By Ayanna www.rootswomen.com/ayanna Islam, Colourism and the Myth of Black African Slave Traders Africans in the Diaspora have the challenge of rewriting history that as been stained by years of distortions, ommision and downright lies. One of the biggest challenges of rewriting this history has been the Atlantic Slave Trade, and one of the biggest sore points has been the idea that "Black Africans sold their own into slavery". A lack of information, a paucity of expansive scholarship and an unwillingness to have a serious discourse on Colourism as it existed in Africa even before European intervention, has contributed to this. Diaspora Africans are often quite naive and will do anything to hold fast to the illusion that "we are all Africans" and ignore the racism that has existed among a group that is far from uniform. In looking at the issue of Colourism I could not help seeing the links between the role of Islam in Africa adn the role of Africans in the slave trade. The book, "Islam and the Ideology of Slavery" by John Ralph Willis is very helpful in looking at the almost imperceptible link between the enslavement of "kufir" Non-muslims or infidels, and the belief that Black Africans were not only heathens but inherently inferior. This is not a new thought and certainly not one that originated with the muslims coming into Africa. The story of Tippu Tip who is one of the most widely known slave traders has always posed a problem for historians, especially Afrocentric historians in the diaspora trying to find some way to reconcile themselves to the idea of an "African Slave trader". The fact that Tippu Tip was not only Muslim, but a "mulatto" is vital. The common ideology of judaism and islam where Black Africans are concerned is certainly no secret. While some in Islamic writings we see an almost mystical reverence to Africans, especially an over sexualized concept of Ethiopian women who were the preferred concubines of many wealthy Arab traders and kings, others there is distinct racism. Add to this the religious fervor of the muslim invaders, their non-acceptance or regard for traditional African religions, and the obvious economic and political desires for which religion was used as a tool, and we get an excellent but little spoken of picture of Islam in Africa.