69 million page views

Ahmadzafire, don't let facts interfere with your version of history

Reader comment on item: How to End Terrorism:
in response to reader comment: susan

Submitted by Jeff (United States), Jan 5, 2007 at 22:53

Ahmadzafire,

Leviticus? Exodus? Those writings reflect the norms of tribal desert people who lived thousands of years prior to the advent of Christianity. (Though much of what they describe seems to also reflect the norms of many people in the middle east today.) But you will find a very different attitude if you bother to read what Jesus had to say in the New Testament. (Every Muslim anti-Christian rant I see in this forum only quotes the Old Testament, which pre-dates Christianity. I have yet to see, in any of these anti-Christian rants, a single quote from Jesus, the founder of Christianity.)

West Africans were targeted for slavery because they were Muslim? That's a good one. I've heard it all now. Right, don't let facts stand in the way of your quest for any new angle on victimhood. The slave traders did not inqure, nor did they care in the least, about the religion of the slaves. They simply went where slaves were for sale, where they were easy to get, and Africa was the place. Africans kept the supply of slaves coming for any slave trader who went there to buy, be they from Arabia, Europe or America.

Where I live, there are some older homes with clever hiding places that were used as part of what was called the "underground railroad." Many people, all American, all Christian (i.e., evil) took part in this decades-long effort that fed, clothed, hid and transported runaway slaves until they reached the safety of Canada.

Please describe for me what effort like the underground railroad existed among Arabs during the 1800's, or during any of the hundreds of years of slavery in the middle east.

There is a Christian hymn, sung frequently in Christian churches today, call "Amazing Grace," written by John Newton. (Sorry to mention music, I know it's evil, I don't mean to offend Muslims.) He was an English slave trader, who, one day, "found Jesus." Or, maybe Jesus found him. Anyway, he freed his captive slaves, got out of the slave business, and worked to end slavery. After persistent efforts, he met with success, and helped influence the English Parliament's decision to outlaw slavery in 1805.

Please describe for me people who, based on their religion, took similar actions to outlaw slavery in the middle east in the 1800's.

That might be difficult, in part because Saudia Arabia only outlawed slavery (ostensibly, at least) in 1962, under diplomatic pressure from the USA.

In the USA, at the height of slavery, about 200 years ago, about 1.4% of Americans held slaves (including some black slave holders). In other places, such as China, the percentage was much higher, as was the proportion of the population held in slavery. Ditto for the Roman Empire. Ever wonder how the Slavic nations got that name? Could it be they were the main source of slaves for hundreds of years during the Roman Empire? Funny though, my Slavic friends don't lecture my Italian friends about that; they appear much less enamored with victimhood, and much more inclined to live in the present, than you.

England outlawed slavery in 1805, and the British Navy started interfering with the Atlantic slave trade soon after. The USA outlawed slavery in 1863. Saudia Arabia, a hundred years later (as I said, ostensibly). China, 1911. Japan, 1945 (when some evil visitiors arrived). Prior to that, Okinawans were bought and sold on the streets of Japanese cities well into the 1930's. Japan turned the Korean peninsula into one huge slave labor camp during the 1930's.

Oh, my, it seems Buddhists and Taosts aren't quite above a history of slavery, either. And a lot more recently than the USA. When did you last complain about that? Maybe someone should fly planes full of ordinary people into buildings full of ordinary people in Beijing or Tokyo, and teach those people a lesson.

Oh, and of course, the Ku Klux Klan. I suppose you think they are representative of all Americans. Nothing could be further than the truth, Ahmadzafire, but think whatever you want. But Mein Kamph is not a perennial best-seller in the USA, as it is in Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

The Ku Klux Klan was represented and warmly received at a recent conference in Tehran, hosted by President Ahmadinejad. I noticed, no criticism from you about that.

Today, Muslim slave traders buy and sell slaves on the streets of Mauritania (even though Mauritania took the innovative step of abolishing slavery in 1985). Groups such as the American Anti-Slavery Group and Christian Solidarity International attempt to stop this practice, and raise funds to buy slaves' freedom and assist former slaves. Please describe for me the Muslim groups that are taking similar action against slavery in Africa today.

Though Jesus never Himself ran around freeing slaves, (at least, not in a legal sense) he espoused a philosophy and a faith that are incompatible with slavery. As evil as much of the behavior of people who label themselves Christian has been, it was not a coincidence that the anti-slavery movement was born in Christian England, Europe and America. And it's in England, Europe and America that we listen to criticism of that dark period in our past, and try to redress the wrongs of the past. For example, Black people in America today get preferential treatment for government jobs and college placements.

This is contrasted sharply by statements such as this one, by Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, Imam of the Prince Mitaeb Mosque in Riyadh, and professor at Imam Mohammed Bin Saud Islamic University: "Slavery is part of Islam. Salvery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long as there is Islam." Mr. Al-Fawzan wants to end Saudi Arabia's 44 year experiment with the abolition of slavery.

Ahmedzafire, how many slaves did Mohammed have? How many slaves did Jesus have? Subtract one number from the other and look at the difference.

P.S. I was impressed by your description of Arab scientific prowess. I fully expect to hear Saudi scientists announce a solid cure for cancer any day now.

Submitting....

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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Ahmadzafire, don't let facts interfere with your version of history by Jeff

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)