Abandoned Lands: Algeria, Libya and Sudan - ZEKERIYA KURŞUN

Abandoned Lands: Algeria, Libya and Sudan

The Arab Winter that began in the Middle East and North Africa is getting even harsher. After Bouteflika declared his candidacy for the Presidency, things have heated up in Algeria. Actually, they stir up trouble in the country. The people revolted. Bouteflika withdrew his candidacy but when some groups within the army tried to take advantage of the circumstances, things turned upside down in the country. However, after a short while ago, the Algerian Army was monitoring the developments in Libya and providing relative stability to the country. Haftar; who was supported by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, and the US took advantage of Algeria’s efforts turned towards dealing with its internal problems started a new civil war in Libya. He once again took over some parts of Tripoli which has been quiet for a long time and disturbed the balances.

Similarly, the mounting opposition to Omar al-Bashir in Sudan gained momentum. One of the greatest protests in recent history took place in the capital city of Khartoum. The protesters advanced as far as to the residents of the Chief of Army, the President and the Ministry of Defense. Here as well is a new duel in which at the end the people will again not come out victorious.

It is known that the fundamental reasons behind the problems in these three countries- similar to the many countries of the Muslim world- is the absence of justice, the usurpation of the people’s will and the unfair distribution of wealth. However, knowing the source of the problems doesn’t make finding solutions any easier. Since the only source for these problems is not limited to the fight for a fair distribution of wealth among people or their quest for justice. Besides many problems such as economic problems, the difficult living conditions, the lack of job opportunities, insufficient production, the insistence of incompetent leaders to hold on to power is also among the reasons of the instability in these countries. However, a bigger problem is the demands of the modern era. While the very same people were able to eke out a living - maybe barely - under the traditional modes of production for ages, the modern age forced them to come face to face with a new reality.

Yes, the people of Algeria want liberty; Libyan people want peace and security, and the people of Sudan want jobs and food. They all want justice.

These rights which are taken for granted for some in the “civilized world” are not given to them. That is why either “civilizing projects of the old colonial mind” are being carried out behind the scenes or through support for continuing silent oppression.

Well, has it always been like this in history? If not, when and how have things started to change?

It is impossible to see any problem independent from the French invasion in the 1830s.

It is impossible to see any development unrelated to the British occupation of Egypt in 1882 and their invasion of Sudan after putting an end to the Mahdi administration in 1898.

And, it is not possible to explain what is going on in Libya, independent from the Italian invasion in 1911 which was initiated to fulfill the dream of reforming the Great Roman Empire.

The colonial mind is still here and this geography is abandoned. Moreover, indigenous people still supposedly need to be civilized and educated. Hence, while the colonialists were carrying out these plans by themselves before, now they are putting them into practice through their collaborators who infiltrated the country and by providing them with higher profits for lower costs. Another aspect of the problem is that these geographies are considered to be open and unclaimed for them to do whatever they want as they were in the past. Therefore, since the invasions, the order in the region is not shaped according to the interests of the innocent people living there; but according to the demands of international rivalries and power balances.

Today, the modern mind is much more courageous and much more inhumane compared to the 19th century when it comes to imperial objectives and colonization. Moreover, it is also much more immoral.

Today the Muslim world is abandoned. There is no shelter for the Muslim people and other elements living in the region to seek refuge. The fact that all the migrations are towards the West is nothing but an example of Stockholm syndrome of desperate people.

The biography of a Sudanese man who took refuge in Istanbul after the Mahdi movement began in Sudan and the British invaded Egypt, and was presented to Sultan Abdulhamid II, shows that even those days were better than today.

According to the information obtained from the Ottoman Imperial Archives; Sallawi was born in Khartoum as a son of a judge who had arrived from Egypt. He completed his education there and started his career as a judge. After three years in service he travelled throughout Sudan as a court inspector. When he went to Egypt to take his minutes after appointed as the judge of Darfur, the Mahdi movement started in Sudan and he never went back there.

When the British who used the Urabi movement as an excuse to invade Egypt in 1882, Sallawi did not feel abandoned and was not abandoned. As he says in his words written in the document: After the English entered Egypt, he immediately went to the shelter of the Muslims, Dar al-Salam (The Land of Peace), referring to Istanbul.

Whether you are reading this column or still following local election results, a new plan would be hatched. But you should know that the result will not change. Because today, the people of the region and Muslims are abandoned.

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