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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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Emancipated Nation

By Francis Bok
Most people can think of a day that changed their lives. I can think of two. The first happened twenty four years ago, when at the age of seven I became a slave; the other is coming up in less than a month. It is a day when my people will be free.
On May 15 of 1986, when I was seven years old, my mother sent me to a marketplace in the town of Nyamlell, South Sudan to sell peanuts and eggs. The market was filled with people, sounds, and smells, with half naked children running, smiling, pushing each other. I was happy; I wanted to make my mother proud by selling as many eggs as possible. Suddenly, something happened. We looked up to see cloud of smoke rising from the direction of Gourion, my village. I heard gun shots and stomping of horses’ feet coming fast from the distance. Everybody around me began running in all directions. A wall of dust preceding their arrival, an Arab militia stormed the market.
What followed was a scene of panic, terror and confusion. The Arabs, some on horses, some on feet, were mercilessly killing all the men, shooting some and decapitating others with a single swipe of their swords.  Children around me were screaming and crying in horror; the market place was filling with the bodies of the dead. I tried to run but one of the Arabs grabbed me and loaded me into a basket on his donkey. I was soon joined by other kids. A little girl, who looked no older than twelve, was executed by a point blank shot to her head in front of my eyes. Her crime? She could not stop crying. After the loading was over we began riding into darkness.
That was the beginning of my journey into slavery where for the next ten years I was forced to serve a family of a wealthy Arab Muslim living in North Sudan. Giemma Abdullah, his wife and his children made my life hell during these ten years. They not only made me perform hard labor and sleep with animals, but they also tried to destroy my identity as a Dinka, my tribe.  I was given an Arab name and under the threat of death was forbidden to speak the Dinka language. I was forced to perform Islamic prayers and was constantly taunted as “abeed,” Arabic for “black slave.” After two unsuccessful attempts, I managed to escape and made my way to America. A year later, I joined the modern-day abolitionist movement.
On the day I escaped I did not become a free man. Images of other children still serving masters chained me to my captive nation. My life here has been better than anything a Dinka boy could dream of. Working with the American Anti-Slavery Group, I have travelled across the country and spoken to thousands. I meet and surround myself with people who passionately feel for the suffering of modern day slaves and want to help. I have had the privilege of meeting the American President George W. Bush and the Secretary of the State Madeline Albright. At the same time I always knew that as long as my people are not free, I would remain unfree- I am bound to the people of South Sudan – a nation where chattel slavery has been a perpetual reality from the antiquity to the present day; a nation that will, weeks from now, break the chains and pass to freedom.
Despite an official abolition of slavery in Sudan by the British in 1899, the practice persisted. Fueled by the Northern radical Islamist government’s calls for jihad (holy war) against Christian and animist “infidels,” slave raids intensified during Sudan’s Second Civil War (1983-2005). Over two million South Sudanese, including my father, my mother, my two sisters and many other relatives, were murdered in that war, and four million more became refugees. Slavery, a crime against humanity under international law, was also committed against non-Arab civilians in Nuba Mountains and most recently in the Western region of Darfur.
South Sudanese civil authorities estimate that up to 200,000 of blacks, mostly women and children, were enslaved during Khartoum’s jihad. As a result of an incredible work done by the human rights organization Christian Solidarity International (CSI) many were freed, but an estimated 35,000 still remain in captivity. The horrific suffering endured by the slaves and meticulously documented by the CSI is no less than shocking. Fourteen year-old Ker Aleu Deng, liberated by the CSI this last September, was hung upside down from a tree by his master who then rubbed chili peppers into his eyes leaving Ker blinded. Majok Majok Dhal, 15, was stabbed in a leg for refusing to work when he had fever. Abuk Ngor Anyuon, liberated in December, was forcibly converted to Islam and circumcised. Her master sold off two of her sons and cut off her finger for disobedience. CSI reported that the “overwhelming majority of slaves had been subjected to physical and psychological abuse, including rape, death threats, female genital mutilation, forced labor, beatings, and forced conversion to Islam.”
On January 9 of 2011, I will be thirty four years old and my life will change forever. On that historic day I will no longer belong to a captive nation, because for the first time ever my people will be given a choice – by vote — to secede from the North or to remain a part of the unified Sudan. The referendum was mandated under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), brokered by the United States in 2005, that stopped the genocide. America, we will be forever in your debt. There is no doubt in my mind that on that day we will choose freedom over slavery; our own culture over Arabization; our own religions over Islamization; equality over racism and supremacism. On that historic day the people of South Sudan will vote for a new independent African nation based on principles of democracy, freedom and equality for all!
Several challenges remain: the Northern government is working hard to sabotage the vote and provoke another war; the South faces a “humanitarian catastrophe” as it prepares to absorb masses of refugees from the North; the borders have not been demarcated and there is no agreement on oil sharing. In other words, it is not entirely clear what the immediate future holds for my people. What is clear, however, is that we will never go back to bondage, oppression and domination and that because of our tremendous sacrifices – and American help — a new nation will be born – a nation of free men.

