Middle East Resources

More on The Veiled Genocide

Bassam Michael Madany

9 January 2023

On three different occasions, I posted articles commenting on the Senegalese author Tidiane N’Diaye’s book Le Genocide Voilé (The Veiled Genocide). It was published in Paris, France in 2008. Last week, I discovered more information about the subject that was posted on YouTube on 24 May 2018; where the author gave further comments on the trans-Sahara and eastern slave trade.

This video is a translation of Tidiane N’Diaye’s short presentation broadcast in French by France info. He introduces his book Le Genocide Voilé (The Veiled Genocide) on the trans-Sahara and eastern slave trade. He goes on to lament the fact that the subject remains hardly known or acknowledged among the Arabs. It is a chapter of African history that is still taboo: the slavery of black populations by the Arab world. Senegalese researcher Tidiane N'Diaye explains. There is no degree in horror, nor a monopoly on suffering or cruelty. But it is safe to say that the trans-Sahelian and Eastern slave trade was far more devastating for African populations than the transatlantic slave trade.

N'Diaye explains, if I titled my study "veiled genocide" it is because generalized castration annihilated any possibility of transmission, any possibility of descent, which explains today that their presence in the Arab world is an epiphenomenon. Also, a rather important clarification: when I say Arab-Muslim, it does not mean that I am trying to reduce peoples to their religion or culture.

You have between 400 and 500 million Muslims in Africa today. It seems that most Muslim intellectuals are reluctant to approach this page of our history, a painful page that not only should Arab-Muslim scholars have opened, but African intellectuals hesitate. And what resonance today? What is happening today in Libya, with African slave marches, is simply a kind of continuity in the treatment that Arab-Muslims reserved for Africans. Since today it is estimated that 45 million individuals are still enslaved. And as luck would have it, it is essentially in the Arab-Muslim world. African students living in the Maghreb are often treated in a rather despicable way.

African maids have their passports confiscated in Lebanon and elsewhere. By dint of silencing a crime, it risks repeating itself. Just as Elie Wiesel said, “Whoever ignores his past exposes himself to him starting again.” Hence the need for a work of memory so that the horrors of the past never fall into oblivion.

Please click on this link to watch the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jxc5ENT8ajg