and 1980s showed creditable imagination, dedication and energy, and courage, in communicating Islam to Azania’s Bantus, considering the Muslim minority’s small size and limited resources, financial and institutional.

    _A Christian View of the Spread of Islam_.

    This Islamic missionary activity had won about 15,000 black Azanian converts to Islam in the African townships. The modality of this black neo-lslam in Azania was studied by a number of Christian White South African comparative religionists. J.N.J. Kritzinger wrote a succinct but interesting study of Azanian black neo-Muslims titled “Islam as a Rival to the Gospel in Africa” in _Evangelical Review of Theology_, (5:2, October, 1981). He noted that Islam came to “South Africa” with the exiled Malay political prisoners and slaves who started arriving from 1667 onwards. The other way in which Islam entered was through the arrival of free passenger Indians from Gujarat in 1880, many of whom were Muslims. These Malay and Indian Muslims spread throughout South Africa, mainly as traders and businessmen. “Many of them have learnt the languages of the Black people and are in an ideal position to propagate Islam through literature and personal contacts”. It was only since the 1960s, however, that a concerted effort was made by Indian Muslims to bring Islam to the Black peoples of South Africa. Specific missionary societies were set up for this purpose. Kritzinger characterized the methods used by Muslim missionaries to convert black Azanians as symposia, conventions, lectures, the printing of tracts and books, clinics, distribution of food and blankets, etc. “The missionary approach that is being used and the type of Black people being reached indicate a neo-Islamic modality similar to that of the [heterodox, India-originated] Ahmadiyyah missions and very different from the type of Islam produced by the process of gradual penetration” over centuries in East and West Africa, Kritzinger concluded. His impression in 1981 was that the fastest growth of Islam in the black community had taken place among young black people, especially since the 1976 black youth uprising and riots in the segregated township of Soweto, suggesting that social grievances against specific whites they had encountered and ideological factors played a large role in those conversions, as several Black neo-Muslims more or less confirmed to him in personal interviews.

    The fact that Islam is a post-Christian religion was working in its favour in relation to Christianity among Azanian Blacks, Kritzinger observed in 1981. Islam “comes with the claim of having received the final revelation from God to restore the original monotheism of Abraham to its pristine purity. This claim of possessing the final truth which supersedes Christianity and makes it redundant, gives Islam a decided psychological advantage. The claim of being the original monotheism from which Judaism and Christianity have strayed introduces an anti-Christian element, although this is not equally pronounced in all the modalities of Islam. It is prominent in Ahmadiyyah propaganda and in [Sunni] Muslim missionary societies influenced by their arguments in South Africa”. In the Azanian Black population, for so long segregated, impoverished and oppressed by Afrikaner and Angloid Christian whites, where there was growing rejection of Christianity because of its association with the “Christian national” policy of “separate development”, Islamic anti-Christian propaganda was finding fertile ground. “Islamic propaganda seems to be riding the wave of the anti-White and anti-Christian sentiment let loose in 1976 and providing a viable alternative to Christianity” among Azanian Blacks, Kritzinger noted.

    Muslim missionary outreach among Azanian blacks, especially urban Zulus, was being fostered by the blacks’ own pre-existing growing interest in Islam as a religion of Africa. One of the first mu’adhdhins (callers to prayer) was a Black man, Bilal, a freed Abyssinian slave. “The strong emphasis on the brotherhood of Islam regardless of race, culture, or social standing which is expressed five times daily when Muslims pray shoulder to shoulder in the mosques and above all in the annual pilgrimage to Mecca is very attractive to Blacks especially when compared to racially separated churches or the image of a Christianity which sanctions racial separation”. Islamic propagators in South Africa were stressing in the 1980s that both Christianity and Communism had failed to bring about justice and inter-racial harmony in Africa whereas Islam could. Islam was being presented to Azanians as the “third way” between the extremes of capitalism and Communism in that it allows private property but was argued to have strict safeguards against exploitation. Speaking to the acculturated Anglophone context in which both Indian Islam and Black African protest have unfolded in South Africa, Toynbee was being quoted to the effect that the special contribution of Islam to world history will be to solve the problems of racial discrimination and alcoholism. The universal unity and brotherhood of Muslims, based on the unity of God, the finality of Muhammad’s Prophethood, the uniqueness of the Qur’an, the prayer direction (qiblah) towards Mecca and the use of the Arabic language in ritual worship, was working strongly in the conversion of Black people in S.A. and the U.S.A. to Islam. Kritzinger cited articles in _al-Qalam_, mouthpiece of the Muslim Youth Movement which developed a presentation of Islam along these lines targeted to Azanian blacks.

    Since the early 1970s, then, Islam thus has been articulated in Azania by ethnically Indian Muslim missionaries with attention to facets that have been interpreted to offer dignity and autonomy to blacks as they face racist oppressors.

    Kritzinger concluded from his survey that “apart from the ideological attraction of Islam, which is limited to the politically conscious, the cultic and ritual elements of Islam attract people from a wider spectrum [among South Africa’s blacks]. The call to prayer (adhan) in Arabic announces the presence of Islam and exercises a strange attraction in a Black community even if only for the novelty of it. People come to this new ‘church’, are attracted by the ritual washing, the postures of worship and receive literature. In this ‘centripetal’ way a local Jama’at comes into existence which eventually builds its own mosque or Islamic centre, often with financial help from elsewhere”. One black Muslim “missionary” told Kritzinger in an interview that he has merely to put up a prayer room and start sounding the call in a Black community and he will have ten people more every day.

