Archive for the ‘NEWS’ Category

1. There is only one God, and Mohammad is His prophet.

2. Islam is a better religion than any other religion.

3. Islam has a better government and system of law than any other.

4. Anybody who is not a Muslim is worth less than a Muslim, deserves less respect, and under Islamic law, should be treated as a second-class citizen with fewer rights and a heavy tax burden.

5. Every Muslim should strive to make the whole world and everyone in it follow Islamic law. This is the prime directive.

6. Striving for this prime directive is the most important thing a Muslim can do. It is his (or her) most important religious duty. It is the most important expression of his religious faith.

7. He should strive to accomplish the prime directive with his time, his money, his speech and writing, and with weapons if necessary.

8. If he is in a place where Muslims don’t have dominant political power, he can and should deceive non-Muslims if it helps Muslims accomplish the prime directive.

9. Any efforts by non-Muslims to inhibit the spread of Islam should be considered an attack on Islam.

10. Whenever Islam is attacked, it is a Muslim’s holy duty to defend Islam by any means necessary.

11. A Muslim should never stop striving for the domination of Islam until it has been achieved.

If you don’t already know this about Islam, you have some learning to do. Start with the Quran (and make sure the Quran you use has been unscrambled). Then take the pledge and read the Quran.

TEHRAN — Thirty-six years after construction began under the shah, Iran finally opened its first nuclear power plant at a ceremony on Saturday.

Attended by senior officials from Iran and Russia, the ceremony marked the beginning of the transfer of low-enriched uranium fuel rods from a storage site into the plant.

Officials of both countries said Saturday’s events signified the opening, not the startup, of the plant near Bushehr, in southern Iran, as a working nuclear plant.

“This is a special day for both Russian and Iranian specialists,” the chief of Russia’s Rosatom state nuclear power company, Sergei Kiriyenko, said, shaking hands and smiling with his Iranian counterparts, in television reports broadcast in Russia, which helped build the station through years of concern by the West that Iran was using its civilian program to mask a plan to build a bomb.

And it is one sure to upset United States diplomats who had encouraged Russia to delay the opening, though they have not objected to the project as it could be seen as helping to bring Iran’s nuclear program fully under the aegis of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Mr. Kiriyenko, speaking to members of the news media in an amphitheater of the Bushehr complex, took pains to emphasize, as Russians have for years, that the plant complied with the agency’s requirements. “Not a single professional in the world has any questions about the chance that the Bushehr nuclear power plant could be used for nonpeaceful purposes,” he said.

Russia also announced what seemed to be a new safeguard. Its technicians will jointly operate the station for two to three years under an agreement signed Saturday before the opening ceremony, Mr. Kiriyenko said, gradually handing over the controls to the Iranians.

He also announced that Russia would provide Iran with iodine and molybdenum, nuclear isotopes used in medicine. It was unclear what effect this would have on efforts to dissuade Iran from enriching uranium to a higher grade than is needed in electrical power plants so that it could be used in a research reactor in Tehran that produces medical isotopes.

Technicians from Russia, who took over work at the Bushehr site in the mid-1990s, will be moving the rods, which contain tons of uranium, for several weeks. Iranian television said that task would be completed by Sept. 5.

After the transfer, more time will be required to load them into the stainless-steel core and lower them to begin the nuclear reaction, Russian nuclear officials have said; only later this year will the plant begin producing electricity, Mr. Kiriyenko said.

Russia seemed to have engineered the construction schedule, already delayed for years, for leverage to encourage Iran to abandon a domestic program for enriching uranium. Russia has promised to provide all the fuel the plant will require and has demanded return of spent fuel.

Will Yong reported from Tehran, and Andrew E. Kramer from Moscow.

The Left in the mainstream media are desperately attempting to characterize conservative views of the Cordoba Initiative mosque as question of religious freedom.  Yet, no apologist for the mosque, thus far, from the White House, to the Mayor’s office, to MSNBC has yet to explain why a Muslim base for evangelism named for Islam’s greatest military conquest in the West must be built where the remains of those slaughtered in the name of Allah are still being discovered.

Today on Frank Gaffney’s Secure Freedom Radio, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton’s discussion with Frank addresses the Cordoba mosque and also lays out the geo-strategic macro view from our “reset with Russia” to the latest on Iran.

“The most stunning thing about what the President has been saying and changing and repeating and pulling back is what contempt it shows for the American people.  To say that, ‘We all suffer from the traumatic effects of 9/11.,’ as if he doesn’t and therefore has a clearer picture of what it actually means, I just thought was shocking.”

Listen to the rest of Frank’s discussion with the Ambassador here:

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With the shocking report by Christine Brim revealing that the folks involved in planning the Ground Zero Mosque are heading a major push to get Shariah law forced upon the United States, one has to wonder why this startling fact has not become the talk of the town among the Old Media and the chattering classes? [Editor’s Note: since the publication of Part I of Ms. Brim’s exposé, the secret website has been taken down.] One would think that this news would be a final nail the coffin of legitimacy that this GZ Mosque plan ever had.

cordoba initiative sticker

Brim asked an interesting question about the Ground Zero Mosque building’s actual blueprints. What are the six currently unassigned floors going to be dedicated to? Brim found that nine of the 15 floors seemed to have been assigned to some purpose or another but six have not been identified as going to any particular purpose. As Brim says, that’s an awful lot of empty office space.

