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Farrakhan's Secret Relationship
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan addressed an estimated 600 students at UC Berkeley last Saturday, and told  Black students not to befriend any Jew without first reading “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews,” a book whose thesis is that “the Jews” were behind the black slave trade.  Heck of a way to start up a friendship!

(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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Free, Feed and Heal the Captives As South Sudan begins the process of nation building, we are concerned about the fate of estimated tens of thousands of Southerners still enslaved in the north. Those freed report daily beatings, rape (of girls, boys and women), and forcible religious conversions. People murdered and mutilated in slave raids, branded like animals. Children sold off and separated from their parents forever.
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Will Freedom Come for Sudan's Slaves? On Jan. 9, the people of South Sudan began their week-long referendum to decide whether to separate from the Arab-Muslim North and form an independent country. But Achol Yum Deng didn't vote. Though she has more reasons to seek separation from the North than most of her countrymen, she couldn't register: Since 1998, Achol was a slave serving her master in the North and was only liberated just before the voting began. Read the Full Story

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International Pressure Reverses Shariah Court Death Sentence for Sudanese Christian Mother

Earlier today, an appeal court in Sudan overturned Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag’s death penalty and released her from jail.
Ibrahim is the woman who had never embraced her absent father’s Muslim faith and whose mother brought her up as a God-fearing Christian. Shariah law demands that such a woman is an apostate and demands either execution or “reversion” to Islam. That, Meriam refused to do. She was willing to die for her faith.
This was her only crime—a refusal to convert or revert to Islam. This exceptionally beautiful woman was arrested and brutalized in a medieval fashion: Chained up in a dark dungeon and forced to give birth on the filthy floor of that very dungeon in chains. The fact that her husband is an American citizen and that her two children, including the daughter born while she was imprisoned, are also American citizens did not sway the Sudanese authorities.
By Dr. Phyllis Chesler

June 23, 2014

Earlier today, an appeal court in Sudan overturned Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag’s death penalty and released her from jail. Ibrahim is the woman who had never embraced her absent father’s Muslim faith and whose mother brought her up as a God-fearing Christian. Shariah law demands that such a woman is an apostate and demands either execution or “reversion” to Islam. That, Meriam refused to do. She was willing to die for her faith. This was her only crime—a refusal to convert or revert to Islam. This exceptionally beautiful woman was arrested and brutalized in a medieval fashion: Chained up in a dark dungeon and forced to give birth on the filthy floor of that very dungeon in chains. The fact that her husband is an American citizen and that her two children, including the daughter born while she was imprisoned, are also American citizens did not sway the Sudanese authorities.

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Tom Gross: The UN's willful ignorance of modern day slavery

Tom Gross: The UN’s willful ignorance of modern-day slavery

 Tom Gross, National Post | Feb 25, 2013 12:01 AM ETTom Gross, left, moderates a panel at the Geneva Summit.

 

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/02/25/tom-gross-the-uns-willful-ignorance-of-modern-day-slavery/

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) begins its annual session in Geneva today by once again disgracing itself through the appointment of the West African country of Mauritania as its vice-president for the next year.

The UNHRC is the organization that, in the past, has cozied up to the Gaddafi and Assad regimes in Libya and Syria; that praised Sri Lanka’s human-rights record shortly after that country’s military killed more than 40,000 Tamil civilians; and that still exhibits at the entrance to its meeting hall, two pieces of art, one donated by Egypt’s Mubarak regime, the other with a plaque that reads, “A statue of Nemesis, Goddess of justice, donated by the Syrian government.”

It also appointed Alfred De Zayas as one of its leading advisors last December, despite the fact that his books on the Second World War portray Germans as victims and the Allies as perpetrators of “genocide.” De Zayas, while not denying the Holocaust himself, has nonetheless become a hero to many Holocaust deniers, and his sayings are featured on many of their websites. He has called for Israel to be expelled from the UN, while defending the ruthless Iranian regime.

