Sharia Alert: the Qur’an takes slavery for granted. There has never been a Muslim Wilberforce. “Slavery: Still A Painful Reality In Mauritania,” from ANSAmed, February 10 (thanks to Insubria):
(ANSAmed) – TUNIS, FEBRUARY 10 – “Slavery is a painful reality in Mauritania” said President of the Mauritanian organisation SOS Slaves Bairam Ould Messaoud, at a debate in Tunis. “There are families who still have slaves and use them in their homes and farms, without any intervention by the authorities”, especially in the far east and south of the country. Ould Messaoud pointed out that slavery has been against the law since 1984, and said that the ban has never fully worked because “slaves are tied to their owners by intellectual, religious and financial bonds“.
He also pointed out that the government made reforms to the law in 2006, tightening financial sanctions against law breakers. However, added President of the Association of Women Support of the Family, Aminatou Bent, this law has never been observed in practice. And she maintains that the authorities are doing little “to end the suffering of many young women who are victims of varying types of abuse, including sexual abuse”. Young women who are usually taken from the poorest regions of the country, or who have come to the capital to escape areas affected by the droughts of recent years, according to Sarah Al Sadeq, a Mauritanian activist. In her opinion government action is completely insufficient in tackling and even in recognising the situation. Unfortunately, she said “community organisations do not have the financial resources to draw up precise classifications, while the authorities are unlikely to give much attention to the problem”.
According to Mauritanian journalist Maryam Bent Mohamed Laghzaf, “freed slaves cannot be socially independent, as they are in a state of poverty. Because true slavery is financial, and not racial, as many people assume. Many patrons have freed their slaves, but the freed slaves find themselves in very difficult economic circumstances which make them want to go back to living under the authority of their former patrons”. “The State”, said Mohamad Lamain Ould Idad, Human Rights commissioner for Mauritania “is currently engaged in a fight against the effects of slavery and is offering equal opportunities for all social categories”. In his opinion the Mauritanian government insists that slavery belongs to the past and what little remains of it will soon disappear. (ANSAmed).