To answer to her curiosity, Brim began to research the website of mosque planners Cordoba Initiative. What she found there should shock us all. There she found that the head of the project, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, has been involved in a series of conferences to push Sharia law throughout the world.

Brim found segments of the Cordoba Website that have recently been scrubbed, segments that show that Rauf is a participant in pushing radical Sharia law on the United States and other western countries through an effort called the Shariah Index Project. The goal section of this scrubbed part of the Cordoba Initiative’s website announced that it intended to “define, interpret and implement the concept of the Islamic State in modern times.”

This news should be enough to discredit the entire Ground Zero Mosque project forever. There is no worse aspect of Islam than the abusive, oppressive, practically stone-aged thinking of Shariah law. It is Shariah law that approves of murdering children in so-called “honor killings,” it is Shariah law that metes out punishments such as amputations of limbs for theft or stoning for being gay or having an affair. It is Shariah law that makes it impossible for a woman to prosecute her rapist.

In fact, the implementation of harsh Sharia laws was a major contributing factor in America’s decision to go to war against the Taliban. The depictions of the stoning of young women, the “laws” against music and dance, the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, all this added to America’s disdain of the Taliban. After all, the evils of Shariah law oppresses women, minorities, and eliminates even the smallest chance at religious freedom.

Yet here is this Imam who is cynically going about preaching to America that we are being intolerant of his religion not to allow his Ground Zero Mosque, a project that even other Muslims now say is little else but gloating about the “success” of 9/11, being involved in an effort to push the single most intolerant, oppressive set of so-called laws currently leveled against humanity. He calls us intolerant yet wants to force us all to this backwards, hateful mockery of law!

The news that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a pusher of this anti-American agenda should be enough to thoroughly discredit his claims of desiring religious tolerance in America. Yet this news is being ignored. One has to wonder why that is?

Update: Rauf’s gang at the Cordoba Initiative tried to make their hidden website disappear. Of course, they weren’t successful; we’ve got the PDFs (here and www.cordobainitiative.org_recent_programs.html.pdf“>here).

And A Note to Rauf and the “Shariah Index Project”: We always get PDFs. And we’ve got more screen-captures and more of your hidden website material to expose.

Earlier this week, Christine Brim posted the first of a series of exposés on the hidden websites of the Cordoba Initiative, Faisal Abdul Rauf’s organization behind the Ground Zero Mosque. Since the article appeared, the site’s been taken down and, with it, crucial information about the “Shariah Index Project.”

SIP_Hidden_Website copy

What’s been below the radar in many news reports concerning the Ground Zero Mosque is that, prior to the provocative act of the mosque, Rauf’s main preoccupation has been Cordoba’s ‘Shariah Index Project. The tagline of the project was, “Imagine: a Perfectly Islamic State.”

Since the Cordoba people obviously have something to hide in regards to their imaginings about a “Perfectly Islamic State,” it’s probably a good time to re-examine the original Big Peace exposé: “Ground Zero Mosque’s Hidden Websites: Follow the Shariah.”

“Honor Killing” is Absolutely Islamic!

by Syed Kamran Mirza

01 Jul, 2005 (Updated 16 Jan, 2008)

 

Honor killings, which occur with shocking regularity in certain parts of the Middle East and South Asia, target women whose actions – actual or suspected – violate the honor of their family, an honor which is thought to depend on the sexual purity of its female members. Victims are always being killed/slaughtered mercilessly by her own family members. Honor killing is a manifestation of global phenomenon in general and Muslim nations in particular. Since this terrible inhumane practice does exists only among the Muslims of the world—very often civilized people do blame Islam as the precursor of this dreadful act. Most others do not agree with this notion at all; and they try to put the blame on the tribal/cultural practice, and do not consider Islam is anyway responsible for it. In this essay I shall analyze the real issues, cause and origin, and pattern of this heinous act amongst the Muslims of the world to postulate if there is any link, or incitements that originates from the very core of Islam.

What is honor killing?

Honor killing is the bone chilling horrific cruelty committed by the family members—father, mother, brothers, brother-in-laws, even in some cases own sisters also. In this terrible episode the victim is always the daughter/sister or other blood related young women who get killed. Perpetrators are always the family members stated above. Family honor is one of the core values of Arab society. Anything from speaking with an unrelated man, to rumored pre-marital loss of virginity, to an extra-marital affair, refuses forced marriages; marry according to their will; or even women and girls who have been raped—can stain or destroy the family honor. Therefore, family members (parents, brothers, or sisters) kill the victim in order to remove the stain or maintain, and protect the honor of the family. Killers are given light sentences, sometimes with little or no jail time at all. The killers mainly defend their act of murder by referring to the Koran and Islam. Family guardian will say that they are merely following the directives set down in their Islamic ethical beliefs.