And now Mauritania has been chosen by the UNHRC to help preside over worldwide human rights for the next 12 months. Mauritania, although all-but ignored by mainstream human-rights groups, is a country that allows 20% of its citizens, about 800,000 people, some as young as 10, to live as slaves.


Contemporary Child Slavery in Mauritania

By Libbie Snyder

For the past 800 years, child slaves in Mauritania have been as invisible in their own community as the country’s institution of slavery has been to international eyes.  In Mauritania today, an estimated one million of the population live as slaves and approximately half of slaves are children.  Slavery in Mauritania is unique not only for its centuries-old continuation, but also for its deep-rooted acceptance in the minds of the slaves.  Child slavery is fundamentally ingrained into a hierarchical social structure whereby slaves are born, raised, and die all the while accepting their inherited status.  Unlike the Atlantic slave trade, little violence is necessary to maintain Mauritanian slaves’ subordination, as few question their position or even contemplate escape.  As a result, child slaves in Mauritania experience greater independence and less violent treatment than slaves in different societies, such as Sudan.  However, Mauritania’s slavery is unique for its quality of acceptance among all members of society so that escaped or freed slaves are not welcomed and face limited to zero opportunities for success or advancement.  Ultimately, enslavement in Mauritania is more of a mental mindset than a physical constraint.  This paper will analyze the various forces that maintain child slavery; these include the country’s social structure, corruption in the government, religious doctrine, racism, heredity, and attitudes of the slaves themselves.  The combination of these factors interacting in an 800-year old system results in what one abolitionist described as “what the American plantation owners dreamed of—the breeding of perfectly submissive slaves”.

