[Marxism] Benevolent Islam and the Slave Trade

John johnedmundson at paradise.net.nz
Thu Apr 30 04:45:03 MDT 2009

On Thu, 2009-04-30 at 09:05 +0100, J.M.P.Cloke at lboro.ac.uk wrote:
> 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 
> Koran”
> “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.

I'm not sure that any of this would have been news to anyone on this
list. Still, I didn't have the exact figures so I suppose that was

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