on the west, across the Middle East, to the borders of Iran and
Bahrain, Djibuti, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon,
Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mauritania,Morocco*, Oman*, Qatar*,
Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia*,
United Arab Emirates*, Yemen*.
are] A people/ethnicity/nation, including a culture, language and
religion, that originated in the 7th century western Arabian peninsula,
and was spread to almost all the aboriginal semitic peoples of the
near east by conquest and forced conversions to Islam. Arabs are
Muslims or are descendants of Muslim Arab ancestors (since it has
always been illegal for an arab to convert to any other religion,
the rare non-Muslim Arab is usually an atheist); Egyptian Coptic
Christians and Lebanese Christians (most of whom have fled to America),
Jews, Bahais, Druze, Syriacs, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Maronites and
others who have been living among Muslims may speak Arabic but will
tell you with unexpected vigour that they are not Arab. These groups
are but tattered survivors of Arab expansionism, they are the true
indigenous populations of their respective homelands. Israeli and
Palestinian Christians will often call themselves Arabs, although
it is thought that this is simply a strategy to try to win Muslim
favor if and when an Islamic Palestinian State becomes a reality.
Most likely, they will be forced to flee as have most other Christians
formerly living in the Arab world. [Editor's Note: Since this article
was written, Christians living under the Palestinian Authority have
been leaving the region at unprecedented rates, due, in part, to
the PLO strategy of using Christian villiages as bases for firing
into Israel, hoping that an Israeli retaliation resulting in Christian
dead would reduce Christian support for Israel.]
Arabs are from Arabia, how did lands from west Africa to Iran become
occupied almost exclusively by Arabs?
several centuries after its advent, Islam was an alibi for Arab
imperialism. And it was an imperialism of a type which the world
had not known so far. The Arabs not only imposed their ruthless
rule and totalitarian creed on the countries they conquered; they
also populated these countries with a prolific progeny which they
procreated on native women. Divorce of a wedded wife had been made
very easy by the 'law' of Islam. What was more convenient, there
was no restriction on the number of concubines a man could keep.
The Arab Conquerors used these male privileges in full measure.
And in a matter of a hundred years, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt
and North Africa which had been non-Arab countries for countless
ages became Arabic-speaking countries.
did not spread like English, French or other similar languages that
spread through commercial and diplomatic excellence of the lending
nation and filtered through the top strata of the receiving: countries.
Arabic was injected through all strata of the conquered population
which did not have much choice in the matter. Thus we have a series
of countries that are 'Arabic' in race, culture and language extending
from Iraq to Morocco. Conversion was not confined to creed alone,
it covered one's ancestry as well.
- from Islam: The Arab National Movement, by Anwar Shaikh
"Arabs used Islam for conquering half the world & for creating
an Arab Empire thus making Islam a trade mark of Arabs."
- Anonymous Pakistani Humanist, Left Shoe News
Arab World is probably the world's most tumultuous and crisis-ridden
region yet, only in the Arab World have rulers found ways to win
ongoing mass support for dictatorships that do not provide peace,
prosperity or freedom. For many decades this system's record was
so bad that a debate finally arose in the 1990s over whether the
region's states and societies should follow the patterns accepted
elsewhere in the world. Yet once it was clear that the proposed
remedies endangered the current ruling elites and dominant ideas,
key leading groups rejected the necessary compromises that they
were unwilling to make. The result has been the region's return
to old patterns of conflict and stasis.
in the Twentieth Century:
the 20th cent., Arab leaders have attempted to form an Arab nation,
which would unite the whole Arabic-speaking world from Morocco
on the west, across the Middle East, to the borders of Iran and
Turkey. Since 1945 most of the Arab nations have combined to form
the Arab League, its purpose being to consider matters of common
interest, such as policy regarding Israel and colonialism. With
22 member states in the Arab League by the mid-1990s, attempts
to forge a unity among the Arabs have continued. Perhaps the most
significant economic factor for the Arabs has been the discovery
and development of the petroleum industry. Since World War II
a continual problem for the Arab states has been their relations
with the Jewish state of Israel; hostility towards Israel has
resulted in four Arab-Israeli wars.
is the general term for the modern movement for political unification
among the Arab nations of the Middle East. Since the Ottoman Turks
rose to power in the 14th cent., there have been stirrings among
Arabs for reunification as a means of reestablishing Arab political
power. At the start of World War I, France and Great Britain,
seeking allies against the German-Turkish alliance, encouraged
the cause of Arab nationalism under the leadership of the Hashemite
Sherif Husayn ibn Ali, a descendant of Muhammad. As ruler of Mecca
and a religious leader of Islam, he had great influence in the
Arab world, an influence that continued with his two sons, Abdullah
and Faisal (Faisal I of Iraq). From the 1930s, hostility toward
Zionist aims in Palestine was a major rallying point for Arab
movement found official expression after World War II in the Arab
League and in such unification attempts as the Arab Federation
(1958) of Iraq and Jordan, the United Arab Republic, the Arab
Union (1958), the United Arab Emirates, and the Arab Maghreb Union
(see under Maghreb). The principal instrument of Pan-Arabism in
the early 1960s was the Ba'ath party, which was active in most
Arab states, notably Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia,
Syria, and Yemen. Gamal Abdal Nasser of Egypt, who was not a Ba'athist,
expressed similar ideals of Arab unity and socialism.
defeat of the Arabs in the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 and the death
(1970) of Nasser set back the cause of Pan-Arabism. In the early
1970s, a projected merger between Egypt and Libya came to nought.
However, during and following the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the Arab
states showed new cohesion in their use of oil as a major economic
and political weapon in international affairs. This cohesion was
fractured by the signing of the Camp David Accords between Egypt
and Israel and by the Iran-Iraq War. Pan-Arabist rhetoric was
used by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in an attempt to stir opposition
the UN coalition forces during the Persian Gulf War, but many
Arab nations joined the anti-Iraq coalition.