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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 9th March 2019 11:01
I am intrigued about the muslims in Africa.
Is there anyone on this forum who could write about islam in Africa, a history and the current climate. Something like maripats India diary.
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 10th March 2019 04:54
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 10th March 2019 07:06
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 11th July 2020 12:16
West Africa: Turkish Resurgence

Over the decades, the Turkish-French relationship were exemplary as both were bastions and protectors of "Secularism", now hardly a day goes by when France is not issuing statements against Turkey and doing aggressive military manoeuvres against its "fellow NATO" ally, why?

It has to do with Africa! France has always regarded its former African Colonies as its domain of influence but the resurgent Turkey is bent on placing these countries under its domain of influence. Muslims of these lands were subjects of the "Ottoman Empire" and never allied with the Arabs and have natural affinity, love and respect for the Turks.

It was Turkey (under Ata-Turk) which tried to limit its influence in Africa and walk away from 800 year history in Africa.

www.middleeasteye.net/news/france-turkey-fued-syria-libya...

A few years ago, observers would tout Turkish-French cooperation as exemplary. Now, senior French officials release statements every other day condemning Turkey's actions in the Mediterranean and Libya.

What happened?

“Turkey happened,” says a senior Turkish official, speaking anonymously. “They don’t like the fact that Turkey is taking control.”

Ask a Turkish official a question about France's outbursts, and you will invariably elicit laughter. They portray French anger over Ankara’s moves in the Mediterranean and Libya as something comparable to a child who lost its toy - or in this case, its influence.

Though little discussed now, France's vocal discontent began not over Libya but Syria, when last year Ankara launched an offensive against the the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed militia spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG, which is seen as a terror group by Turkey.

'France has become Russia’s facilitator, and it is also a threat against Nato. This could shatter the alliance in the future'

Paris, the former colonial power in Syria, strongly protested the move alongside other western allies, as French President Emmanuel Macron and his predecessor previously hosted the SDF leadership and lauded them as heroes in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group.

Eventually, Turkey struck deals with both the US and Russia, mostly halting the short-lived offensive. “Yet, France was left out of the process,” the Turkish official says. “And that was the beginning of their frustration.”

Charles Thepaut, a French career diplomat who is currently a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute think tank, confirmed in a Twitter thread that Paris has been agitated by the Turkish moves in Syria.

“Paris thinks quiet diplomacy didn’t work 2017-2020," he wrote, adding that Ankara rejected French attempts to convince it to change course over its conflict with the YPG, purchase of Russia's S-400 missiles and plans to drill off Cyprus.

France is also angry, he said, at Ankara's insistence on blocking a Nato Baltic defence plan unless the alliance also designates the YPG as a terrorist group.

“[Turkey] took military action, unilateral steps and built up its tandem with [Russia],” Thepaut wrote.

Turkish officials, however, are aghast at this stance. They say when it comes to the YPG, France has no say in Turkey's national security concerns, which are perceived as “existential” by its public.

They also accuse France of using Nato to settle its own scores with Turkey.

“The discussions on defence plans are totally classified, meaning: it is secret,” the official said. “So they leak secret exchanges to media and talk like they have the moral high ground.”

He added that Turkey last month withdrew its opposition to the Baltic defence plan after reaching a political compromise, which the official said won’t be revealed.

As for Turkey's relationship with Russia, which has grown closer in recent years, Turkish officials say France has been the one permitting and even encouraging Russian involvement in Libya through their mutual support of eastern commander Khalifa Haftar.

“France enabled Russia’s entrance to the Mediterranean. This is really concerning. France has become Russia’s facilitator, and it is also a threat against Nato. This could shatter the alliance in the future,” a second Turkish official told MEE.

In terms of Libya, French officials maintain that Turkey had been violating an arms embargo to support the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli.

Paris has repeatedly accused Turkey of playing a dangerous game with its intervention in the country, which earlier this year alleviated Tripoli from a 14-month assault and put Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) on the back foot.

France can't say it has no military involvement in the conflict itself, however.

The French defence ministry last year admitted that four of its anti-tank missiles were found in a base used by Haftar's forces. And the UAE, which alongside Egypt militarily backs Haftar, is currently using French-made jets to bombard GNA-held territory.

Meanwhile, Macron is silent on the presence of Russian mercenaries in the country, and Moscow's increasing support for the LNA.

“I don't think France is actually violating the arms embargo, but French allies [the UAE and Egypt] do it, with the political support of France,” Jean-Dominique Merchet, a French journalist specialising on defence affairs, tells MEE.

For Turkish officials, the matter is simpler. “They used to run the show in North Africa,” said a third official. “No more.”

Officials note that Paris was once one of the main mediators in the region, inviting warring parties in Libya to talks and excluding pretty much everyone else.

“Now they feel that they are excluded. And they don’t like it.” the official said.

Domestic concerns

Turkish officials don’t believe that the issue is all about Macron. “It is the French government's reaction as a whole. He isn’t only speaking his mind,” the third official said.

But Macron has nonetheless taken ownership of French views and policy that are critical of Turkey, and they go far beyond foreign policy.

