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From Whence the Brutality?

Reader comment on item: Slave-Holding Muslim Immigrants in the West

Submitted by Alex (United States), Jul 13, 2013 at 18:17

I may be stating the following out of an ignorance of the history of slavery, but Muslim slaveholders seem to treat their captives on average with more cruelty than do others. I understand that the Shari'a sanctions slavery, but simply possessing a legal mandate for a behavior and engaging in it with enthusiasm are two different phenomena. I vaguely remember reading in a Latin American history textbook in college that the Spanish/Papal regulations on slaveholding and trading actually made for less i humane practices than the British lack of acknowledgement of the issue altogether (or perhaps the other way around?). Has Dr. Pipes ever written--and would he agree in the first place to the existence of-- an added sadism present in Muslim slaveholding practices? I personally just can't understand how a wealthy Saudi royal could buy Cartier watches but actually withhold already low wages from an illegal laborer.

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Daniel Pipes replies:

I wrote my first book on a form of Muslim slavery and came to the conclusion that the US South's use of slaves was far more rapacious and inhumane. Comparatively, the laws surrounding the Muslim holding of slaves is quite good. Of course, slavery itself is an abomination, but that is another matter.

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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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