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Islam and Slavery a response to Dr Imran Waheed

Reader comment on item: What is Jihad?
in response to reader comment: Re: “What does the Arabic word “Jihad” mean?”

Submitted by Steve T (United Kingdom), Mar 3, 2003 at 10:21

I would like to comment on one remark by Dr Imran Waheed, namely that Islam prohibits slavery.

I found this an astounding comment for the following reasons.

1) The Prophet Mohammed was a slave owner.
2) Some of the Islamic traditions describe the Prophet Mohammed buying and selling slaves. i.e. saying he was a slave trader as well as an owner.
3) One of the principle drives of the Arab conquests was booty, and slaves formed a large part of that booty.
4) Slavery was endemic in the Islamic world from the ealiest recorded times up until the end of the 19th century. The slave market in Zanzibar wasn't shut down until 1888. (Shut down by the French and English)
5) One form of taxation of the Christian population in the balkans was in children, a lot of which went into slavery.
6) It is estimated that more slaves went from Africa into the middle east than went across the water to the Americas. Even the ones that went to the West, often had an Arab middle man selling them in the first place.
7) Slavery still exists in a number of Muslim countries (Sudan and Mauretania). If anything it is growing in the Islamic world at the moment.
8) The Koran sanctifies slavery. For example by allowing Muslim men to have sex with their slave girls (a bit difficult if there aren't any).

I mean no offence by my comments, but clearly Islam doesn't prohibit slavery, it has always been involved with slavery, along time before, during and after the west was involved.
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