    Looking to the decade ahead in 1981 as an intellectual representing Azania’s white Christian community, Kritzinger considered it “certain that Islam will grow extensively in the Black communities of South Africa and this is the immediate challenge we have to face. A scare campaign is however not what is needed. It is not a ‘Muslim gevaar’ (Muslim danger) that we must combat or fear. Such a response would not be a mature Christian one at all. We have to face the challenge which Islam presents to us with humility, patience and confidence. We need not panic or withdraw into a defensive attitude. Controlled by the perfect love which casts out fear, we can face the Islamic challenge with courage” (pp. 237-245).

    _Another White Viewpoint_

    Another notable response to the spread of Islam among Black Africans of Azania from the liberal margin of White Christian South Africa came from Reverend Gerrie Lubbe. A Ph.D in comparative religion and lecturer in the Department of Religion at the Universiteit Van Suid-Afrika, Lubbe in a 1984 paper related conversions to Islam by some urban Bantu Azanians to the political militancy that had been mounting amongst Blacks against the apartheid white racist system since the mid-1970s. His analysis, though, hypothesized a somewhat ambiguous relation between conversion to Islam and the new political militancy against whites. In 1976 the Black student youth of the segregated slum of Soweto, Johannesburg, responded to the government’s attempt to impose Afrikaans as a medium of high school education with mass demonstrations against their white rulers’ apartheid system. The 1976 Soweto bloodshed was a turning point in the hitherto atomized Black Azanian people’s social and political consciousness. Lubbe assessed ways in which the new ideology of Islam in Soweto vented and solidified black youth’s resistance to racial oppression by the South African white minority and its government.

    The following formulations and passages from Lubbe’s paper set the new Islam of Black Azanians within the special context of incendiary Soweto.

    Persistent rumors of the rapid growth of Islam within the Black community in South Africa were yet to be confirmed in 1984. The census did not list Blacks (Africans) who follow Islam separately. The 1980 census estimated 8260 Black Muslims in South Africa. An unconfirmed estimate for Muslims in Soweto, Johannesburg, put the figure at 1500. Whatever the exact figures, it was “certain that several Black people, and especially youth, have become Muslims”. There also seemed some link yet to be thoroughly identified, between these conversions and the events which occurred during 1976 in Soweto. New zeal for mission had been triggered off by the ultra-political Iranian Revolution while the 1978 explosion in Soweto “has created a religious vacuum in the lives of many (Black) people. Young Muslims in Soweto stated in personal interviews that Islam basically offers two things, viz, unity and dignity. They readily admit that black churches have become more outspoken against white racism since 1976 but then, they emphasize, Christianity remains a religion without unity. On the other hand the ‘body language’ of Muslims worshipping shoulder to shoulder in a mosque, in spite of theological and other differences has such a tremendous impact that press statements and pledges of solidarity with the oppressed blacks are hardly necessary… Conversion to Islam gives to the marginal people of Soweto and other places in South Africa a sense of worth and dignity and is therefore a humanizing force over and against the dehumanizing character of Apartheid”.

    Social torments in South Africa were pushing many black South Africans towards Islam, but Azanian blacks do assess Islam’s core content carefully and weigh it against the Christianity into which they were born. When Africans make this comparison, Lubbe found, an “important and obviously attractive feature of Islam is the doctrine of Tawhid, the oneness of God. Absolute insistence on Tawhid is at the root of the unity of reality which is so striking about Islam. Unlike Christianity, Islam knows no dichotomy between the ‘sacred’ and the ‘secular’ or between the ‘material’ and the ‘spiritual’. Islam covers every area of life and every human action is consequently seen as _ibadat_ — the worshipful service of slaves to their master”. Black people “with almost monotonous regularity” cited to Lubbe three reasons why they turned to Islam. First, in Allah they had rediscovered the original God of Africa. Secondly, conversion to Islam had invariably been triggered off by some negative encounter with Christianity, be it white refusal to allow them to attend a worship service, derogatory remarks about African culture etc. Thirdly, Christianity is perceived as the faith of the oppressors who are perpetrating apartheid in the name of God.

    By the early 1980s, Islam had become a highly visible minority religion among urban South African blacks, more and more of whom wore the white caps that were its emblem in public places. Both Kritzinger and Lubbe agreed that conversion to Islam by Blacks entailed rejection of whites. Neo-lslam was a spiritual marginalization of whites out of the black psyche that still avoided the violent political confrontation with apartheid through armed insurgency that the African National Congress attempted. This difference was clear in a conversation Lubbe cited with a young Black Muslim in Soweto:

    “As to why Islam has suddenly made inroads into the African townships in this way, Joseph told me that after June 1976 blacks felt themselves to have two alternatives apart from taking up the armed struggle [by fleeing the country and training as guerrilla fighters]. The first was to take the way of Martin Luther King and to follow the path mapped out in Alabama or Georgia. But the second was to see how the real dignity of the black man could not be found in Christianity but was really offered by Islam. The vision of Black unity and dignity given by the shoulder-to-shoulder worship in the mosque where all are equal and each alike the servants of God is very powerful”.

    This neo-Muslim modality of rejection of whites amongst Azanian Blacks explored by Lubbe thus channelled the hostility away from even moderate political opposition to apartheid modelled on the American civil rights movement. The Black Islam developing in Azania in this was paralleling the Black Muslims in America who distil virulently articulated hatred of whites into self-uplift, and into economic competitiveness against whites within their systems, not political protest or physical showdowns. Azanian black African Muslims here would be more open to criticism from Azanian liberation movements for apolitical quietism than such Azanian Christian clergymen as Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Tutu risked ten years imprisonment when in September 1988 he urged blacks and Anglicans to boycott the apartheid system’s nationwide municipal elections: black town councils were a front for maintaining white domination.