 
 
Honor killing is committed by the family members – father, mother, brothers, brother-in-laws and even in some cases sisters
These barbaric killings occur only to save the honor of the family, and not for any animosity or for wealth or gold. In 100% of cases—the killers have no animosity, rather they love the girl as their own daughter or sister, but they kill the girl anyway upon their ethical compulsion to save their family honor, or to erase family stigmas. The victims cry, beg for their life but the family members become merciless (out of their ethical prejudices and also religious burden of fear) and kill the victim. After killing family members usually mourn and cry for the victim (usually loving daughter or sister) but feel solace that they have done the right thing to save their family honor.
And this kind of cruel killings to save family honor had happened, still happening, and will remain to happen—only to a Muslim family. Honor killings happen only to some designated Muslim nations such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, the Gaza strip and the West Bank (Palestine), Jordan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Somalia, Turkey, Iran and some other south and central Asian countries. Bangladesh though a Muslim majority country—regular pattern of honor killings never happened as of today. But it is not unknown or impossible to record some stray incidences in Bangladeshi rural Muslim family (only) in which girl was poisoned by family members, or asked to commit suicide after being impregnated by unwed sexual intercourse. However, this same kind of case history was never heard, or recorded in the non-Muslim family of Bangladesh.
Honor killing is different from other killings
Honor killing should never be confused with wife beating, or wife killings by husbands or other relatives.
 
Honor killing should never be confused with wife beating, or wife killings by husbands or other relatives. Since pre-historic ancient time people assassinated, killed, or poisoned their wives or husbands, or other family members for either adultery, love affairs (Poro-keya prem) with other man besides her husband, or for property disputes—and these are simple homicide in English terminology. They are never called honor killing. This kind of homicides did occur, still occurs, and will occur in any nations, or race throughout the human history and these are not any race, or religion related happenings by any standard. Honor killings also should never be confused, or mixed up with killings for dowry, acid throwing by unsuccessful/disappointed love stalkers (as frequently happened in the Indian sub-continent), or any other violence against women. These are simply not honor killings, which is the topic of this essay.

Some sample cases of horrific honor killing:

  • Case-1: ” Two months ago, when she tried to run away yet again, Kina (father of the girl) grabbed a kitchen knife and an ax and stabbed and beat the girl [his daughter] until she lay dead in the blood-smeared bathroom of the family’s Istanbul apartment. He then commanded one of his daughters-in-law to clean up the mess. When his two sons came home from work 14 hours later, he ordered them to dispose of the 5-foot-3 corpse, which had been wrapped in a carpet and a blanket. The girl’s head had been so mutilated, police said, it was held together by a knotted cloth.”
     
  • Case-2: “Kifaya Husayn, a 16-year-old Jordanian girl, was lashed to a chair by her 32-year-old brother. He gave her a drink of water and told her to recite an Islamic prayer. Then he slashed her throat. Immediately afterward, he ran out into the street, waving the bloody knife and crying, ‘I have killed my sister to cleanse my honor.’ Kifaya’s crime? She was raped by another brother, a 21-year-old man. Her judge and jury? Her own uncles, who convinced her eldest brother that Kifaya was too much of a disgrace to the family’s honor to be allowed to live. The murderer was sentenced to fifteen years, but the sentence was subsequently reduced to seven and a half years, an extremely severe penalty by Jordanian standards.”
     
  • Case-3: “A 25-year-old Palestinian who hanged his sister with a rope: “I did not kill her, but rather helped her to commit suicide and to carry out the death penalty she sentenced herself to. I did it to wash with her blood the family honor that was violated because of her and in response to the will of society that would not have had any mercy on me if I didn’t . . . Society taught us from childhood that blood is the only solution to wash the honor.”
     
  • Case-4: “Samia Sarwar, 29, mother of two boys aged 4 and 8, was shot dead today in lawyer Hina Jillani’s office by a bearded man accompanying her mother and uncle. `He’s my helper, I can’t walk,’ said the mother, when Hina told the two men to get out. As the mother went to sit down in front of Hina’s desk, and Saima stood up from her chair, the bearded man whipped out a pistol from his waistcoat and shot Saima in the head, killing her instantly.”
     


    When Samia Sarwar sought a divorce from her violent husband she was gunned down in the office of her lawyer Hina Jilani. The killer was taken there by her own mother.
     
    • Case-5: ABU QASH, Palestine: Amira Abu Hanhan Qaoud (mother of 9 children) killed her daughter ‘Rofayda Qaoud’ who had been raped by her brothers and was impregnated. Armed with a plastic bag, razor and wooden stick, Qaoud entered her sleeping daughter’s room last Jan. 27, 2003. “Tonight you die, Rofayda,” she told the girl, before wrapping the bag tightly around her head. Next, Qaoud sliced Rofayda’s wrists, ignoring her muffled pleas of “No, mother, no!” After her daughter went limp, Qaoud struck her in the head with the stick. The 43-year-old mother of nine said. “I had to protect my children. This is the only way I could protect my family’s honor.”

