Arab-Muslim Slavery: Kenyan Woman Claims She Was Kept as Domestic Slave for Months

A 25-year-old Kenyan woman has come forward with allegations that she was kept as a domestic slave for three months by Saudi Arabian diplomats living in Northern Virginia.

The allegations come to light two weeks after News4 first reported an investigation into possible human trafficking at a Saudi-owned compound in McLean, Va.

The Kenyan woman — who goes by the name Sheila — said she was brought to the U.S. from Kenya by way of Saudi Arabia last summer, by people who forced her to work long hours each day, seven days a week, as a domestic worker.

“I used to work from 6 in the morning to 8, 10 in the evening,” Sheila said by cell phone to News4’s Jackie Bensen. “From Monday to Monday.”

Did you ever have a day off? Bensen asked. “No,” Shelia replied.

Shelia said she was rescued with the help of a Fairfax County man, Marikio, whom she met on a Facebook community for Kenyans living in the D.C. area.

He and Sheila had corresponded online for a couple of days when he grew puzzled by her reluctance to answer basic questions about where she lived and worked.

“It’s very simple: ‘Where you living? You should tell me where you’re living.’ She was hiding,” he said.

She told him she lived in a high-rise in a place she knew as Falls Church, but she was not sure of the address because she was never allowed outside. He told her to look at a piece of her boss’ mail to see what the address was.

Marikio arranged to help her. The rescue ended up being a harrowing one — particularly, Marikio said, because he knew if he called 911, he risked a chance that Sheila’s boss could convince police to arrest him instead, because he was in the country illegally.

Still, Sheila — wearing a head scarf and a veil — ran from of the lobby of Skyline Towers on Seminary Road and jumped into his car. It was the first time the two had met.

Marikio said Sheila was gaunt and in obvious pain. She told him she was hemorraghing from an untreated medical condition. He told her to go back inside and get her passport, and he’d take her to a hospital.

“She was sick, and she was shaking, and the police asked her, ‘Do you want an ambulance?'” Marikio recalled. “She said yes and the ambulance came.”

But, Marikio said, when she went back for her passport, she was held by the family she worked for.

“She went back, the guy was holding her. He was still holding hostage. She was screaming with her cell phone. … I say, ‘Go out!'”

Said Shelia, “I was afraid, because maybe they could have killed me. Because they have taken all my documents. They have taken my passport.”

Police officers ordered the boss to return the passport, and he did. Shelia then received medical treatment.

Shelia now has an attorney, immigration attorney Regina Njogu. An investigation revealed the Saudi diplomat who brought her to the U.S. used an domestic worker visa known as an A3 visa.

“I called the embassy, and I spoke with him,” Njogu said. “At first he didn’t know what I was calling about. When I told him what I was calling about, he said he doesn’t care, because he’s a diplomat nothing will happen to him.”

The Saudi Arabian embassy did not return News4’s calls for comment.

Njogu said her efforts to get authorities to investigate further have been frustrating. “Basically it was a game of ping-pong. I was being referred from one place to another. I could tell from those I was speaking to that there was a great reluctance to get involved.”

Now, Shelia remains in the U.S., relying on the assistance of fellow Kenyans. Her visa has expired, so she has no way to work.

But, she said, she is grateful she can sleep in a bed instead of the floor, where she slept in the Falls Church home.

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Kenyan-Woman-Claims-She-Was-Kept-as-Domestic-Slave-for-Months-208889161.html?_osource=SocialFlowTwt_DCBrand

Islamic Slavery and Racism

April 2, 2013 By 

 

link

 

When Tuaregs and Islamists swarmed in to seize Northern Mali, one of the old grievances animating their campaign was slavery. The Tuaregs were not former slaves, they were, and in some cases still are, slaveholders.

The French invasion of Northern Mali, liberating towns and villages under Islamist rule, was a historical echo of the original French emancipation of Tuareg slaves back in the colonial period.  Despite French efforts, the Tuareg did their best to hang on to their slaves and Muslim Tuareg still continue to holdthousands of slaves in Northern Mali.

 

Mali is not unique. The Sudanese genocide was given theological and political force by the attitude that Arabs and Muslims had the natural right to a superior position over African Animists and Christians. And today Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the Butcher of Sudan, continues to enjoy the support of the Muslim world despite being indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court.