    _Christian-Muslim Alliance_

    Like Kritzinger, Lubbe urged his fellow white Christian South Africans to respond flexibly and charitably to the challenge posed by Islam’s expansion among blacks. Lubbe discussed the idea of Christians developing an alliance with Muslims to block communism but rejected such “expediency” as “not suitable if a truthful and honest relationship with Muslims is to be sought and maintained”. Nonetheless, Muslims could be made allies of [liberal] Christians for establishing “justice in our society”:

    “‘White’ Christianity, for as long as it still aligns itself with the ideology of Apartheid, will have a very small, if any, role to play in this process of dialogue and co-operation. Black churches and black church leaders stand before a golden opportunity in this regard. From the side of Black Muslims it has already been hinted that they do not only appreciate and admire the penetrating and challenging questions which black theologians are posing to white Christians, but that they are also looking up to these Christian theologians for showing to Black Muslims the way for a sterner and stronger questioning of Indian Muslims and their participation in the struggle for human rights and liberation in South Africa”.

    Lubbe hoped against hope that Christ would “liberate the Christians of this country to be present, in all humility, among Muslims to witness to them about Christ and about the fact that Christianity, like Islam, is the antithesis of Apartheid”. In their turn, South Africa’s Black Muslims could, he projected, help combat such abuses of Western permissiveness as alcoholism, which had claimed a high toll from Blacks in South Africa. The Muslim converts had offered effective resistance against the waves of immorality in the townships. “In stressing moral uprightness as a prerequisite for real liberation and for finally shedding a slave mentality, Muslims can assist Christians in spelling out a hopeful future for Azania”.

    Lubbe caught sharply the possibility of a de-Indianization of South African Islam posed by the conversions of blacks to Islam as well as to Christianity. He predicted that the awakening of the Black Muslims in South Africa would force local establishment Islam to do away with its ‘foreign’ image. “Islam will be challenged to adopt a more African outlook, not in terms of worship or structure but in terms of involvement in and sympathy with the struggle for liberation. The challenge before South African Muslims of Indian origin is really ‘Relinquish your so-called cultural identity and become an African.’ Islam expresses itself clearly on issues like justice and equality”. However, “many South African [Indian] Muslims find themselves often among the most affluent, not only in black South Africa, but also in the South African society at large. Many of them are cooperating with the present system, serve on government-created bodies which work for the perpetuation of Apartheid and are employing blacks on typical exploitative South African wages and conditions. In truly identifying with the black cause they will most definitely find in their vested interests a major stumbling block” [Reverend Gerrie Lubbe, “Islam in South Africa: Enemy or Ally?”, 1984, mimeographed paper].

    _South African Muslim Groups and Blacks_

    The Durban-based and Arab-funded Islamic Propagation Centre International, directed by Ahmad Deedat, also wooed Azanians in the apartheid era, although without the politicized Islamic liberation theology that was firing the Muslim Youth Movement’s conjunction with the Blacks. Deedat, too, had the acumen to grasp that the future of Islam in South Africa would heavily depend on the attitudes that the Bantu Black majority community was developing toward the faith. He therefore strove in his own lightning-fast way to communicate friendliness and concern on behalf of Islam towards Black South Africans. His Islam-projecting outreaches to Bantu Azanians, however, were more intermittent and less determined than those of such a radical group as the Muslim Youth Movement because of limitations imposed by his organization’s conservative accommodation to the white system in South Africa — and by his energy-consuming role as a globe-trotting Christianity-denouncing polemicist, and international media performer.

    Yet this flair for publicity and communication was no less evident in the overtures which Deedat made to Azanian Blacks suggesting how Muslims both in South Africa and abroad had the vital interests of the Blacks at heart. The privately-funded Phambili Secondary school had 1200 black matriculation pupils most of whom had fled the violence in the African townships. While pupils were registering, a man burst into an office and grabbed the bag containing about R10,000 — the fees paid in by 200 prospective matriculants. “Losing a whole year’s study at this crucial stage in their lives could have meant that [the Black students’] chances of getting a decent job would have been negligible”, said Deedat. Accordingly, the Islamic Propagation Centre responded swiftly to an appeal in _The Daily News_. Gloom made way to smiles when two representatives of the Centre, Mr. Abdullah Deedat and Mr. Goolam Hoosen Agjee, arrived at assembly time and presented a R10,000 cheque. The black students responded with jubilation and an impromptu singing session [_al-Burhan_, IPCI organ, 1:2 April 1988/Ramadan 1408 p. 2].

    A potential problem area was the quietistic, conservative tone of Deedat and his Islamic Propagation Centre that could make enemies among politically activist Muslim Indian South Africans as well as leftist Azanian blacks engaged in the liberation struggle against the white segregationists. The IPC’s two-monthly da’wah crash-courses were training students in a confrontationist way to refute “socialism and other ideologies that seem to have enamored many Muslim youth today” (Ibid, p. 1 ).

    However, most South African Muslim organizations had been more open to activist African political movements, including Marxism-tinctured ones, than Deedat’s group. The Call of Islam group from the mid-1980s organised political funerals and militant demonstrations that confronted white police and armed forces in the streets of Cape Town: the Call of Islam and Qiblah activists raised slogans that Muslims should fight in coordination with the Black townships [Farid Esack, ‘Three Islamic Strands in the South African Struggle for Justice”, _Third World Quarterly_ (April 1988) p. 486]. The Call of Islam would quote ‘Ali Shariati and Mahmud Taleghani and the Mujahidin-i-Khalq of Iran. Its action-theological reflection-action paradigm resembled Christian Liberation theology [Esack p. 491]. Call of Islam activists published articles in _Sechaba_ (London), the monthly journal of the African National Congress (ANC). In one 1986 issue, F. Ali urged South African Muslims to “make apartheid ungovernable …side by side with our non-Muslim Comrades” [Esack p. 496]. The ANC and UDF both identified the Call of Islam as their allies in the Muslim community in the common struggle against Apartheid [Esack, p. 482]. Originally inspired by the Arab World’s Muslim Brotherhood (al-lkhwan al-Muslimun) and by Pakistan’s Jama’at-i-Islami, the Muslim Youth Movement now established links with the Black liberation movements despite their diluted Marxoid tint [Esacks p. 483]. On the other hand, the Qiblah movement of the oft-imprisoned Ahmad Cassim sometimes irritated Black militants by proposing Iran’s “Islamic Revolution” as an alternative methodology to the secular “general liberation movement” [Esack pp. 484-485].

