[Marxism] Benevolent Islam and the Slave Trade

J.M.P.Cloke at lboro.ac.uk J.M.P.Cloke at lboro.ac.uk
Thu Apr 30 02:05:09 MDT 2009

Before you boys embarrass yourselves any more with all 
this talk of a benevolent Islam and what nice guys the 
Ottomans were, in respect of slavery at least here are a 
few quotes from the 2006 paperback version of the Hugh 
Thomas book 'The Slave Trade'. Which you should really go 
away and read. Really.

“In all the countries which bordered the Mediterranean the 
institution prospered in the middle ages. The reasons 
were, first, that the sea, and its shore, constituted a 
permanent war zone between Christians and Muslims; and, 
second, that slaves continued to be a priority in Islam. 
Christians and Muslims alike in the Mediterranean still 
considered that the institution of slavery had a firm 
basis in Roman and canon law, in the Bible and also in the 

“Perhaps 750,000 slaves were carried into the 
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan in the nineteenth century, many in 
the last half of it. The volume of the Ottoman slave trade 
was also probably about 11,000 a year in the second half 
of that era.”

“at the time of writing, newspaper reports are frequent of 
the incidence of slavery in Mauritania where, despite the 
abolition of the institution at least three times, most 
recently in 1980, 90,000 black Africans are said to live 
as full-time slaves to Arab masters”

Still, Sartesian is (surprisingly) right in at least one 
aspect, which is the basis of the British agricultural and 
industrial revolution on the wealth brought to the UK by 
the slave trade. But he left out the drugs trade, in 
particular the control over the opium trade from the 
subcontinent, which was the other pillar of wealth for 
British imperial power.



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