Ramadan, Day 12: Sex Slavery and Objectification of Women


The holy month of Ramadan is a time of deep reflection for Muslims worldwide. Over the 30 days of Ramadan, Imam Sohaib Sultan of Princeton University will offer contemplative pieces on contemporary issues drawing from the wisdoms of the Qur’an – the sacred scripture that Muslims revere as the words of God and God’s final revelation to humanity. The Qur’an is at the heart of Muslim faith, ethics, and civilization. These short pieces are meant to inspire thought and conversation.

Recently, on my drive home I was listening to Public Radio when I came across a story that just boiled my blood and sunk my heart. It was the story of mostly young and vulnerable women who were kidnapped from Tenancingo, Mexico and forced into sex slavery right here in the United States. It is the single largest source of sex slaves in America according to this report.


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Virginity for Sale: Inside Cambodia’s Shocking Trade


By Abigail Haworth for The Observer on July 5, 2014—
Cambodia: Virgin trade
Dara Keo, in the room she rents with her mother and sister in a Phnom Penh slum. Through a broker, her mother sold Dara’s virginity when Dara was only 12 Photograph: Will Baxter

Vannith Uy is the owner of what translates from Khmer as a “mobile nail salon”, although the word salon is a stretch. It’s a bicycle with a plastic crate on the back filled with hand lotions and nail polishes. Uy, 42, rides it around her Phnom Penh neighbourhood – a tangle of alleys near the river where the residents’ domestic lives spill out of their open front doors – until a customer flags her down. She performs a manicure or pedicure on the spot, sitting on a plastic stool by the side of the street.

Three years ago, when she arrived from the countryside, Uy had a different plan. She wanted to open…

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Just listen. (Warning: Mildly Graphic Content)

Well of Joy

I learned that silence is my creative space.

Maybe not always literally absolute silence (I really like music), but silence in the form of disconnecting.

I’ve been called to silence. Have you met me? That’s an incredible feat. Nevertheless, I have my orders.

Today, I saw yet another reason why. When I’m silent, I channel that energy into places that all too often I unintentionally try to silence.

Shh. They don’t want to hear you again. Shh. They’ve heard enough. Shh. It’s just a dream.

Well. It’s not. It’s not just a dream. It’s a living fountain, boiling over inside of me. Yes. Boiling. It’s hot and I want to get it out of my head.

On average, are more things cleansed using hot or cold water?

Exactly. It’s cleansing. Me. You. This city. The nations.

I can’t continue muting it anymore. I won’t. I have a beautiful story on…

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Arizona gets middling grade for protections against sex trafficking

End Human Trafficking

While Arizona is standing still, however, other states have been making “incredible strides forward,” said a spokeswoman for Shared Hope International, which released the report card Thursday.

“Arizona now is becoming one of the lower-ranking states, because other states are advancing while it is not,” said Taryn Offenbacher, the spokeswoman.

Where 26 states got an F two years ago, today only six states got the lowest grade. Arizona was one of 17 states with a C this year, the first year the report has awarded an A – which went to Tennessee, Washington and Louisiana.

The Protected Innocence Challenge grades states on 41 key legislative components that it says should be addressed in a state’s laws…

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