January 9, 2011

This article was first published in Big Peace

By Francis Bok

Most people can think of a day that changed their lives. I can think of two. The first happened twenty four years ago, when at the age of seven I became a slave; the other is coming up in less than a month. It is a day when my people will be free.

On May 15 of 1986, when I was seven years old, my mother sent me to a marketplace in the town of Nyamlell, South Sudan to sell peanuts and eggs. The market was filled with people, sounds, and smells, with half naked children running, smiling, pushing each other. I was happy; I wanted to make my mother proud by selling as many eggs as possible. Suddenly, something happened. We looked up to see cloud of smoke rising from the direction of Gourion, my village. I heard gun shots and stomping of horses’ feet coming fast from the distance. Everybody around me began running in all directions. A wall of dust preceding their arrival, an Arab militia stormed the market.

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Ignoring the slave trade

This article originally appeared in The Jewish Advocate
By Charles Jacobs & Sasha Giller
January 6, 2011
Friends of Israel have long fumed over what they felt was the human rights community’s disproportionate and unfair criticism of the Jewish state: Major rights organizations typically portray Israel as among the cruelest of nations, while this planet’s actual dictatorships and tyrannies get wrist slaps.
Last year, this charge was bolstered by scandals engulfing Human Rights Watch (HRW), an NGO behemoth with an annual budget of $44 million.
In October, Robert L. Bernstein, HRW’s founder and a former chairman, blasted his own organization in The New York Times for obsessively focusing on Israel, while ignoring authoritarian Arab and Iranian regimes and terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. Bernstein charged that HRW “lost critical perspective on a conflict” by blaming Israel, the “repeated victim of aggression.”
HRW used Bernstein’s criticism to raise funds from Israel’s adversaries. The Wall Street Journal reported that HRW officials visited Saudi Arabia and bragged to potential donors about the organization’s “battles with pro-Israel pressure groups in the US.” HRW’s head Kenneth Roth affirmed this account and even admitted his focus on Gaza was intentional. “It’s not that we’re exclusively focusing on Israel. But if the question is, ‘Why are we more concerned about the [Gaza] war rather than on other rights abuses [in Israel]?’ Well, we’ve got to pick and choose; we’ve got finite resources,” he told Tablet Magazine.
What’s the basis of Roth’s selectivity? A study published in Foreign Policy by two university sociologists from Canada, James Ron and Howard Ramos, found that HRW’s bias extends beyond Israel: HRW publications pay little attention to the “worst places on earth” in terms of poverty, repression and conflict. What explains this bizarre focus?
We have proposed a theory – The Human Rights Complex – to explain this human rights “selectivity.” Western rights groups, predominantly composed of decent white folks, seek to scold behavior they deem immoral – but only when it’s committed by people like themselves. When confronted with evil committed by non-Westerners, rights advocates avert their eyes. Off the record, rights activists explain that Westerners don’t have moral standing to criticize “others.” “We,” after all, stole the land from the Indians, enslaved blacks, invaded other countries or what have you. In truth, however, in today’s PC world, criticizing the “other” invites painful accusations of bigotry, racism and Islamophobia. Criticizing your own is saintly. HRW’s recent Saudi visit did not establish this long settled policy. It was simply meant to monetize it.
But who’s the real victim here? While these virtue-seeking folks march under the banner of “not in my name,” as they morally preen in the hope of ridding themselves of the taint of “Western crimes,” they do enormous damage, yes to Israelis and Americans, but much more to the millions of victims of non-Western oppressors their much touted “compassion” conveniently ignores.
HRW’s treatment of Mauritania’s black slaves cinches our case. The Islamic Republic of Mauritania has more slaves per capita than any other nation on Earth. It abolished slavery in 1905, 1961 and 1980; the country criminalized it in 2007, but the UN, the US State Department, and Amnesty International report that slavery continues. According to UN reports – confirmed by our Mauritanian abolitionist allies – slaves in Mauritania are the wholly owned property of masters, passed on through their estates, like furniture or cattle. Slave girls are given as wedding gifts.
You might think black slaves would be a top priority for an American rights champion. But there’s a problem. While the slaves are African, their masters are not white Europeans; they are Arab-Berber Muslims.
HRW knows all this but won’t tell anybody. Its reports have mentioned slavery in Mauritania only four times since 1994. Why? Because there is no political gain, no expiation, no dollars – or dinars.
Actually, HRW once – just once – did tell the truth. In 1994, HRW’s Africa bureau made it clear that slavery in Mauritania was part of a general program to Islamize and Arabize the country’s Africans. Their one report went on to describe several tortures inflicted upon “uppity” slaves, among them the Camel Treatment: “The slave’s legs are tied to the sides of a camel who has deliberately been denied water for up to two weeks. The camel is then taken to drink and as the camel’s stomach expands, the slave’s legs, thighs and groin are slowly dislocated.”
The human rights movement, founded in response to the civilized world’s failure to act during the Holocaust, was originally dedicated to Western values of freedom – and a universal standard of human conduct. No more. After valiantly fighting Soviet tyranny, the rights movement morphed into its current anti-Western posture. Once, in the 1990s, HRW told the world that Arabs have black slaves. That report actually led to a popular movement in the US to end slavery around the world. But today, as its officials tell us, HRW has other fish to fry, and so it has abandoned these, and millions whose oppressors are non-Westerners – people whose suffering it deems to be none of its business. It doesn’t do “human rights.” It’s doing something else.

