In the end, Africans escaped the blanket “Australasianisation” of their destiny by the Arab conquest, 800 years before the Europeans achieved this murderous goal elsewhere in the world. This was because Africans were continuously re-grouping and re-defining the future trajectory of their defence, existence, and development by utilising the flexibility occasioned by the sheer size of their (continental) homeland. In addition, they were successful in interweaving the arterial cultural fibre that bound their peoples in order to cope with the inevitable social stresses in regions that had become destinations for the migratory shifts of population, leaving any territories lost or severely threatened by the Arab/islamist emergency. Even then, the partial success of the Arab “Australasianisation” of Africa, albeit in the north of the continent, was a sufficiently timely warning to Africans that they required both eternal vigilance and a totally different mode of resistance to foreign aggression in future if they were to avoid the possibility of complete expulsion from their homeland or a distinct marginalisation therein.
Arab/islamist aggression on Africa paved the way to Europe’s later attack, underlining the very double jeopardy-character of the African holocaust. It is evident that a key lesson that Africans learnt from the former was crucial in enabling them to organise the permanent but flexible resistance that eventually led to the termination of the European occupation when it arose. This lesson is still pertinent as Africans reject any form of “unionisation” with the Arab World and respond robustly to the Darfur outrage and other mass murders programmed for the future. For the Arabs, genocide remains their historically trodden route to seek to complete their “Australasianisation” of Africa. The more recognisable or operationalising concept of this process of course goes by the following name – Arabisation/islamisation of Africa.
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author of Biafra Revisited, African Renaissance, 2006.