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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Slavery in the Middle-East

Human Events discusses a new Fatwa allowing Syrian rebels to rape non-Sunni women. The justification appears to be rooted in Islamic religious law allowing sex slaves. From the article:
The Sheikh used Islam’s legitimate Arabic term for these hapless, non-Muslim women, melk al-yamin, a phrase that appears in Islam’s sacred book, the Koran, and which is simply a reference to non-Muslim sex-slaves. For example, Koran 4:3 commands Muslim men to “Marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four… or what your right hands possess.” Islam’s ulema, or “scholars,” are unanimously agreed that “what your right hands possess” is, according to Islamic law, simply a sex-slave. Linguistic evidence further suggests that she is seen more as an animal, a possession than a human—hence this inhuman fatwa.

Jordanian Sheih Yasir al-‘Ajlawni is certainly not the first cleric to legitimize the rape of infidel women in recent times. Calls to capture and rape non-Muslim women are appearing with increasing frequency and from all corners of the Islamic world.

A few months earlier, Saudi preacher Muhammad al-Arifi also issued a fatwa allowing jihadi fighters to engage in “intercourse marriage” with captive Syrian women that lasts for a few hours “in order to give each fighter a turn”—also known as gang-rape.

Then there is Egyptian Sheikh Ishaq Huwaini, who once lectured on how infidel captives, or to use another term from the Koran, ghanima, the “spoils of war,” are to be distributed among the jihadis and taken to “the slave market, where slave-girls and concubines are sold.” He, too, referred to such women as “what your right hands possess,” saying: “You go to the market and buy her, and she becomes like your legal mate—though without a contract, a guardian, or any of that stuff—and this is agreed upon by the ulema…. In other words, when I want a sex-slave, I go to the market and pick whichever female I desire and buy her.” Indeed, even some Muslim women advocate the enslavement and rape of fellow (non-Muslim) women. Kuwaiti political activist, Salwa al-Mutairi, for instance, is working to see the institution of sex-slavery return. In a video she posted online, she explained how she once asked Islam’s greatest authorities living in the city of Mecca, the city of Islam, about the legality of sex-slavery and how they all confirmed it to be perfectly legitimate.
 Slavery is not just limited to women. Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page Magazine about ongoing slavery and apartheid within Muslim countries in Africa and the Middle-East.
When Tuaregs and Islamists swarmed in to seize Northern Mali, one of the old grievances animating their campaign was slavery. The Tuaregs were not former slaves, they were, and in some cases still are, slaveholders.

... Muslim Tuareg still continue to hold thousands of slaves in Northern Mali.

Mali is not unique. The Sudanese genocide was given theological and political force by the attitude that Arabs and Muslims had the natural right to a superior position over African Animists and Christians. And today Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the Butcher of Sudan, continues to enjoy the support of the Muslim world despite being indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court.

... But racial Apartheid is very much a reality in the Muslim world. ...

In North Africa, the Haratin, a Berber word meaning dark skin, are the remnants of the indigenous African population. Many are still enslaved. Others live apart from mainstream society, forced into degrading or difficult occupations.

Mauritania is the country with the world’s largest proportion of slaves. There hundreds of thousands of Haratin serve the Bidhan, the so-called “White Moors”. The Bidhan pass on the Haratin as property from generation to generation. And even those who are not legally property face a grim life.

... The best kept secrets of the Muslim world include large populations of former African slaves in places like Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey. While Africans in Israel are not descended from slaves, Afro-Arabs, Afro-Turks and African-Pakistanis are living reminders of a Muslim slave trade that sometimes still lingers on.

The site of the world’s greatest slave rebellion was in Basra, Iraq, where half-a-million African slaves rose against the might of the Arab Abbasid Empire.

The Zanj rebellion was brutally suppressed, but its legacy lives on in the modern day city of Basra where hundreds of thousands of Afro-Iraqis live as a despised minority taunted with the slur “Abd” or Slave. That same Arabic word is often widely applied to black people in the Middle East.

... President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862. By contrast, Saudi Arabia only abolished slavery in 1962. That same year Yemen abolished slavery and the United Arab Emirates abolished slavery a year later.

... Slavery has been officially abolished; unofficially it lingers on. There is still a silent unofficial slave trade that is carried on and leading Saudi clerics have insisted that slavery is a part of Islam. Saudis living abroad are often discovered to have domestic workers who live like slaves leading to criminal cases.

The situation is worst in North Africa where Arab colonization largely displaced and suppressed the indigenous peoples, like the Nubians in Egypt. Ethnically cleansed to make way for the Lake Nasser project, Egyptian Nubians have, like so many other North African indigenous peoples, been reduced to a persecuted minority within their own land.
Greenfield then goes on to explain how the persistent belief in the "rightness" of slavery in these regions is rooted in Islam. Read the whole thing.

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