Protest Emigration (Hijrat)

Protest emigration, also called hijrat, is the intentional emigration from an area usually a country or particular government that is charged with some specific unfairness, cruelty, or other form of injustice by a certain group of people. The group migrates from the oppressing area and quits all social cooperation as a form of protest demonstrating their dissatisfaction with the current situation. In some situations the emigration is to be permanent such as the Hijrat Movement of the Muslims during the 1920s. Other times however, the protest emigration is only temporary and is intended to bring about some form of change. This is usually the case when the oppressing country or government desires the cooperation of the opposed group of people.

Protest Emigration: The Early Years

Protest emigration is one of the oldest forms of protest known to mankind. The first known protest emigration began in the year 615 when Muslims with the help of Muhammad and fled ill-treatment in Mecca. The protest emigration took the Muslims to a place called Axum where they were welcomed by Negus who was the king at that time. The Muslims were invited to remain in that country for as long as they wished in order to avoid persecution from their homeland. However, after some time the prophet Muhammad was said to have asked the king Negus to send the emigrants back to their home Axum which is now known as Abyssinia.

Protest Emigration Today

As recently as 2011 in Russia there has been an upsurge of protest emigration. People are leaving the country in pursuit of freedom from a dictatorial system that has retarded the opportunity for many to obtain successful careers. While many do not wish for their emigration to be a permanent move in many cases it will be.

Of the many forms of social non-cooperation protest options emigration protest are perhaps the most permanent and the most severe. Emigration protest most is often only used as a last resort form of protest and in the direst of situations.

Continue reading the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action.

Also check out The Politics of Nonviolent Action Part One / Part Two / Part Three.

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