    •  Case-6: A 23 year old Rania Arafat, whose plight was broadcast live on national TV in Jordan. Rania was promised to her cousin as a very young child. Rania repeatedly told that she doesn’t love him and she is in love with someone else. She pled with her family to allow her to marry her lover, instead. She ran away twice, including two weeks before her forced marriage. She wrote to her mother and pled for forgiveness and understanding. Her parents promised that she would not be harmed and she could return home. On August 19, 1997, Rania returned home. The same night, her younger brother, Rami, shot her five times in the head and chest, killing her immediately. Her youngest brother was chosen to commit the murder not only to allow his defense to find protection under the laws protecting so-called honour crimes, but also because he was a juvenile. Rami served six months in jail for his crime.

     
  • Case-7: Amal, another Arab woman and victim of honour killing was run away because she insisted on her independence. Her family said that they were ashamed because of that and the gossip of neighbors. One night, when she returned home and went sleep, her brother accompanied by Amal’s father, strangled her. He said: “I strangled her. She didn’t fight back. I recited the “Holly Koran” as she was dying… it took a few minutes and she was dead.” He and his father both given light sentences.

     

    Every two weeks a young woman is killed in Jordan alone in the name of family honour

    • Case-8: Death of Aqsa Pervez: A reflection on Canadian Muslim-Pakistanis-Honor killing in Canada!, December 16, 2007
    A young Mississauga teenager (16-year old) Aqsa Pervez, was killed by her father last week who later called the police and confessed. Mohammad Pervez is now in police custody and his case hearings have begun. The young girl was killed by strangulation for her refusal to wear the hijab.
     
  • Case- 9: Texas manhunt on for father of slain his two girls (January 3, 2008)
    Texas authorities continued a manhunt today for an Egyptian-born taxi driver accused of murdering his two teenage daughters. Yaser Abdel Said, 50, was wanted on a warrant for capital murder after police say he shot the girls Tuesday and left them to die in his taxi, which was found parked in front a hotel in Las Colinas, a suburb north of Dallas. Police said Mr. Said should be considered armed and dangerous.

    Friends of Amina Yaser Said, 18, and Sarah Yaser Said, 17, described the girls to the Dallas Morning News as “extremely smart — like geniuses,” saying the slain sisters had been enrolled in advanced placement classes and were active in soccer and tennis at suburban Lewisville High School. Family and friends told reporters that the girls’ Westernized lifestyle caused conflict with their Muslim father, who immigrated from Egypt in the 1980s.

    “He was really strict about guy relationships and talking to guys, as well as the things she wears,” Kathleen Wong, a friend of the girls, told KTVT-TV, the Dallas CBS affiliate. Two boys who said they had been dating the sisters told KXAS-TV in Dallas that Mr. Said was upset that his daughters were involved with non-Muslims.

    “She just wanted a normal life, like any American girl wanted,” one of the boys told the NBC affiliate station, adding that Sarah “was always kind, gentle, always cheerful, always had a smile on her face.”
     


    Amina and Sarah Said are dead but …. family honour intact
    Honor killing is a cultural/tribal phenomenon!!!

    Most Muslim apologists and also some gullible westerners want to argue that the ‘so called “honor killing” is not Islamic and it’s a tribal/cultural vice.’ This statement is utterly untrue and only a wish full covers up. It’s true that in pre-Islamic Arab culture this heinous honor killing of women did exist; likewise, many other uncivilized practices like stoning, flogging, beheading, slavery etc also existed in the pre-Islamic Arab society. But Islam did incorporate entirely most of these inhumane/uncivilized practices of pagan society, which they now call them Allah’s laws.

    Had it been the tribal/cultural practice, ‘honor killing’ would exist amongst the Arabs only. But honor killing does happen amongst the non-Arab Muslims also. Also Arabs belonged to all religions (Muslims, Christians, Jews, Bhai etc.) would practice honor killing with equal prevalence. Fact of the matter is—no Arab Christians, Jews or Bahai etc do practice this uncivilized act at all. Only Arab Muslims do practice this heinous act with a regular pattern.

    Honor killing does happen only amongst the Muslims and these honor killings get support and encouragement from the ethical teachings of religion Islam. In 1986 this kind of honor killing did happen in the United States of America in an Arab Muslim family. In 2003 honor killing happened in Sweden again in a Muslim family. However, some very rare, sporadic case of such killing might have happened in other society or people of other religion. But they are no where near to compare with the regular pattern, or routine feature of honor killings which do happen in the Muslim nations that I have mentioned. It has been reported that in Pakistan and in Jordan several hundreds of “honor killings” do happen every year. Perhaps, it will be more plausible to name this so called ‘honor’ as the “Islamic honor”, which Muslims stupendously try to save by killing their love one!