This article originally appeared in The Jewish Advocate

By Charles Jacobs & Sasha Giller

January 6, 2011

Friends of Israel have long fumed over what they felt was the human rights community’s disproportionate and unfair criticism of the Jewish state: Major rights organizations typically portray Israel as among the cruelest of nations, while this planet’s actual dictatorships and tyrannies get wrist slaps.
Last year, this charge was bolstered by scandals engulfing Human Rights Watch (HRW), an NGO behemoth with an annual budget of $44 million.



In October, Robert L. Bernstein, HRW’s founder and a former chairman, blasted his own organization in The New York Times for obsessively focusing on Israel, while ignoring authoritarian Arab and Iranian regimes and terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. Bernstein charged that HRW “lost critical perspective on a conflict” by blaming Israel, the “repeated victim of aggression.”

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Freeing Jihad slaves in Sudan

If you think that enslaving blacks ended in the 19th century, you are dead wrong. Last week 603 black women and children were freed from the horrors of chattel slavery that to this day exists in Sudan, Africa’s largest country. Christian Solidarity International USA, a Christian human rights organization, frees slaves in Sudan. The stories the freed slaves tell them are simply horrific.
Abuk Ngor Anyuon was forcibly converted to Islam; her genitalia mutilated. Two of her sons were sold off to another master and her finger was cut off. Akuc Kiir Deng also accepted Islam under the threat of death. Akuc was blinded and ritually circumcised, and two of her children were taken from her. Akuot Anei Wol, freed last September, recollects: “I lost my sight in my eye soon after I was captured. I was still just a girl then. My master’s wife was called Howah. She made me grind grain and clean the house. One day, she was angry and accused me of failing to wash the dishes and sweep the floor properly. Howah grabbed a horse whip and struck me in the face. It hit me in the eye. I lost sight immediately. Howah said: “I’ll blind your other eye if you don’t work.”
Slavery in Sudan, a centuries-old phenomenon, gained widespread publicity in the United States in the 90’s. At that time an Arab regime in the Northern Sudan declared a “holy war” (jihad) against the African population of the South, which is largely Christian and animist. Arab militias, sponsored by the government and often joined by the Sudanese army, raided hundreds of villages, executing the men and taking women and children into slavery in the North. Unlike in the American South, slave owners in Sudan do not need the muscles of men to work plantations: they use boys as goat herds, and women for sex and for their wombs, to produce children who will be Muslims.
When confronted with facts of modern-day enslavement of blacks in the 1990’s, many Americans joined the neo-abolitionist movement spearheaded by groups like CSI in Europe and our own American Anti-Slavery Group. Some donated and raised funds to free Sudanese slaves; others participated in demonstrations and lobbied politicians. CSI’s emancipation operations were extensively covered by the media. The movement’s efforts bore fruit when the US-brokered Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) forced the suspension of the slave raids in 2005.
As a consequence, Americans’ interest in Sudanese slaves decreased. Today, when up to 35,000 of blacks are still enslaved by the Arabs in the North, the media has fallen silent on the issue. Human rights giants like Human Rights Watch, which were never particularly helpful, also abandoned these slaves: a simple search of HRW’s website for “Sudan slavery” reveals that its most recent related report dates back to 2003.
As Sudan approaches January 9, 2011 – the day the Southerners are scheduled to vote to remain with the North or to secede – the chances to emancipate those still in bondage become increasingly smaller. Most experts believe the South will vote for independence. No one can predict the Muslim reaction in the North to the South’s choice of freedom. There is the possibility of revenge attacks and acts of violence against the slaves and other Southerners living in the North. Some even think the North-South war might be rekindled.
Yesterday The New York Times reported on a speech given by Sudan’s President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, an indicted war criminal, who promised to impose Islamic Law (Shariah) in the North in case separation. “Shariah and Islam will be the main source for the Constitution, Islam the official religion and Arabic the official language,” he said. Al-Bashir also indicated that in his future state there will be no protection for non-Arab, non-Muslim minorities: “If South Sudan secedes, we will change the Constitution, and at that time there will be no time to speak of diversity of culture and ethnicity.” Interestingly, The New York Times “forgot” to report on his recent statement reflective of the state he envisions. Commenting on the popular YouTube video that shows a woman being flogged in public by the police, Al Bashir said: “If she is lashed according to Shariah law, there is no investigation. Why are some people ashamed? This is Shariah.”
CSI and the AASG are determined to liberate as many slaves as possible before the referendum takes place.
This article originally appeared on Bigpeace

