Students for Open Society, a student group at Stanford University, is bringing a unique speaker to the Bay Area. The speaker is Simon Deng, an escaped Sudanese slave and a prominent human rights activist.
At the age of nine, Deng’s village was raided by Arab troops. He watched his childhood friends get shot dead and his fellow villagers burned alive in their huts. He was abducted and given as a “gift” to an Arab family who enslaved him for several years. He offers riveting descriptions of his life as a slave.
But Deng provides more than just a horrifying account of his experiences as a child slave. He delivers a message pertinent to the livelihood of all free nations. Deng considers himself a “victim of jihad” and describes the racist, Islamic society in Sudan which operates with a binary worldview. According to Deng, this worldview divides the world’s population into two categories: Muslim and non-Muslim. “If you are not a Muslim, you are a khoufar, an infidel, an enemy, a human being with no right to life who may be treated with terrible inhumanity,” Deng told a conference at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
Deng is also unafraid to condemn the UN Human Rights Council, criticizing that its membership includes some of the most inhumane regimes in the world, including the regime of Sudan itself.
In addition, Deng has an impressive record as a human rights activist. In April 2006, Deng organized and participated in a 300-mile “freedom walk” from the UN headquarters in New York to the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., where he met President Bush.
Deng is scheduled to participate in a rally in front of the Chinese consulate on Monday and speak at Stanford University on Tuesday, February 12 at 7:00 p.m. in Cubberley Auditorium. The event is open to the public.