African Christians tortured and enslaved by Bedouin Muslims

Reports are emerging from the Sinai Peninsula, currently controlled by Egypt, of Bedouin Muslim Arabs who abduct Christians from Africa and hold them for ransom for exorbitant sums of money. When their often destitute families are unable to pay for their release, the Christians are tortured to death in ways reminiscent of the earliest days of Christianity and also the 7th Century AD when Islam emerged from the wastes of the nearby Arabian Peninsula and swept through the Christian Mideast and North Africa.
 
Eritrean and Ethiopian Christians are fleeing their homelands, seeking safety in Europe and Israel. Frequently, they are abducted from refugee camps in the Horn of Africa and then smuggled to the Sinai Peninsula where their ordeal truly begins. The Christian Broadcasting Network reports, "Sinai was always a place for human smuggling, but since around two years ago -- even a bit more -- it started also to be a place of human torture," Shahar Shoham, director of Physicians for Human Rights, told CBN News.
 
Shoham has documented more than 1,300 cases of torture in the Sinai. Those survivors ... made it to Israel. But most of the cases of torture are not documented.
 
"They torture them in horrible methods, like hanging upside down from the ceiling, like using electric shocks, like burning them on their bodies," Shoham said.
 
The abductors often ask for ransoms of $40,000 to $50,000, a huge sum many families cannot afford. A favorite method of torture for the Bedouins is crucifying the victims, a symbol of their Christian faith.
 
"They hang us the way He was hanged and they take off their clothes. While they are naked they will hang them. And they will just hit them with big bats like all day for hours."
 
The CBN article states that Egyptian authorities are aware of these torture camps, but so far have done nothing to close them down. Egypt's native Christians, whose presence predates the onset of Islam, have been subjected to bombings, assassination, rape and forced conversion and marriage in incidents that have only increased in frequency and violence since the beginning of the so-called Arab Spring that brought about the end of the Hosni Mubarak regime and ushered in the Muslim Brotherhood government of the now deposed Muhammed Morsi
 
Arab enslavement of black Africans has gone on for centuries. Indeed, the Arabic word Abd is often used to mean either “slave” or “black.” Islamic scholar Ibn Khaldun of Medieval times once wrote, “The Negro nations are as a rule submissive to slavery, because they have attributes that are quite similar to dumb animals.” Muslim Arab enslavement of black Africans predated the trans-Atlantic slave trade by several centuries. Europeans who landed on the western shore of Africa took advantage of thriving slave markets that were established hundreds of years before by Muslim Arab and African slave traders. Slave traders from Muslim northern Africa once ranged into not only Mediterranean Europe but also into northern Europe to take white Europeans to slave markets in Africa and Ottoman Turkey, as documented in The Barbary Slaves by Stephen Clissold.


Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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