Sunday, November 26, 2006

Islam`s Black Slaves: The History of Africa`s Other Black Diaspora

Islam`s Black Slaves: The History of Africa`s Other Black Diaspora
by Ronald Segal


This work tells the fascinating and horrifying story of the Islamic slave trade. It documents a centuries-old institution that still survives, and traces the business of slavery and its repercussions from Islam`s inception in the 7th century, through its history in China, India, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Libya and Spain, and on to Sudan and Mauritania, where, even today, slaves continue to be sold. Segal reveals the numbers involved in this trade - as many millions as were transported to the Americas - and explores the differences between the traffic in the East and the West. Beginning some eight centuries earlier than the Atlantic Trade, the Islamic Trade was conducted on a different scale, and provided slaves more often for domestic - including sexual - and military service than for plantation labour. Some slaves rose to positions of authority, and a few even became rulers. Because of specific spiritual teachings, Islam was generally more humane than the West in its treatment of slaves and in its willingness to grant them their freedom, although the processes of captivity and transport victimized untold numbers of innocent people, as did the creation of eunuchs for the Islamic market.

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