Many are often enthralled by European Colonialism and its vast influence on often bastardizing, robbing, exploiting, and conquering large portions of the world and converting them to their sub-par ways of life in an attempt for their own “Superiority” Complexes and often developing inferiority complexes for their conquered peoples. Now although, no form of Imperialism on earth or history can compare to such destruction, we cannot deny that many civilizations are not immune to such practices. Among Arabs and Muslims, we often see ourselves modernly as victimized largely by the world in terms of Islamaphobia and such; however, many centuries ago, the Arabs themselves were often the oppressors at many times in history, and we as Arabs must identify that this history is a dark past we often ignore.
To learn and stop such practices from being committed to our modern day(As seen through the Arab League and its vast generalization of peoples as “Arab) we must understand the concept of what is an Arab and what is Arabized. Now let’s Begin.
An Arab is simply an ethnic designation, and is not the Geopolitical meaning it has today; an Arab is a descendant of the Three Bloodlines of the Arabian Peninsula, as seen here. The Arab league that was spearheaded by Gamal Abdelnassar many decades ago was under the pre-text of Pro-Arab Unity for often weakly thought out reasons and had denied the heritages and identities of hundreds of Ethnic groups in North Africa and the Middle East by labeling them as Arab by force.
Now, many may inquire if only the ethnic Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula are the only true Arabs, then why do areas like Tunisia, Syria, or Egypt identify as Arab through culture or even language? Well, believe it or not, these countries are a hybrid of several civilizations over centuries, and this is seen through their dialects, cuisine, and dress codes that are very unique in that they are the product of Carthaginian, Amazigh, Coptic, Syriac, Assyrian, and several other civilizations over centuries. The process of Arabization of these regions was done by the Ummayads, who had succeeded the Rashidun Caliphate in conquering the largest empire the world had seen at the time, stretching from Spain all the way to Indonesia and parts of China.
The Ummayads, although they were Muslim, had largely Arab Imperialist endeavors and were vastly different from the pluralistic approach of their predecessors, the Righteously Guided Caliphs. The Ummayads were an Arab dynasty that favored Arab Supremacy, Arab Language, and even forced and conquered large portions of the world to exploit its riches and its peoples. Although this did not last for more than 70 years, they had succeeded in creating the third largest Empire of all time in terms of land mass, only third to the Mongols and the British Empires that came many centuries later. Now, many Orientalists often seek to bash Islam through this period of time, by saying Islam was spread by the sword, which is false. Islam at no period of time was forced upon these regions, as it took vast centuries for areas even like Syria or Lebanon to convert their populations to Islam, only after the Crusades. The Ummayads however sought to expand their dominion and succeeded in doing so.
Many areas like Persia, although, they were under the largely dehabilitating Arab Supremacy tactics had been spared from full conversion to Arab culture and language; although areas like the Ahvaz are populated largely by Arabs in Iran. Furthermore, the great unique cultures of North Africa are largely a product of their Coptic and Amazigh roots, as the Egyptian or North African Dialect of Darija and Masri are an entire mix of Arabic along with Amazigh and Coptic languages that preceded the Arabs by millenniums. Although the Ummayad Empire had not lasted for long, their influence was hardly forgotten, and this is the root of much of the spearheading of “Arab Supremacy” and often the unnecessary pride that was not compatible with Islam whatsoever.
If Only they had heeded to the Prophet’s teachings:
"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves." (Excerpt of the Last speech of the Prophet)
Many Muslims today even suffer from this superiority complex of the Arabs, as they see Saudi Arabia or other institution in the Arab world as the end all of Islamic scholarship. Many convert to Islam under the pretext that they have to even convert to Arab names, customs and habits, which is completely wrong! Islam is a universal religion and was not sent to the Arabs, the Arabs were simply the agent God had designated to spread the message efficiently.
Now as Arabs today, let us be very sensitive and understanding of the plights of the peoples that still suffer from Arab Imperialism until today such as the Kurds, the Amazigh in North Africa that are struggling to keep their identity, and even several African nations that suffer from this type of mentality. Furthermore, the Arabs of today, should stop obsessing over the achievements of their ancestors and “Arabizing” everything they think was noteworthy in the Muslim Empires, as it was hardly only an Arab effort, but the product of several civilizations coming together for a higher purpose to please God. Our Ummah should see no superiority, we are all one people.
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