    _The Arab World’s Perception of Azanians_

    Whether Islam will be installed in depth into the post-apartheid black-led Azania may in part be decided by the facilities and expertise at the command of Islamic Organizations in the oil-rich peninsular Arabian states, which continue to financially aid South African Muslim organizations. Deedat himself instanced the link with the philanthropists of Jazirat al-’Arab (Arabian Peninsula) in that he refuted Christianity in extensive lecture tours there, and Arab donors to a great extent have borne the costs of his Islamic movement’s institutional expansion in South Africa. It was in question, though, whether Arab philanthropic individuals and organizations possessed the capacity to monitor the development on the ground of those groups receiving their aid in South Africa.

    African studies in the Gulf and other Arabian universities were still not adequately existent at the time that the freed multi-racial South African state was born. A basis for skilled, flexible interaction with Azanian realities had, however, been provided by Arabic journalism in the last decade among the peninsular Arabian educated classes in particular relative to the Islamic minorities in sub-Saharan Africa. A case in point was the Kuwait Islamic weekly _al-Mujtama’_, founded in 1970.

    _al-Mujtama’_ was the mouthpiece of the Islamist “Society for Social Reform” which in the elections of February 1981 got two deputies (one of them the redoubtable ‘Abdallah al-Nafisi) elected to the Kuwaiti parliament. The Society and its organ organized and publicized donation drives in Kuwait for the Agency for the Muslims of Africa (Lajnatu Muslimi Ifriqiyya). This Kuwaiti charitable relief agency sent 300 Kuwaitis to Africa in 1988 to improve the education, health and water supplies of Muslim Africans all over the continent. The Agency raised more than two million dollars of aid for this purpose.

    Initially, _al-Mujtama’_ was undeniably parochial and communalist, but by the later 1980s was deepening its concern for non-Muslim as well as Muslim Africans and Asians, whom it now perceived had all been victimized together by the white Western politico-economic order. The shift enabled _al-Mujtama’_ to denounce the apartheid regime and South Africa’s ruling white supremacist minority as lethally suppressive of all non-white populations in Azania, non-Muslims as well as Muslims, simultaneously.

    In mid-1987 _al-Mujtama’_ offered its Kuwait and other Arab readers one of their rare glimpses in Arabic of the inter-racial crisis in South Africa from within the religious culture and structures of South African Christians themselves. The Arabic article excerpted and criticized the Kairos Document that a cross-section of Protestant, Catholic and independent Bantu Christian clergymen drew up from violent Soweto in August 1985. This Christian declaration had characterized apartheid as a “heresy” by the criteria of Christian theology and denounced its “oppression” and violence against blacks as the source of evil that Christians were obliged by their religion to condemn. The document denounced the racist South African state but also the White Dutch Reformed Churches and other Christians who validated it with “State Theology” as “the devil disguised as Almighty God, the Antichrist” (Kairos 2nd ed., p. 8).

    The Christian document called for “direct confrontation with the forces of evil”, “a radical change of structures”, a “struggle” for liberation and for “God’s peace in South Africa” in coordination with unnamed representative Black “political organizations” (ibid p. 29) .

    On the most marginalized Azanian far-left, Thoko Mdlalose in _The African Communist_ (no. 104, 1986 pp. 18-27) hailed the Kairos Document as the Church’s endorsement of “revolutionary violence against the regime”, yet this may have been tongue-in-cheek. The upshot of the Kairos Document’s militant rhetoric was only that “the Church will have to be involved at times in civil disobedience” as the way “to confront the state in order to obey God” (Kairos p. 36). Thus, the Churches would be the Christian “civil rights” alternative to the insurgent ANC and Marxist PAC (Pan-African Congress) — the path of Rev. Martin Luther King considered but then rejected in favor of Islamic protest by young, Bantu neo-Muslims whom Kritzinger and Lubbe interviewed. Even Azanian Catholic priest Fr. Buti Thlagale had to object that the Kairos Document ‘‘is not radical enough” (_New Nation_ 16 January, 1986 p. 18).

    _al-Mujtama’_s Arabic write-up stitched together Islamic denunciations of South Africa’s Christian churches with the voices of South African Christians as they desperately strove to grapple with the dilemma facing their religion and country.

    The English-like syntax of the Arabic of _al-Mujtama’s_ write-up suggests translation from English-language Azanian Muslim material. The Arabic article did not see even the Christian clergy in South Africa as homogeneous — let along South Africa’s Christians in general — but sharply registered all the tension between, in particular, black African clergymen working amid massive white violence in black townships and the largely white church upper hierarchies. “All the men of religion in the churches of the black townships were witness to massacres against the people and have become obliged to say or do something about what is taking place before their eyes. They can no longer stay silent and leave the whole matter in the hands of the bishops or leaders of the church who issued only very watered-down, moderately-phrased protests”. Thus, this Arabic magazine tended to view the Kairos Document as, at least in part, a product of upward pressure from black (and a few white) Christian clergy confronted with the lethal struggle between working-class blacks and the forces of apartheid at street level. Yet, through separate structures or through the split between grassroots black pastors and the “official church” of apathetic white upper clergy, South African Christianity remained divided into black and white churches. It was a crisis for Christianity, the Kairos Document had warned, that the two churches could not understand Christianity’s prescriptions for the country’s condition of violent racial polarization in the same way, although both the oppressor and the oppressed claim loyalty to the same Church and the same beliefs about Jesus [_al-Mujtama’_: cf. Kairos 2nd ed., pp. 1-27]. The Christian document repudiated “past misuse by ‘State Theology’ of the name of God and biblical texts (Romans 13: 17) to justify racial segregation and subordination of the blacks” and to encourage the latter to submit. This Arabic item, then, was touching on features of historical Christianity that enraged African blacks in South Africa and thereby motivated them to look at the alternative of Islam.