By Charles Jacobs and Sasha Giller

December 22, 2010

If you think that enslaving blacks ended in the 19th century, you are dead wrong. Last week 603 black women and children were freed from the horrors of chattel slavery that to this day exists in Sudan, Africa’s largest country. Christian Solidarity International USA, a Christian human rights organization, frees slaves in Sudan. The stories the freed slaves tell them are simply horrific.

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Barefoot walk through Congress

Simon Deng has completed his barefoot walk through Congress. Simon visited the offices of all 535 members of Congress asking them to support the people of South Sudan as they prepare to vote in the referendum scheduled for January 9, 2011.

November 26, 2010

Simon Deng completed his barefoot walk through Congress. Simon visited the offices of all 535 members of Congress asking them to support the people of South Sudan as they prepare to vote in the referendum scheduled for January 9, 2011.

We thank the Institute on Religion & Democracy and Save Darfur Coalition for joining Simon on his walk.

A special appreciation goes to Faith McDonnell of IRD for her extraordinary help with this initiative.

A barefoot walk for freedom

A barefoot walk for freedom
November 18, 2010
By Charles Jacobs and Sasha Giller
Most Jews think we have a special responsibility to educate the world about the horrors of genocide – and to prevent other occurrences. Thus, when in 2003 the world learned about the Sudanese government’s campaign to destroy the African people of Darfur in Western Sudan, Jews played a leading role in the movement to stop it. Indeed, Khartoum’s supporters call the Save Darfur Campaign “a Zionist plot.” Presently, another region of Sudan – the South – may tragically become a scene of even worse mass killings.
On Jan. 9, according to an American-brokered peace agreement, the African people of South Sudan will vote on whether to separate from the Arab-dominated North and create their own state. Considering the North’s history of slaughtering Southerners – and that 85 percent of Sudan’s oil is found in the South – it is highly uncertain whether the government in Khartoum will allow a peaceful separation. Indeed, Omar al- Bashir, an indicted war criminal who heads the regime, declared he will not accept anything but unity. Observers fear he’ll launch an attack.
As the date of the referendum approaches, the Sudanese Diaspora here is making an extraordinary effort to educate Americans about the possible catastrophe awaiting their people, and to persuade President Barack Obama to show leadership on Sudan. About a month ago an escaped Sudanese slave Simon Deng, who works with our Boston-based American Anti-Slavery Group, marched 250 miles from New York to Washington to bring attention to the danger of another spate of slaughter. Last week he began walking barefoot through Congress (in solidarity with those of his people who fled village raiders unshod) to make sure Sudan’s plight stays on the agenda of US politicians. Simon will spend these two weeks visiting the offices of all 535 Congress people to warn them about the possibility of genocide. A look at Sudan’s history makes it easy to understand Simon’s grim outlook.
Since Sudan gained independence in 1956 its indigenous African peoples – Christians, Muslims and tribalists – have all been subjected to social, economic and political oppression by various Arab regimes in Khartoum. Khartoum’s goal has always been to Arabize and Islamize Sudan’s Africans. The methods include cultural marginalization, ethnic cleansing, mass slaughter and enslavement. The Arab/ African conflict sharply intensified in 1989 when a military coup brought to power a radical Islamist regime rooted in the ideology of Muslim Brotherhood, the same ideology that inspires and guides Al-Qaeda. Khartoum declared a “holy war” (jihad) against Christian and tribalist Africans in the South.
According to reports to Congress, between 1983 and 2005 the assault from Khartoum took the lives of more than 2 million South Sudanese, displaced 4 million, and enslaved tens of thousands. Human rights groups reported that the Khartoum regime and its allied Arab militias forcibly starved and indiscriminately bombed civilians, burned villages, and raped and enslaved women and children. A very similar pattern was also observed in the Nuba Mountains and most recently in Darfur.
