Comparative Digest [2] Black Enslavement: Arab and European Compared.

Presented below is the second in a three part comparative digest series in which Nigerian author (from the Pan-African school of thought) Chinweizu discusses African historic relations with Arabs and Europeans, across three strands – ‘Racism’, ‘Enslavement of Blacks’ and ‘Colonialism’. He argues that for almost every key aspect of European racism against Blacks in history, there was an Arab/Islamic counterpart that was just as brutal when it wasn’t worse. The comparative digest is recommended literature in understanding colonial injustices committed against Africans, not from the perspective of a single story, as is so often erroneously the case, but rather told as it should be – taking into account, both European and Arab/Islamic atrocities. The colonial crimes committed by Arabs, against Africans, through Islam, very often go unchecked and unspoken under the guise of political correctness and avoidance of offending religious sentiments. Rather recently, Nigerian Islamists Boko Haram successfully pushed their insurgency into the heart of the nation’s capital, when they killed yet more innocent people in a bomb blast (as has become the weekly norm), all in the name of re-establishing a lost Empire that was in the first place introduced to the Natives through brutal colonialism. What’s worse, this insurgency shows no sign of receding. While local resistance to the ideology behind the political, colonialist and inevitably racist movement shows no sign of improving! South Sudan split ways with Sudan, after having endured a brutal civil war that claimed 2 million lives and displaced more than twice as many. Today, Sudan (the North) having emerged from that war, no longer considers itself an African nation, rather calls itself Arab – just like its Palestinian brothers, Libyans, many Somalis to the East and Egyptians to the North. Never mind that no single Arab people have in all of history, ever given up their identity to assume an indigenous African one. This is the mechanism of Arabisation in Africa – native lands are stripped from indigenous hands and transferred to Arab custody. The Arabisation of Africa began with the introduction of Islam to Africans. It has in the past, and continues till this very day, to legitimise racism, slavery and colonialism in Arab societies, but on the African continent. It does this against African converts to Islam (in Mauritania and Sudan for example) and against the even more impure disbelieving Africans. As Armenian president Sarkisian said recently regarding the Ottoman empire’s cleansing of Armenians:  “The denial of a crime constitutes the direct continuation of that very crime. Only recognition and condemnation can prevent the repetition of such crimes in the future”. Of a truth, injustice unspoken is injustice awaiting resurgence! Society is indeed on a slippery slope when religious sentiments are cocooned even at the expense of ensuring dignity of human life.

Republished with permission. ©2014. Secular African Society. All Rights Reserved.

 By Chinweizu © Chinweizu 2007

In the words of Bernard Lewis: “In the horrors of the abduction of Africans from their homes for delivery to Islamic and American purchasers,

there was little to choose, . . . . Nor was there much difference in the dangers and hardships of the journey, until the human merchandise reached its ultimate destination across ocean or desert.” [Lewis Race and Slavery in the Middle East, p. 100]

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Sex-Slavery in Islamic Jurisprudence

Sex-Slavery in Islamic Jurisprudence

©2013. Secular African Society. All Rights Reserved.

Ever heard the saying: “Islam is a perfect religion, it’s Muslims who aren’t perfect”?

Well that is a thoughtfully concocted and sinister deflective tactic designed to acquit Islam of its inherent fascism, while fermenting a discontent for Muslims in academia.

Far from perfect, Islam is fundamentally flawed down to its prophetic traditions. Slavery is one of the most revered divine privileges in Islam. It is not illegal in Islam, rather it is an Islamic right. Muhammad inaugrated a tripartite model of slavery into Islam, encompassing enslavement, slave trade and sex-slavery. It was an enslavement model that thrived unquestioned until the dismantling of the Ottoman empire.

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Muslim Resistance to the Abolition of Slavery in the Islamic Empire.

Muslim Resistance to the Abolition of Slavery in the Islamic Empire.

As the European colonial era approached its end, Western forces sought even more to abolish norms that were inconsistent with the UDHR charter. One of such norms, prevalent in many societies for millennia, was slavery. The Islamic empire was the largest empire pre the rise of the West. In Islamic societies, a tripartite model of slavery, inaugurated into Islam by Prophet Muhammad fully thrived. It encompassed domestic enslavement, chattel slavery and slave concubinage. It was Prophet Muhammad himself who personally inaugurated wholesale enslavement of disbelievers for selling or engaging in concubinage and household work. He very well freed some slaves as an exemplary act of goodwill, but he enslaved many more. Prophet Muhammad certified slave trade when he sold his enslaved Banu Qurayza (Jewish) captive women to Najd for acquiring weapons and horses, while forbidding anyone from enslaving the born Muslim. Muslim apologists often argue that Prophet Muhammad never really endorsed slavery, but merely allowed it since it was already prevalent in pre-Islamic Arabia. They then refer to the fact that Muhammad also preached manumission to his followers, and personally freed slaves himself, as a testament to the aforementioned premise. The fact of the matter however is that slavery of the vanquished infidels was an integral component of the Islamic empire’s booming economy. Slave trade remained a vital source of wealth in the Islamic world throughout the reigns of the Rightly Guided Caliphs (632-60), the Umayyads (661-750) and the Abbasids Continue reading

Islam’s Role in the Viking & Atlantic Slave Trades.

The successful roll back of Muslim conquests in Europe by European resistance fighters meant that Muslim harems in the Islamic world were starved of their divinely sanctioned bountiful supply of sex slaves. Conventionally, these sex-slaves were acquired via the jihad franchise. The unmet Muslim demand for concubines found compensation in another slave-trade however. This trade was established by the Vikings. The Vikings saw an unmet demand in the market and sought to tap into its economic potential by supplying extremely wealthy sex-starved males of the Muslim Empire with the highly-prized White sex slaves they were accustomed to. Needless to say, the Vikings were the European equivalent of the corrupt African chiefs and local mercenaries in Africa who participated in neighbouring village raids to meet Muslim merchants’ insatiable demands for the infidel African slaves. Continue reading

DENIALS OF ISLAMIC SLAVERY

One of the most controversial aspects of Islam is its doctrine of slavery. It incites controversy because slavery in the modern world is clearly considered a contemptible practise. In Islamic doctrine however, it isn’t. For centuries, abolitionist groups from the West and non-Western world lobbied strenuously to see slavery become abolished in Western colonies from Africa to India and beyond. The formal abolishment of slavery in Muslim countries was not enacted in all of Islam’s one thousand three hundred years or so history at the time, until the intervention of the West. Saudi Arabia finally caved in and formally abolished slavery in 1962 only upon continued Western imposition. Although slave trade was banned in Niger by French colonists a century ago, the cultural practice of slave ownership was not banned until recently in 2005! In Islamic culture, Islamic doctrine sanctions a tripartite model of slavery that encompasses Enslavement (domestic and industrial labor), Slave trade and Sex-slavery. Prophet Muhammad himself who didn’t Continue reading