    To a large extent _al-Mujtama’_ excerpted the Kairos Document because its admissions of past Christian complicity with Apartheid damaged the credibility of Christianity. Not quite in fairness, the Islamist Arabic magazine dismissed various churches’ change of policy from neutrality to “political” conflict as verbal solidarity with the blacks, a ploy to finesse the gradual shift of power to the latter. Since white settlement in South Africa, “the church used always either to bless or ignore the savage acts of the white minority against the country’s native population — all of which took place under the eyes of the Church without any response from it at all. But the wily Church realized in recent years how much international pressures that racist Pretoria regime faces force it to change its racist policy: the church then in its turn deemed it better to change its policy on South Africa and move from its absolute support for the white minority to showing a sort of sympathy for the oppressed black majority that is certain to come to power in the country one day or another. That majority had to be won over to the side of the Church before it was too late” (_al-Mujtama’_).

    The introduction to the second edition of the Kairos Document bore out to a degree the above Muslim stricture. Many of those who had abandoned the Church as an irrelevant institution that was justifying and legitimizing the apartheid system “began to feel that if the Church becomes the Church as expounded by the Kairos Document then they would go back to the Church again. Even those who would consider themselves to be ‘non-Christians’ in the conventional sense began to say that if this is Christianity they could become Christians.” The clerics who penned the Kairos document were sniffing the wind and calculating if they could get back into their churches the Blacks whose suffering they denounced. The denunciations of apartheid in the name of Christianity aroused “overwhelming excitement about (the document) in the Black townships. For many, the Gospel become ‘Good News’ for the first time in their lives” (Kairos 2nd ed., p. iii). The shrill but ambiguous verbal support that the Kairos clerics offered to the African struggle for liberation in Azania was meant to staunch the haemorrhage of young blacks out of the churches over to protest Black neo-Islam and secularist insurgent movements. _al-Mujtama’_ may have been right that the militant-sounding clerics were not always inspired by a disinterested humanism in the postures they were now striking to South Africa’s white system!

    Amid all its bitter charges against Christianity in South Africa, _al-Mujtama’_ left no doubt that “the majority” of clergy in most South African denominations had moved from quietism to a new stance of strong verbal condemnation against apartheid. Those who drew up the Kairos Document and the minority in the churches who criticized it as inciting black violence both “belonged to all Christian denominations — Catholics, Anglicans, African Independent Churches and Evangelical Christians.”

    Despite its angry — but perhaps partly pro forma? — denunciations of the churches, and precisely because it was scrappy, the _al-Mujtama’_ article conveyed to Islamist Arab readers, in their own Arabic, the authentic voices of South African Christians (too heavily, alas, white voices) as they responded to a lethal crisis. In evoking the total range of religious and racial communities in South Africa, the Islamist journal prefigured the only approach for Arabs to understand the shifting make-up and problems of the Muslim minority in South Africa and then move to aid it effectively over the long term. [See “al-Kanisah Tukhattitu lihtiwa’ il-Aghlahiyyah fi Janub Ifriqiyyah” (The Church is Drawing up Plans to Contain the [Black] Majority in South Africa), _al-Mujtama’_ 12 May 1987 pp. 31-33].

    Clearly, the Arabic-language Islamic press of the Gulf and nearby regions in the late 1980s had some way to go before it would satisfactorily project South Africa’s Muslim minority in terms of its specific non-Arab cultural characteristics and— even more crucially — convey with the needed sharpness the characteristics, structures and aspirations of the vast black populations that surround Azania’s Muslims. All too often only attenuated and warped echoes of the Azanian Muslims’ own English writings and of the excellent — but English medium — articles brought out on South African Muslims by the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs were projected from the pages of those Arabic journals that stood at the forefront of organizing Arab aid to the minority. The Arabic Islamist press was to have to draw much more on data about the apartheid system and black South Africans that certain secularoid — if ideologically unpalatable — Arabic journals were offering.

    More fundamentally, the time had come for some specialized institute to assume a program of translation into Arabic of detailed academic studies in English covering the key aspects of South African politics and society, in particular the culture and history of its Black majority.

    _Azanian Black Images of Middle Easterners_

    Azanian blacks convert from nominal Christianity to Islam in the context of political sympathy for various Arab and Muslim groups amongst at least sectors of the general Azanian Black population. For a long time the victorious Islamic republican regime in Iran commanded a high reputation among the oppressed Black masses in the townships because of its image as a militant Third World revolution that defied white America. Radical Shi’ite publications in Iran had voiced interest in converting the racially segregated, jailed — and often only nominally Christian — Blacks of Azania to Islam well before Imam Khumayni’s revolution wrested political power from the Shah [Mahmud Hakimi, ‘‘Ilal-Sijn Raqm ... Intabih”, _al-Hadi_ (Qum) No. 1, 1972, pp. 173-178]. Ahmad Cassim’s Qiblah movement projected an insurgent tone and had a fair amount of contact with the Bantu Blacks of the townships between 1983 and 1987: Qiblah appointed itself the defender of the Iranian regime in South Africa even to the extent of disorientedly chanting in Farsi, during demonstrations against the white racist regime, the very same slogans with which Iranians had toppled the Shah. A small group of South African Indian and Malay Sunni Muslims in the al-Jihad movement converted to Shi’ism under the impact of the Iranian revolution and became active in propagating Shi’ite Islam in the Black townships of Western Cape [Esack p. 488].

