Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jihad and slavery in the West (slightly different than you expect)

Paul Fregosi in his book Jihad in the West: Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries calls Islamic Jihad “the most unrecorded and disregarded major event of history. It has, in fact, been largely ignored,” although it has been a fact of life in Europe, Asia and Africa for almost 1400 years. As Fregosi says, “Western colonization of nearby Muslim lands lasted 130 years, from the 1830s to the 1960s. Muslim colonization of nearby European lands lasted 1300 years, from the 600s to the mid-1960s. Yet, strangely, it is the Muslims…who are the most bitter about colonialism and the humiliations to which they have been subjected; and it is the Europeans who harbor the shame and the guilt. It should be the other way around.”

Atttacks by pirates from the Arab countries first and later the Ottoman Turks were the rule in many regions of Eurasia, not just in Europe. Indian historian K. S. Lal states that wherever Jihadists conquered a territory, “there developed a system of slavery peculiar to the clime, terrain, and populace of the place.” When Muslim armies invaded India, “its people began to be enslaved in droves to be sold in foreign lands or employed in various capacities on menial and not-so-menial jobs within the country.”

While the Arabs dominated during the early centuries of the Islamic era, the Turks soon converted and surpassed them as a force. As they steadily conquered more and more of Anatolia, the Turks reduced many Greeks and other non-Muslims there to slave status: “They enslaved men, women, and children from all major urban centers and from the countryside.” Turkish attacks on nearby European lands lasted well into the modern era.

As Murray Gordon writes in his book Slavery in the Arab World , the sexual aspects of slavery were disproportionate important in the Islamic world. “Eunuchs commanded the highest prices among slaves, followed by young and pretty white women.” Usually, the high cost of white female slaves made them a luxury which only rich Muslims could afford:

“White women were almost always in greater demand than Africans, and Arabs were prepared to pay much higher prices for Circassian and Georgian women from the Caucasus and from Circassian colonies in Asia Minor. After the Russians seized Georgia and Circassia in the early part of the nineteenth century and, as a result of the Treaty of Adrianople in 1829 under which they obtained the fortresses dominating the road into Turkey from Circassia, the traffic in Circassian women came to a virtual halt. This caused the price of Circassian women to shoot up in the slave markets of Constantinople and Cairo. The situation was almost completely reversed in the early 1840s when the Russians, in exchange for a Turkish pledge to cease their attacks on their forts on the eastern side of the Black Sea, quietly agreed not to interfere in the slave traffic. This unrestricted trade brought on a glut in the Constantinople and Cairo markets, where prices for Circassian women brought them in reach of many ordinary Turks and Egyptians.”

Unlike the West, there never was a Muslim abolitionist movement since slavery is permitted according to sharia, Islamic religious law, and remains so to this day. When the open practice of slavery was finally abolished in most of the Islamic world, this was only due to external Western pressure, ranging from the American war against the barbarian pirates of North Africa to the naval power of the British Empire. Slavery was taken for granted throughout Islamic history and lasted longer than did the Western slave trade. Robert Spencer elaborates in his book A Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t:

No European peoples suffered more from Islamic colonialism than those in the Balkans. Sir Jadunath Sarkar, the pre-eminent historian of Mughal India, wrote this about dhimmitude, the humiliating apartheid system imposed upon non-Muslims under Islamic rule: “The conversion of the entire population to Islam and the extinction of every form of dissent is the ideal of the Muslim State. If any infidel is suffered to exist in the community, it is as a necessary evil, and for a transitional period only.…A non-Muslim therefore cannot be a citizen of the State; he is a member of a depressed class; his status is a modified form of slavery. He lives under a contract (dhimma) with the State.…In short, his continued existence in the State after the conquest of his country by the Muslims is conditional upon his person and property made subservient to the cause of Islam.”

This “modified form of slavery” is now frequently referred to as the pinnacle of “tolerance.” If the semi-slaves rebel against this system and desire equal rights and self-determination, Jihad resumes. This happened with the Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire, who were repressed with massacres,

Source: Fjordman is a noted Norwegian blogger who has written for many conservative web sites. He used to have his own Fjordman Blog in the past, but it is no longer active.

Day Opening - March 10

Why waiting? For a good jump?