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15 mars 2006 / 02h00
- France's Dieudonné & America's Farrakhan: Arabs, Jews, and the Problem of Slavery

by Laurence Thomas on Wed 15 Mar 2006
France has a lightening rod who calls to mind Louis Farrakhan of the United States. The name of this French citizen is Dieudonné M’bla M’bla. What do Farrakhan and Dieudonné have in common? The answer is that they both attribute to Jews extraordinary powers of control and, by consequence, they both blame Jews for the evils of the world. In particular, there would not have been the slavery of African blacks but for Jews who orchestrated it all, or nearly so.

This line of thought recently advanced by Dieudonné in France radically underestimates the existence of anti-semitism down through the ages. It also radically fails to take into account the reason why Jews, notwithstanding their small numbers, have such standing in Western culture. The explanation, of course, is painfully simple: Christianity.

Jews have a standing with Christianity that no other group possesses, including blacks and Muslims. This, of course, should come as no surprise, since Christianity unequivocally claims to have its origins in Judaism—not white folks or yellow folks or red folks or black folks. Christianity cannot make sense of itself in the absence of Jews, but it can easily do so without reference to all other peoples.

Now, Western Culture is primarily Christian in its character. So it should come as no surprise that for better and worse Jews figure prominently in Western Culture. That is, Jews figure prominently in Western culture in spite of themselves rather than because they exercise masterful control over Western minds. Nor again does this standing of Jews have anything to do with racism as such, either against blacks or Arabic Muslim.

It should come as no surprise that Islam has had very little influence upon Christianity, since the order of appearance is: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Christianity is not about Islam for precisely the same reasons that Judaism is not about Christianity. This is such an obvious point that it is utterly astounding that so many miss it.

The point here, of course, is not that things should not change. Rather, I merely mean to be drawing attention to how things turned out to be a certain way in the first place, where the explanation is not at all morally objectionable.

Now, in the book, The Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews, the Nation of Islam gives the impression that the slavery of blacks started with Jews. Farrakhan seems to have moderated his thinking. So he may no longer hold this view, but there is no doubt that he once espoused it ever so forcefully.

I have no desire to deny that the trafficking of black slaves tainted some Jews. It in fact did. But the truth of the matter is that the trafficking of black slaves tainted others, too, including blacks themselves. Nor were there a disproportionate number of Jews tainted by slavery.

How one can know whether we have anti-semitism as opposed to a potent and valid criticism of Jews? Well, if everyone did something objectionable, including Jews, but a person only draws attention to the fact that Jews behaved in that objectionable way, then what we have is antisemitism or massive ignorance.

Dieudonné claims to be the voice of blacks and Muslim Arabs. So one has to ask how is that he has conveniently forgotten the extensive Muslim Arabic enslavement of blacks, which even preceded the enslavement of blacks by Europeans and Americans? When I do a Google search under "Arabic Muslim enslavement of blacks", I find lots of very interesting things. For instance, at RaceandHistory.Com I find an interesting piece that is said to have been published in 1995 in the City Sun on the enslavement of blacks in the Sudan. If one goes to About.Com, one will find a two-part discussion entitled "The Role of Islam in African Slavery". The two parts are attached below in PDF format. Now, we have not even touched the issue of the enslavement of blacks in the Sudan or the sexual slavery of women. Finally, there is the 2 volume edited work, by John Ralph Willis entitled Slaves and Slavery in Muslim Africa (1985).

The point is that Dieudonné who has no qualms turning blacks against whites seems to have missed the wrong done by Arabic Muslims against blacks. And this, quite frankly is abominable. (By the way, there is the simple fact that I found this information, and I am no historian.) Surely, Dieudonné could find this information, given the vast resources at his command. Hence, the fact that he did not is quite an indictment of him.

It is regrettable that Dieudonné thinks that the country of France is being unreasonable for rendering a verdict of antisemitism against him, requiring him to pay 5,000 euros. Dieudonné insists that free speech is a good thing and that the judgment is step backwards.

But let us notice something extremely important here. For all the tension that there is between Jews and Muslim Arabs, ne’er a Jew has ventured to claim that in point of fact it was Muslim who were really responsible for the Holocaust and that they worked in the background influencing Hitler. Again, ne’er a Jew has made such a claim about blacks. It is not just that either claim would be preposterous, as surely each would. It is also that case that it would be viciously wrong to make such an assertion.

One can see where I am going: If it is wrong for Jews to make the claim that the Holocaust was the work of black or Muslim Arabs working behind the scenes (or wherever), then it is equally wrong for any black or Muslim Arab to claim that the trafficking of black slaves was essentially the endeavor of Jews.

Free speech or not: It is terribly wrong to make either one of these claims, since both claims are manifestly false.

It never ceases to amazes me that people raise the banner of free speech when they are spouting invectives, but insist that it is wrong for others to respond in kind.

Were Jews to comment upon blacks and Muslim Arabs in the way that both groups comment upon Jews: Well, the cry that Jews are being racist would be utterly deafening. By contrast, when the most despicable things are being said about Jews, it is a matter of free speech.

Freedom of speech as we understand it the United States does not exist in many European countries. In both France and Germany, racist remarks are unacceptable and punishable by law. This is not the place to debate whether Europe or the United States has the better approach to free speech. The laws of France forbid unfounded claims that would incite violence or hate towards a people.

Perhaps Dieudonné thought he was merely inviting much needed reflection in claiming, à la the Nation of Islam, that Jews made their fortune trafficking in black slavery. In that case he has shown himself to be a fool rather than either the poltical or comic genius that he takes himself to be.

For all of us, the truth of wrongdoing on the part human beings of every hue is painful enough. There is absolutely no need to make anything up. And those who do so are not committed to peace and fraternity, whatever words they might employ. Dieudonné is no exception to this truth.

* * * * * *

For the record, my view is not that blacks, in the United States or France or else where should turn their wrath upon Muslim Arabs, as I do not think that writhing in anger and bitterness over slavery, whoever enslaved whom, is fruitful. Rather, my point is that it is morally fulsome to use the pain of slavery to incite hate against those who are innocent. This points holds all the more so in view of the fact that the well-documented extensive trafficking of slavery on the part of others is roundly ignored. Indeed, they are embraced as brothers. About this, I have righteous anger.

Haut de page article written by Y.M - Source :

- Rama Yade
The following is a guest post by Eloi Laurent, a French economist. Eloi has proposed a series of biographies of "visible minorities" in power in various walks of French life. This first contribution focuses on Rama Yade.

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