    The standing that Iran commanded and commands in the eyes of Black Azanians influenced how much religious response they were giving to the pro-lranian, politicized, Islamic organizations striving to convert them to Islam. Other Azanian Blacks felt more attracted to Sa’udi Arabia’s substantial no-strings-attached aid to Indo-Malay Muslim and African organizations in South Africa, and to the oil boycotts Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab states waged against the more and more cornered South African regime.

    The more radical Azanian black youth also tended to identify more with the PLO as a Third World Liberation movement than with Israel. The state of Israel fell into disrepute among many Black Azanians because of international rumors that Israel and South Africa exploded a joint nuclear device together in the South Atlantic on September 22, 1979; because Israel supplied other more conventional weapons to South Africa that could be used for internal suppression; and because Israeli companies that set up in South Africa’s puppet internal Bantustan statelets were perceived as exploiting cheap black labour. At various times, the African National Congress and the PLO conducted joint training for their fighters. In late 1986 a leader of the Zionist religious orthodox faction (Mizrakhi) in South Africa, Rabbi Baruch Zaichyk, warned that Black radical groups in the country were “subsidized by arch-enemies of the South African Jewish community including various PLO groups”. Except for “the Zulus” — (=the Inkatha movement of the Kwazulu Bantustan’s Chief Minister Chief Gatsha Buthelezi) — all Black groups, including the ANC “were critical of Israel and Jews” [_Australian Jewish News_ 5 September 1986 p. 2]. Israel tried to counter by offering training courses for Black South African Community Leaders in Israel at the Afro-Asia Institute of the Histadrut (the General Federation of Labor in Israel), to soften the negative image it had among many black Azanians.

    The maverick Libyan ruler Mu’ammar al-Qaddafi caught headlines in even the Azanian Catholic newspaper _New Nation_ when his Foreign Minister urged Nigerian leader Major General Ibrahim Babaginda to set up an African High Command with Libya and then send troops from both countries in a joint expeditionary force to crush Apartheid together. The ringing Libyan declaration gave most Azanians a good image of Arabs and Islam, although some Nigerians saw it as a ploy to psychologically blunt countermeasures that Nigeria might take against Libyan intervention in Chad.

    The international politics images of many Azanian Blacks were thus already sympathetic to Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims and hostile to their enemies before they began to consider Islam. The context of this political world-view is not obstructive when young Blacks reinforce the relationship with the Muslim world further through religious conversion. The Arabophilia and Islamophilia was to come from the very top of the country’s new African establishment following the collapse of Apartheid. The Israelis noted that President Nelson Mandela considered the Palestine Authority Chairman Yasir ‘Arafat a close friend and fellow-revolutionary: such attitudes were to make South Africa a hard posting for Israeli diplomats even into the 21st century [[Suzanne Belling, “New Israeli ambassador faces tough mission in South Africa”, _Australian Jewish News_ 16 February 2001 p. 13]].

    Indigenous Viewpoints From Converted Africans

    The US Black Muslim magazine Muslim Journal at the end of 1986 surveyed the problems faced by the converted Black African community that had crystallized in the segregated African townships of Azania.

    Firstly, the white racist regime’s ethnic separation laws were limiting the contact that African new Muslims could have with the established Indian or Malay Muslims who have the developed Islamic schools and institutions that black converts need. The converts denounced “the numerous State laws enacted for the African which restrict his personal freedom, the most notorious being the Influx Control Law and the Group Areas Act. Taken together, these biological legislations insult human dignity. They restrict the African person to one particular ethnic area by birth where he/she must live and work. Daily scores of Africans are arrested and prosecuted under these laws for entering ‘white urban areas’ without a ‘pass’ permitting them to seek work and live there.

    “Caucasians and Indians who employ or allow these workers to live on their property are also prosecuted for ‘employing or sheltering illegals’. The Group Areas Act which restricts different racial groups to their own areas, is a serious blow to the Muslims in these separate racial compartments. Caucasian Muslims may not marry non-Caucasian Muslims. ‘Black’ Muslims cannot leave their un-Islamic environment and live freely and unrestricted by the Group Areas Law, amongst the Indian Muslims.”

    The segregation and exploitation by white racists were making it almost impossible for many Muslims — just like other — blacks to maintain the family unit prescribed by Islam. Only where cheap black labor was needed in the mines and factories or the city’s municipal cleansing services were Black “migrants” contracted by the State to live in the city precincts in grim male hostels, without their wives and children or other members of their family being allowed to live with them there. Legalized alcohol consumption outlets or “beer gardens” were provided. “Thus, cut off from their wives and normal family life, and addicted to liquors and the services of prostitutes around the hostels, these workers, with frustrated Muslims among them, [would] succumb quickly to the social evils of drunkenness, sodomy, venereal diseases and internal-tribal faction fighting,” this African neo-Muslim viewpoint perceived.

    Other analysts noted “questioning” by African neo-Muslims of of the better-off Indian Muslims on behalf of the huge Black African majority. This particular category among neo-Muslims, though, did not want to stay and fight with the non-Muslim African communities that first gave them birth, but to withdraw from that majority and affiliate to Azania’s Muslim Indians and Malays. This was because the segregated black townships spread by the white apartheid system were seen as deformed societies inhospitable to black neo-Islam. African Muslim communities “want to get out of places like Soweto, Sharpeville and other townships where Muslim families are surrounded by crime and vice. Liquor-brewing coupled with brothels, gambling, muggings, robberies, rapes and murders are the order of the day, according to reports from township Muslims. There are no mosques, madrasahs, jamaa’at-khaanas, or healthy recreational centers for African Muslim families to go to. Children are growing up overwhelmed by vicious un-Islamic influences.” Because of the absence of sound Islamic education, the zealot neo-Muslims worried, several Muslim teenagers whose identity lay only in their Muslim names were inter-marrying with non-Muslims.

