Actress Glória Pires and actor Val Perré in a scene from ‘Babilônia’
Note from BW of Brazil: The topic of the sexual stereotyping of black women is a topic that a number of women have touched upon here over the past few years. And with the annual media depictions of the hip-gyrating black woman so deeply embedded in Brazilian culture during Carnaval and a recent controversial television series whose very name directly associated black women with their sexuality (Sexo e as negras), there has been plenty of reason to focus on the subject over the past seven months.
But what of the images associated with black male sexuality?
Although it’s not as frequently discussed, as we have shown in previously posts (here, here and here), the image is just as problematic. And as concepts of hyper-sexuality and promiscuity can have opposite affects and understandings…
Much has been made of Arab invasions of Africa: … in Black Africa they are figments of the imagination. -Cheikh Anta Diop
The unconscious community is confused. Especially about Islam. One minute, as Moors, Muslims are the pride of African civilization, giving knowledge to the cave men West Asia (“Europe”) (who had actually been out of caves for MILLENIA, with little things like the Roman Empire to their credit.) The next minute Muslims are the enemies of African civilization, interrupting the building of pyramids in Kemet (even though it had been colonized by Romans and Persians for CENTURIES before Islam).
So which one is it? My advice is to take it from someone like the revered scholar Cheikh Anta Diop over a Facebook revolutionary who can drop names but won’t quote a book:
While the Arabs did conquer North Africa by force of arms, they quite peaceably entered [dark brown] Africa: the desert always served as a protective shield. From the time of the initial Umayyad setbacks in the eighth century, no Arab army ever crossed the Sahara in an attempt to conquer Africa, except for the Moroccan War of the sixteenth century. During the period of our study, from the third to the seventeenth centuries [Islam arose in the 7th century], not one conquest was ever launched by way of the Nile: that of the Sudan, accomplished with the help of England, came only in the nineteenth century. Nor was there ever any Arab conquest of Mozambique of any other East African territory. The Arabs in these areas, who became great religious leaders, arrived as everywhere else individually and settled in peacefully; the owe their influence and latter acceptance to spiritual and religious virtues. The Arab conquests dear to sociologist are necessary to their theories but did not exist in reality. To this day no reliable historical documents substantiate such theories. (101-102)
No Arabs invaded Sub-Saharan Africa because no Arabs could have. The African imperial militaries were too strong.
These empires, defended when necessary by hundreds of thousands of warriors, and having their centralized political and administrative organization, were much too powerful for a single traveler, thousands of miles from home, to try any sort of violence against them. (91)
The Empire of Ghana… was defended by two hundred thousand warriors, forty thousand of them archers. Its power and reputation, renowned as far as Baghdad in the East, were no mere legend: it was actually a phenomenon attested to by the fact that for 1250 years a succession of Black emperors occupied the throne of a country as vast as all of [West Asia], with no enemy from without nor any internal tensions able to dismember it. (91)
African empires were so strong, that far from invading them, the Arabs asked them for help!
The might of the Empire [of Mali] was such that the Arabs at times called on it for military aid. Such was the case, according to Khaldun, of El Mamer, who fought the Arabo-Berber tribes from the region or Uargla, in the North Sahara. He appealed to Kankan Mussa, on the latter’s return from Mecca, to come to his aid militarily. (93)
Any Arab traveler to such vast, mighty empires could only have been a subject, or at best, a guest of the ruler.
Contrary to the notions prevailing today, the relationship then existing between [pale-skinned people] and [brown-skinned people] could not have been those of masters to slaves. (93) Some of them thus traditionally took on the role of jesters at royal African courts. (95)
A passage from Ibn Battuta, who visited that very Empire of Mali, clearly reveals the state of mind and the pride of Africans of this period (1352). The border regions of the Empire, such as Ualata, at the edge of the Sahara, were governed by Black farbas who levied customs duties and other taxes on caravans bringing merchandise into the country. Upon arrival, the merchants had to clear administrative formalities with them, before being allowed to carry on their trade. It was in such circumstances that Ibn Battuta, accompanying one of these caravans, met the farba of Ualata, Hussein.
Our merchants stood up in his presence and, even though they were close to him, he spoke to them through a third person. This was a mark of the little consideration he had for them and I was so unhappy at this that I regretted bitterly having come to a country whose inhabitants display such bad manners and give evidence of such contempt for [pale-skinned] men.