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Eradicating slavery

This article was first published in The Jerusalem Post Magazine
Eradicating slavery
By Niv Elis
One man's passion to end slavery in Sudan may be making a significant impact, but why don't human rights groups seem to be doing their job? And what does this all mean for Israel?
Two things would never be the same after Charles Jacobs, a management consultant from Boston, read a tiny sidebar on page 47 of The Economist on his way home from a business trip in 1994: the focus of his life's work and the fate of thousands of Sudanese slaves.
The small box of an article mentioned that Sudanese men and women were being sold for about $10 apiece in a slave trade sparked by civil war.
"To hear that you could buy and sell black people - first of all it's crazy that nobody knew about it," Jacobs told The Jerusalem Post Magazine on a recent visit to Israel.
But after doing some digging, he discovered another shocking fact.
Charles Jacobs with freed slaves (January, 2011)
Photo by Christian Solidarity International
"Everybody who was supposed to know about this knew about it. Amnesty International had files and files and files about Mauritania and Sudan, North African slaves, the United Nations had files and files and files, Human Rights Watch had files and files and files." But nobody was doing anything about it.
Indeed, the secret of modern day slavery was out in the open, available to anyone who bothered to find out about it. A 2002 State Department report on the topic said the practice of slavery in Sudan was "extensively documented" by groups such as Human Rights Watch (HRW), Anti-Slavery International and the UN.
"The revival of Sudanese slavery was documented and well known in governmental and NGO circles since the mid-1980s," says Christian Solidarity International, an NGO active in the cause of Sudanese slavery.
From the time it declared independence from Britain and Egypt in 1956, Sudan has been ravaged by war over land, religion, race, oil resources and freedom. Half a million people died in its 17-year first civil war, which began before the country's official independence, and some two million people died when the conflict flared up again in 1983. The second civil war lasted 22 years and resulted in the South's secession as the world's newest country in July 2011.
It was during the latter civil war that slavery made a comeback in Sudan. Although "hostage-taking" was common practice between feuding tribes and agrarian groups that depended on shared resources, these abductions were usually resolved through payment. But one group, the Muslim Arab Baggara of the North, took a different approach, taking members of the Dinka tribe, their Southern neighbors, as slaves during raids.
Jacobs with South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (January, 2011)
Photo by Christian Solidarity International
According to the US State Department, "it is only in Baggara raids on non-Muslim southerners that some people are taken as slaves." Part of the reason is that the Sudanese government supported and armed the group, giving it both implicit political backing and resources, meaning that it did not have to resolve disputes with the Dinka to gain access to their land and water.
Arab, Islamized groups attempting to dominate or assimilate peripheral groups like the Dinka referred to them using derogatory terms like zuruq (blacks) and abid (slave). There were also racial and religious components to the attacks; reading about them was the first time Jacobs had ever encountered the word jihad.
"This was not Western slavery where you need musculature to do cotton, this was concubinage - you used the women to multiply your civilization through their wombs," says Jacobs, who went on to write the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on modern slavery.
"There are slaves in Pakistan, there are debt-bonded slaves, chocolate slaves, there are people that weave the rugs that we walk on in our nice middle-class lives." But in Sudan, it was the worst. "Horrible. As a Jew, I saw it as: you're a small people, nobody cares, you're going to get really hurt."
As one might imagine, the life of a slave is unforgiving.
Men are typically forced to tend livestock in cattle camps or work agricultural fields, while women perform domestic and field labor, according to CSI. "Sexual abuse of slaves is widespread, especially, but not exclusively, amongst female slaves. Beatings, death threats, forced conversions, forced labor, racial and religious insults are commonplace," CSI says. Horror stories abound; the US State Department reports stories of a boy who saw his brother murdered during his abduction, an eight-year-old beaten for losing a goat, a teenage girl raped, impregnated and left to raise the child of her captor. "Some slaves are executed if they displease their masters," says CSI.
So Jacobs did what he thought any concerned citizen should do: He called his congressman, Barney Frank.
Frank gave him sage advice: get good evidence, and build a strong coalition. At this task, Jacobs turned out to be a master. It may have seemed odd, but he figured that as a Jew, he could create a partnership with Mauritanians Muslims and Christian South Sudanese; all had suffered slavery in their histories.
It took some persuading.
"The Sudanese complained to me, 'we lost two million people, there's a war of extermination against us - some people are calling it a genocide." The enslavement of a few thousand people was surely not as worthy a goal as ending the relentless killing, they argued.
Jacobs had come to believe, however, that people interested in human rights were more likely to act if they felt some link to the oppressor, not the victim.
