[Marxism] Ahmadinejad and the UN summit

Nathaniel Thomas nathanahel.didymus at gmail.com
Thu Apr 23 01:09:07 MDT 2009

Good sections in this article, but also one of the stupider arguments
I've seen for anything, since it simply doesn't work.  The word for
"slave" in English also comes from "Slav", just like the medieval
Arabic-Persian term according to this guy (although it is most
commonly "abd" now).  So much for that argument providing any evidence
that the slavery among medieval Muslims was non-racialized.  Maybe it
was, but that argument falls on its face right from the starting gate.
 Here's the OED:

[ad. OF. esclave (also mod.F.), sometimes fem. corresponding to the
masc. esclaf, esclas (pl. esclaz, esclauz, esclos, etc.), = Prov.
esclau masc., esclava fem., Sp. esclavo, -va, Pg. escravo, -va, It.
schiavo, -va, med.L. sclavus, sclava, identical with the racial name
Sclavus (see SLAV), the Slavonic population in parts of central Europe
having been reduced to a servile condition by conquest; the
transferred sense is clearly evidenced in documents of the 9th
  The form with initial scl- is also represented by older G. schlav(e,
sclav(e, G. sklave. In English the reduction of scl- to sl- is normal,
and the other Teut. languages show corresponding forms, as WFris.
slaef, NFris. slaaw, MDu. slave, slaef (Du. slaaf), MLG. and LG. slave
(hence Da. and Norw. slave), older G. slaf(e, Sw. slaf).
  The history of the words representing slave and Slav in late Gr.,
med.L., and G., is very fully traced in Grimm's Deutsches Wörterbuch
s.v. Sklave.]


Khodadad Rezakhani wrote:
> So, we get back to my point. Racism is a phenomenon born out of the
> European experience. The rest of the world has suffered many things,
> from religious wars to draughts and starvations. Human rights abuses of
> all kinds have existed, but the closer you look, the less you find these
> to have been based on skin colour and race. Right now, many of my
> readers would tell me that I am being biased, since we have evidence
> that Middle Easterners took black Africans as slaves. True, one easily
> thinks of this as an example of racism and equates it with the Americas
> in the 18th century. But you would be entertained to know that the
> Arabic-Persian word for slave in the medieval Middle East was Saqlāb,
> coming from Slav, since most slaves in the Middle East were imported
> from not Africa, but Russia! So, if we manage to separate slavery from
> racism (which is hard for many people since the American context is so
> prominent in everyone’s mind) we realize that yes, slavery existed, but
> it was not race based!

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