STATEMENT BY DAR AL JANUB
at the Press Conference with Dhoruba bin Wahad, in Vienna Austria
on Thursday 21st June 2018.
Greetings, and Thank You for being here with us. On Behalf of the Dar Al Janub – Union for Antiracism and Peace Policy, I would like to welcome you to our press conference; Please let me use a couple of minutes to talk about the current developments – which sadly forced us to end, what was at first – our very productive cooperation with the Department of African Studies of the University of Vienna. I will then hand over to Dhoruba bin Wahad.As an association, our focus for the past 15-years has been on the anti-racist and anti-colonial struggles of the global south, and the resistance of people of color all over the world – against white supremacy.We started this year with a series of events about both past and present Black radical struggles,against the ahistorical arguments and negation of responsibility for the old and new crimes of neo-colonialism in the debates in Austria and Europe about anti-colonial struggles all over the world, and the wars, that have been going on for many years – in many African and the Arab countries.We are therefore honored to be able to invite Dhoruba Bin Wahad, who as a survivor of the US war on people of colour, and especially against the historical Black Panther Party, is someone who is a very engaged activist today – to speak in Vienna. As soon as Dhoruba bin Wahad accepted our invitation to speak here, we asked the Department for African Studies if they would be interestedin cooperating with us to host a prominent former Black Panther activist. When all the details for the cooperation were consolidated,the lectures of Greg Thomas as Professor for Black studies at the Tufts University and the lecture of Dhoruba bin Wahad were announced on the Website of the Department of African Studies of the University of Vienna.Almost immediately, the board of the Austrian Student Union (ÖH), in particular the chairwoman of the Austrian Student Union Vienna, Ms Lena Köhler and her colleague from the Jewish Austrian Student Union, Mr Benjamin Hess started sending e-mails to the board of the Department of African Studies, in which they falsely accused and opposed our cooperation, by slandering our Association with baseless defamations. They demanded that the Department of African Studies should withdraw from its cooperation with us, and even ban the lectures from the University. The Department of African Studies at first rejected these false accusations and continued to cooperate with us- in spite of these obnoxious demands; So these pressure groups started publicly repeating their lies and slander by publishing and promoting their faslehoods via posts on their Facebook page(s).130 academics and activists around the world responded to this political pressure via a signed Open Letter to the Dept for African Studies of the University of Vienna, showing solidarity and support from Universities around the world, in affirming the importance of open debate and free speech.But the white supremacists from this institution increased their pressure, By teaming up with the Central Council of Jews in Austria (Israelitische Kultusgemeinde) and asking the Rectorate of the University of Vienna – for an urgent private meeting, (The board of the Department for African studies was excluded from this meeting.) They started to slander not only our Anti-Racism and Pro-Peace Associationbut also Dhoruba bin Wahad, and the Black radical movement in the USA – as a criminal organization, repeating the official propaganda of the FBI and US-repression against the Black Rights movement.As a result of this meeting, the Rectorate agreed to conditions and restrictions concerning the lecture, without even contacting us or allowing us to respond to the accusations.Their negotiated conditions are worth quoting:“As a result of the meeting between the head of the University of Vienna, ÖH (Austrian Student Union) and Jewish ÖH -here are the conditions for Dhoruba bin Wahad to speak:1.A) – The lecture will take place as lecture at the University of Vienna (EXCLUSIVELY organized and hosted by the Department for African Studies). B) – The lecture will NOT be in cooperation with the Dar Al Janub association.C) – The board of the Department for Africa Studies will agree in advance with the lecturer (the speaker must agree!), that Dhoruba bin Wahad speaks exclusively about the topic of the lecture, and that there are no anti-Semitic statements in the course of the event.D) – Dean Malzahn will be present at the lecture, and will cancel the event if the speaker violates it. (just think about that for a moment)2.IN the event announcement ON the webpage of the University of Vienna, it MUST be stated that this lecture will be a lecture of the University of Vienna and NOT in cooperation with our association. The concrete wording will be clarified with Rector Engl. 3.The next newsletter of the Rectorate will make an appropriate reference to the”Working Definition of Anti-Semitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance”. 4.A small working group is to be set up to draw up a list of associations – with which (for example, in the course of events) it will NOT be possible to cooperate. In this working group scholars and officials of the University of Vienna, and representatives of the Austrian Student Union should be included. Rector Engl will discuss this during the dean’s meeting on Friday. 5.After the lecture itself, there should be in the foreseeable future – an appointment with head of institute, dean, rector and ÖH.”After an urgent internal discussion; we as an Association, and Dhoruba bin Wahad as the speaker – AGREED to these unacceptable restrictions and undemocratic conditions. But then, the Rectorate dictated another new condition: That the lecture will NOT be public, but part of a very small academic course, so that ONLY 10 students could participate. At that point, we cancelled the negotiations, and relocated the lecture to Afripoint this evening.With these words, I now hand over to Mr. Dhoruba bin Wahad.Thank You.