"It's about expiation. It's about getting off the shame and guilt of colonialism or enslaving of blacks," he said.
To get anything done at all, he explained, they had to "market" what was going on by focusing on the aspect that people would feel guilty about. "America is an abolitionist nation. If we focus on slavery, no one here will be able to not respond," he argued. Without a resonant issue, war in Sudan was to Western eyes "just one more African tragedy," and nobody would take action.
Eventually, the group agreed, and in 1994, Jacobs founded the American Anti-Slavery movement, and co-authored a New York Times op-ed with his Mauritanian colleague Mohamed Athie, pushing the issue of Sudanese slavery into the American consciousness.
He built a political coalition of support that spanned from Rep. Frank on the Left to Pat Robertson on the Right, Evangelical churches and the Congressional Black Caucus.
Even as political awareness arose, however, nothing was being done to free the slaves. Until John Eibner came along. The head of the US branch of international charity and development group Christian Solidarity International, Eibner approached the issue of Sudanese slaves up close, documenting case studies, getting photographs and organizing the first US anti-slavery conference since the civil war.
In Sudan, Eibner discovered that slave-holding Arabs who wanted a de-escalation with the Dinka - and access to their markets and grazing fields - were willing to sell their slaves back into freedom. For $50-110 apiece, he could free slaves and provide them with temporary shelter and food to help them get on their feet. In Jacobs's words, Eibner was "an Indiana Jones traipsing through the desert with bags of cash to buy back slaves."
Jacobs climbed on board, teaming up with Eibner to release as many slaves as possible. The two were understandably taken aback when their efforts were publicly denounced by unlikely critics: the human rights community.
"The problem of slavery in Sudan is a complex one; it cannot be ended solely by efforts to 'redeem' or buy back slaves," Human Rights Watch wrote in a 1999 brief on the issue. A joint statement with the Sudan Council of Churches and the New Sudan Council of Churches said, "With all the good intentions in slave redemption, it does not end slavery." Slavery is a byproduct of the war, they argued, so only reaching a peace agreement could eradicate it. Not only that, but buyback attempts might exacerbate the problem.
"Knowledge that there are foreigners with deep pockets willing to pay to redeem slaves could spur on unscrupulous individuals to make a business out of 'redemption,'" actually creating incentives for more enslavements. Buybacks pose a "real danger of fueling a market in human beings" HRW's advocacy director Reed Brody said at the time.
Some other anti-slavery groups refrained from the practice. Anti-slavery International says it doesn't pay for slaves because of "the danger of perpetuating the cycle of slavery. Slave masters have been known to buy more slaves with their redemption money." Another group, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, stopped redeeming slaves in 2002 after discovering that their interlocutors in the slave-freeing business were defrauding them, "releasing" many people who had never been enslaved.
Jacobs and Eibner dismiss this line of thinking out of hand. Slavery in Sudan, they say, is not driven by economic forces, but political ones, and there is no evidence of a slave market being created. With the local community leaders and the families of the victims on board, and no better alternatives being offered, why not free as many people as possible? In addition, the human rights world had made compromises of its own. The Sudanese government managed to water down a 1999 UN Human Rights commission resolution, ridding it of any mention of slavery whatsoever, substituting the euphemism "abduction."
The Jacobs/Eibner approach received some vindication when, in 2005, the North and South signed a peace deal ending the civil war and paving the way for a referendum that would see the creation of South Sudan as the newest sovereign state in July 2011. As the human rights critics had hoped, the slave trade ended with the war. CSI estimates that more 35,000 slaves remain captive in the North, but without their efforts, there would have been many more - to the tune of 80,000 more, they say
Through continuing his efforts to free slaves, Jacobs has set his sights on a new goal as well: finding ways that Israel can help South Sudan, and vice versa.
The new state is inherently pro-Israel, Jacobs says, having fought off an Islamist enemy and overcome a history of slavery.
"It's an extraordinary historical moment that you have the newest country in the world embracing Israel," Jacobs says.
In his view, Israel has a lot to offer South Sudan, one of the poorest countries in the world. After all, Israel has some experience making the desert bloom.
"Five Israeli agriculturalists sitting there for two weeks could double their agricultural output!" he says. Jacobs even sees opportunity in the waves of Sudanese refugees in Israel, many of whom are eager to return home to their newly independent state. "Israel has an enormous opportunity to educate them while they're here. It would be a wonderful thing. A magnificent thing."
And for its part, Israel, which has already hosted South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit, might gain something valuable in return from South Sudan: an ally in the UN and the notoriously anti-Israel Human Rights Council in particular. Given the Council's past positions on slavery, South Sudan will surely find the chance to make its voice heard there extremely satisfying.