Ibn Battuta was an eyewitness; it is difficult to contradict him regarding the feelings and attitudes he attributes to the speaker. But, if the pride and dignity of the farba are beyond question, the contemptuous intentions attributed to him by Battuta seem to derive from the latter’s ignorance of the proper ceremonials governing receptions and audiences of any chieftain. As we have already seen in chapter IV, the latter addresses a crowd only through a herald; this was how the farba must have acted at his own court in Ualata. (93-4)
In actuality, when far from their homeland, the Arabs were often led by their isolation to adapt to the [brown-skinned] African milieu. Some of them thus traditionally took on the role of jesters at royal African courts. Though never before emphasized, this aspect of the relations between the two cultures was no less ancient or general. Khaldun thus relates the story of two Arab courtiers, Abu-Ishac el Toneijen-El-Mamer, who were part of Mansa Musa’s entrourage on his return from Mecca.
“We were part of the royal cortège and even outranked the viziers and heads of state. His Majesty listened with pleasure to the tales we told him and, at each stopping-place, he rewarded us with several kinds of foods and sweets.” (95)
The UNconsciousness community has a hidden inferiority complex. On the one hand, they claim that “Blacks” are gods, possessors of divine melanin, masters of the universe, and the only true humans. On the other hand, they claim that every other “race” has been conquering and enslaving “Blacks” all over the globe. One minute they’re gods, the next minutes they can’t be racist because they can never have enough power to oppress cavemen/devils. They’ll talk Kemet all day, but how many cats are down to marry their sisters?
I didn’t think so (& I was hoping not!)
You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re not thinking. You’re UNconscious
The UNconscious community, put simply, doesn’t know what it’s talking about. UNconscious people are addicted to soundbites and Facebook ‘likes’. They put African Consciousness scholars on Facebook memes, but fail to read their books. It’s not about facts, but feelings.
For all their factoids, they aren’t bringing anything new, just reactionary Afro-centrism (unconsciousness) that in reality just parrots the arguments of “white” nationalists: whatever they say, we say the opposite:
“White” “Aryans” claimed to be Germanic and Hindu at the same time, now “Black” conscious websites are claiming to Kemetic and Hindu (kundalini, yoga, etc.)
They’re pure blood makes them superior; our melanin makes us superior.
They called us subhuman apes, we call them subhuman neanderthals.
They said “race”-mixing is unnatural; now we say the same.
The list goes on. “This isn’t an ideology- it’s “defensive racism”: Adopting the enemy’s values in order to compete against the enemy ie. conceding to play the enemy’s game.
All that god talk is fine if you like it, but deep down inside all you really wanna do is play victim to your devil.
Africa Was Never Perfect
Your ancestors were probably NOT kings. The majority of the population in any empire or kingdom is of modest birth, from craftsmen and farmers all the way down to slaves. You’re more than likely a descendant of one of them. Go to Africa and tell somebody you’re a king (or king’s descendant).
Here’s some real truth: The truth about Africa is that it had slaves, it had slave markets, and anyone, including foreigners, including “white” foreigners, could buy.
The Empire [of Ghana] first opened itself to the world-at-large through commerce; it already enjoyed international repute which would be inherited and extended by the future empires of Mali and Sonhgai. But domestic slavery at this time was rife in African society: one could sell his fellow man to another citizen or a foreigner. Which explains why Berber and Arab merchants, grown rich since settling at Aoudaghast, though still vassals of the Black sovereign, could acquire Black slaves on the open market. Some individuals in the city owned as many as a thousand slaves. (91)
This shows the peaceful means by which the [pale-skinned] world could possess [brown-skinned] slaves. It was not through conquest, as has often been asserted. … (91-92)
All the [paled-skinned] minorities living in Africa might own [brown-skinned] slaves, but slaves and [pale-skinned] masters alike were all subjects of a [brown-skinned] Emperor: they were all under the same African political power. No historian worth his salt can permit the obscuring of this politico-social context, so that only the one fact of Black slavery emerges from it. (92)
Admitting Sub-Saharan pre-colonial slavery does not justify the genocidal horrors of the Jewish-led Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, or of colonial slavery. Denying it does. Denying the truth feeds the lie. So does not knowing it.
No one needs to steal our history if we’re willing to hide it from ourselves.
The UNconscious Community needs to learn to read instead of react.
All quotations from Diop, Cheikh Anta, Precolonial Black Africa. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books. 1987.
Now let’s take a virtual tour the Muslim world, past and present…
Makka is Islam’s holiest city. It is where the Qur-an was revealed. It houses Masjid al-Haram (The Sacred Place of Prostration) the direction to which all Muslims pray. Recently, the government currently controlling Makka has overseen the tallest clock tower in the world (apparently overlooking the fact that most Muslims have mobile phones to tell time with). Believe it or not, that clock, that monument, has swastikas. Look how the white lines intersect:
We will look at swastika use in what is now Iran and Tajikistan.