The supporters of the Muslim world’s campaign to displace the indigenous Jewish population of Israel in favor of the Arab colonists and settlers casually accuse Israel of apartheid. Every year Israeli Apartheid Week is held on college campuses in an attempt to compare Israel’s refusal to allow Hamas terrorists access to its territory with racial discrimination.

But racial Apartheid is very much a reality in the Muslim world. The same Muslim students who show up to denounce Israel as an apartheid state often come from countries where there is true apartheid when it comes to black skin.

In North Africa, the Haratin, a Berber word meaning dark skin, are the remnants of the indigenous African population. Many are still enslaved. Others live apart from mainstream society, forced into degrading or difficult occupations.

Mauritania is the country with the world’s largest proportion of slaves. There hundreds of thousands of Haratin serve the Bidhan, the so-called “White Moors”.  The Bidhan pass on the Haratin as property from generation to generation. And even those who are not legally property face a grim life.

In the 80s, Mauritania ethnically cleansed tens of thousands of Africans from its territory. Even Human Rights Watch stated, “It is fair to say that the Mauritanian government practices undeclared apartheid and severely discriminates on the basis of race.”

The best kept secrets of the Muslim world include large populations of former African slaves in places like Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey.  While Africans in Israel are not descended from slaves, Afro-Arabs, Afro-Turks and African-Pakistanis are living reminders of a Muslim slave trade that sometimes still lingers on.

The site of the world’s greatest slave rebellion was in Basra, Iraq, where half-a-million African slaves rose against the might of the Arab Abbasid Empire.

 

The Zanj rebellion was brutally suppressed, but its legacy lives on inthe modern day city of Basra wherehundreds of thousands of Afro-Iraqislive as a despised minority taunted with the slur “Abd” or Slave. That same Arabic word is often widely applied to black people in the Middle East.

While Muslim propagandists have exploited the legacy of slavery in the United States to win black converts, slavery in the Muslim world began long before the United States and ended a century later.

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862. By contrast, Saudi Arabia only abolished slavery in 1962. That same year Yemen abolished slavery and the United Arab Emirates abolished slavery a year later.

Saudi Arabia’s ruling family did not embark on this course out of the goodness of their hearts, but under pressure from President Kennedy, at a time when the House of Saud did not yet have the United States economy and its foreign policy in a headlock. The abolition of slavery was a compromise. Kennedy had wanted representative government and civil rights. He had to settle for a belated emancipation.

Slavery has been officially abolished; unofficially it lingers on. There is still a silent unofficial slave trade that is carried on and leading Saudi clerics have insisted that slavery is a part of Islam. Saudis living abroad are often discovered to have domestic workers who live like slaves leading to criminal cases.

The situation is worst in North Africa where Arab colonization largely displaced and suppressed the indigenous peoples, like the Nubians in Egypt. Ethnically cleansed to make way for the Lake Nasser project, Egyptian Nubians have, like so many other North African indigenous peoples, been reduced to a persecuted minority within their own land.

Some may argue that Islamic slavery, like Islamic terrorism, has nothing to do with Islam, and yet the rationale for racial slavery can be found in the Koran and the Hadiths which discuss Mohammed’s trade in black slaves.

Al-Tabari wrote that, “Noah prayed that the hair of Ham’s descendants would not grow beyond their ears, and that whenever his descendants met Shem’s, the latter would enslave them.”  This theological justification provided a religious manifest destiny for the Arab conquests and acts of ethnic cleansing in Africa.

The great Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun justified slavery by relegating black people to the rank of animals, writing, “The only people who accept slavery are the Negroes, owing to their low degree of humanity and proximity to the animal stage.”

The legacy of Islam makes the permanent abolition of slavery and racism impossible. Egypt and its Mamaluk slave empire fell in the 19th century and British attempts to abolish slavery appeared to have done the job, but the new Muslim Brotherhood constitution dropped the old ban on slavery. Mauritania officially outlawed slavery numerous times, but it still widely persists. Saudi Arabia abolished slavery, but its elite families, of whom the Hadiths say, Allah chose the Arabs above all others and chose the Quraysh above the Arabs, still fall back into their old habits even in the West.

