Picture: African News Agency (ANA) – An anti-slavery protest in Mauritania earlier this year. Arabs already have a history when it comes to Africa, they together with the westerners, have been involved in buying African slaves, the writer says.
By Mustafa Mheta
Gulf Arab oligarchies are defaming Muslims and Islam at a time when the Fifa World Cup has drawn favourable public interest and admiration for the religion’s noble values. These countries must clamp down, once and for all, on the scourge of modern day slavery that is raising its ugly head in the territories.
The international community must unite and fight this tooth and nail and ensure that it is brought down completely and finally. The United Nations (UN) agencies must pass new resolutions that will ensure that any country found on the wrong side of the law, will be punished and isolated from the community of nations as a punishment. At the receiving end once again are blacks (Africans and those from the Indo/Pak subcontinent).
We have heard cries coming out from many African countries now. Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, have all been affected by this scourge. Just like it was in the olden days, the main culprits are our own brothers who work as agents acting on behalf of these evil doers in Arab countries.
In the olden days, the white man could not beat the African at knowing their terrain to catch the slaves, so they enlisted the services of blacks who would act on their behalf to catch fellow Africans and deliver them to the slave masters in exchange for a pittance like mirrors and sugar for their satisfaction.
Unfortunately we are seeing a repeat of this nowadays. What makes us wonder is that, many of these so-called agents are registered in African countries as legal entities and actually advertise for their catch inside these countries. Year in and year out our governments are having to deal with this problem and yet no permanent solution can be found to this.
Recently the government of Zimbabwe announced that they had to bail out Zimbabwean slaves from Arab countries by paying money to their masters for their release. This is unacceptable, it should never happen in the 21st century. At the same time, many of these Arab countries do have relations with many of these African countries affected.
The culprits are well known and yet they are left to roam scot free by these countries. Historically the Arab slave trade in Africa had aroused great anger though the practice of such abomination is outlawed in Islam.
Arabs already have a history when it comes to Africa – together with the westerners, they have been involved in buying African slaves. Our people have not forgotten this part of history and this surge now only adds to creating tension between the two peoples.
Furthermore, our Arab brothers should know that since the great religion of Islam traces its roots from Arabia, they are not doing it a favour by behaving in this way. The enemies of Islam will always attack the religion as if it were the one sanctioning slavery.
Arabs are notoriously complicit when it comes to acting exactly as they are caricatured by their enemies. The way in which members of ISIS and the al-Qaeda outfits have carried out killings, showing savagery and vile brutality, are done exactly to the script written by the enemies of Islam.
Islam has nothing whatsoever to do with this nonsense or slavery.
We call upon the UN, AU, all relevant anti-slavery humanitarian agencies and the international community to pile pressure on Arab countries that allow these kinds of activities to flourish iupn their territories. They must be told in no uncertain terms they should not continue doing this as they will not get away with it.
Islamophobia is generally driven by those who have an axe to grind against Muslims and Islam. The evidence for it is abundant in the horrible terrorism by Israel against Palestinians and by US/NATO in the devastation caused in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. To have unelected Arab despots engaged in modern day slavery is thus no different to known Islamophobes fuelling hate, prejudice and injustice.
Dr Mustafa Mheta is senior researcher and head of the Africa Desk at Media Review Network SA, and Dean: School of Languages at Somali National University, Mogadishu in the Federal Republic of Somalia.