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Sudan's prominent feminist writer "will not be silent"

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Writer Kola Boof

I would like to embrace my bare breasts. For they represent Africa to me

Kola Boof

afrol News, 22 July - Sudanese author Kola Boof will not give into death threats, and continues to speak out about the "daily event" of enslavement in Sudan. The Islamist Khartoum government denies the existence of slavery in Sudan. The highly controversial feminist author further has caused rage among her fellow Muslim Sudanese slashing out against "manmade religions," and now lives in American exile. 

- I realise that the government of Sudan denies that slavery exists in Sudan and contends that I am making up lies, along with the Black Africans of the South, on behalf of the United States government, Kola Boof says in a statement, "and I realize that the Northern Sudanese, the powerful Arabic ruling class of Sudan, has disowned me and cursed the Egyptian father from whose semen I am made. Sorry to be so 'western' in my description."

The Sudanese expatriate has received considerable death threats from Muslim fundamentalists in both North Africa and the US. She is a provocation to those considering a Muslim young woman should be invisible and not heard. A description of her by a US journalist clarifies the cultural contrasts: "She's a sexy feminist literary babe slash African warrior girl slash historian." Not the average northern Sudanese village girl, so to say. Speaking out about slave raiding and slavery in Sudan, is however taboo even for male compatriots.

- I cannot, for one minute, be quiet about the fact that slavery is alive and well in my homeland, Sudan, Boof says in her statement. "Before my parents were murdered, I saw it with my own eyes. Black African Christians rounded up, kidnapped, beaten, raped and routinely chained and put on trucks, never to be seen again - every day of the week! This is part of the notorious, age-old racism that Arab Sudanese and Arab Egyptians have denied for the entire last century, but it is the truest shame of our lives." 

She however goes further than attacking the allegedly state-tolerated slavery in Sudan. As a women who is her "own Queen," she attacks Islam itself. "I will never cease from publicly calling Islam just what it is - a terrible, terrible religion. I would rather see my children dead than see them become followers of Islam," Boof cries out. 

The reasons? Boof refers to what she eyewitnessed in Sudan. There, she had seen, with her own eyes, "Muslim men roll up their wives in dowry carpets and set them on fire, burning them alive, just because they only bore daughters and no sons. Now deny it, my dearest ones! Deny what we all know!!" her statement reads. 

Cover: "Diary of a Lost Girl"

I, Kola Boof, know just who you really are

Book cover: "Diary of a Lost Girl"

Christianity does not get a better judgement, however: "I also refuse to embrace Christianity, the white man's version of which is so dominant in my new home, America. I stand by my assertion that the world shall not be healed until the women of the world start their own religion and give it to their children. We need to abolish the man-made religions of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, everything by men should be phased out. It's time for us women to legislate the way in which we worship God and the way in which our children are taught about women. Islam calls women 'unclean' and teaches hatred against women. It's a religion for very, very insecure men and that's all it is."

- Finally, I would like to embrace my bare breasts, Boof - who insist to appear bare-breasted on the back of her books - introduces her last argument against the "manmade religions" she finds so repulsive. For her bare breasts represent Africa to her. "I don't care how many Sudanese call me 'pagan' or insist that I am a backwards woman of 'witchcraft'. I prefer to honour our true ancestors of the Nile River."

She calls them "our true mothers - who we all know were Black as coal and more regal, more spiritual and more innocent than even the newborn mare. They never intended for us to become so divided and so selfish, so hateful of our Blue Black beginnings. I intend to embrace the ancient ritual of baring the breast to show respect for the circle of life and to celebrate the eternal power of womankind and the African woman's legacy. The true African creed, the true African religion." 

- I say to my countrymen, to the Arab-Islamics of the world ... I don't like you, I don't honour you and I damned sure don't trust you. Not even one, she lashes out. "You can fool the American media, you can fool the Black Americans who so desperately want to embrace Islam ... but I, Kola Boof, know just who you really are. And none of us African females ever wanted you in our land in the first place. You and the White Caucasoids should get the hell out and leave Africa for the Africans. You've done quite enough evil...and you can kill me, one skinny little woman, but you'll never kill the truth. I WILL NOT shut up!"

Kola Boof - who will present her next book, 'Diary of a Lost Girl', in January 2003 - is dead serious she will not shut up. Her own life story - which includes the murder of her father because he spoke out against slavery and Sudanese racism against her for her dark skin - has left her with rage; a well articulated rage, though. One might not agree to her generalisations on "manmade religions," but it is timely to have a radical voice defending traditional African religions and African women, both which are heavily discriminated against all over the African continent, not only in Sudan. 

Sources: Based on statement by Kola Boof and afrol archives


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