The heart of human trafficking—Part 1

In Islam there is a religious permission to lie, “Taqiyya,” which allows Muslims to lie to non-believers to advance the cause of Islam. There is also a religious justification of human trafficking in Islam, a system known as Kafala. Kafala, originally referring to the Islamic “adoption” of children, is an exploitive “sponsorship” system that results in the organized crime of human trafficking in Gulf Cooperation Council countries Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and some neighboring states. The two Islamic religious practices of taqiyya and Kafala combine to justify participation in a worldwide network of human trafficking for sex, labor, and harvesting of human organs.

Each year the US State Department releases a report on human trafficking. The 2017 and 2018 reports mention the Kafala system in association with Arab countries and recommend replacing them. Specifically, the 2018 report singles out Saudi Arabia, “Due to Saudi Arabia’s requirement under its de facto sponsorship—kafala—system that foreign workers obtain permission from their employers for an exit visa to be able to legally depart the country, some are forced to work well beyond their contract term because their employers do not grant such permission.” In other words, once a victim has arrived in Saudi Arabia, they cannot legally leave under the Kafala system, “rendering them vulnerable to forced labor and debt bondage.”

The report also singles out a couple of countries as examples in explaining human trafficking: “in Nigeria, traffickers use fraud to recruit women and girls for jobs in Europe and force them into commercial sex when they get there. Many traffickers force victims to take a juju oath to ensure compliance and threaten death resulting from the juju curse if they break their oath, disobey their traffickers, and try to leave their exploitative situations.” The report says, “traffickers… lure potential victims with false promises of money, misleading job offers, or other fraudulent opportunities. Traffickers typically, but not exclusively, target women as potential victims, often from impoverished backgrounds, with minimal education, or originating from vulnerable populations or destitute communities…” The State Department says these schemes are carried out by organized crime syndicates.

This is what we are fighting in Ghana. One such example is told by our ministry partner Pastor William Agbeti, who says these Muslims dress up on Sundays and loiter around churches trying to lure Christian girls into human trafficking. He reports: Their modus operandi is to tell sweet lies and give superfluous promises to unsuspecting, vulnerable young girls desirous of escaping hard financial and economic situations. The whole engagement process is steeped in secrecy. On arrival at their destinations, the girls are forcefully made to surrender their passports in full view of state officials.” Exodus 21:16 says, ”And he that steals a man, and sells him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.” In sharing the gospel AND educating against this evil system, we may save many souls from both spiritual and physical destruction.

Bill Wilson

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