    Not only were prostitution and illicit pregnancies rife, but also the indiscriminate raping of [African] Muslim mothers and daughters by criminals who were breaking into homes and dragging off women with utter impunity.

    Christian white South African scholars had predicted an ethnic Africanist protest from converted Bantu black Muslims against the Indian Muslim community that led them to Islam. An ambiguous protest of sorts has now come.

    “While the Government’s apartheid laws are directly responsible for the jahiliyyah [pagan] set-up in African townships, the oppressed township Muslims assert that it was the Islamic jihad duty of the more privileged Muslims to get involved in the struggle to remove the jahiliyyah evil state. But the Indian Muslims, because of their fear of the Government, were not doing this, preferring to turn a blind eye to the plight of African Muslims. The latter pointed out that Islam called on Muslims to condemn loudly and fearlessly the evils in a society that undermines human dignity; and that the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and his followers fought relentlessly to remove such evils. The frustration of African Muslims have also given rise to a radical, politicized group among them in the townships, who are challenging the Islamic credibility of Muslim bodies and organizations in Indian areas that claim to be working for the upliftment of the Ummah [comprehensive Muslim ‘people’ or community], but find themselves part of the exploitative privileged class. A group from Soweto and Sharpeville who claim that they are followers of ‘Al-Kitaab Wal-Sunnah’ [the Qur’an and the practice of Muhammad], maintain that the wealthier class of Indian and Malay Muslims are incapable of escaping from the South African exploitative capitalistic system. These privileged bourgeois Muslims living in ivory towers in similar fashion to that of the white racist oppressors were unmindful of the plight of their suffering black fellow-Muslim families.”

    Some of the militant young African Muslims branded the mullahs and tableeghis [Muslim missionaries] involved in generating wealth through capitalistic projects as “hypocrites and imposters because they had become part of the oppressive, exploitative structure.”

    The survey of the concerns and problems of converted African Muslims in the segregated townships made clear that friendly or at least neutral attitudes towards Islam by Christian or secularoid-left Blacks in schools could prove crucial for the survival of the new Black Islam: “In the schools, Muslim children are ridiculed because of their Islamic faith and Muslim dress, particularly the girls who wear hijaab. Black Christian and atheist teachers condemn African children for going to madrasah to study Islam which they brand as ‘Indian and Arab religious nonsense’.” [“In South Africa: Some Muslims are Angry About their Condition”, Muslim Journal (Chicago) 19 December 1986 pp. 3,8]. Christian and left-secularoid teachers were already a key elite in the African townships under apartheid and were to become an even more decisive one in the future after the installation of the non-racial government headed by Nelson Mandela in Azania. The Arab and Muslim countries would be well-advised to demonstrate that they desire to build equal relations with these two black Azanian elites simultaneously with building relationship with African, Indian, Malay and white Muslim Azanians (coreligionists). It will make the Christian and Marxist Azania elites more positive to Black converts to Islam if they know that non-Muslim Azanians too are gaining equal cultural and political benefits from Islam’s core states in the Middle East.

    _Future Patterns of Azanian Black Islam_

    It is to be noted that both radical Indian Muslims and converted Black African Muslims in late-apartheid Azania did not follow the path of confrontational anti-Marxism that Marais and perhaps even Lubbe proposed. Rather, both sets of anti-apartheid Muslims adopted stances of coexistence with African Marxists and unity with them in the joint struggle to overthrow the white racist system. In any case, the not whole-heartedly pro-Soviet Marxists were only one element in such insurgent African nationalist organizations as the African National Congress, which members privately described as “a mixed bag.” On the whole, the attitude of opposition or competitiveness to Marxist Africans that Lubbe toyed with would serve no interest of African or Indian Muslims in Azania and could have harmed them over the long term.

    The modernist Muslim organizations have proselytized for Islam among relatively educated African strata in the shanty-towns: knowledge of English is widespread among males of those strata. Nonetheless, the Durban-based Muslim Youth Movement of South Africa in particular early realized that translation and diffusion of Islamic literature in indigenous languages such as Zulu was essential in order to implant Islam permanently among the urban Black African masses in Azania. Primarily, such Islamic organizations offered Zulu versions of the Qur’an and also Islamic position papers addressing alcoholism and other societal evils that the apartheid system imposed on the Blacks.

    Such scattered private efforts were imaginative but insufficient in a country that was changing as rapidly as South Africa was. With the African leadership’s overthrow of white supremacist rule, the case became even stronger for Islamic institutions outside Azania to launch more systematic programs of their own to translate and publish in Zulu and other Azanian languages, leaflets and books that would deepen knowledge of Islam among Black Azanians. In comparison to the da’wah literature published in African languages by Islamic organizations in Azania itself, external Muslim publications in Zulu etc could have a more academic, wider ranging character. Instead of a single interpretation of Islam, a program for publications in Zulu conducted from the Muslim heartlands could offer a range of foci in classical Islam: Hanbalism, Wahhabism, Sufism, the rationalist high intellectualism in ‘Iraq under the classical ‘Abbasid Caliphate, post-classical Sunni scholasticism and Iranian Shi’ism. As well as primary classical Muslim texts and modern quality Muslim interpretations, such programs might also conduct and publish Zulu and Xhosa versions of a few of the more sympathetic works by openminded Western orientalists that present the great Islamic past in styles more intelligible to Africans whose literacy necessarily formed— whether they like it or not— within a white Europe-derived tradition. The Arab and Muslim heartland institutions could also produce Zulu and Xhosa versions of texts of pre-colonial Muslim theological writings from West Africa and historical studies of Black West African Muslim societies and leaders. Such resources will perhaps be more in tune with the Black Azanians’ restoration of African identity and non-Christian, non-Western African history. This would nourish friendship to Arabs, Muslims and Islam in millions of black Azanians even if it did not go so far as to lead them to embrace Islam. This exploratory, relaxed encounter and synthesis will the best guarantee that Muslim communities will flourish into the 21st century in an Azania liberated from Apartheid.

