Saturday, November 08, 2014
Where's my 40 acres and a camel...?
For a brief review of the Islamic support for slavery, see this overview by Robert Spencer.
It has become common knowledge that when the West pursued slavery during its Age of Exploration and Colonialism, it purchased most of its black African slaves from Muslim slave traders in Africa.
Less well known is the massive fact that not only were Muslims the leading entrepeneurs and traders in slavery, they were also the leading practitioners in slavery—not only of black Africans, but also of Asians and white Europeans. They also arguably were the cruelest enslavers in all world history in terms of violent mistreatment of their slaves. They had the largest slave network Empire in all world history for nearly a millennium before the Europeans got in the game. And in addition to enslaving hundreds of millions of black Africans, in the process of doing so they killed off millions through starvation, beatings, torture, forced castration, and brutal marches over many miles of terrain to stations where they would be shipped to various parts of the Islamic Empire (India, Andalus, Persa, Ottoman Turkey),
As mentioned above, Muslims also enslaved a million or more white Europeans (which prompts me to ask pleadingly, Where are my 40 acres and a camel…?), mostly as human booty captured in their relentlessly frequent razzias (pre-modern Islamic terror attacks) on the coastline of southern Western countries (Greece, Italy, France, Spain) and in the infamous Mediterranean piracy that went on for centuries until finally stopped by force in the early 19th century by that fledgling upstart nation, “America”.
It’s arguable that when the West did get in the slavery game in earnest, beginning in the 16th century but only really picking up steam in the 17th-18th centuries, they surpassed the extent of Islamic slavery in geographical scope and in numbers—but never came close to approximating Islamic style physical cruelty nor fanatical religious motivation.)