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The NOI endorses muslim/arab enslavement and genocide of Black Africans
The Nation of Islam’s leader, the vehement anti-Semite and racist Minister Louis Farrakhan, who is seen by parts of the black community as a spokesman for their people, has his priorities, and one of them is apparently choosing Arab slavers over African blacks.
As Charles Jacobs, the president of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, whose American Anti-Slavery Group brought international attention to the enslavement of blacks in North Africa, and the man whom Coretta Scott King presented with the Boston Freedom Award for flying illegally into Southern Sudan on slave redemption missions, writes in a shocking essay in Tablet Magazine, Farrakhan and his emissaries consistently denied that Arab Muslims had targeted African blacks, enslaving them, murdering the men and making sex-slaves out of the women.
Jacobs begins his essay by recalling that as Research Director of the American Anti-Slavery Group in 1995, he co-authored a New York Times op-ed with Mohammed Athie, an African Muslim refugee, to make the public aware of black chattel slaves in North Africa. He notes, “In Sudan, for decades, as part of a war waged by the Arab north against the black, mostly Christian south, militia armed by Khartoum stormed African villages, killed the men and captured the women and the children. These served their masters as goat-herds, domestic servants, and sex-slaves. In Mauritania, Arab Berbers who had conquered the area centuries before had always kept African slaves, even though these were Muslims. As our Times piece explained, Western rights groups had thoroughly documented human bondage in these two countries, but did next to nothing to marshal their constituencies to act. No one was trying to free the slaves.”
Jacobs and Athie were guests on PBS’s Tony Brown’s Journal, where they cited reports on slavery from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the State Department in Sudan, Mauritania, and Libya. That prompted Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam to send their spokesperson, Akbar Muhammed, to appear on the show, where he claimed this was all a “big lie,” and part of a Jewish conspiracy against Farrakhan. One salient reason for Farrakhan to be upset: Jacobs and Athie spoke of human bondage in Libya, and Akbar was Farrakhan’s emissary to that country. As Jacobs writes, “According to the Chicago Tribune’s Clarence Page, Khadafi had loaned Farrakhan $5 million in 1984 and later promised to give the Nation of Islam a billion dollars for ‘Muslim causes’ in America which, Clarence Page suggested, was what kept Farrakhan mute on African slavery.”
Jacobs and Athie created an abolitionist campaign comprised mostly of Sudanese and Mauritanian refugees in New York who were upset at the lack of coverage of their plight. Some black journalists joined in: Sam Cotton, from New York’s African-American paper, The City Sun, wrote a series on African slavery under a front page headline: “Arab Masters, Black Slaves.” The NAACP subsequently adopted a resolution to come to the forefront of the fight to liberate the slaves.
Then, a truly dramatic turn, as Jacobs notes:
Finally, in March of 1996 Farrakhan was cornered at a news conference and asked about his stance on Sudanese slavery. As reported in the New York Times, Farrakhan grew emotional: “Where is the proof? If slavery exists, why don’t you go as a member of the press, and you look inside Sudan, and if you find it, then you come back and tell the American people what you found?”
The Baltimore Sun took up the challenge. They sent two reporters into Sudan where they bought two young African slave boys from an Arab middleman. Their report ran as a series in the Sun and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
A few months later, Dateline NBC ran a feature story on Sudan that included footage of slaves, raids, and middlemen. Host Jane Pauley introduced the segment—the first national television coverage of slavery from on the ground in Sudan—by playing a video clip of Farrakhan’s angry challenge.
Leaders of the south Sudanese peoples’ struggle for liberation were not amused. Years before, they had sought out Farrakhan and asked for his help. They reasoned that he, more than any other African American, could help them stand against the Arab onslaught and free black slaves. In April of 1994, they met with him, and got his promise that if he had to choose between his religion and his race, he would choose his race.
But he did not. And he does not.
Jacobs concludes, “Even today, when Africans are slaves, having been captured, bought and sold by Muslims in Sudan, Mauritania, Libya, and Nigeria, Farrakhan remains mum.”