Posted tagged ‘Islam and slavery’

Georgetown Professor Condones Rape And Slavery Under Sharia

February 12, 2017

Georgetown Professor Condones Rape And Slavery Under Sharia, Clarion Project, Meira Svirsky, February 12, 2017

(Please see also, The forgotten European slaves of Islamic Barbary North Africa and Islamic Ottoman Turkey. The fifteen minute video is well worth watching. — DM)

jonathan-ac-brown-640-320Jonathan A.C. Brown (Photo: Video screenshot)

A Georgetown professor of Islamic studies sent shockwaves through the academic and secular world for a lecture he gave essentially condoning Islamic slavery and nonconsensual sex (that’s academic for “rape”).

That would have been the opening sentence to comment on such a lecture if we lived in normal times – which we don’t. The lecture in question actually created very little stir – neither at the university where he is employed nor elsewhere save for some very astute blogs (see here and here) deconstructing the professor’s astonishing breadth of obfuscation.

In a lecture (see below) at the International Institute of Islamic Thought (a Muslim-Brotherhood-linked group) and in subsequent questions and answers following his talk, Georgetown Islamic Studies professor Jonathan Brown, a convert to Islam, declares:

“It’s not immoral for one human to own another human.”  

He waxes poetic about the great life a slave has under sharia law (versus slavery under white men in the South) without actually defining that life. Perhaps, as Clarion Project has done, he should get his information from a Yazidi girl from Iraq.

Brown says slavery itself is not problematic, since the “the Prophet of God [Mohammed] had slaves … There’s no denying that. Was he—are you more morally mature than the Prophet of God? No you’re not.”

Rather, “The moral evil is extreme forms of deprivation of rights and extreme forms of control and extreme forms of exploitation. I don’t think it’s morally evil to own somebody because we own lots of people all around us, and we’re owned by people.”

Brown mentions examples such as an employer and an employee, taking out a mortgage and even his own marriage, since his wife held certain rights over him. Somehow, the fact that one engages in these activities from his or her own free will and has the ability to terminate such relationships went over the professor’s head, or he chose to ignore them.

Brown tells his audience Islamic slavery was fundamentally better than slavery that was practiced in the U.S., since it was not racially motivated. How that makes it better is beyond my moral compass, but one can simply look at the well documented history of the Arab slave trade of Africans to dispute this.

Although many whites were enslaved by Arab Muslims as well, an estimated 10-20 million black Africans were enslaved between 650 and 1900 by Arab slave traders. Many of these slaves were forcibly castrated to serve as eunuchs that guarded the vast harems of female slaves belonging to the rulers. Black Muslim slaves still exist today, for example, in Mauritania and Sudan. Black people suffer discrimination in Saudi Arabia, where slavery was only abolished in 1962.

The racial slur abeed, meaning slaves in Arabic, is still widely used to describe black people.

The professor then trots out academic moral relativism in two twisted points of erudition, saying:

“There is no such thing as slavery, as a category, as a conceptual category that exists throughout space and time trans-historically.”

“Slavery cannot just be treated as a moral evil in and of itself because slavery doesn’t mean anything.”

As for the permissibility of sex with a slave, Brown says, “Consent isn’t necessary for lawful sex” and goes on to dig at the overrated concept of autonomy over one’s own body, saying our society is “obsessed with the idea of autonomy and consent.”

When asked if having nonconsensual sex with an enslaved woman – or any woman—is wrong, Brown asks if there is really any difference between a girl sold in a slave market in Istanbul and a poor baker’s daughter who marries a poor baker’s son out of lack of other options:

“[The girl’s owner in Istanbul] by the way, might treat her badly, might treat her incredibly well … that baker’s son might treat her well. He might treat her horribly. The difference between these two people is not that big. We see it as enormous because we’re obsessed with the idea of autonomy and consent, would be my first response. It’s not a solution to the problem. I think it does help frame it.”

“Frame it” or not, there is a world of difference between the two situations and a simple answer that consent is not a relativistic concept when we are talking about a raping of women would have sufficed.

The fact that a college professor can get away with such apologetic views on such serious moral issues surrounding Islamic thought – issues that entire populations who have been taken over by Islamic State are facing with horrific consequences — is truly staggering.

One can only imagine the response by the university if a professor of Christian thought had expounded such views about Christianity.

