A NOTE ON SETTLER COLONIALISM
Colonialism is the practice of a country or empire imposing control and power over other peoples or territories through the establishment of colonies. Colonizers impose their religion, language, economic systems, and more on the colonized population. Colonizers generally extract resources from their colonies or utilize their colonies in other ways for economic benefit.
Settler colonialism is a specific type of colonialism in which foreign settlers aim to replace the Indigenous population. This “replacement” of the Indigenous population happens in a multitude of ways; genocide and ethnic cleansing, of course.
Most commonly, however, settlers “replace” the Indigenous populations through forced assimilation, with the imposition of the colonizer’s culture, language, and religion on the colonized population.
Settler colonialism is how, for example, Latin Americans, most of whom have Indigenous ancestry, came to become “Latin,” speak Spanish or Portuguese, and predominantly practice Catholicism instead of Indigenous religions. Similarly, in the Middle East and North Africa, most formerly Indigenous peoples assimilated into Arab culture and identity, speak Arabic, and predominantly practice Islam.
In other words, the process of Arabization and Islamization of the region is actually an example of settler colonialism.
WHEN ARAB HEGEMONY IS THREATENED
Though the majority of the Arab world insists that Zionism is “colonialism” and that Israel is a “settler colonial state,” every single time a minority Indigenous to the Middle East or North Africa seeks sovereignty, they are accused of being secret Zionists or of working on behalf of Israel in one form or another.
In 2014, Israel agreed to classify Arameans in Israel as “Arameans” rather than “Arab Christians,” at their request. Arameans are a people Indigenous to the region with a history dating back at least 3200 years. Yet Arab media accused Israel of recognizing Aramean identity to “divide and conquer” its Arab population.
Kurds, who have been seeking sovereignty since the period of the Ottoman Empire, are accused of wanting a state only on behalf of Israel, or are told that a free Kurdistan would be a “second Israel” in the Middle East.
Of course Al Jazeera, a pan-Arabist publication quite literally owned by the Qatari royal family, thinks that threatening Arab hegemony with a non-Arab state in the Middle East would be “disastrous.”
When deadly fires broke out in the Kabylia region of Algeria in the summer of 2021, Algeria blamed none other than Israel; specifically, it accused the Paris-based Movement for Self-determination of Kabylie (MAK) of starting the fires on behalf of Israel.
Kabylians are an Amazigh people Indigenous to North Africa, and Algeria in particular.
Similarly, pan-Arabist journalist and author Hafsa Kara-Mustapha wrote an entire book accusing Amazigh identity and Imazighen nationalism of being a Zionist invention.
This is the Amazigh flag, which she, of course, has mixed with the Israeli flag to delegitimize their independence movement.
Assyrians have a history dating back over 4500 years. Yet pan-Arabist and pan-Islamist trolls accuse Assyrians of being a “Jewish plot” and demand that they identify as Arab Christians…all while pressuring them to convert to Islam.
The Hamas Charter explicitly accuses the Zionists of breaking up the hegemony of the Arab Empire. Hamas is the pan-Islamist, pan-Arabist internationally-recognized terrorist organization that governs the Gaza Strip.
Similarly the Palestinian National Charter calls Palestine an “indivisible part of the Arab homeland”…but the region of Israel-Palestine only became “Arab” through settler colonialism.
Though Persians are not Arab and neither is the Iranian regime, when Persians rise up against the pan-Islamist government — pan-Islamism is closely related to pan-Arabism — the Iranian government accuses the Zionists of inciting the protests to destabilize the country.
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