Racism behind defections from Al Qaeda in Mali
“Racism is one of the main factors that motivate many young Africans from non-Arab to defect and resume their normal lives in their country of origin.This occurs at a time when the majority of these young Africans beginning to realize more than ever that the promises of equality, freedom and dignity advocated by the true Islam does not materialize in jihadist movements.”
…One of the main jihadist have defected in terrorist groups in the Sahel due to racism was Hisham Bilal. Bilal was the only Black commanding a brigade in the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), the group that controls the city of Gao.
He left the movement in early November and returned to Niger, the country of origin. In an interview with AFP in Niamey at the time, he spoke about racism in the ranks of jihadist groups in Mali.
“These fools of MUJAO are not children of God, they are drug traffickers. They are all that is contrary to Islam, and for them, a Black man is less than an Arab or a white man” had he said.“