During a social visit to the home of another Saudi royal prince, the princess discovered a harem of young, captive slave girls. The girls had been purchased in South Asian and South-East Asian countries and were forced to provide sexual services for the prince and his friends. The princess had wanted to free them but was unable to do so. The Saudi princess was even more horrified when she later came upon three male members of her own family, all Saudi royal princes, brutally raping a young Pakistani girl one of them had bought and brought back to Saudi Arabia.
Traffickers have also sometimes been caught at Third World airports leaving for the Arabian Peninsula with their human cargo. In 2007, one was caught in Karachi with both a boy and a young, pregnant woman. He was headed for Oman where he planned to sell the boy as a camel jockey and the girl as a sex slave. Her unborn baby was also destined to become a camel jockey or a sex slave, according to Pakistani police, who claim pregnant women are being trafficked for the purpose of producing future slaves.
African-American author Samuel Cotton also stumbled upon the slave trade to the Arabian Peninsula in the 1990s when investigating slavery at the other end of the Islamic world in Mauritania. In his book Silent Terror: A Journey Into Contemporary African Slavery, Cotton was told by Mauritanian anti-slavery activists that there was “still a huge trafficking in slaves going on between Mauritania and the United Arab Emirates.” Cotton was also stunned to discover that black African children playing alone would be kidnapped by Arabs travelling on camels with big baskets, in which the children were placed. The children, he was told, are sometimes later found “hundreds of miles away as slaves.”
Unfortunately for its innocent victims, both present and future, the eradication of slavery on the Arabian Peninsula will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. It is an ingrained, centuries-old institution. And despite it being officially banned since the early 1960s, many fundamentalist Muslims there still view destroying innocent young lives as their legal right. Under sharia law, which governs Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, Muslims are legally allowed to own slaves. Bernard Lewis, the eminent scholar of Islam, writes “…the institution of slavery is not only recognised but is elaborately regulated by Sharia law.” Another reason for this inhuman sense of entitlement is that the prophet Muhammad was also a slave owner, setting the example for the fundamentalists.
Another problem that hinders eradication is that highly-placed officials responsible for enforcing the laws in Arabian countries probably own slaves themselves. One former black African slave girl, Mender Nazer, who escaped from slavery in London, England, belonged to a highly-placed official in the Sudanese embassy. Nazer was the second slave to escape from her Arab master’s household in the British capital and wrote an account of her years in bondage in Slave: My True Story.
But perhaps the greatest obstacle to abolishing slavery in places like the Arabian Peninsula and Mauritania is the mindset. In these countries, enslaving non-Arab human beings, including children, is simply viewed as the natural order of things. Concerning Mauritania, Cotton wrote: “The problem is that Mauritania’s Arabs sincerely believe that blacks are inferior and are born to be slaves.” Without a doubt, the same kind of Arab supremacist thinking prevails in the Arabian Peninsula. In his book The Arabs As Master Slavers, author John Laffin probably comes closest to the truth about the reason for the continued existence of slavery in some Arab countries when he wrote “…there does exist in Arabs a need to dominate a subservient class…”
Victims of child slavery also cannot look to the United Nations Human Rights Council for help. It contains despots and tyrants whose human rights records are just as bad as Mauritania’s and Saudi Arabia’s, as well as Islamic countries that bribe them and may be practising slavery themselves.
American and European leftists, who worked themselves into paroxysms of moral outrage over Mohammed al-Dura, the 12-year-old boy they claim was shot dead by Israeli soldiers, also have yet to exhibit the same level of empathy for child victims of the Arab slave trade. The reason they haven’t so far is that they want to maintain the image they have carefully constructed that Israel and America are the only oppressors in the Middle East and Arabs the victims. Admitting that Arabs are enslaving children would only undermine their propaganda campaign. The left also wants to keep the focus on the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It has always been a useful weapon to use against the Untied States.
In the 1990s, Cotton called “the ignorance and apathy of America’s black leaders” shameful in regard to the Arab slave trade. Tragically for today’s child victims, this can be said about many other leaders outside America’s black community. It is a pity they do not possess even half the courage or resolve of an Azim Mai.
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