Preface: Clarifying Terminology

This work cites many authors, from various time periods, with varying perspectives. To avoid confusion, it is imperative to note that the meaning of certain geographic and ethnic terms may vary depending on the author or the time period of discussion. Among such terms are “Arab” and “Moor”.

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines Arab as:

a :  a member of the Semitic people of the Arabian Peninsula

b :  a member of an Arabic-speaking people.

It is common for people who have Arabic names, who practice Islam, or who speak Arabic, but who are not native to Arabia, to be referred to as “Arabs”.

(Also note, “race” is not part of Merriam-Websters Definition of “Arab”.)

For example, J. C. Degraft-Johnson refers to two natives of  Baghdad, which is located in Persia, not the Arabian peninsula, as “Arabs”.

Johnson-Persian-Muslims-Africa-Pre

The next example shows, Iranians (Persians) who converted to Islam and adopted the Arabic language, were reclassified from “Persians” to “Arabs”.

Hourani-Iranian-Arabs

There are also multiple usages of the term “Moor”. The Western world has applied this label to various nations of people based either on their religion, based on their race, or based on both. (The origin of the word “Moor” is highly contested and is not addressed in this work.)

Encyclopedia-Moors-Blackamoors-Pre

Dr. Yosef ben-Jochannan (Dr. Ben) defines “Moor” as follows.

Jochannan-Moors-Definition-Pre

These examples show, in some instances grouped together under the labels “Arab” or  “Moor” are many separate and distinct people, who acted independently of one another. Therefore, for clarity it is incumbent on the reader of this work to determine what specific people the terms “Arabs” and “Moors” are being applied.

The reader should also note that “Kushite” refers to people from an expanse of territories ranging from the African continent to East Asia, who were united under the Kushite Empire. Within an empire there are kingdoms, tribes, clans, etc., all of whom are not necessarily monolithic or homogeneous.

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