    Dictums of Quran and Hadiths which may dictate/incite honor killing:

    Quran- 4:15 “If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, take the evidence of four (reliable) witness from amongst you against them; if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them. Or God ordain for them some (other) way.”

    Quran-24:2 “The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication—flog each of them with hundred stripes: Let no compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by God, if ye believe in God and the last day.”

    Quran-17:32 “ Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).

    Quran-33:33 “stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display.”

    Now some sahih hadiths:

    Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 63, Number 196:
    Narrated Abu Huraira: A man from Bani Aslam came to Allah’s Apostle while he was in the mosque and called (the Prophet ) saying, “O Allah’s Apostle! I have committed illegal sexual intercourse.” On that the Prophet turned his face from him to the other side, whereupon the man moved to the side towards which the Prophet had turned his face, and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I have committed illegal sexual intercourse.” The Prophet turned his face (from him) to the other side whereupon the man moved to the side towards which the Prophet had turned his face, and repeated his statement. The Prophet turned his face (from him) to the other side again. The man moved again (and repeated his statement) for the fourth time. So when the man had given witness four times against himself, the Prophet called him and said, “Are you insane?” He replied, “No.” The Prophet then said (to his companions), “Go and stone him to death.” The man was a married one. Jabir bin ‘Abdullah Al-Ansari said: I was one of those who stoned him. We stoned him at the Musalla (‘Id praying place) in Medina. When the stones hit him with their sharp edges, he fled, but we caught him at Al-Harra and stoned him till he died.
    (See also Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 63, Number 195.)

    Sahi Bukhari: 8:6814:
    Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari: “A man from the tribe of Bani Aslam came to Allah’s Messenger [Muhammad] and informed him that he had committed illegal sexual intercourse; and he bore witness four times against himself. Allah’s Messenger ordered him to be stoned to death as he was a married person.”

    Sahi Muslim No. 4206:
    “A woman came to the prophet and asked for purification by seeking punishment. He told her to go away and seek God’s forgiveness. She persisted four times and admitted she was pregnant. He told her to wait until she had given birth. Then he said that the Muslim community should wait until she had weaned her child. When the day arrived for the child to take solid food, Muhammad handed the child over to the community. And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al-Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on her face he cursed her.”

    Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol 2. pg 1009; and Sahih Muslim Vol 2. pg 65:
    Hadhrat Abdullah ibne Abbaas (Radiallahu Anhu) narrates the lecture that Hadhrat Umar (Radiallaahu Anhu) delivered whilst sitting on the pulpit of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). Hadhrat Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) said, “Verily, Allah sent Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) with the truth, and revealed the Quran upon him. The verse regarding the stoning of the adulterer/ess was from amongst the verse revealed (in the Quraan). We read it, secured it and understood it. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) stoned and we stoned after him. I fear that with the passage of time a person might say, ‘We do not find mention of stoning in the Book of Allah and thereby go astray by leaving out an obligation revealed by Allah. Verily, the stoning of a adulterer/ress is found in the Quraan and is the truth, if the witnesses are met or there is a pregnancy or confession.”

    Al-Bukhari:
    The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever guarantees me that he will guard his chastity, I will guarantee him Paradise”.

    Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nisa’i and others:
    Abu Hurayrah reports that the Messenger of Allah said, “No one commits adultery while still remaining a believer, for faith is more precious unto Allah than such an evil act!” In another version, it is stated, “When a person commits adultery he casts away from his neck the bond that ties him to Islam; if, however, he repents, Allah will accept his repentance”.

    Al-Bayhaqi:
    The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “O mankind! Beware of fornication/adultery for it entails six dire consequences: three of them relating to this world and three to the next world. As for the three that are related to this world, they are the following: it removes the glow of one’s face, brings poverty, and reduces the life-span. As for its dire consequences in the next world they are: it brings down the wrath of Allah upon the person, subjects him to terrible reckoning, and finally casts him in hell-fire.”

     
    Strangled: Banaz Mahmood
    Banaz Mahmood’s executioners – her father and her uncle

    The above Quranic verses and authentic sahih hadiths clearly demonstrate beyond doubt that Prophet Muhammad, under Allah’s direction, stoned adulterers to death and flogged fornicators. Allah’s decree/choice of death for fornicators (Quran: 4:15) and flogging adulteress 100 times with no mercy (Quran: 24:2, which also could lead to certain death) has clearly sanctioned/dictated dreadful punishment for sexual intercourse outside marriage. It is from these scriptural divine spirits Iranian fundamentalist Islamic government practices stoning and flogging adulterers even today. The Iranian Supreme Court sanctioned that an adulteress should be buried up to her chest and stoned to death. Mullahs of Iran know the hadiths quite well. This august body is closely following Allah’s prophet. It is also quite prudent to consider that Muslim parents those who are practicing honor killing are directly motivated, or influenced by the above scriptural and historical (Hadiths) support; hence they are able to commit heinous crime called ‘honor killing’ with (almost) impunity, exultantly and with ample satisfaction that they are following the strict Islamic ethical code to guard chastity, as the holy Prophet repeatedly cautioned Muslims so seriously to guard their women’s chastity.

