Berber Leader: "There Is No Worse Colonialism Than That of the Pan-Arabists"

[MEMRI] Belkacem Lounes, president of the World Amazigh Congress, wrote an open letter to Libyan leader Mu'ammar Qaddafi in response to Qaddafi's March 1 speech in which he denied the existence of a Berber or Amazigh people in North Africa. In his letter of April 10, Lounes said there are 30 million Amazigh living today in North Africa. He said the Amazigh had played a central role in the fight against European colonialism, but that since independence they had been oppressed by the "internal colonialism" of pan-Arabism. "There is no worse colonialism than internal colonialism - that of the pan-Arabist clan that seeks to dominate our people. It is surely Arabism, in that it is an imperialist ideology that refuses any diversity in North Africa, that constitutes a betrayal and an offense to history, truth, and legality." Lounes calls on the North African governments to commit to democracy and human rights.

2007-05-04 01:00:00

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