Africa Academic Giant Prof. Ali Mazrui Dies

The outcry over a BBC documentary denying the genocide against the Tutsi has now spread to Europe where protesters are urging the British broadcaster to apologise for the insensitive film and scarp it off all their platforms.

In the documentary, visit BCC provided a platform to some of the world’s known genocide revisionists who claimed that only 200, 000 Tutsis and 800, 000 Hutus were killed in 1994.

President Kagame’s sworn enemies described Kagame as a “serial killer who enjoys killing his people.”

The latest is that at least one hundred survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwandans and friends of Rwanda, have Sunday held a demonstration at the BBC headquarters in London to protest against a film called “Rwanda: The Untold Story”.

The protesters were expressing their outrage and hurt at the blatant denial of the 1994 genocide portrayed in the documentary first aired on BBC Two.

The protest was co-organised by the Rwandan Community Association in the United Kingdom and survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi living in the UK.

Members of the Rwandan community from London, West Midlands, Nottingham, Oxford, Manchester, Reading and Birmingham as well as representatives from the Survivors Fund (SURF) and atrocity prevention organisation Aegis Trust attended the demonstration.

As part of the protest, survivors and community leaders handed over a petition to the BBC calling for the public broadcaster to immediately remove the genocide denial documentary from all its platforms.


One of those to deliver the petition was Eric Eugene Murangwa, Head of the Task Force for Survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in the UK.

“We came here today to protest against the incredibly hurtful documentary produced by the BBC. The film was a complete distortion of the truth of what happened in Rwanda in 1994. It disrespected the memory of more than one million of our family and friends killed in the genocide,” said Murangwa.

“Today we delivered a petition to the BBC which demanded they stop airing the documentary. We are hopeful they will do the right thing.”

Rwanda’s umbrella association for genocide survivors organisations, Ibuka Rwanda, has also called on the BBC to uphold journalistic standards and stop broadcasting the documentary.

Speaking on the documentary, James Smith, CEO of Aegis Trust said: “The role of investigative journalists is to question government policy and practice, but in doing so there is a responsibility to maintain the minimum standards of journalism.”

he further pointed out that, “In producing this film, the BBC stepped over a line. Historical revisionism regarding the genocide in this documentary is so extreme that it has sadly served to polarise communities rather than shed light on matters of importance. The worst outcome is that the inaccuracy and lack of impartiality has, perhaps unwittingly, caused deep offence and hurt to survivors. One wonders whether the producers could hear their cries of anguish twenty years later, as they filmed in the Amahoro Stadium this April, or whether they thought it was all part of a staged drama.”

Genocide denial is the attempt to assert genocide didn’t happen as well as any attempt to minimise its scale or death toll. The BBC film claimed the killings in Rwanda were “without purpose” and “random” and went as far to reduce the death toll to only 200,000 victims.

This is an assertion decidedly proven wrong by respected scholars across the world as well as the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2150 which stated that ‘there exists overwhelming evidence to prove that acts of genocide against the Tutsi group were perpetrated’.

The genocide in Rwanda was the fastest genocide of the 20th century and was a long-planned and systematic attempt to exterminate Tutsi. The Rwandan Community in the UK and survivors living here will continue to fight all forms of genocide denial and honour the memory of the more than one million victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

Rwanda’s genocide survivor organisations have expressed their outrage at a BBC This World documentary that aired on BBC2 last week, saying it “seems intent on reopening our wounds.”

In a letter sent to the Director General of the BBC, Ibuka (Rwanda’s umbrella association for survivor groups) responded to the film, calling it a “blatant denial of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi” and asked the BBC to stop all screenings of the documentary.”
Renowned African scholar Prof Ali Mazrui has died. He was 81.

Family members said Mazrui breathed his last at a hospital in Binghamton, approved New York, more about U.S in the wee hours of Monday.

He was unwell for several months.

The body of the deceased is expected to be flown to his motherland – Kenya for burial.

Born and raised in Mombasa, patient Kenya, Mazrui, at the time of his death, was an Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and the Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York.

Survived by a wife and six children, Mazrui is a distinguished scholar, having written over 20 books and lectured at universities across the world.

Ali Al’amin Mazrui (February 24, 1933 – October 12, 2014) was an academic, professor, and political writer on African and Islamic studies and North-South relations.

Mazrui’s research interests included African politics, international political culture, political Islam and North-South relations.

Mazrui has also published hundreds of articles in major scholastic journals and for public media. He has also served on the editorial boards of more than twenty international scholarly journals. Mazrui was widely consulted by heads of states and governments, international media and research institutions for political strategies and alternative thoughts.

He first rose to prominence as a critic of some of the accepted orthodoxies of African intellectuals in the 1960s and 1970s.

He was critical of African socialism and all strains of Marxism. He argued that communism was a Western import just as unsuited for the African condition as the earlier colonial attempts to install European type governments. He argued that a revised liberalism could help the continent and described himself as a proponent of a unique ideology of African liberalism.

At the same time he was a prominent critic of the current world order. He believed the current capitalist system was deeply exploitative of Africa, and that the West rarely if ever lived up to their liberal ideals and could be described as global apartheid.

He has opposed Western interventions in the developing world, such as the Iraq War. He has also long been opposed to many of the policies of Israel, being one of the first to try to link the treatment of Palestinians with South Africa’s apartheid.

Especially in recent years, Mazrui has also become a well known commentator on Islam and Islamism. While rejecting violence and terrorism Mazrui has praised some of the anti-imperialist sentiment that plays an important role in modern Islamic fundamentalism. He has also argued, controversially, that sharia law is not incompatible with democracy.

In addition to his written work, Dr. Mazrui was also the creator of the television series The Africans: A Triple Heritage, which was jointly produced by the BBC and the Public Broadcasting Service (WETA, Washington) in association with the Nigerian Television Authority.

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