    Islamic ethics for adultery:

    The Arabic word ‘Zina’ means all extramarital sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. According to Islam “Zina” constituted social suicide—an entire society commits suicide over time if it allows fornication and adultery to go unpunished in the Islamic style. As per Islamic justice—unmarried fornicators receive a hundred stripes, but married adulterers must die by stoning, as described in the sahih hadiths.

    Opinion of some famous Islamists about Zina

    The Saudi Ambassador to London, Ghazi al-Qusaibi, says that stoning may seem irrational to the western mind, but it is “at the core of the Islamic faith.” An intellectual, the Saudi ambassador to London asserted that stoning adulterers to death is a legitimate punishment for society. He also says that Westerners should respect Muslin culture on this matter.

    Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
    “Adultery in Islam is one of the most heinous and deadliest of sins. Its enormity can be gauged from the fact that it has often been conjoined in the Qur’an with the gravest of all sins: shirk or associating partners with Allah.”

    Hani Ramadan head of the Islamic Center in Geneva (Hani Ramadan is the elder brother of famed Swiss Muslim intellectual Tarek Ramadan, who are both the grandsons of Hassan Al-Banna, the founder of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.) stated,
    “Islam has taken a firm and decisive stance against Zina (fornication or adultery). Allah, the Almighty, commands in explicit and unequivocal words: “And come not near unto adultery. Lo! it is an abomination and an evil way.” (Al-Isra’: 32).”

    Mufti Muhammad Aashiq Illahi Muhajir Madani (Illuminating Discourses on the Noble Qur’an, Karachi, Pakistan, Zam Zam, 2003) also follows this tactic of describing society that does not undergo Islamic punishments for the two sexual crimes. Families fall into ruin, which means society also is ruined. Sexual sins also cause widespread disease (vol. 6, pp. 360-66).

    Al Skudsi bin Hookah , (roving reporter and foreign correspondent for The Gaza Gajeera.):
    “I am very unhappy. Our way of life is under attack. And we are not fighting back. Deep down, we know that when a woman has disgraced her family, nothing will restore honor except by killing her. This is understood in Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Egypt, the Gaza strip and the West Bank. So why are we Arabs telling the Western press that honor killing is cultural, that it is not really part of Islam? Our way of life is based on maintaining our honor. And make no mistake about it: a woman does tarnish her family’s honor by engaging in pre-marital sex, or by getting herself raped, when she seeks divorce and when she marries against her family’s wishes. And keeping our women pure is a big part of our honor. So there’s no point saying honor killing isn’t really part of our religion. Honor and Islam are inextricably bound; they are what give our life meaning. A strong religion demands we choose to maintain our honor.”

    Bassam al-Hadid, (A Jordanian with an American doctorate who spent 12 years as a hospital administrator in the United States): “I would do what I have to do,” said, when asked whether he would kill a daughter who had sex outside marriage.”

    Status of Women in Muslim society:

    According to Islamic tradition the woman is an object owned by the man who assumes responsibility for her behavior and her life. The social and religious traditions lead to the isolation of the woman in her home. She is required to cover her entire body in order to maintain the honor of the man. In Qur’an, prophetic tradition and law, one finds a very strong presumption of women’s chastity along with numerous safeguards to prevent any imputation of un-chastity A Muslim feminist sexual ethics must help create the conditions for the Qur’anic and traditional values of modesty and chastity to be lived by Muslim women and men in ways that are faithfully chosen and equitably maintained.


    Social Status of Women in Muslim Society
     
    A woman who is either raped or commits adultery becomes the source of shame to her family. People will not marry her because she has been spoiled; she and her family becomes the object of gossip of everyone in the society; hence the entire family can lose prestige. No one would give a daughter to the brothers of that girl in marriage and no one would marry her sisters. The family and even the extended family are maligned and become outcasts. This can only stop if the family cleanses that stain with blood. The woman thus defiled must be killed even if she is a victim of rape.

    Role of Misogynistic attitude in Islam:

    Islam is dreadfully anti-women. This statement can be proven with 100% guarantee by the well known and established fact that—women folks in every Muslim country in general, and in every Islamic paradise (country where Islamic Shariaat is enforced) in particular, are severely subjugated, oppressed, and considered less than second class citizen. Women in Islam are considered half human and in the Quran women have half the rights of men, sister has half the rights of brother, and women are considered deficient in intelligence.

    Practically and Literally Islam consider women as the sources of great shame. Prophet Muhammad said women are awrah which can be translated as object of shame. What is awrah? The Encyclopedia of Islam defines ‘awrah’as pudendum, which is the external genitals, especially of the female. The word Pudendum derives from the Latin pudor which means sense of shame and modesty. Therefore, awrah signify an object of shame that needs to be covered.