The oil-rich tyrannies at the heart of the Islamic Gulf are maintained by armies of slave laborers with few rights. The skyscrapers of Dubai and Doha are built with the blood of thousands of foreign workers who are paid a pittance and are only allowed to leave with the approval of their masters.

Ali al-Ahmed, a leading Saudi scholar and the director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, put it bluntly in Foreign Policy magazine. “Blacks, who make up around 10 percent of the population, are banned from judgeships — as are women and Muslims who observe a different version of the faith — because the monarchy’s religious tradition still views blacks as slaves, other Muslims as heretics, and women as half human. There is only one word to describe such a system: Apartheid.”

While Saudi money goes to sponsor propaganda that accuses Israel of Apartheid for fighting Saudi-backed terrorist groups, the brutal kingdom continues an ancient policy of slavery and repression.

And in North Africa, African migrants look to the West to escape racism in lands colonized by Islam. “Arabs hate black people. And that is not from today, it is in their blood,” a young African man named Aboubakr says. “Blacks have no rights here.”

 

 

 

Op-Ed: Arabs Have Black Slaves – Today

 

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/13067#.UVjGbZNwqSo

Dr. Charles Jacobs

There is no Arab Apartheid Week on American campuses, but there should be. Slavery, in its most barbaric form, still exists in the Arab world and there is no Exodus in sight either. A shocking article for Passover.

 

Israel Apartheid Week has come and gone this year on many American campuses. It was, of course, a hoax: However much one says that Arabs in Israel suffer, and whoever is to blame for that alleged suffering, there is no apartheid in Israel.

Meanwhile, however, in Sudan and Mauritania, racist Arab societies enslave blacks. Today. Most of the slaves are African Muslims. Yet there is no Arab Apartheid Week on American campuses. Why not?

One might think American student activists would be upset about Mauritania, the West African country with the largest population of black slaves in the world – estimates range from 100,000 to more than a half-million. In Mauritania, slaves are used for labor, sex and breeding. The wholly owned property of their masters, they are passed down through generations, given as wedding gifts or exchanged for camels, trucks, guns or money.

Surely, life is not so good in a Palestinian Arab refugee camp– no matter who is to blame, but it’s undeniably a whole lot worse for Mauritanian slaves. According to a Human Rights Watch/Africa report, routine punishments for slaves in Mauritania – for the slightest fault – include beatings, denial of food and prolonged exposure to the sun, with hands and feet tied together. More serious infringement of the master’s rule (in American slave-owning parlance, “getting uppity”) can lead to prolonged tortures known as “the camel treatment,” in which the slave’s body is slowly torn apart; the“insect treatment,” in which tiny desert insects are inserted and sealed into the ear canal until the slave is driven mad; and“burning coals,” a torture not fit to describe in a family newspaper.

 

Perhaps the reason for silence on campuses about these things is that the story of black slaves and their Arab masters remains unknown there. It would, of course, be a sensitive topic: slavery has existed in Mauritania since the 12th century, when Arab tribes from the Arabian Peninsula invaded and conquered North Africa. Raiders then stormed African villages to the south, pillaging, enslaving and converting the indigenous peoples to Islam.

While the Koran forbids the enslavement of fellow Muslims, just as in the West, in North Africa racism trumped religious doctrine. The descendants of those Arab invaders are today’s slave owners. The descendants of those captured as slaves in jihad raids are in human bondage today. These are, then, black Muslim slaves – who, for racist reasons, aren’t allowed to touch the Koran with their black hands, who can’t marry without their owners’ permission, and whose children belong to the master.

 

Not all blacks in Mauritania are slaves. But all are oppressed by Arab colonialism. Arab Berbers (or “White Africans”) constitute less than a third of Mauritania’s population of 3.5 million people, but they control the government and military, as well as the education and the court systems.

I interviewed Saidou Wane, a Mauritanian immigrant who lives in Cincinnati and speaks regularly on behalf of the Movement for Justice and Equality in Mauritania (MJEM). Saidou reports that the Mauritanian regime is constantly working to cleanse the country of any non-Arab influence. The state recognizes only Arabic as an official language, refuses to acknowledge the local African languages (Wolof, Fulani, Soninke), and allows only French and Arabic in school curricula. In other cases, this would easily be termed “cultural cleansing.”