In January, in an address to the Armenian community, Macron spoke about “Turkish interference” in French society, and promised that he would “put an end to all educational practices that do not respect the rules, laws and curricula of the school of the republic".

“For the French government, the problem with Turkey is larger than Libya,” Merchet says. He says the links between Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Muslim Brotherhood are something troubling for Paris, as they are arch-foes of French allies the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

'France used to run the show in North Africa. No more'

- Turkish official

“And even France's poor suburbs [are a problem]. The French president now describes Islamists there as 'separatists',” he said.

Turkey's links to its diaspora in France and across Europe are strong. But its practice of sending Turkish teachers and imams to educate French children of Turkish origin particularly bothers French authorities.

Meanwhile the French interior ministry in January rejected a Turkish resident’s application for citizenship because of their “pro-Erdogan” views, local media reported.

Observers in Turkey have noted that Macron's increasingly hostile speech on Ankara and the Turkish community comes as he courts the French right-wing.

His centrist Republic on the Move party failed to score any major victories in local polls last month, and in a cabinet reshuffle this week the president appointed ministers from the right-wing parties to position himself better for the upcoming presidential election.

Despite the tensions between the two allies, Turkish officials say they still think their disagreements can be worked out, if Paris looks at the issue with a realistic approach.

"They should stop backing the Libyan warlord and try to protect their interests in a more sensible way. We are an enduring ally," the third official said.
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 11th July 2020 12:19
Turkey sets its sights on the Horn of Africa

www.dw.com/en/turkey-sets-its-sights-on-the-horn-of-afric...

Turkey's influence in the Horn of Africa is back in the spotlight, following the announcement that Somalia has invited Turkey to explore for oil in its seas.

The invitation was preceded by a maritime agreement Turkey signed with Libya last year, which increased tensions in the Mediterranean over energy resources.

"This is an offer from Somalia," said Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "They are saying: 'There is oil in our seas. You are carrying out these operations in Libya, but you can also do them here.' This is very important for us."

Erdogan did not elaborate as to how Turkey plans to follow-up on Somalia's offer.

Last October the Somali Minister of Petroleum, Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed, announced that the country was opening up 15 blocks for oil companies to bid on.

Economic and security developments in the wider Horn of Africa region have boosted the area's significance as a geostrategic location in recent years. Turkey's presence has sparked interest from analysts examining its motivations and Gulf States seeking to expand their influence.

Building 'channels of trust'

Turkey's close relationship with Somalia is nothing new. It has been a major source of aid to Somalia ever since 2011 when Erdogan visited the famine-gripped country.

What started out as a humanitarian policy grew more complex over time: Soon, Turkey was increasing its aid, founding new development projects and even getting involved in the post-conflict state-building process, becoming one of the first states to resume formal diplomatic relations with Somalia after the civil war, as well as the first to resume flights into Mogadishu. Today, Turkish companies still manage Mogadishu's main seaport, airport and even provide military training for Somali government soldiers.

"In the case of Turkey and Somalia's relationship, it has been largely 'win-win'," Brendon Cannon, an academic who specializes in external power and their interactions with the Horn of Africa, told DW. "It's developed rather quickly into an economic relationship. This was helped by Ankara's direct cash payments to Somalia's federal government, as well as winning major contracts for infrastructure [projects] in Mogadishu."

Compared to other international actors, particularly western states, Turkey has sought to build and maintain a sense of trust with Somalia, explains conflict studies professor, Doga Erlap.

"For the past ten years, Turkey has been building channels of trust between Somalia and Ankara," he told DW. "Turkey is not as wary [regarding issues of security and transparency] compared to the West, putting Turkey a couple of steps ahead of other international 'bidders' who may also seek offshore drilling rights in Somalia."

Horn of Africa a 'bright spot'

However, what some interpret to be an increasingly assertive and dynamic African foreign policy is more a result of domestic policies.

"Turkey's primary motivation is domestic at the end of the day. So as a G20 member and as a firm middle power, Ankara — particularly the Ankara ruled by Erdogan — has actively attempted to further Turkish influence in areas outside its normal purview. The Horn of Africa is a particular bright spot in this case, given Turkey's successes there."

Erlap says that while Turkey's global ambitions of becoming a regional hegemon — and reviving its presence in former Ottoman regions — is part of the reason for its interest, energy is the primary driving factor behind Turkey's decision to maintain its ties to the Horn of Africa, owing to it need for accessible resources.

"The Turkish economy is in a complete shambles right now. So the government desperately needs access to energy resources — one of which is the offshore oil in Somalia."

Overstating Turkey's influence

But although much has been said of Turkey's influence in the Horn of Africa — especially Somalia —some observers are still wary of overstating its influence in the region.

"Like all countries, Turkey has limits to its ability to project power in either a soft or hard form," Cannon says. "It's going to maintain resources close to home in the Mediterranean world."

Turkey has also set its sights on Sudan, where it says it seeks to maintain what Erdogan has described as "deep-rooted relations," as the war-torn nation begins the long process of rebuilding its state institutions.