    Interestingly, in the Indian sub-continent (Bangladesh-India-Pakistan)—women have another alternative name calling, in spite of having their usual name for the English word woman in the respective language. And this famous name calling is “Auraat” and common in all the three countries of the Indian sub-continent. Obviously this common word “Auraat” for women came from the Arabic word Awrah. This common word “Auraat” is usually used as the synonym for woman with empathy, hatred, mercy and shame.

    According to the following Hadiths, women not only have ten ‘awrah, but the woman herself is perceived as ‘awrah: “The woman is ‘awrah. When she goes outside (the house), the devil welcomes her” (Ihy’a ‘Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al-Kotob al-‘Elmeyah, Beirut , Vol II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah, p. 65. Reported by Tirmizi as a true and good Ahadith).

    Hazrat Ali (rightly guided Caliph) reported the Prophet saying:
    “Women have ten (‘awrah). When she gets married, the husband covers one, and when she dies the grave covers the ten.” ( Kanz-el-‘Ummal, Vol. 22, Hadith No. 858. See also Ihy’a).

    In most fanatical Islamic nations when a woman loses her awrah by e.g. through rape, she becomes the object of shame for her entire family, and also for the society. Only way to remove that shame and restore the honor is to remove that defiled woman. It is practiced in most Islamic countries with a regular pattern. The more religious is a country, the more is widespread the honor killing. As for example, Pakistan a Muslim majority nation did not have practice of honor killing until the fanatic and despotic Military dictator General Ziaul Hoq came to power. This despotic ruler by his decade long dictatorship turned Pakistan into an Islamic Sharia country. Along with intense acceleration of making Pakistan into a hub of Talibans, and Islamic terrorist’s country, citizens of Pakistan also started vigorous practicing of honor killing on a regular basis.

    Conclusion:

    Judging everything I have described in this essay, one can very genuinely lead to the conclusion that ‘honor killing’ is indeed the vice of Islam. Islam has much to do with honor killing practices which only do exist amongst the Muslims of the world. Had it been un-Islamic practice, we would have seen some Muslim nations prohibiting such cruel practice by Sharia law. We have not seen any Muslim country did enact any such law to curve honor killing. We have seen innumerable cases of fatwas by Mullahs to prohibit alcohol drinking, pork eating or listening western music; but never ever heard any such fatwa against honor killing. Rather, honor killing has silent support from the devout Islamists of all kinds. Islamists condone honor killing silently! No wonder that the Al Skudsi bin Hookah (reported of Gazagejeera) so passionately said: “So there’s no point saying honor killing isn’t really part of our religion. Honor and Islam are inextricably bound; they are what give our life meaning. A strong religion demands we choose to maintain our honor.”

    One may argue that Quran does not say clearly about honor killing! Fact is there are plenty of things Muslims practice that are also not mentioned in the Quran. Stoning death also not available in the Quran. Yet Iranian Islamic government does practice stoning death by the decree of Islamic court. Afghan Taliban government did routinely practice stoning and flogging of adulterers. Most importantly, Quran did not create any scriptural instruction to ban the so called Arab tribal practice of “honor killing” either! Besides, if the honor killing was simply a tribal practice—then it would have been prevailed amongst the Arabs of all religions. There is no evidence to support that a Christian or Jewish family of Jordan or Palestine did practice honor killing.

    Muslims who are stunningly devout and laden with Islamic superstitious beliefs do commit crime of Honor killing to fulfill their obligation of preserving Islamic ethics, and women chastity. The more a country gets fanatically religious the more frequent are honor killings (Pakistan is a perfect example). Islam has incorporated many pre-Islamic practices of Arab pagans (stoning deaths, flogging the fornicators, slavery, war booty, beheading the criminals, cutting hands and foots of thieves, many rituals of animal sacrifice, annual pilgrimage to Mecca etc.) and readily called them Islamic or Allah’s laws. Honor killing is one such pre-Islamic practice of Arab pagans which has been practicing by some devout Muslim families of many good Islamic nations of the world.

    Because of the fact that the “honor killings” do have silent support from Islam, the killers are given light sentences, sometimes with little or no jail time at all. The killers are primarily influenced by Islamic ethics, and mainly defend their act of murder by referring to the Koran and Islam. They usually justify their evil deeds by the directives set down in the Islamic ethical beliefs and principles. Koran is very strict and belligerent regarding how to control women’s sexuality, and Islamic Law; Sharia, rules harsh punishments including lashing and stoning to death for women’s voluntary sexual activities. And it is because of these Islamic elements of support, no Islamic government dares to enact any criminal law to ban this barbaric slaughtering of innocent family girls. Even then some Islamists will still say that “honor killing” has nothing to do with Islam; just the way they say “Islamic terrorism” has nothing to do with the so called peaceful Islam. Their hypocritical denial is utter nonsense and stupendously deceptive. I urge those Islamists to tell us why this “honor killing” never happens among the non-Muslim Arab families? They must also tell us—why no Arab and non-Arab Muslim government dare to make any strict law to ban honor killings in their land?