This article was first published in The Jerusalem Post Magazine

By Niv Elis

Two things would never be the same after Charles Jacobs, a management consultant from Boston, read a tiny sidebar on page 47 of The Economist on his way home from a business trip in 1994: the focus of his life's work and the fate of thousands of Sudanese slaves.

The small box of an article mentioned that Sudanese men and women were being sold for about $10 apiece in a slave trade sparked by civil war.

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Over 400 Slaves Freed In Sudan; A Former Slave Testifies in Congress

We had the privilege to accompany Christian Solidarity International-USA on its latest slave liberation mission to South Sudan. Over two days more than 400 South Sudanese were freed and provided with essential humanitarian aid.
Freed slaves with CSI's Sacks of Hope
Below please find a story of one of the freed slaves, Atong Mawien Tong, written by Pastor Heidi McGinness, CSI-USA Director of Outreach.
CSI-USA has also arranged for a former slave Ker Aleu Deng, who was blinded as a result of being brutally tortured by his master, to testify before Congress.
Emancipated Sudanese Slave Tells His Story To Lawmakers
Please watch CBN News report on Ker's testimony.
Ellen Ratner, the White House Correspondent and Bureau Chief for The Talk Radio News Service and a news analyst on The Fox News Channel who brought Ker to the United States, is now working on extending his visa to prevent a deportation.

October 17, 2011

We had the privilege to accompany Christian Solidarity International-USA on its latest slave liberation mission to South Sudan. Over two days more than 400 South Sudanese were freed and provided with essential humanitarian aid.

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                                 Freed slaves are waiting to receive aid

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Terror in Sudan, terror in US

Ten years ago, on 9/11, I missed Mohammed Atta, the lead terrorist, by maybe a half hour at Boston’s Logan airport.
On that glorious morning, with its sun-filled cloudless sky, I caught the first flight from Logan down to Reagan National in Washington. Very shortly after I took off, Atta landed in Boston on his puddle- jumper down from Maine. At Logan, he changed planes for the fateful flight to New York.
For decades, I’d been involved in a campaign against modern-day human bondage. The American Anti-Slavery Group was working to awaken Americans to the plight of slaves around the world, particularly in northern Africa, where for decades the Muslim rulers in Sudan were waging war on that country’s Christian and tribalist south. As part of the onslaught, Arab militias stormed African villages, killed the men and brutally enslaved women and children.
The abolitionist movement had formed an unlikely left/right coalition. We recruited both Barney Frank and Pat Robertson. We attracted Christian evangelicals, who wanted to help Sudan’s Christians, and we organized much of the Congressional Black Caucus, which reacted viscerally to reports that black women and children were being captured, bought and sold.
I was bound for Washington on that 9/11 to join a coalition of Sudan activists at a press conference on Capitol Hill specifically to urge congressional leaders to place “capital market sanctions” on oil companies operating in Sudan and whose profits were fueling the dictatorship’s genocidal slave raids. The sanctions would proscribe Wall Street from trading their shares. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was animated in his opposition.
I was to speak alongside modern day heirs of America’s abolitionist struggle: John Eibner, head of Christian Solidarity International’s slave redemption program; Joe Madison, the “Black Eagle,” a national NAACP board member and Washington radio personality who had taken up the cause in 1995 and repeatedly risked his life to go to Sudan with Eibner to free hundreds of slaves. Rev. Walter Fauntroy – a civil rights veteran who was the main organizer of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 March on Washington – would speak as well.
As I stood in the US Capitol, waiting to deliver my remarks, I reviewed my text, written on yellow legal sheets. It contained a warning: “Wall Street should not trade the shares of companies who do business with the slave-and-terror state of Sudan. … If we sit by and allow this terror in Africa, who is to say where such things will end?”
But I never got a chance to speak.
On televisions in the hearing room images appeared of a plane stuck in the middle of a building in New York City. A burly policeman burst into our conference room, yelling “Everybody out! This building is being evacuated.” As we were herded toward the exits, people spoke of planes striking the World Trade Center. Then we heard that the Pentagon was just hit. When the police said, “A plane is heading for the Capitol building,” we ran. In a flash of paranoia we imagined that terrorist operatives might be hunting down their adversaries. Khartoum had long ago made a list of the human rights advocates who had caused them to be the focus of scorn. None of us could get through to our families on our cell phones. We split up. Eibner and I rushed off in one direction. Fauntroy and Madison in another.
When we booked a hotel room and turned on the TV – there was no traveling that day – terrible ironies began to dawn on me. We learned how hijackers had attacked passengers with box-cutters. I recalled a woman I had met that previous April in Sudan during a liberation mission led by Eibner, with Fauntroy and Madison. In a low voice, she explained how the slave raiders would cut the throats of any women who resisted gangrape.
In Sudan, they didn’t need hidden box-cutters. Though I didn’t get to speak, the hijackers that morning had delivered my message: Trading with terrorists is not just morally wrong, it is deadly.
Even though I had traveled to southern Sudan to see the Ground Zero of slavery, the full scope of our struggle did not hit home until a hijacked airplane crashed into Washington.
As I thought of the American dead, I recalled the Southern Sudanese who had been on the frontlines against jihad terror for decades. We had been trying to tell the world their story for eight years, but the moment the hijacked planes struck our buildings, Americans and the blacks of southern Sudan became brothers and sisters. Ten years ago.

