Friday, June 17, 2005

Is Slavery Making a Comeback?

Daniel Pipes's recent article, Saudis Import Slaves to America, gives many examples of this practice happening here once again in the good ol' US of A. And it's frightening. But apparently it's not rare for Saudis.

Although slavery was abolished in the kingdom in 1962, the practice still flourishes there. Ranking Saudi religious authorities endorse slavery; for example, Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan recently that "Slavery is a part of Islam" and whoever wants it abolished is "an infidel."

It's one thing if they want to break laws and do horrible things to fellow humans in their country but doing it here? The initial couple profiled in the story, Homaidan Ali Al-Turki and his wife Sarah Khonaizan, are thankfully facing life in prison. That is, if nothing goes wrong. Apparently interference has happened in the past.

... Saudis know they can get away with nearly any misbehavior. Their embassy provides funds, letters of support, lawyers, retroactive diplomatic immunity, former U.S. ambassadors as troubleshooters, and even aircraft out of the country; it also keeps pesky witnesses away.

Sounds like the Mafia if you ask me. Let's hope the government is able to stick to their guns with the prosecution of this pair.

10 Comments:

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Gindy said...

I was under the impression that this has been going on for some time. Not just here but in other countries.

 
At 3:04 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

According to the Qur'an owning slaves is a god given,legitimate right of every Muslim.
No LAW other than Allah's law can overwrite it.
I had a post some time ago on that topic if you care to read it:
http://www.observationdeck.org/weblogs/?p=118
(sorry to behave like an attention whore)

 
At 6:31 PM, Blogger Tran Sient said...

I wonder what the Nation of Islam would think about this.

 
At 9:05 AM, Blogger Gindy said...

"According to the Qur'an owning slaves is a god given,legitimate right of every Muslim."

And many of the top Imams have said as much I believe.

 
At 5:30 PM, Blogger MaxedOutMama said...

TS - funny!

The interpretation differs in Islam. The wacky Wahabists are only a very small part of the total. But culturally - well, look at the American south. People of color were being treated like slaves long after slavery was officially abolished. I bet anything it is the same thing there. If you want to be freaked out of your skull, try reading Arab News. They constantly have stories about foreign maids being brutalized, tortured, beaten, imprisoned....

 
At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Rachel said...

if everyone is allowed to have slaves than from which sector of society do they usually get them?

 
At 5:57 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

The history of Muslim slave- traders goes way back. Abraham Lincoln cited as one of the three books which most influenced him a book by Captain James Riley. Here is some info from a library site:

"Sufferings in Africa, Captain Riley's narrative : an authentic narrative of the loss of the American brig Commerce, wrecked on the western coast of Africa in the month of August 1815 : with an account of the sufferings of her surviving officers and crew who were enslaved by the wandering Arabs on the great African Desart, or Zahahrah
Riley, James, 1777-1840. Shipwrecked off the western coast of North Africa in 1815, Captain James Riley and members of his crew were made slaves to a band of nomadic Arabs. His dramatic account, which counted Abraham Lincoln among its admirers, is a great travel-adventure narrative of the times."

The book is more than a "travel-adventure." It gives some early insights into the practical applications of Islam.

As to Saudi's official repudiation of slave-holding, what they say doesn't necessarily mean that the Saudis are carrying out the spirit of the statement. The Qur'an does indeed advocate slavery.

 
At 6:46 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

When the slave trade flourished in Africa, it was very rare for European slavers to go in country to catch slaves. What usually happened was that a tribal chieftan would usually sell someone he wanted to get rid of to an Arab slave trader, who would transport the slaves to the Coast and sell them to whatever ship was in harbor. Sometimes the Arabs would snatch the victims during raids, but usually they were purchased. At any rate, the Arabs were the real slavers here. They dominated Africa for Centuries, and their evil trade was stamped out by the colonization of Europeans in Africa.

It has always amazed me that many black Americans adopt Islam and seem to think that it is a more ``Africa friendly`` religion than is Christianity or Judaism. The Moslems were the ones who shafted them the worst!

Islamic countries are the only ones where slavery still flourishes. Consider the Sudan.

Felis is absolutely right! The Koran codifies slavery!

 
At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Rory said...

You're quite right, Timothy. It was Arab slave traders who were largely responsible for the enterprise of slavery. As to why African Americans would embrace Islam, in view of that historical reality, I think it was partly a rejection of Christianity, which they feel is a white religion, although they could have embraced one of the African religions, especially in view of Islam's position on slavery. I do know that, at one time, there was an effort on the part of some of Arab countries, most notably Libya, to finance the Nation of Islam, so one can't help but think there was also a monetary incentive involved. In fact, when Louis Farrakhan visited the Sudan on a so-called fact-finding mission, he was the guest of the Sudanese government and came back to the States with a glowing report and the assertion that all of those stories about slavery in that country were an exaggeration.

 
At 3:56 PM, Blogger Esther said...

You might be right gindy.

Thanks for the link, felis. And feel free to whore yourself here anytime. ;)

ts, good question.

Good points, MoM.

rachel, good question?

AOW, interesting stuff! Thanks for sharing that. And you're right about the Saudis.

Timothy, it does boggle the mind, doesn't it?

Rory.... useful idiot, I guess?

 

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