Indeed, it might be even worse than apartheid: The government has expropriated land owned by black Africans through expulsion and dispossession. An ethnic cleansing campaign that began in 1989 led to the expulsion of an estimated 100,000 blacks from Mauritania. The government and army were purged of black officers. Amnesty International reported that thousands of blacks were killed, and many tortured, while hundreds of African villages in the south were demolished.

Mauritania holds the distinction of being the last nation on earth to legally abolish slavery, which it did, with no mechanisms of enforcement, in 1981. Slavery was not criminalized until 2007, but to date there has been only one single conviction.

Why hasn’t any of this been addressed by Western governments? For one, the Mauritanian regime, once a supporter of Saddam Hussein, has ingratiated itself with the United States and Europe through promises to help fight al-Qaeda. And then in December 2012, in a move that defined it as the morally bankrupt institution it is, the United Nations (U.N.) Human Rights Council elected Mauritania as its vice president and rapporteur.

What about the silence of Western progressives? I call it the “human-rights complex:” The cases that the rights groups focus upon are not determined by the nature, extent or degree of suffering by the victims, but rather by the identity of those thought to be the oppressors. Think about it: Most human-rights advocates in the West are decent, middle-class whites who are defensive about past Western sins – slavery, colonialism, racism. Their activism is a matter of personal identity. They act to be exonerated, to be seen as innocents, guiltless, not like the “bad white” exploiters. They march under the banner of “Not in My Name.”

Anti-Israel propagandists have inverted reality in the minds of many of these people: Jews have been transformed from last century’s stateless, Asiatic, non-Europeans, to whites with power who behave badly toward innocent, impoverished, indigenous, darker-skinned people. This is precisely the taint that many “rights activists” wish to avoid:“people who look like us, behaving badly.”

Israel Apartheid Week – and the absence of Arab Apartheid Week – have nothing to do with external realities, or actual suffering but are the psychodramatic results of miseducated, manipulated, guilt-ridden, American middle-class youth. The biggest victims here, of course, are those oppressed by non-Westerners (women, gays, Christians, blacks, and other minorities in the Muslim realm) who cannot break through the fog of political correctness to reach the good but blinded souls of American students on campus.

In 2012, CNN reporters interviewed Moulkheir Yarba, who escaped her master after he raped her, fathered her child and then left the baby to die in the Sahara Desert – to teach her to “work faster.”

If Moulkheir could understand how America, a nation of abolitionists, has so enchained itself with political correctness, and become so blinded to her plight, she would weep. As should we.

 

Brazil comes to terms with its slave trading past

link

Groundworks for the 2016 Olympics bring questions of ethnicity to the surface

 

Just a step from the centre of Rio de Janeiro, at the heart of the docks undergoing a massive facelift in preparation for the 2016 Olympics, two workers await the verdict of three archaeologists at the bottom of a trench. Municipal workers have once again stumbled on the remains of the Valongo wharf, where the largest number of slaves imported to theAmericas disembarked. A place to remember, a place of suffering long buried under the paving stones of this dazzling city.

More than 600,000 slaves passed through in the early 19th century. The slave market stood nearby, much as the “cemetery of new blacks”: new because they had just arrived. Since work started in 2010, a huge variety of bracelets, precious stones and personal items has been unearthed, tens of thousands of objects, says Tania Andrade Lima, who heads the dig.

Work on the wharf has also revealed the scale of the slave trade inBrazil. Of the 9.5 million people captured in Africa and brought to the New World between the 16th and 19th century, nearly 4 million landed in Rio, 10 times more than all those sent to the United States.

But for the last century Brazil has tried to forget its past, refusing to accept the legacy of the slave trade. It has sought to project the image of a country of mixed descent, where the colour of a person’s skin does not count, a land unfettered by racism where cordial relations reign between citizens of Indian, European and African descent.