Ten years ago, on 9/11, I missed Mohammed Atta, the lead terrorist, by maybe a half hour at Boston’s Logan airport.  On that glorious morning, with its sun-filled cloudless sky, I caught the first flight from Logan down to Reagan National in Washington. Very shortly after I took off, Atta landed in Boston on his puddle- jumper down from Maine. At Logan, he changed planes for the fateful flight to New York.

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How black slaves helped set South Sudan free

This article was first published in The Jewish Advocate on July 21, 2011
By Charles Jacobs
On July 9, a new African nation – the Republic of South Sudan – was born and days later admitted to the United Nations as its 193rd member. This is an extraordinary development in the history of nation states, replete with marvels, contradictions and ironies: The partition of Africa’s largest country was the result of a halfcentury of armed struggle, yet it culminated peacefully via the ballot box. Courageous Muslim individuals contributed to freeing a Christian and traditionalist South from Islamic rulers. But most wondrous of all: It may well have been South Sudan’s black slaves who set their nation free.
Since the Islamic conquests a millennium ago, Arabs enslaved blacks in Sudan and throughout North Africa. The practice was largely suppressed by the British, but in the early ’90s, when Islamist rulers in the north declared a “holy war” to impose Sharia Law on the South, slavery dramatically surged. Arab militia, armed by Khartoum, stormed the mostly Dinka villages in the South, killed the men and enslaved the women and children. Rights groups reported that tens if not hundreds of thousands of slaves were captured to serve Arab masters in the north. Slave raids took place in the context of mass slaughter: In the ’90s, close to 2 million South Sudanese were killed in the conflict, according to US government agency reports. Reports in the Western media of what later would be called “genocide” were disappointingly sporadic. Christian groups in America dubbed the events in Sudan “the Hidden Holocaust,” but slavery and slaughter continued unabated.
During those years, South Sudanese intellectuals and activists who had fled to the United States tried to pressure American churches, human rights groups, lawmakers and the UN to stop the killings. They were ignored. A war in Sudan? It was one more African tragedy to an America with “compassion fatigue.”
In 1994, The New York Times broke the story of a modern day slave trade in North Africa – written by Mauritanian Muslim refugee Mohammed Athie and me. Athie and I met with leaders of the South Sudanese diaspora in New York and in Washington, D.C., and suggested they campaign against slavery in Sudan. Most agreed, but some were reluctant. Francis Deng, a prominent South Sudanese intellectual, worried that if the South brought up the slave raids, the Arabs would be shamed and then the two peoples could never be at peace. Some New York activists wondered why Americans, who did not bestir themselves over the slaughter of Africans, would care about slavery. Some felt it would be a humiliation to speak publicly of Dinka women and children serving Arabs as concubines and domestics. In the end, there was agreement. Human bondage is a crime against humanity. America is an abolitionist nation that almost tore itself apart over the issue of one man owning another. Americans disagreed on many things – abortion, homosexuality, war, taxes – but we were defined by our devotion to personal liberty. People would listen.
And they did. When the reports of slavery reached the United States, a neo-abolitionist movement took wing. In Boston and Washington, we created an unlikely left/right coalition that included Barney Frank and Pat Robertson; much of the Congressional Black Caucus; and Republican Senator Sam Brownback.
Most important, we linked with the slave liberator John Eibner of Christian Solidarity International (CSI) in Zurich. An American-born intellectualturned activist, Eibner patiently built an “underground railroad,” convincing Arab cattlemen who depended on Dinka grazing lands to return Dinka women and children from captivity. It was Eibner who trudged through the bush, arranging the emancipation of tens of thousands of slaves … all with personal stories of lives in captivity. We helped get these stories in the national press, and Americans took action. When the story of South Sudan is written, Eibner will emerge the shining, legendary figure.
