Charles Jacobs has a very good question — why haven’t you heard about this?
Every day across Africa, black men, women, and children are captured, bought, and sold into slavery with the Western world paying scant attention.
Every day across the African continent, black men, women, and children are captured, bought, and sold into slavery with the Western world paying scant attention. Human rights groups have marched and battled against abuses noticeably less cruel and evil than human bondage, yet no major organization has attempted to free today’s black slaves, much less taken meaningful steps to raise awareness about their plight.
For instance, in Mauritania, although slavery has been legally banned five times since 1961, it nevertheless persists with tens of thousands of blacks continuing to be held in bondage. While it is forbidden in the Qur’an for Muslims to enslave fellow Muslims, in Mauritania, racism trumps religious doctrine — as it did in the West — as Arab and Berber Muslims enslave African Muslims.
Twenty-five years ago, Mohamed Athié, a political refugee from Mauritania, and I broke the story of a modern-day black slave trade in The New York Times. Our nascent American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG) mobilized the public, and piqued media interest. In Sudan, tens of thousands of African women and children from mostly Christian villages were being enslaved during the jihad raids of the Second Sudanese Civil War.
Americans heard stories of abduction, rape, beatings, forced conversions, and genital mutilation. Between 1995 and 2011, Christian Solidarity International, a grassroots human rights group, liberated more than 100,000 of these slaves in European- and American-funded slave buy-backs.
President George W. Bush, moved by the plight of the slaves, helped the black south split off and eventually form South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, in 2011. It was estimated then that as many as 35,000 blacks remained enslaved in the north. Nobody knows how many are there today.
Read more: The Federalist
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