In 1991, our organization, the American Anti-Slavery Group – with Jewish, Muslim and Christian leadership – broke the story of the enslavement of Africans in Sudan in The New York Times and then stoked a grass roots abolitionist campaign. We joined the Swiss-based Christian Solidarity International on trips they led to redeem and interview slaves. The slavery issue garnered massive press coverage and sparked popular demands for US action. Eventually President George W. Bush was persuaded to intervene. In 2005, after years of grass roots campaigning, American diplomatic pressure stopped the North- South war.
Actually, it was an unlikely left/right coalition that stopped the war in Sudan. We recruited both Barney Frank and Pat Robertson – but never put them in the same room! The Left cared about human rights violations, especially against black Africans, while the Christian Right understood the attack on the South as part of an anti-Christian jihad. The overwhelmingly Democratic Black Congressional Caucus pressed American administrations to act. They worked well with Republican Senator Sam Brownback, a modern-day abolitionist.
The upcoming referendum can be a moment of freedom – or a reversion to massive bloodshed. To a large extent the outcome depends on us Americans – Christians, Muslims, and Jews – because it is only the US leadership that can prevent a war in Sudan.
We are working to re-invigorate the left/right Sudan coalition here. We urge you to educate your friends and family, your colleagues and your elected representatives about the plight of the marginalized Sudanese. It is clearly a humanitarian, and a Jewish, obligation.
This article was first published in The Jewish Advocate

November 18, 2010

By Charles Jacobs and Sasha Giller 

Most Jews think we have a special responsibility to educate the world about the horrors of genocide – and to prevent other occurrences. Thus, when in 2003 the world learned about the Sudanese government’s campaign to destroy the African people of Darfur in Western Sudan, Jews played a leading role in the movement to stop it. Indeed, Khartoum’s supporters call the Save Darfur Campaign “a Zionist plot.” Presently, another region of Sudan – the South – may tragically become a scene of even worse mass killings. 

On Jan. 9, according to an American-brokered peace agreement, the African people of South Sudan will vote on whether to separate from the Arab-dominated North and create their own state. Considering the North’s history of slaughtering Southerners – and that 85 percent of Sudan’s oil is found in the South – it is highly uncertain whether the government in Khartoum will allow a peaceful separation. Indeed, Omar al- Bashir, an indicted war criminal who heads the regime, declared he will not accept anything but unity. Observers fear he’ll launch an attack. 

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Simon Deng Speaks at the Holocaust Museum in DC

November 8th, 2010

American Anti-Slavery Group commends the Holocaust Museum for raising awareness about Sudan and for hosting Simon Deng who spoke at the opening ceremony of special nighttime exhibition “Our Walls Bear Witness: Sudan at the Crossroads."

Part 1



Part 2



Sudanese Diaspora Leaders Angry at Obama

A photographer and a blogger El Marco has interviewed Sudanese Diaspora leaders, including the AASG's Associates Francis Bok and Simon Deng, about their views on President Obama's Sudan policy.

Here are some experts from the article that originally appeared on Looking at the Left Blog.

October 25, 2010

Asked about the Obama administration’s commitment to peace, Francis Bok said:

"We are so worried now about how the U.S. is going to protect us on this. Because we don’t see them speaking that much. I am not willing to be once again forced into slavery by the northern Sudanese oppressors. For over 50 years my people have been oppressed and marginalized by these people who reached power in 1956. My people want to be a free nation, and rule ourselves like other societies. Three million southern Sudanese people have been slaughtered by the radicalist, extremist fundamentalist regime in Khartoum."

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