The Slavery Conundrum.

‘If slavery is such a manifest and universal evil, why did no one seem to realise this until relatively recently, and what does that mean about our traditions of moral reasoning or divine guidance? ‘

~ Dr Jonathan Brown in his new book ‘Slavery & Islam‘ page 3.

I have just started the book. Maybe Brown has in mind the likes of Moses, Jesus, Plato, Aristotle, Muhammad, the Founding Fathers, etc?)

Categories: Dr Jonathan Brown, Islam, Muhammad, Recommended reading

8 replies

  1. “why did no one seem to realise this until relatively recently”
    This is a strong statement – it just needs one counter example example to refute it.

    This Wikipedia article gives some pointers for further research:

  2. I doubt if he actually defines slavery. There are gradations of slavery. Islamic slavery is total control of the slave and denial of all freedoms. Brown is just another taqiyya artist.

    And slavery just happens? Spontaneously by itself?

    No, it is the outcome of Jihad, which is a duty upon all Muslims.

    Islam gives each Muslim the right to make of any non-Muslim, who is not a dhimmi and under protection, a slave.

    I wonder if Brown talks about that in his book, which I for one won’t be buying. I am not dumb enough.

  3. Paul,
    “Islam calls for the emancipation of salves.”
    There’s the problem: the salves were emancipated but slaves not.

    But seriously, you say “Emancipation is different from abolitionism” but the meanings overlap. I understand emancipation to be a broad concept “any effort to procure economic and social rights, political rights or equality, often for a specifically disenfranchised group,”

    Whereas abolitionism generally refers to ending slavery:

    My questions remain unanswered: “How much emancipation went on in the Muslim world before the 19th century? Who were the great Muslim abolitionists before the 19th century?”

    Would I be right in thinking that Islam values emancipation of individual slaves by individual slave owners but not necessarily its abolition as a social institution? Given that slavery persisted (and not in a minor way) from before Islam to the 19th century (and continues in some parts of the Muslim world) I suspect that many Muslims throughout history emancipated slaves (perhaps when they were old and decrepit) and then popped down to the market to purchase a younger and fresher one.

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