Brazil was the last American nation to abolish slavery, on 13 May, 1888. At the time Rio represented the largest urban concentration of slaves since the end of the Roman empire, more than 40% of the population, almost a complete city in irons. Rio city council now plans to turn part of Valongo into an open-air archaeological site. “This heritage can finally be recognised, shown off and used to combat our collective amnesia […] regarding the black community,” Lima suggests. The country is certainly changing. There are few people in Rio who would still describe it as a “racial democracy“, a term coined by the sociologist and writer Gilberto Freyre. Black movements tend to refer to “institutionalised racism”, a view endorsed, among others, by the Catholic church, which condemns discrimination and the persistence of a slave-based mindset.

According to census results published in 2011 by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), brancos (whites) account for less than half the population for the first time since the 19th century. Approximately 51% see themselves as preto (black, 8%) or pardo (mixed, 43%), up by more than 5% on 2000. The statistics also show that Brazilians of colour are at a significant disadvantage compared with their white counterparts. Racial inequality is manifest in many respects, starting with the share-out of riches. Two-thirds of the poor are pretos or pardos. With the same qualifications, coloured people earn half as much as whites. A black woman only earns a quarter of the salary paid to a white male. According to a 2007 survey, coloured people only account for 3.5% of executives, 10% of university students, 5% of members of parliament, 3% of the judiciary. So there’s room for more change.

President Dilma Rousseff‘s 36-strong coalition government includes only one black minister, Luiza Helena de Bairros, secretary of state for racial equality. She is a worthy successor to Edison Arantes do Nascimento, aka Pelé, the first coloured man to serve as a minister (of sport) in 1994. All the figures confirm this situation, contradicting the impressions of passing visitors. “Racism in Brazil is well hidden, subtle and unspoken, underestimated by the media,” says Joaquim Barbosa, the first black judge to sit on the bench of the supreme court in Brasilia. “It is nevertheless extremely violent.” Appointed by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (left) in 2003 and a well-known public figure, he recalls two occasions when white men handed him their car keys as he entered a fashionable restaurant in Rio. Being black they assumed he was a valet. “But,” he adds, “things are slowly changing and awareness is growing.”

In a sensational decision this April the 10 supreme court judges unanimously ruled in favour of positive discrimination in higher education, declaring that the racial quotas in Brazilian universities were constitutional and redressed the “social debt of slavery”. Dozens of expert witnesses were heard and the ruling was televised live.

In August the senate passed a bill requiring federal universities to reserve half their places for students from state schools. Rousseff has signed the whole text into law; universities have till 2015 to comply. In practice the law mixes social and racial criteria, taking into account local particularities. It sets aside a quarter of all places in federal universities for students from families with an income less than or equal to one and a half times the minimum wage ($460). The other quarter will be allocated to students according to their self-declared skin colour.

According to the daily O Globo the law will more than double the number of affirmative-action places in Rio’s four federal universities. They currently set aside 5,400 places for social quotas, but under the new arrangements their number will rise to 12,350. Opponents of the quota system have condemned the “racialisation” of Brazil, rooted in an increasingly ethnic approach to social affairs. Above all the ensuing debate seems to have put an end to the myth of racial democracy, in which skin colour does not count.

A major change is apparently underway in what the sociologist Alberto Guerreiro Ramos called “the most racist country in the world”, during the military dictatorship in the 1980s, a view endorsed by most of the experts Le Monde talked to. “The quotas are the only alternative to the mechanisms of concealment and social exclusion set up since the end of slavery,” says Spiritos Santos, the author of a lively blog on racial issues.

“This new phase is a revolution for Brazil,” says David Raimundo dos Santos, a Franciscan friar who heads Educafro, an NGO that campaigns to gain access to education for coloured people. He believes that blacks, once slave to a master, are now slaves to a system. “Brazil is waking up and can now claim to have found a method for integration,” he adds.

Since independence in 1822, the Brazilian elite has sought to deny the nation’s African roots. “In an effort to glorify the past, while making no concessions to the Portuguese, the elite started by promoting the Indians, the original masters of the land and no threat to the slave-makers,” says the historian Richard Marin. Blacks were sidelined. Even the abolitionist writer Ruy Barbosa de Oliveirato, then finance minister, authorised much of the government records of slavery to be destroyed in 1890.

When slavery was finally abolished the former captives were left to fend for themselves. Unlike Abraham Lincoln, who established 4,000 schools for former slaves, Brazil did not open a single one. “With no land nor education, cut off from any social organisation, the enfranchised blacks were condemned to misery,” according to historian Alain Rouquié. “The long-awaited abolition ultimately entrenched inequality.”

