Mauritania: Human Rights Activists Accuse Islamic Jurisdiction of Legitimizing Slavery

Recently, the issue of slavery has taken center stage in Mauritania.  In the beginning of May, a Mauritanian human rights organization decided to reopen the debate by denouncing the continued existence of slaves in the country. To get people's attention, this organization burned books of the Islamic Maliki school of jurisprudence, prevailing in Mauritania, claiming that they provide a religious justification for continuing slavery.  The act of burning books took place at the end of a special prayer for slaves, which emphasized their right to lead Muslims in prayer.  However, the burning of the books sparked fury among the public.  Demonstrations erupted throughout the country in condemnation of what was perceived as an affront to Islam.  As a consequence, the anti-slavery movement apologized to the Mauritanians for the burning of the Maliki books and explained that this was a symbolic act committed to draw attention to jurisprudent views legitimizing...(Read Full Article)