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Alice Bullard


Religion, Race, and Repression in Mauritania: The Ould Mkhaitir Apostasy Affair

[President Abdel Aziz addresses the public in January 2014 about the “blasphemy” of Ould Mkhaitir. Image by CRIDEM.]

On 2 January 2014, Mohamed Ould Cheikh Mohamed Ould Mkhaitir, a young Mauritanian engineer from the northern industrial city of Nouadhibou, published a denunciation of caste-based racism, which he framed as a call for religious reform. He dared to challenge the discrimination against Moulamines, the lowest of the low in Mauritanian society, and did so by provocatively criticizing some of the Prophet Mohammed’s acts. The government perceived his demand that Mauritanians ...

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Alice Bullard


Alice Bullard, J.D., Ph.D., Esq., formerly a professor of history, now works as a human rights attorney. She works primarily in French speaking countries on contemporary slavery, human rights, climate change, and women’s rights. She has worked on Mauritanian issues such as slavery, ethnic cleansing, and forced arabization since 2000. She is Director of the Board for IRA-USA. You may contact her at