Prior to the financial crisis of 1929 the boom in coffee production attracted 4 million immigrants from Europe with little concern for the country’s colonial past. On the grounds that this young and prosperous nation could not flourish with a largely black population, European immigration was encouraged in order to “whiten” Brazil, to limpar o sangue (cleanse the blood).

Efforts to reassert the country’s racial legacy started in the 1920s with Brazilian Modernism, which cast off Europe’s academic strictures, and the novels of Mario de Andrade, which focused on the switch from a white to a black culture. In the 1930s the work of sociologist Gilberto Freyre – in particular Casa Grande e Senzala (Masters and Slaves) – highlighted racial mixing as one of Brazil’s defining features. He made no distinction between the three main ethnic groups – Africans, Indians and Portuguese.

This concept, which contrasted with the north American segregationist model, proved very popular in Brazil, boosting the legitimacy of the authoritarian Estado Novo regime, in power during the second world war. Half-white, half-black Nossa Senhora da Conceiçao Aparecida became the country’s patron saint.

But there was a big gap between the supposed racial democracy and the actual condition of many Afro-Brazilians, the victims of racism. Concealed by the absence of legal segregation and the warmth of social intercourse, this “cordial racism” was denied.

The debate on quotas started in the 1990s under President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. He set up working groups to discuss public action to promote the black community and made it compulsory for official documents to indicate skin colour. In 2002 Bahia State University introduced racial quotas, gradually followed by about 60 other establishments.

Under Lula, the explicit goal of racial quotas was to compensate for the racial discrimination endured by blacks. After 10 years of debate and experiment the ruling by the supreme court endorses this approach.

The streets of the Valongo neighbourhood have just been paved over and re-opened to traffic. This evening the first episode of a telenovela(soap), Lado a Lado (side by side) will be broadcast. It is the story of a black community after the abolition of slavery. “It is an exciting and as yet little known period,” said the lead actor, Lazaro Ramos. Could he be joking?

 

This article appeared in Guardian Weeklywhich incorporates material from Le Monde

Teacher at Manhattan elementary school asks students to subtract and multiply slaves

 

link

Two Manhattan teachers are in hot water over an offensive homework lesson that used killing and whipping slaves to teach subtraction and multiplication.

Public School 59 teacher Jane Youn, 32, sent the boneheaded questions home with her fourth-graders in January.

One question focused on a ship loaded with 3,799 slaves. “One day, the slaves took over the ship. 1,897 are dead. How many slaves are alive?” the question read.

Another word problem used the example of a slave who “got whipped five times a day,” then asked students to calculate the number of whippings he received in a month.

Education officials said that fourth-graders at the midtown school wrote the questions themselves after Youn told them to blend lessons they learned in social studies class with their math assignments. Youn gave them to students as homework.

A woman who answered the door at Youn’s upper East Side high-rise refused to comment. “I don’t want to participate,” she said.

A second PS 59 teacher, Jacqueline Vitucci, made copies of the questions and planned to give them to her students, but decided against it. A woman who answered Vitucci’s cell phone declined to comment to a Daily News reporter.

“Oh my God, it’s a reporter. Don’t say anything,” she said, before hanging up.

School statistics show the student body at the E. 56th St. school is 60% white — higher than the city average — while just 5% of students are African-American.

Parents at the well-off school were shocked by the flap. “I don’t think that’s reflective at all of what the school is about,” said one parent who asked not be named.

Principal Adele Schroeter said she was “appalled” by the incident and ordered sensitivity training for the entire staff.

Youn and Vitucci will face disciplinary action, said schools spokeswoman Connie Pankratz. She would not provide details or say whether the teachers will remain in their classrooms.

Sistahs L-O-V-E Their White Daddy! ! by Tommy Sotomayor

 

 

link

A library that covered up a drawing of a black female slave having Coitus with a white man after workers found it inappropriate has put it on display again.

The drawing, created by black artist Kara Walker, shows the horrors many blacks faced after the Civil War and during reconstruction and includes a depiction of a slave performing oral Coitus. It also depicts hooded Ku Klux Klan members standing around a burning cross.