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In January 2012 we reported on the growth of radical Islamism in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA): "Al Qaeda; AQIM and AQAP."


Obviously, western media continue to give much coverage, as indeed does NewNations, on reports and analyses of Al Qaeda in the Middle East and North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan. This opaque organisation has now spread widely throughout Islamic countries and amongst elements of their diaspora in Europe, and within the Russian Federation; and even in the USA and Canada.

We turn now to focus on Africa in and below the Sahel, that spreads like a belt across the continent from east to west, embracing the vast Sahara desert that separates the northern part of the continent from tropical Africa. Al Qaeda of course has no monopoly of jihadism. There are 'look-alikes' and franchisees, several of which appear in this report. But it was al Qaeda that struck in Africa well before 9/11, in 1998, when they attacked and largely destroyed the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.


To get a realistic assessment of proselytizing Islam, it is significant that in the early 20th century, just one third of the population were Muslim. Now over 50% of Africans are Muslim. In these circumstances it can be seen how it is that Islamists dream of their belief system as an African caliphate, as the colonialists once dreamed of a railway system, extending "from Cairo to the Cape."

Alessandro Bruno is and has been a regular monthly contributor to NewNations for ten years, covering Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Morocco, Algeria.




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Newnations Bulletin, 19 September 2012| New Nations - a not for profit company
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