The First Black Saudi Imam Heads for Sierra Leone: a Rejoinder

Dr. Ahmad Tamim Nassar, a history professor specialized in Egyptology answered “King Pharaoh!” with a tentative smile on the lips, when I asked him who was the first black decision maker in Egypt.  My assertion was that black people were, and still are, unwelcomed in the Middle East.  So the Egyptian professor countered that if the Egyptians were racists they wouldn’t have allowed Pharaoh, who according to him, was a black man, to lord over them for decades.  

“What about the discovering of the Egyptian hieroglyphic writing and counting, which makes Egypt the mother of earlier civilization in the world history?” I asked again.  “You are referring to the great Egyptian genius, most of whom were desert dwellers though but desperate to invent a means of communication among themselves”, he replied.  Ha! Ha! ha! I burst into wide laughter.  He knew I wasn’t impressed at all.

I knew that the old man was deliberately altering history in his own favour.  Bad stories feature the black man. But good stories must be attributed to the white man.  

There are several verses in the Holy Scriptures (Bible and Quran) exclusively warning the believers against racism and partiality.  Unfortunately, the bearers of those scriptures are more racist and partial than we the ordinary followers.  

I have read over and again the following verses in the holy Quran:

"O Mankind, we created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you in to tribes and nations so that you may know each other (not that you despise each other). Verily, the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is he who is most righteous of you." (Al-Quran, Chapter 49, Verse 13)

God further acknowledged in another verse in the Quran referring to why he created man in different colors:

"And amongst his signs is the creation of heaven and the earth, and variation in your language and colors; Verily, in there are signs for those who are wise" (Al-Quran, Chapter 30, Verse 22)

I also read in the traditions of the holy prophet of Islam:

"You are no better than a red skinned person nor a black but he who has fear of Allah in his/her heart" (Narrated by Hazrat Abu Zar)

"Allah does not look at your appearances or wealth but looks at your actions" (Narrated by Abu Huraira).

The holy Bible also acknowledged the above in the following verses:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28 )

And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:10-11)

But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (James 2: 9)

When I asked my Catholic friend why there is no black Pope in the history of Christianity,  he refused to accept the fact there is racism in all our religions  quoting Popes Victor I (189 to 199), Miltiades (310/311 to 314), and Gelasius I (492 to 496) who, according to my researches, were supposedly from the Roman territories in north Africa, but it is unknown whether they were black or closer in ethnicity to other Middle Eastern or Mediterranean people who lived in that area at that time.  In addition to that, history tells us that the African Negroid (Blacks) who lived in the northern Sahara Africa during the period under review were mostly slaves taken by the Romans using Bible as a weapon.  So none of them could have become a preacher, let alone pope.  Most importantly, the territory is up on till now overwhelmed by the white color.

I therefore welcome the Physicians Across Continents (PAC), and His Eminence Sheikh Adel Ben Salim Kalbani, who according to Alhaji Jalloh, the Sierra Leonean Press Attaché in Saudi Arabia, are supposed to be in Freetown by now.  What I don’t find exciting about the visit however, is Sheikh Kalbani’s introduction as the First black Saudi imam.  Is it not an insult for the black race to be only considered fit to serve as Imam in the holy land as later as the year 2008?  It’s true that the holy Black Cube (Kaaba) and the holy mosque are situated in the Arabian territory but they don’t belong to the Arab race alone.  

Islamic history tells us that the first man that loudly called Islamic prayers (Azan) in Mecca was a black man called Bilal.  Beside him countless black Africans were used to fight for the very survival of Islam (Jihad).  It’s therefore foolhardy to compare the (single) appointment of Sheikh Adel Ben Salim Kalbani as the first Black Imam in Saudi Arabia, with Obama’s election as the first black President of America.  Apart from Obama, there are thousands of black people heading decision making institutions in America.  The recent ones were Condoleezza Rice and Collins Powell.  How many can we count in the Middle East?

I view Sheikh Adel Ben Salim Kalbani's appointment as an isolated case; the black Muslims deserve more in the Middle East…

About Othman Sheriff 49 Articles
Born and raised in Kenema district, eastern Sierra Leone, Othman Sheriff began practicing journalism during his school days as a youthhood hobby. With a bachelor degree in mass-media and communication, and Master’s degree in development and peacebuilding, Sheriff is the Editor in Chief and CEO of Critique Echo Newspaper. While tirelessly using journalism as a tool to place his country’s socioeconomic and political landscape under a magnifying glass, Sheriff is deeply involved in community development projects. Over the years, Sheriff has formulated and implemented billions of Leones worth of development projects with funds from Europe and USA. He is chiefly focused on community infrastructural development and economic resuscitation projects, fostering interethnic, interreligious and sociocultural cohesion among the young population in Kenema district. He is a member of many international peacebuilding initiatives including the United Religious Initiative (URI), International Association of Educators for World Peace (IAEWP), Intercultural Leaders Network and Youth Solidary Fund program of the United Nations Alliance of Civilization (UNAOC)

1 Comment

  1. Sir, I hope the good professor realized that the ancient Egyptians had no choice in "allowing Pharoah" to Lord it over them! It couldn't have been otherwise, as they -ancient Egyptians- were black people -see Cheik Anta Diop and other Egyptologists. The Empire builders have much in common with you if you are a blackman or woman than they do with the current Semito-Arabs of modern-day Egypt -fact!  Thus it stands to reason, a black race that emerged from deep in the bowels of Africa as they came up the NILE could be ruled by one of their own-Pharaoun=Pharoah!  See upcomig book by this responder.

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