 

Europeans Abolished Slavery; Africans/Muslims Still Practice it

August 4, 2016

Europeans Abolished Slavery; Africans/Muslims Still Practice it, Front Page MagazineIlana Mercer, August 4, 2016

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First he exposed the History Channel’s miniseries “Roots” as root-and-brunch fiction. Now, the courageous epistolary warrior Kunta (Jack) Kerwick has turned his attention to correcting lies about slavery, promulgated in media and scholarly circles.

A point forcefully made by Kerwick is that although a vibrant, indigenous slave trade was conducted well into the nineteenth century in the interior of West Africa, slavery has become the White Man’s cross to bear.

Also omitted, in the course of the “honest” conversation about race directed by our political masters, is that credit for the demise of the slave trade in Africa belongs to Europeans. In his compact study, The Slave Trade, British historian Jeremy Black (London, 2006), highlights the “leading role Britain played in the abolition of slavery [as]… an example of an ethical foreign policy.” Britain agonized over this repugnant institution, failed to reconcile it with the Christian faith, and consequently abolished it.

Professor Black condemns the exclusive focus on the Atlantic—or transatlantic—slave trade to the exclusion of the robust slave trade conducted by Arabs across the Sahara Desert. Or, across the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea to markets in the Middle East. This exclusive focus on westerners as slave owners and traders, notes Black, “fits with the [political] narrative of Western exploitation” of underdeveloped countries and their people.

The greatest development economist to live was Lord P.T. Bauer. As The Economist quipped, Bauer was to foreign aid what Friedrich Hayek was to socialism: a slayer. In his Dissent on Development (London, 1971), Bauer bolstered Black’s point well before the latter made it: “The slave trade between Africa and the Middle East antedated the Atlantic slave trade by centuries, and far outlasted it. Tens of millions of Africans were carried away—north through the Sahara, and from East Africa, by Arab and Muslim slave traders, well before Europeans took up the trade from West Africa.”

Arab affinity for slavery, ethnic prejudice and purges lives on today in the treatment, for example, of blacks in Darfur and Yazidi Kurds in Iraq.

Considering Europeans were not alone in the slave trade, Black, in particular, questions “the commonplace identification of slavery with racism,” given that, like serfdom, slavery was a device (albeit an inefficient one) “to ensure labor availability and control.”

At its most savage, child slavery still thrives in Haiti in the form of the “Restavec system.” Children are kept in grinding poverty and worked to the bone. In the Anglo-American and European worlds this would be considered perverse in the extreme; in Haiti owning a Restavec is a status symbol. (Haiti, incidentally, is another spot on the globe that “Hillary Clinton’s State Department” “helped ruin,” by ensconcing an illegitimate and corrupt leader, with a preference for corrupt NGOs such as … The Clinton Foundation.)

The savagery of the indigenous slave trade in the interior of West Africa owed a lot to the rivalries and relationships between Africans powers. By Black’s telling, “Both Arabs and Europeans worked in collaboration with native polities that provided the slaves through raids and war carried out against their neighbors.”

For the Atlantic slave trade, contemporary Americans and Britons have been expiating at every turn. But more than engendering a cult of apology, the Atlantic slave trade has been instrumental in the effort to control and define the past as an “aspect of current politics,” not least in shaping the historical treatment of the Civil War, the South, and the American Founding Fathers.

Jeremy Black rejects these ritual apologies as empty ploys, which “all too often conform to fatuous arguments about ‘closure,’ resolution, and being unable to move on until we acknowledge the past.” In reality, this bowing-and-scraping, by obsequious Anglo-Americans, to their black political overlords, entails the opposite of all these, and, instead, involves the reiteration and institutionalization of racial grievance.

The cult of apology that has gripped America and Britain is uniquely Western. What other people would agonize over events they had no part in, personally, for damages they did not inflict?

Grievance is leveled at a collective, all whites, for infractions it did not commit: Africans who were not enslaved are seen as having an ineffable claim against Europeans who did not enslave them.

At its core, the argument against racism, at least as it works to further black interests, is an argument against collectivism. You’re meant to avoid judging an entire people based on the color of their epidermis or the conduct of a statistically significant number of them.

It is, however, deemed perfectly acceptable to malign and milk Europeans for all they’re worth, based on the lack of pigment in their skin and their overall better socio-economic performance.

**

Adapted from Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) by ILANA Mercer.