Statement by Dhoruba al-Mujahid bin Wahad on the press conference of Dar al Janub, 21st June 2018:
I had since childhood believed the axiom that “knowledge of the truth would set us free”. I am no longer a child. I am 74 year old Pan-African Black man, a revolutionary if you will. I learned after three quarters of century on this earth, that knowledge of truth alone will not free a single soul because “truth”, more often than not, is determined by those in power who distort facts to justify their positions in society, not by the social being of the powerless who constitute the majority of the planets populations. I learned from decades of resistance to the indignities heaped upon my people, that power is in fact the ability define phenomena, to clearly discern reality, and make it act in a desired fashion. In short power is not what other people do to you, but what you allow them to do without resistance, without complaint, without speaking your truth to power.So When I received an invitation from several groups in Austria to present a Pan-African and non-Eurocentric analysis of Europe’s current efforts to recolonized the African continent behind the disguise of “Globalization” and explain my views of the West’s war on “radical political Islam, (a provocative description European’s generally term the “war on terror,”) I had not intended to focus my talk on the European Settler State of Israel, or its reactionary role in the geopolitical politics of what Europeans have defined, since the end of WWI, as the “middle-east”. My intended focus was to be on Africa, The African-American Radical Tradition, and the history of the organizations of the sixties that had confronted America’s racist political culture and its war machine, referred to as the Military Industrial Complex. In short, I came here to talk about my experiences in the Black Panther Party, and Black Liberation Army, and the rich history of Black resistance to White American institutional racism and white supremacy. I came to talk about global conditions today. The global conditions that have created the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time in the Congo, Sudan, and across sub-Saharan Africa. The Conditions nations such as Austria have been complicit in maintaining: The conditions European and U.S. Finance Capital created in Africa, Latin America, and Asia that rendered the homelands Africans, Asians, and Latino’s uninhabitable generating waves of migrants seeking livelihood and work in Europe’s Metropoles. This is what I had intended to talk about. Unexpectedly however, I was told that unless I omit any references to the clearly apartheid racist settler state of Israel, I would not be allowed to speak at all! I was not told this directly by the Rector/ principal of the University of Vienna: Heinz Engl but indirectly by his minions. With ad hominem attacks on my person and political views, I was described as a “terrorist” and member of “criminal” gangs dedicated to killing policemen. I’ve been called much worse before, usually by those who believe Black people have few rights White’s are bound to respect. These personal attacks were used to camouflage the fact that The University of Vienna was and remains a decidedly racist, Eurocentric bastion of miseducation because it refuses to allow people of colour to define their own reality and voice their views on the historical and contemporary effects of over 450 years of European Imperial and racist global domination of People’s of colour, especially People of African ancestry. Indeed, the University doesn’t even have a real Black studies, program, or Africana Studies department, except on paper with a Black figurehead to lend some semblance of Academic legitimacy to it’s otherwise blatantly White Supremacist world view.Clearly Austria, like its Euro and American allies are retrogressive and are determine to make Europe White again. In the “Global Village” created by instant communication technology, Austria, Like France, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy and the rest of the EU seek to isolate themselves from aftereffect of its imperial past, hiding behind jingoistic white nationalism, while pretending to be the torch bearers of free speech, democracy, social equality.For example to control my lecture, to hobble any free expression of ideas and analysis, I was told indirectly, that I could not mention the racist settler state of Israel, or its bogus claims to Palestinian lands. I found this outrageous. History is clear on the auspices of Israel from the whole cloth of Imperial Britain’s Balfour collusion with European Zionism during the early 20th century. History is clear regarding post war circumstances of Nazis atrocities which permitted European Zionists to “morally” justify usurpation of Arab Palestinian lands. For the millions of African in the Diaspora, history was also clear that the first and greatest holocaust of all recorded human history was the European Slave trade which killed tens of millions of African’s during the middle passage. History is equally clear that anti-Semitism is a Western European construct, as is white supremacy and the “white man’s burden” articulated by Europeans for two centuries. These historical facts were not an academic opinion, they credible and recorded fact! But apparently because of the distorted history spoon fed to guilt ridden post WWII Austria, to camouflage the resurgence of the very industrialists who underwrote Nazis fascism during Europe’s reconstruction under the U.S. marshal plan, the faculty of Vienna University are adverse to exposing their students to the truths of the past that have created the realities of today. Neo-fascism is alive today in Europe and Austria. It’s called Islamophobia, White supremacy, and anti-migrant callousness. For decades I have been part of a movement that expressed solidarity with movements, and people’s who struggled against the usurpation of their land, culture, and identify by Europe’s rapacious militarized nation-states. Admittedly I did come to talk about this, about what is now apparent across the face of Europe and in America, specifically, Institutional “Democratic Fascism”. Having been forced to defend my views on Israel by the agents of Zionist reaction who want to silence any and all criticism of the Israeli settler state and the atrocities perpetrated daily on the Palestinian peoples, I will not speak at the University of Vienna, but instead at venue off campus where freedom of thought and opinion have not been consigned to the Hijab (veil) of racist and reactionary ignorance.When the head of a prestigious European Institution of higher learning, Mr. Engl remains silent while a young white woman Lena Köhler spread misinformation about an invited Black guest to his lily white University, then pressure the hosts of the lecturer to completely stifle his viewpoints, while never contacting the lecturer directly is condescending racist arrogance, and illustrate just how much Zionists can exert covert and overt censorship of views they do not want to hear.