Boston, the center of antislavery efforts during the Civil War, played a key role. Our organization, American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG), educated congressmen, churches and synagogues. Through the Sudanese community here, we discovered Francis Bok, an escaped slave, and helped bring his voice and his story to hundreds of thousands in universities, churches and synagogues across the country. Bok became the first escaped slave to testify in Congress and published a book about his experience.
Prominent black pastors from Roxbury like Gerald and Cynthia Bell and Ray and Gloria White Hammond, along with news anchor Liz Walker, flew to Sudan to witness CSI’s liberations. In September 2000, Coretta Scott King and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino presented AASG with the first Boston Freedom Award for its abolitionist work.
The Sudan Campaign, a national umbrella of concerned organizations, pressed US administrations to intervene. Finally, George W. Bush did. In 2005, under pressure from the United States, South and North Sudan signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement that stopped the war and provided the South with the opportunity to choose independence. On Jan. 9, 2011, 98 percent of the South voted for secession.
This fight for freedom has its Muslim heroes: In 1987, Ushari Mahmoud and Suleiman A. Baldo, two Muslim scholars based in Khartoum, risked their lives documenting the resurgent Arab slave trade. Their report, “Al Diein Massacre and Slavery in Sudan,” evoked scenes that could have been right out of anti-Jewish pogroms and for me was a major source of inspiration. They were imprisoned for writing the report, a summary of which appears in the accompanying box. If these two men could take such risks to expose crimes of their fellow Muslims for the sake of humanity and justice, how could we sit and do nothing?
That lesson lives: Today South Sudan is free, and the slave raids are no more, but the political agreements failed to free the estimated 35,000 slaves remaining in the north. CSI and AASG are – still – determined, and working to set them free.
The massacre in Diein
Here is a summary of “The Diein Massacre and Slavery in Sudan,” written by two Muslim researchers, Ushari Ahmed Mahmud and Suleiman Ali Balbo: In March of 1987, in the town of Diein in Sudan, a group of Arab Muslims from Rizeigat ethnic group attacked a church and homes of their neighbors from an African Dinka tribe, killing five. When the news of the murder spread, thousands of Dinka fled to the nearby town to seek protection from the police and government officials. Some 500 Dinkas barricaded themselves at the police station, while the rest were sent to the train station. They were promised they would be taken to a safe place. As the Dinkas filled the wagons, hundreds of Rizeiga – armed with spears, swords, axes and guns – stormed the station. After preventing the trains from leaving, the mob set the wooden wagons on fire, burning the Dinkas to death. Grass huts were dissembled, the grass brought to the station to help build the fires. The same fate met those who stayed at the police station. More than a thousand Dinka men, women and children lost their lives. Hundreds more were abducted into slavery. One Dinka who survived described how an Arab woman stabbed her with a knife, stole her money and snatched her 4-month-old baby. The police did not intervene.

This article was first published in The Jewish Advocate on July 21, 2011

By Charles Jacobs 

On July 9, a new African nation – the Republic of South Sudan – was born and days later admitted to the United Nations as its 193rd member. This is an extraordinary development in the history of nation states, replete with marvels, contradictions and ironies: The partition of Africa’s largest country was the result of a halfcentury of armed struggle, yet it culminated peacefully via the ballot box. Courageous Muslim individuals contributed to freeing a Christian and traditionalist South from Islamic rulers. But most wondrous of all: It may well have been South Sudan’s black slaves who set their nation free. 

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