Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, and the past chairperson of the African Union (AU), landed in Italy on Sunday, and made brute racist remark against his black Africans. Needless to say, it betrayed his gross disdain for black African people and called into question the true intention behind his zeal for African unity.
Addressing the European Union (EU) in Rome, Gaddafi warned that “Europe runs the risk of turning "black" unless the EU pays Libya at least €5 billion (£4.1 billion) a year to block the arrival of illegal immigrants from Africa”.
He continued, “Tomorrow Europe might no longer be European and even black as there are millions (of Africans) who want to come in. He described the migration pattern as something “very dangerous”.
Don’t be surprised that such statement came from a recent leader of the African Union, Muamar Gaddafi -- the self-proclaimed King of Kings of Africa. Unbelievable isn’t it? He is essentially saying, “Europe, you need to protect your prestigious whiteness and prevent it from being corrupted by black Africans”. In this era where racism and discrimination based on color are being fought against, it comes as quite absurd for the so-called Pan-Africanist enthusiast to make such pronouncements. It is obvious from Gaddafi’s pronouncements that he holds no regard whatsoever for black Africans.
What he sought to accomplish was to cast black Africa in a bad light by appealing to the racial prejudice of some gullible white Europeans as a scare tactics to secure funding for his fight against the African migrants who use Tripoli as an entry point to Europe.
It's worth noting that Gaddafi not only referred to the potential risks posed by illegal immigration as undesirable consequences, but also that the presence of blacks in Europe, whether legal or otherwise in itself constituted a danger to white European identity.
Gaddafi projected his own racial bias on white European Christians when he further said, “We don't know what will happen, what will be the reaction of the white and Christian Europeans faced with this influx of starving and ignorant Africans”.
After casting slur on the “blackness” of sub-Saharan African people, he unabashedly called on Europe to open its borders to Libyan citizens, “There is also desirable immigration. There are Libyans who have money and I encourage them to come to Italy to invest.”
After his speech, one Italian Parliamentarian, Luigi de Magistris, criticized the Libyan leader of keeping tens of thousands of African migrants in "concentration camps" in the desert, reported Telegraph, UK.
Gaddafi’s disdain for Sub-Sahara Africans calls into question the intention behind his zeal for African unity. This is confusing because the seed of Pan-Africanism in its present form was sowed and watered by the toil and sweats of black African nationalists including, Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere, Patrice Lumumba, among others.
Many scholars believe Gaddafi has a clandestine agenda for Sub-Sahara Africa and that the African Union (AU) was simply a means to further his religious and political ambitions. One such scholar, Professor Kwesi K. Prah, alleged in 2004 that Gaddafi’s objective in AU is to create a space for Arabism and Arab expansionism.
Gaddafi betrayed this sentiment at an Arab League in 2001, when he declared to the Arab Diasporas, “The third of the Arab community living outside Africa should move in with the two-thirds on the continent (Africa), and join the African Union which is the only space we have”. Readers are reminded to take note of the phrase “…the only space we have”. What was he implying exactly? Well, your guess is as good as mine is.
Broadcasting live on Rwanda Radio on 17 May 1985, Gaddafi said to Rwandans, “You must teach that Islam is the religion of Africa…We must wage a holy war so that Islam may spread in Africa.” – quoted in [Bankie and Mchombu, 2006:239-240].
It came as no surprise that in a second speech he delivered to paid Italian women on his recent visit to Rome, he declared to them, “Islam should become the religion of Europe” he then handed them free copies of the Koran. Does this in anyway tell of his larger political and religious ambitions?
If Gaddafi is going so far as telling Europeans to adopt Islam and in effect become modeled like Libya, what stops him from pursuing his Arab expansionist mission in Sub-Saharan Africa with its “ignorant” and “starving” masses using oil cash as lure to trap some self-seeking African leaders into his deceptive trap? There are reported cases of West Africans in Libya who have been hanged by his regime simply because they chose to exercise their faith as Christians. Is this the vision he holds for Europe and the rest of Africa?
Gaddafi must be told in the face that black Africa has had enough from Arab and European expansionisms in the past which culminated in colonialism and its attendant horrors. That, black Africa is never a cultural vacuum to be filled by the religious traditions of any over-zealous group of people seeking wealth, dominance, and influence. That, black Africa fought and freed itself from the shackles of religious and political oppression long time ago, and there is no going back. Africans do not need to define their identity by any imported heritage, be it Gaddafi-style Islam and its attendant political and religious repression and atrocities.
By his impulsive utterances and actions, Gaddafi has shown quite clearly that he harbors racial sentiments against black Africans. He has demonstrated that he perceives Sub-Sahara Africa merely as a lost territory, with people whose worth lies ultimately in being converted to Islam. His comments show that he will do anything for money and power including but not limited to inciting Europe against Africa on racial terms. I call on the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), the Italian government, the United Nations (UN), the Arab world, and Sub-Saharan African people to condemn in no uncertain terms the racial and thoughtless remarks of the Libyan leader.