African Slaves in Libya (brief letter from Dumisani Washington)

Dear young people,

It is very good that more of you are aware of the #LibyanSlaveTrade. However, generic petitions, Libyan embassy protests, speeches, and marches will not help the almost 1 million African men, women and children being sold like cattle. In fact, those actions will only make their situation worse. This is because, after having engaged in those symbolic gestures (like #BringBackOurGirls), people will forget all about what’s happening in Libya (like they’ve forgotten about Boko Haram in Nigeria).

2 October, 2017: Migrants sit at a detention centre in Gharyan, Libya Hani Amara/Reuters

The Arab Muslim enslavement of Africans has been going on for 1,400 years (since the 7th century). Libya, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Sudan, Algeria and more are all complicit. In the late 1960’s to early 1970’s, former Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver lived in Algeria after he fled the United States following a Black Panther ambush of the Oakland police. He saw Arab Muslims with Black slaves with his own eyes. He was so disillusioned with what he thought were his Arab allies in the struggle against racial injustice that he returned to America and turned himself into the authorities. Cleaver also became an ardent supporter of Israel and the Jewish people — something else about which his Arab partners lied to him.

Further, many of the Arab states that engage in or condone African slavery sit on (or help fund) the United Nations bodies that are supposed to monitor human rights abuses. Rather than call the world’s attention to what’s happening in Libya, what does the UN spend its time doing? Demonizing, delegitimizing, and slandering Israel.

So, the only real hope (if any) of ending slavery in Libya and the Arab Muslim world is an organized, grassroots effort to:

1. Write your Congressional representatives in Washington, DC

2. Write the State Department

3. Write the White House

4. Write UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s Office

Young people, you can help change the world for the better. Just learn from history and don’t be deceived.


Pastor Dumisani Washington

About the Author
Dumisani Washington is the National Diversity Outreach Coordinator for the over 3 million member Christians United for Israel (CUFI); and the Director of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel (IBSI). He is a husband, father, pastor, and musician based in Stockton, CA.