    _Post-Apartheid Developments_.

    The post-Apartheid era of majority rule struck some new Muslim leaders in South Africa as an anti-climax. The older generation of leaders in the struggle against apartheid, such as Nelson Mandela, had built close ties with some SA Muslim leaders and been open in international relations to Arab and Muslim countries that aided them, or in which some lived. But were Muslim organizations getting enough data about Islam and the interests of their minority across to the new generation of African decision-makers that had now assumed leadership in the post-apartheid state? Murshid Davis, director of Johannesburg’s Center for Training and Development assessed (2001) that the 2.5% Muslim minority had passively settled for secondary freedoms in the new order but not seized the range of the potential roles opened by the equal rights and freedom for individuals and political, social and religious organizations guaranteed under the SA constitution. The new Center was striving to train a new generation of students to achieve success in the political and economic life of the new polity and its international relations, rather than hang back. More than Indian or Malay South Africans, most CTD students were Black and mixed-race Muslims. The one year courses were accredited as post-graduate certificates by South African educational authorities that could thus help students to then proceed with masters degrees at seven local and overseas universities. Such course subjects as Islamic studies, _da’wah_ (propagation) and languages were offered to produce effective Muslim missionaries relevant within modernity and to the vital issues of the countries of Southern Africa, such as the campaigns of African governments to reduce AIDS in which Uganda’s Muslim imams and doctors, for instance, had been at the fore [[Abdul Wahab Bashir, “South Africa’s Muslims and Post-Apartheid Challenges”, _Muslim World League Journal_ November 2001/Sha’ban 1422 pp. 24-5]].

    Davis was seeking donations from Arab states to cover the $737,000 per year that the Center would need by 2004. He was insistent that outside Muslim donors had to change their focus from building pretty mosques to the fostering of the long-term skills of overseas Muslim minorities that would help them succeed in mainstreams. Yet his and his Center’s roles could only be sectional for addressing his leading fear that Islam might more and more come to be viewed as an alien or at best marginal faith among the Black majority of South Africans.

    Traditional Black Azanian ideology in the post-apartheid era continued to continued to orientate Azanians to Arab and Muslim forces and regimes that had an image of standing up to America. This could foster more openness to Islam itself among some African Azanians resentful of the influence of America and financial institutions linked to it in the determining of economic policy after apartheid. Voicing concepts of far-extending “black” and “white” blocs in the world like those in Elijah’s old Nation of Islam in the USA before 1976, Nelson Mandela in 2002 assailed the U.S. and Britain as working to invade “black” ‘Iraq on pretext of Weapons of Mass Destruction it did not have, while ignoring “white” Israel’s nuclear bombs. “Racism” made the U.S. and Britain go outside the UN once it had come to have “black secretary generals like [Egyptian] Butrus Butrus Ghali, like Kofi Annan,” argued the retired but still vocal and influential Mandela [George E. Curry, “Mandela sees an ‘element’ of racism in the U.S. Plan to Attack Iraq”, _Muslim Journal_ 4 October 2002 pp. 6, 14]. Such communications from the veteran ANC and PAC leaders continue to frame sub-Saharan Africa and the Arabs together as one wide “Black” community in pigmentation broadly conceived — which may in a way be as racist Westerners have defined race — and in other connections or affinities. Interest in Arabs and Iranians remains high among the “black” Azanian public in the 21st century, but the new young governing elite that has emerged since apartheid has more pragmatic, managerial concerns.

    Notes

    _The Kairos Document: Challenge to the Church: A Theological Comment on the Political Crisis in South Africa_ (2nd edition, September 1986: Melboume Uniting Church Southern Africa Support Group, 1988).

    Farid Esack, “Three Islamic Strands in the South African Struggle for Justice”, Third World Quarterly, (April 1988).

    al-Kathulik Yatahashawna Deedat wal-Protestant Yaqbalun al-Tahaddi (The Catholics Avoid Deedat While the Protestants Accept the Challenge) _al-Mujtama’_ 26 April, 1988, pp. 24-25. This article shows the admiration of accultured English-speaking Kuwaiti Muslims for South African Muslims because of their preparedness to publicly debate Christians. Kuwaitis had viewed on local television and from widely-sold video cassettes, the defeat that Deedat triumphantly claimed over U.S. television evangelist Rev. Jimmy Swaggart in a debate: “ls the Bible or the Qur’an the word of God?” The United Arab Emirates fundamentalis

  10. kalau ada masa eloklah kita rujuk perjuangan umat islam di negara lain….jadikan iktibar apa yg dah berlaku.

  11. joko

    semoga umat islam di pattani bisa meraih kemerdekaan atas penjajahan…
    jangan pernah patah semangat..
    merdeka!!!!!

  12. gO..gOoo paTani .. mErdeka..

  13. pantai ini

    insya allah….. kami akan membunuh penjajah syaiton untuk kebebasan kami di patani ,patani ku merdeka…

  14. pantai ini

    patani raya akan kembali ,syaiton siam akan hilang dan hancur ..

  15. rukmina

    Perjuangan melalui pena, kecerdasan dan diplomasi di PBB lebih elok dan cantik untuk meraih kemerdekaan yang sejati…..amien ya rabb al amien.
    Mari kita umat Islam dunia bersatu untuk membela kemerdekaan saudara kita yang ada di Pattani.

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