Islam and Black Slavery
Photo Credit: TUNDRA TABLOIDS
During one of the comment sessions in my article Muslims Burn Bibles Routinely and Often, one of my readers tried to defend against charges that the Qur'an supports slavery.
In response to a link from the US Department of State that accuses the present-day Saudi government of allowing involuntary servitude (1), the politically correct (and cowardly) term for "slavery," reader Rasha snapped back: "Servitude is NOT slavery. what you mentioned above does not mean that Islam allows slavery. You know very well, this is not the slavery that was committed by the Europeans who kidnapped africans from their homelands and traded them!"
Islam not only allows slavery, it institutionalized the practice. (2) And as long as Muslims hold the Qur'an as the final word of God, slavery will continue: Sheik Saleh Al-Fawzan, a famous and revered religious authority in Saudi Arabia, professes: "Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long as there is Islam." (3)
American history books do not deny that there was part of our history when slavery was legal. Why do Muslims find it hard to admit that slavery is legal in the Qur'an? What is the real problem? Perhaps they cannot admit that there are parts of the Qur'an that are barbaric and uncivilized? I admit and have written in many articles that Jewish law was once barbaric and savage. Fortunately, there is a concept in Jewish law that permits jurists to put a "fence" around the law. If the ancient law says stoning is the punishment for disobeying a parent, they place enough restrictions in place to make enforcement of that punishment impossible.
Sadly, no such fences were built by Islamic jurists. They took the savagery and brutality of ancient laws and fixed them forever in their perfect, complete, immutable Shariah. The US Constitution permits change, and so we outlawed slavery and gave women the right to vote. Jewish jurisprudence permits change, and so, millennia ago, they effectively abolished the application of the death penalty for all crimes. It is only in Islam that savage laws, primitive tribal customs, barbaric punishments, and petty retributions have continued unaltered for 1400 years.
And so we see today, limbs cut off for petty crimes in Saudi Arabia, and beheadings for such "egregious crimes" as accidentally leaving a Qur'an in the bathroom. (4)
And if you haven't been living in a cave (well, except for Osama bin Laden who most likely knows about it), you've read of the case of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani who has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. British Foreign Secretary William Hague called stoning a "medieval punishment which has no role in the modern world." (5) I don't understand why everyone is outraged, haven't they been reading my blog articles? Don't they realize this is just the normal Muslim stuff?
I am outraged that Americans and Europeans are just now realizing how primitive and barbaric Islam really is, years after my blog and thousands of others, warned everyone of the threat to western civilization posed by this political ideology which they mistakenly assume is a religion.
But I digress. The point is, slavery is an ancient and despicable practice. All Christian nations have abolished slavery in the past two hundred years. Muslim countries like Qatar (1952), Saudi Arabia (1962), Yemen (1962), United Arab Emirates (1963), Oman (1970), and Mauritania (1981) only abolished slavery in principle in my lifetime (and only under heavy pressure from the West) and are still listed by our Department of State as having done the least to actually abolish the practice.
As long as there is Islam there will be slavery on Earth.
The US Department of State, SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi Arabia is a destination for men and women from South and East Asia and East Africa trafficked for the purpose of labor exploitation, and for children from Yemen, Afghanistan, and Africa trafficking for forced begging. Hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers from India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Kenya migrate voluntarily to Saudi Arabia; some fall into conditions of involuntary servitude, suffering from physical and sexual abuse, non-payment or delayed payment of wages, the withholding of travel documents, restrictions on their freedom of movement and non-consensual contract alterations
The Government of Saudi Arabia does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Saudi Arabia has moved from Tier 2 to Tier 3 because of its lack of progress in anti-trafficking efforts, particularly its failure to protect victims and prosecute those guilty of involuntary servitude.
Answering Islam, SLAVERY IN ISLAM
Islam institutionalized slavery. Muhammad began to take slaves after he moved to Medina, and had power. Slaves were usually taken in raids on nearby Arab tribes, or war, either through offensive or defensive actions. Islam allows the taking of slaves as "booty", or reward for fighting. This has led to numerous "jihads" by Muslim states and tribes to attack other non-Muslim groups and obtain slaves. Islamic jurisprudence laid down regulations for the proper treatment of slaves. However, abuses have occurred throughout history.
Photo Credit: Winds of Jihad
The West is familiar with the history of slavery in the new world. It was sinful and terrible, and it lasted for several hundred years. And it was abolished mainly through the efforts of Christians in England (Wilberforce, Clarkson) and America (the Abolitionists, primarily Protestant).
However, few people in the west know about Islam and slavery. Most would be surprised that Islam authorizes the taking of slaves as spoils of war. From the days that Muhammad drew his sword to rob and conquer non-Muslims to this very day, Muslims have been taking non-Muslims, and even other black Muslims, as slaves.
Muslims were enslaving black Africans long before any slave ships sailed for the New World. Muslims were taking and making slaves all over the lands they had conquered. Later, when slave ships were loaded with black slaves, often, a Muslim slave broker had the human cargo all ready to go. American slavers rarely had to go into inland to capture slaves, they were already waiting there, courtesy of some Muslim ruler, and/or slave broker! In many cases, if the black slaves were not sent to the New World, they were sent to the Mideast to be enslaved by Arabs, or kept by other black Muslims as slaves.
The Independent, 10 Aug 2009, Where is the Muslim anger over Darfur?
The Canadian academic Salim Mansur claims: "Blacks are viewed by Arabs as racially inferior, and Arab violence against blacks has a long, turbulent record."
For the Nobel Prize winning novelist Wole Soyinka, the unwillingness to confront Arab racism is rooted in the role of Arabs in the slave trade. "Arabs and Islam are guilty of the cultural and spiritual savaging of the Continent," he writes.
The Ethiopian academic Mekuria Bulcha estimates that Arab traders sold 17 million Africans to the Middle East and Asia between the sixth and twentieth centuries. Yet, there is an almost total reluctance on the part of Arab intellectuals to examine their central role in slavery, past or present. Any attempt to confront persistent Arab racism is shouted down by appeals to Arab/African solidarity against the neo-colonialist West, a sentiment that seldom moves beyond slogans.
Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, a member of the senior council of Wahhabi clerics responsible for writing Saudi school text books, states: "Slavery is part of Islam. Slavery is part of jihad and jihad will remain as long as there is Islam. It has not been abolished."
Reuters News, 5 Nov 2007, Saudi Arabia amputates thief's hand
The right hand of Amr Nasr, an Egyptian man, was removed in Mecca after he was found guilty of pick-pocketing inside the Grand Mosque compound, the official Saudi Press Agency.
Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, applies a literal reading of Islamic law, and regularly beheads those convicted of murder, rape, drugs smuggling and armed robbery.
Clerics dominate the legal system, acting as judges.
Last week an Egyptian man was beheaded for "sorcery", adultery and "desecrating" the Koran by placing it in a bathroom.
Stoning is a "medieval punishment which has no role in the modern world," British Foreign Secretary William Hague told reporters Thursday. "If the punishment is carried out, it will disgust and appall the watching world," Hague said in a media conference with Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu in London.
He appealed to Tehran to halt the planned execution.
Celebrities including Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, and Robert Redford have already signed on to the campaign to push for her release, according to The Times, which also quoted U.S. Senator John Kerry and Howard Berman, the chairman of the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee, as expressing their disgust at the sentence.
Even Lindsay Lohan publicized the case, becoming one of hundreds of Twitter users rallying the online world to Ashtiani's defense.