View Full Version : Slavery & Food Question

03-09-2008, 09:01 PM
In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah, the Most Gracious and Most Merciful says: I shall take revenge on the oppressor in this life and the next. I shall take revenge on someone who saw a person being oppressed and was able to help him but did not help him. (Reported by Tabarani)

this is scary. we know about the oppression everywhere but i dont know how much we really do. i watched that documentary in college a year back with my friend and i think everyone should be aware of the suffrage.

had to do some looking around but i finally found this in an email. date on this is one is back from 01 but i know of recent report as well. cant find it at the time. will do some searching and post in this thread when i find it.

\\ by BBC's Humphrey Hawksley in Mali

At a run-down police station in Sikasso, a small town in Mali, the files on missing children are endless.

The sad truth is that many have been kidnapped and sold into slavery. The going price is about US$30.

I might have got out but there are thousands of children still over there. If by your report, you can help free just one, you would be doing a good job
Former child slave Malick Doumbia
The local police chief is in no doubt where the children have gone. "It's definitely slavery over there," he said. "The kids have to work so hard they get sick and some even die."

In all, at least 15,000 children are thought to be over in the neighbouring Ivory Coast, producing cocoa which then goes towards making almost half of the world's chocolate.

Many are imprisoned on farms and beaten if they try to escape. Some are under 11 years old.

Save haven

Save the Children Fund has set up a transit centre in the hope that one day these children will come home from the cocoa, coffee and other farms on which they are working.

But so far they haven't. The place is empty, although one who managed to escape has a message worth listening to.

Mali's Save the Children Fund director, Salia Kante, has a message for shoppers - think about what you are buying

"I might have got out," said Malick Doumbia, "but there are thousands of children still over there. If by your report, you can help free just one, you would be doing a good job."

The work of this former slave ended up in shops around the world, as products that often do not specify exactly where they came from.

So Mali's Save the Children Fund director, Salia Kante, has a message for shoppers too - think about what you are buying.

"People who are drinking cocoa or coffee are drinking their blood," he said. "It is the blood of young children carrying 6kg of cocoa sacks so heavy that they have wounds all over their shoulders. It's really pitiful to see."

Slave trade

In the market, field worker Ibrahim Haidara asks people what they know about the slave trade.

Sikasso's police chief has records of many missing children

One man replied: "After one year you don't get money. If you ask for your money, you don't get money and you are beaten."

The slave children are taken from poor areas of Mali - the sons and daughters of street sellers, or the slum kids whose parents sell them for just a few dollars to work as plantation slaves in another country. Yet the multi-nationals who make their living out of selling chocolate and coffee all around the world haven't contributed anything to the campaign here to stop the slavery trade taking place.

03-09-2008, 09:36 PM
I don't know whether it's halal or haram, but I try to boycott chocolate from the major producers myself. SubhanAllah, it just seems so wrong to me to be eating chocolate made by people who have probably never tasted it in their entire lives. It's the same thing with just about everything you can think of... coffee, sugar, clothing, oil. Certain corporations that produce parts used in most of our cellphones are fueling a genocide in the Congo that's already killed five million people! Dole owns plantations in Asia, and was responsible for overthrowing the last kingdom of Hawaii. And Shell and British Petrol have been absolutely brutal in Iran and Nigeria. We hear about "blood diamonds", which is something most of us wouldn't be affected by anyway, but our basic staples and everyday items are doing exactly the same thing.

Sometimes I'm just so overwhelmed by the entire thing, just the idea that my money is being used to oppress and kill innocent people. I just try and avoid the avoidable... chocolate isn't a necessity, and a few more dollars to buy the fair trade coffee isn't too difficult. Clothing is tricky, because virtually everything has been produced either in sweatshops or for extremely low wages in third world countries. I know of a few stores in downtown Toronto that work with people in Latin America and Asia to give them full wages and regular working hours, and I'm sure most major cities would have these types of stores, it's always good to support them and know your money is going to help people.

I just keep thinking about the Muslim women and children forced to work in sweatshops in Indonesia, the Philippines...

03-10-2008, 07:28 AM
Assalamu 'alaikum

You know, subhanAllah, If I had seen this last year I would've probably thought boycotting such products would be an extreme approach that has very little benefit.

But in my opinion I think it's a great idea to boycott them. EVEN if you don't see any widespread change by doing so, at least you know that you aren't happily eating some food that some poor kidnapped child had to handpick and other poor slaves had to 'produce.'

Someone might come and say: "This is a very extreme idea. Because it won't solve the problem and we know that so many products nowadays are produced in such a way [making them difficult to avoid]. But what can we do, besides this? There are more ahaadith in which Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala says that He will punish the oppressor and the one who watched it and did nothing, by the way.

So many different types of oppression all over the world. Not only do we watch it and do nothing, rather we heartily endorse it by giving the slavemasters and the oppressors our money as if to say: "keep on doin' what you're doin' sir, as long as I gets my chocolate and my nikes and my this and my that and my the other thing"

Imagine someone on the Day of Judgement standing in front of the King of Kings and saying: "O Allah! I wanted to do something about the oppression I saw everywhere! I know that even a small thing would at least show that I did something...anything. But I really couldn't live without chocolate, so I continued to fund the oppression."

I know it's very tough to change our lifestyles and get rid of all these luxuries we are accustomed to, but I posted this as a reminder for myself and my brothers and sisters as well. Now when I feel like being a lazy bum I can see this post and remember "now that you said it, you must act upon it and don't be a hypocrite." Don't remind others and forget yourself.

03-10-2008, 05:19 PM
i have been thinking about this from the time i read the post.

there are many organizations telling others about this but something we must do as well as the students seeking knowledge. we seek knowledge and we learn of all the hadith that in one way or another say, the prophet saw said, you as a muslim must help the oppressed

what sky will shade us if we continue to promote these types of acts..

some may say "well, this is with everything, people are dying everywhere"

so, have our hearts become this hard that we are to do nothing about this..

i ask myself and then i ask you to ask yourself as well...

what will you do now that you know about child slavery?