"It's still unclear what Ankara's interests are with the new government in Sudan and how it's attempting to sway it one way or another," says Cannon. "Whether it can compete with what appear to be basically common interests between the Gulf States and Washington and the UK at this point, I don't believe it stands a chance of being able to do as much."
Could tensions in the Gulf lead to increased instability in the Horn?

Turkey's influence in the Horn of Africa has also been interpreted as a method of countering powerful Gulf rivals such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Since 2017, the Gulf crisis has seen Turkey and its ally Qatar pitted against regional heavyweights Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Given Somalia's history as an unstable state and its strategic location along the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which links the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, it has been used as catalyst of sorts for the regional ambitions of Gulf States. The UAE has accused Somalia of siding with Qatar, while Somalia has also accused the UAE of threatening Somalia's stability by supporting breakaway state, Somaliland — where it originally planned to build a military airport.

Read more: Qatar-Gulf crisis spreads to Africa

With the feud showing no signs of resolution any time soon, could it possibly spill over in the Horn of Africa as a proxy conflict?

"It could really exacerbate regional and local issues within Somalia itself and then moving across the Horn," says Cannon. "What Turkey and other external states are doing is not engendering conflict, they're exacerbating existing fault lines for conflict, and therein lies the trouble."

Maritime dispute still to be resolved

Somalia's recent offer to Turkey also risks pulling them into direct conflict with neighboring Horn states such as Kenya, as the oil blocks in question are in the disputed maritime zone — a long-running quarrel which is yet to be resolved in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The disputed area is approximately 100,000 square kilometers and is thought to contain significant deposits of oil and gas.

While Turkey has been able to focus on development and construction in Somalia without coming to direct conflict with other states in the region, its involvement in securing offshore oil reserves may complicate matters.

"Turkey getting involved in oil blocks and International Court of Justice rulings at this point may bring it into a zone that it doesn't want to be in," says Cannon.
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 11th July 2020 12:26
African Muslims served in the Ottoman military for centuries. In my mind, the simplest thing Turkey can do is to raise its Africa regiment again and recruit African Muslims, along the lines of Gurkhas (India, Britain etc)

Numbers are not important but its symbolic gesture.

Religion isn't an issue.
Loyalty isn't an issue.
Africans Muslim Officers train in Pakistan and Turkey anyways

It will alleviate poverty and rebuild historic links and provide training, logistic and military support. Something like this with do wonders to bring the Ummah closer together. It cost peanuts for Pakistan but brought good will and cooperation from our Nigerian brothers because Pakistan stepped up when the US declined to assist them in their war on Terror:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVFqkhKOkqM

Turkish military has issues with (English) language while Pakistan does not. Turkish military is already thinking in that direction with moves like this:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oqc87Fdjeo
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 12th July 2020 04:14
eastmidlands wrote:
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Bismillah.

Shaykh Dr Abdullah Hakeem Quick from Canada. Is the expert on Africa.

He has a degree in African History and he did his PHD on the Islamic History of West Africa.

Shaykh Abdullah Hakeem Quick and Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips were also the first western converts to enroll in the Islamic University of Madina. In the 1970's.

Anyways his lectures on Islam in Africa are available on youtube. And he has also written some books.

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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 12th July 2020 04:21
One-Day Webinar


Instructor: Ustadh Mohammed Abdullah Artan

Webinar details:
Islam in East Africa, generally south of the Sahara, was seen as very marginal to the wider Muslim world. As consequence, this paradigm suggests, Islam’s theological, philosophical, exegetical, juristically and other literary arts were isolated from Africans, and as such Islam in Africa evolved in isolation from the larger Muslim Ummah outside as well as inside of the continent. When African scholars produce Islamic literature, frozen in time and place as they are, they produce nothing original of their own, preferring instead to merely imitate. And when they did produce, it was seen outside the scope of Islamic orthodoxy.

Though the above description might seem somewhat an exaggeration, it couldn’t be further from the truth in how Islam is studied in Africa for more than half a century.

In this short introductory webinar, we will learn how Islam arrived and set root in East Africa way before it came to Madinah. You will be able to glean on how the intellectual vibrancy of East African Ulama’ pioneered various Islamic sciences. You will explore their networks in the wider Ummah, not only within the African continent, but the larger Muslim world such as South Asia, China, Persia, the Hijaz and Sham.

In their devotion to Allah’s ﷻ commands, and their love for the Prophetic ﷺ Ahadith, these East African Muslim scholars, males and females alike, have impacted many generations of scholars. This is the introduction to Muslim Scholars & Islamic Seminaries of East Africa: Scratching the Surface. A legacy retold.

Learning outcomes:
• Was Islam’s arrival in East Africa an isolated incident?
• Did Muslim society develop early on in East Africa?
• Was scholarly endeavours enriched locally? Entrepreneurial?
• What Islamic entrepreneurship flourished in East Africa?
• Did other Muslim scholars travel to study in East Africa?
• What were the Islamic literary sciences East Africans excelled in?
•What pioneering scholars hailed from East Africa?


youtu.be/Chw45mqVy18
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