French views of the Maghreb vs. sub-Saharan Africa. The construction of race in France’s African colonies.
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The construction of race in France’s African colonies
French colonial policies were based on racist exclusion & racial theories as we have seen before..Gobineau: 3 main races (white, yellow, black); weaknesses & qualities, but white people placed on top of racial hierarchy.
Indigenous muscians, Morocco
Many in France & Europe preferred to regard the Sahara not as the highway & meeting place, but rather as a racialised boundary dividing black Africa from the Mediterranean world.
Algeria: attempted to sever France’s largest & most important colony from Africa & bind it to France through the racialisation of colonial boundaries.
The oasis town of El-Oved in the Sahara, Algeria.
In many ways, this view & policy succeeded in achieving the intellectual separation of the Maghreb from Africa in French thinking.
Islam south of the Sahara as Islam noir(Black Islam).
(Islam: emphasis on equality of all Muslims, regardless of ethnic origin, in the eyes of God & the faith.)
Islam noirreflected a division unrecognisable to African Muslims of the time.
<100 Jews remained as of 1998, & virtually all synagogues were converted to mosques.
Colonial scholars thought : Arabs invaded Algeria, usurpers who brought Islam to the region & imposed it, by force, on Berbers.