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Who might disagree, sTs?

Reader comment on item: Counting Islamists
in response to reader comment: Well Said

Submitted by Jeff (United States), Oct 21, 2008 at 00:05

Islam abolished slavery 1500 years ago? Really? I think someone disagrees with you, sTs.

One someone, for example, is Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, Imam of the Prince Mitaeb Mosque in Riyadh, and professor at Imam Mohamed Bin Saud Islamic University, who recently said "Slavery is a part of Islam. Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam." Mr. Al-Fawzan is an imam and a professor of Islam. Who are you?

Actually, contrary to your claim, slavery is a bit older than 300 years, and did not begin with the founding of the USA. (Wait, didn't all problems everywhere begin with the founding of the USA???) That "disaster, calamity that fell on black africans" (sic) began well prior to the founding of the USA. The Islamic world imported millions of slaves from Africa over many years, many of whom died in the salt mines within several years. Later, slave traders from Europe, America and the Islamic world all went to Africa, simply because that's where there were slaves for sale. England outlawed slavery in 1805, and its navy began disrupting the slave trade immediately thereafter. The USA outlawed slavery in 1863. Saudi Arabia, 1963. See a difference? Another difference is simply that England and the USA actually meant it when they outlawed slavery.

Islamic nations also captured slaves from European ships and nations into the 1800's. When Thomas Jefferson was the US ambassador to France, in the 1780's, he was appalled by the behavior of Muslim countries of North Africa that plundered ships in the Mediterranean, kidnaping crews for ransom, selling crews into slavery, etc. Jefferson asked the ambassador from Tripoli why on earth his country would attack the ships of the USA, which had only existed for several years and had never done anything to incur the wrath of his government. After the ambassador from Tripoli explained to Jefferson that the murderous crews were simply following the Koran and the laws of the prophet, Jefferson procured one of the first English translations of the Koran to try to understand their motivation.

While you're whining about the USA, consider that China and Japan had slavery until after World War II, and the Arab world and Africa still practice it today. Turkey and Iran are at the center of the world's sex slave trade. In the USA, slavery was a source of constant tension and disagreement, and at its height, over 150 years ago, about 1.4% of Americans held slaves. That's a much lower proportion of its population than many other nations in history.

Slavery has a very long and world wide history. What distinguishes the USA and Western Europe is their decision to end it.

Mohammad died in the year 632. 1376 years ago. How many slaves did Mohammed have? Did he know about that now 1500-year-old decision to abolish slavery in Islam? Does anybody?

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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