Brazil Demand School Of African Muslim: The Islamic Community of Salvador, Brazil has demanded from Harvard University to return the years-old skull of a person. The man reportedly took part in a famous revolt of African Muslims in 1835. The skull is one of the remains of 19 African enslaved people who have been preserved for decades at the Harvard Museum. In addition, Harvard University’s Peabody and Warren Museums preserve the remains of some 6,500 Native Americans, which have been repeatedly demanded by family and community members to return them.
Earlier this year, Harvard set up a committee to investigate the institution’s collection and return of human remains. According to ‘The Harvard Crimson’, a student newspaper, the university agreed to bring back the remains in September, although no further details on the process have been published. The Muslim community in Bahia began its campaign to bring back the skulls in September. Now they plan to directly contact Harvard University through the Islamic Center in Salvador and the House of Nigeria.
History of the skull?
In fact, in 1835, more than 600 African Muslim slaves in Salvador revolted to take over the city and the surrounding countryside. Due to which he had to fight with soldiers on the streets of Salvador. At least 70 people died on the night of the fighting. At the same time, more than 500 people were put in jail. They were flogged and expelled from the city. The skull is believed to belong to a man who was injured in a fight and died in the hospital.
Joo José Reis, a prominent Brazilian historian and expert on male rebellion, first heard of the Harvard skull earlier this year. Rees told the Middle East Eye that skull records say the man participated in the rebellion as a leader and was taken to a hospice after being wounded. According to the university, Gideon T. Snow, an American citizen living in Brazil in the 19th century, sent the skull to Boston, where it had been donated to the collection of the Boston Society for Medical Improvement before 1847. The Warren Anatomical Museum at Harvard Medical School added the collection in 1889.
There were many reasons for the slave revolt in Salvador. These include injustice to the slaves, forcing them to lead a bad lifestyle. According to Akanni, the slave men of Salvador were civilized people and many of them were educated, while many white men were not educated. Another reason for the rebellion was that the slavery of any human has never been allowed in Islam.
The rebellion was planned for months, but when the authorities learned about it, it had to start earlier than expected. On 24 January 1835, the rebels fought with soldiers across the city. However, a day later, the rebellion was suppressed. Many rebels were wounded or killed in battle. At the same time, some were imprisoned or expelled from Brazil. Four leaders were publicly executed. According to Hannah Bellini, a post-doctoral researcher at the UFBA, Muslim male rebels killed in the rebellion were not cremated until a proper funeral in 1835.
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