Saturday, January 24, 2015

Contradiction City: Slavery blamed on "White Government" in Islamic Republic of Mauritania who happen to be fighting against "Religion of Peace" Biblical Principals


In Mauritania, Children Are Still Born into Slavery

Qur'an collection in a library inChinguetti

NOUAKCHOTT – They are not shackled by the neck or feet, but slaves in Mauritania are still slaves – it is a condition they inherit. Whenever the birthmother is enslaved, her children are born slaves as well and will carry the same status throughout their lives.

The practice of slavery is now back at the center of debate in Mauritania, after the activist Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid was sentenced on Jan. 15, 2015 to two years in prison for illegally organizing an antislavery demonstration.

Ould Abeid, who belongs to Mauritania’s Black Arab social caste, was awarded the UN Human Rights’ Prize in 2013 for his “non-violent struggle against slavery.”

However a single incident that turned into a scuffle with a policeman was enough to get him sentenced to two years in prison on charges of “resisting authority.”

The President of SOS Slaves Association, Bubacar Ould Mesud, who was born into a family of slaves, told Efe that slaves in Mauritania in the 21st century are shepherds and farmers in rural regions, and domestic servants in urban areas.

If there was any doubt, black people in Mauritania are enslaved by the whites – more accurately, Arabs or Berbers with a lighter skin tone.

According to the official line, there are only a handful of the remaining “consequences” of slavery.

Yet abolitionists believe that up to 40 percent of Mauritania’s population (blacks Arabs called “harratins”) are in one way or another victims of slavery, even if only for the social stigma that stays with them.

Given the lack of official statistics, the Global Slavery Index, a non-governmental organization, which fights against slavery worldwide, notes that Mauritania leads the global ranking of slave nations with 155,000 of its citizens enslaved, representing 4 percent of the total population.

Mesud noted with deep regret that “the only positive thing that French colonization did was to abolish the sale of slaves in public markets, but the phenomenon continued.”

Human rights activist and historian Aminetu Mint Moctar said: “After abolishment in 2007, a single case of slavery has been tried in court, and the person that got sentenced to three years in prison was released only after eight months.”

She also condemned that the special court that was convened to address these cases never carried out its responsibilities, and in the end that “Tadamun” which handled cases of slavery did not include those who call for abolishing slavery, but only specific “known slaves,” according to Moctar.

In Mauritania racial statistics are not available, but it is estimated that white people represent between 20 to 30 percent of the total population, and have total control of political, economic, legal and military authorities of the country. In fact, it is very rare to find black Mauritanians in positions of power.

Mesud added that not only does slavery reflect the historical racial discrimination in the country, but also can be traced back to secular practices and a “manipulated” interpretation of Islam, under which the slave is a “fifth wife” along with the four wives that a Muslim is allowed to marry.

In 2012, Biram publicly burned Sunni Islamic books of the Maliki rite which extends through the majority of North African countries, as these books, according to Biram, offer a historical justification of slavery.

That cost him his first prison sentence.

Biram stressed that slavery in Mauritania is much more than the “consequences” the authorities admit to. His political message attracted a substantial portion of society, as he came in second place in the 2014 presidential elections with 8.6 percent of votes.

Biram’s struggle and his illegal initiative has led to the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement, known in Mauritania as IRA, which Biram established to fight all forms of slavery.

The initiative has found a growing echo among Mauritanian social classes

The Tawasol Islamist party, second in number of deputies in the parliament, has just introduced its “vision for national unity” which revolves around combating slavery, racism and discrimination. Tawasol is known for being backed by the white population.

Tawasol’s policy statement calls for “stop using religion as a pretext to cover the practice of slavery,” liberating “our folk heritage of its negative side which calls for racism,” and implementation of affirmative mechanisms for the sake of “vulnerable groups.”

Mesud appreciates the fact that the political class is increasingly aware of the importance of combating slavery, but remembers that the reality is complicated as well as sad.

“A slave only can run away from his master, but those who have the courage to do so are most probably illiterate who lack the basic survival skills,” Mesud notes.

“That is why most of them return with lowered heads to live in the same conditions as before They only have to be rehabilitated and trained to break this vicious circle,” he adds. 


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