Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Quote of the day...

"[it] is contrary to the teachings of the fundamental text of Islamic law, the Quran ... [and] amounts to the expropriation from muslims of their goods; goods that were acquired legally. The state, if it is Islamic, does not have the right to seize my house, my wife or my slave."

-Imam El Hassan Ould Benyamin of Tayarat speaking in response to proposals to criminalize slavery in Mauritania.

In 2007 slavery was formally outlawed there after several previous attempts to outlaw slavery had failed. However various international human rights groups report that about 600,000 people (about 20% of the population & mostly black) are nonetheless held as slaves in Mauritania. Enforcement of anti-slavery laws there and in many other parts of Africa, especially predominantly Muslim countries, remains poor to non-existent. Although technically illegal in virtually every country in the world it is more or less openly practiced in many.

The "technically illegal" part is increasingly under direct attack by Islamic fundamentalists who regard slavery as a perfectly legitimate institution sanctioned and even mandated by the Quran and Sharia (Islamic Law).


Anonymous said...

Well, slavery was considered perfectly legitimate and Biblical by Christians until the U.S. Civil War.

Wordsmyth said...


I appreciate your discussion of this issue. I'd like to write about it myself one of these days.