Like other post-Soviet countries, Tajikistan has taken a fresh look its history following independence in 1991. The result is a state campaign to promote the notion that the Tajiks as a Aryan nation – and the widespread use of the swastika. (Aryan Myth and Metahistory)
Anatolian Peninsula (Modern Turkey)
This was the center of power of the Uthmani (“Ottoman”) Empire, which ruled over many Muslim territories for centuries.
The Indus River Valley civilization (mostly in modern Pakistan) is where the names ‘India’ and ‘Hindu’ come from. It is from this civilization that many religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism, famous for their use of the swastika, ultimately originated.
The Mughal (Mongol) dynasties which ruled India used this symbol in their architecture. They either adopted its use from locals, or had already been using it.
Andalus (Modern Iberian Peninsula/Spain)
Andalus was a medieval Muslim cultural domain and territory occupying at its peak most of what are today Spain and Portugal.
The fact that Spain was the first [West Asian] country to acquire technical supremacy at the dawn of modern times and for a certain period dominate the world can only be explained by the [Muslim] contribution during the time of its colonization. (Diop, Cheikh Anta, Precolonial Black Africa (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1987), p.36)
As you can see from the calligraphy especially, the swastika is a consequence of lines intersecting at right angles. Muslims have historically avoided depicting living things in artwork, so geometric patterns are where they focused their creativity. Perhaps at least some of the swastikas are unintentional apexes that allow uninterrupted patterns. However, some are obviously a continuation of pre-Islamic use of the swastika by central Asian populations and their diaspora, which includes Arabia. Which brings us to the next question:
But is using the swastika symbol Islamic?
No, but neither is using the crescent moon and star, the supposed symbol of Islam.
Though the crescent was originally a secular symbol of authority for Muslim rulers, it is now often used to symbolize the Islamic faith. However, the crescent was not a symbol used for Islam by Muhammad or any other early Muslim rulers, as the Islamic religion is, in fact, against appointing “holy symbols” (so that during the early centuries of Islam, Muslim authorities simply didn’t want any geometric symbols to be used to symbolize Islam, in the way that the cross symbolizes Christianity, the menorah was a commonly occurring symbol of Judaism, etc.). This is why early Islamic coins were covered with Arabic writing, but contained no visual symbols. (wikipedia)
The crescent, like the swastika, is a pre-Islamic symbol.
Unlike the swastika, however, whose origins are debated, the crescent and star have clear polytheist (mushrik/pagan) significance:
The crescent is one of the oldest symbols known to humanity. Before Islam, the crescent was the symbol of Sassanids and after capturing Persian lands, the crescent has been adopted by Arab Muslims and later by other Muslims. The crescent and star also appears on pre-Islamic coins of South Arabia.
In the 12th century the crescent and star were adopted by the Turks and since then the crescent has been a frequent symbol used by powerful Muslim empires such as the Ottomans and the Mughals. It is a historical symbol of the Turks, associated especially with the Ottoman Empire, but pre-Islamic Turkic nations such as the Göktürks used the crescent and star figure on their coins. (wikipedia)
So it’s no worse to use the swastika on a mosque, or as a Muslim symbol (it obviously can’t be Islamic) than it is to use the crescent.
Can a Pagan Symbol Represent Islam?
Swastikas, crescents, stars, eagles, etc. may or may not be “bad”, but a government that uses a pagan symbol doesn’t seem to be saying they represent Allah as sovereign. Coincidentally, no government is doing a good job implementing the authority of Allah and his Messenger (sA’a&s).
“And he shares his authority with no one (Qur-an 18.26)
Decorating Mosques is a Sign of Spiritual Decline and Materialism
“Narrated / Authority of: Anas bin Malik: The Messenger of Allah (sAaws) said: ‘The Hour will not begin until the people compete in (building) masjids (mosques).’” (Sunan Ibn Majah) (ahadith.co.uk)
‘Umar ordered that the mosque be rebuilt and he said: Protect the people from rain, but beware of using red or yellow (for adornment) and distracting the people.
Anas said: They build mosques and boast about that, but they do not use them for worship except rarely.
Ibn ‘Abbaas said: You are going to adorn (mosques) as the Jews and Christians adorn (their places of worship) (Islam Question & Answer)
Verily the Safa and Marwa [two small mountains now located in the Masjid al-Haram in Makka] are among the Symbols of Allah. So, if one visits the House in the Season or at other times, there is no blame on him if he should compass them round. If any one obeys his own impulse to good, be sure that God is Thankful and All Knowing (Qur-an 2.158)
And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Abraham the site of the House, [saying], “Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate.
And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass –
That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor…
Then let them end their untidiness and fulfill their vows and perform Tawaf around the ancient House.
That [is so]. And whoever honors the symbols of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts. (Qur-an 22 (Suratu-lHajj))