Protests Against Beheading Threat to Female Author on Thursday

Nov 08, 2002 03:00 AM EST

WASHINGTON, DC. -- Supporters of best-selling author Kola Boof will on Thursday, Nov. 7, demonstrate against a "fatwa" that Sudan's fundamentalist Islamic government has issued against the controversial woman writer. Simultaneous demonstrations will take place 5 p.m. in DC at the Sudan Embassy, 2210 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., and in NY at the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, First Ave. and East 47th St.

The fatwa, or death warrant, was issued Sept. 26 in London, according to Boof, by Sudanese diplomat Gamal Ibrahaim. A Sharia court purportedly has found her guilty of blasphemy and treason by "deliberately and maliciously bearing false witness against religious sentiment and of willing treason against her Arab Muslim father's people and against her nation, the Sudan." Her alleged crime: denouncing the oppression of women under the Islamic government and the enslavement of black Africans. The method of execution decreed: beheading.

Boof is the author of three books published in eight countries, including the most recent bestseller, Long Train to the Redeeming Sin.

The Sudanese People's Liberation Movement, the Universal Negro Improvement Association-African Community League, as well as other groups and individuals, will participate in the demonstration.

"In America women, have the right to talk, to speak out against oppression," said publicist Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo. "On Thursday, women and men will be raising our voices to let the world know that slavery is still alive in 2002 and that we support this brave woman Kola Boof who speaks out against this parasitism, in spite of threats to her life and the loss of her freedom and peace of mind. Every person who loves freedom, especially black people who are still suffering from the effects of slavery in this country, should join Kola Boof in denouncing the kind of barbarism taking place in Sudan."

Boof had this to say about the fatwa in an Oct. 14 statement:

"Sudan is ruled by fundamental extremism now. There is no Allah involved whatsoever. As a Black African woman, I cannot and will not be silent as black men in Arab nations are chained up like dogs to the back doors of Muslim households and fed, literally, from doggie bowls. I will not be silent as African women are raped, mutilated and mentally demeaned by sadistic human beings calling themselves children of Allah. I will not be silent as the number of little black boys who are sodomized by their Arab masters continues to soar, while even worse atrocities attend the lives of little black girls."

The United Nations has estimated that at least 2 million people have died in Sudan since about 1980. Secretary of State Colin Powell called the kidnappings; killings, rape and enslavement of African people in the country "the worst human rights nightmare on the planet."

On Oct. 21 President Bush signed the Sudan Peace Act designed to encourage an end to slavery and "evils inflicted on the people of Sudan by their government - including senseless suffering..."

By Maria Sliwa
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