    Denying the truth is tantamount to committing this heinous crime to humanity, and denying will never solve this chronic problem of Islamic nations. Only way honor killing can be stopped is to admit the truth (real cause), and stop controlling public lives by the draconian laws (Sharia) of Islam. Let there be a strict separation of ‘Mosque and State’ in every Muslim majority nation of the world. Honor killing will definitely cease to exist.

    References:

    1. Honor killing-maintaining family honor: by Al Skudsi bin Hookah, roving reporter and foreign correspondent for The Gaza Gajeera. Jan 20, 2003

    2. The Seattle Times: ‘Honor killing’ shakes up Sweden after man slays daughter who wouldn’t wed: By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times Link.

    3. Culture of death? Palestinian girl’s murder highlights growing number of ‘honor killings’. Link

    4. Honor Killing: By Ali Sina Link

    5. The Holy Qur’an, Translated by A. Yousuf Ali, Published by Amana Corporation, Brentwood, Maryland, 1983

    6. Buchari Sharif, Bengali Translation by Maulana Muhammad Mustafizur Rahman, Sulemani Printers and Publishers, Dhaka, Second edition-1999.

    7. “Crimes of Honour” Women’s Tragedy under Islam & Tribal Customs By Azam Kamiguian.

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    2004 – Vol 4

    The Scourge of Slavery

    THE REST OF THE STORY

    Muslim slave traders
    Over 28 Million Africans have been enslaved over the Muslim world over the past 14 centuries

    While much has been written concerning the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, surprisingly little attention has been given to the Islamic slave trade across the Sahara, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.  While the European involvement in the Trans Atlantic slave trade to the Americas lasted for just over three centuries, the Arab involvement in the slave trade has lasted fourteen centuries, and in some parts of the Muslim world is still continuing to this day.

    CONTRASTS IN CAPTIVITY

    Slave routes

    A comparison of the Islamic slave trade to the American slave trade reveals some interesting contrasts.  While two out of every three slaves shipped across the Atlantic were men, the proportions were reversed in the Islamic slave trade.  Two women for every man were enslaved by the Muslims.

    While the mortality rate for slaves being transported across the Atlantic was as high as 10%, the percentage of slaves dying in transit in the Trans Sahara and East African slave trade was between 80 and 90%!

    While almost all the slaves shipped across the Atlantic were for agricultural work, most of the slaves destined for the Muslim Middle East were for sexual exploitation as concubines, in harems, and for military service. 

    While many children were born to slaves in the Americas, and millions of their descendants are citizens in Brazil and the USA to this day, very few descendants of the slaves that ended up in the Middle East survive. 

    While most slaves who went to the Americas could marry and have families, most of the male slaves destined for the Middle East were castrated, and most of the children born to the women were killed at birth.

    It is estimated that possibly as many as 11 million Africans were transported across the Atlantic (95% of which went to South and Central America, mainly to Portuguese, Spanish and French possessions.  Only 5% of the slaves went to the United States). 

    African Slaves
    Slaves in Africa – in the early 20th century.

    However, at least 28 million Africans were enslaved in the Muslim Middle East.  As at least 80% of those captured by Muslim slave traders were calculated to have died before reaching the slave markets, it is believed that the death toll from the 14 centuries of Muslim slave raids into Africa could have been over 112 million.  When added to the number of those sold in the slave markets, the total number of African victims of the Trans Saharan and East African slave trade could be significantly higher than 140 million people. 

    THE ABSENCE OF ARABIC ABOLITIONISTS

    William Wilberforce
    William Wilberforce led the campaign against slavery for 59 years.

    While Christian Reformers spearheaded the anti-slavery abolitionist movements in Europe and North America, and Great Britain mobilised her Navy, throughout most of the 19th Century, to intercept slave ships and set the captives free, there was no comparable opposition to slavery within the Muslim world. 

    Even after Britain outlawed the slave trade in 1807 and Europe abolished the slave trade in 1815, Muslim slave traders enslaved a further 2 million Africans.  This despite vigorous British Naval activity and military intervention to limit the Islamic slave trade.  By some calculations the number of victims of the 14 centuries of Islamic slave trade could exceed 180 million.

    Nearly 100 years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in America, and 130 years after all slaves within the British Empire were set free by parliamentary decree, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, in 1962, and Mauritania in 1980, begrudgingly removed legalised slavery from their statute books.  And this only after international pressure was brought to bear.  Today numerous international organisations document that slavery still continues in some Muslim countries.

    THE PAGAN ORIGINS OF SLAVERY

    Slavery long predated Christianity and many of the early Christians were slaves in the Roman Empire.  Without exception, the pre-Christian world accepted slavery as normal and desirable.  The Greek philosopher Aristotle claimed:  “From the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.” The great civilisations of Mesopotamia, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and all the civilisations in Central America and Africa were built upon slave labour. 

    People became slaves by being an insolvent debtor, or sold into slavery by their parents, or by being born to slave parents, or by being captured in war, or through kidnapping by slave raiders and pirates.  Slave dealing was an accepted way of life, fully established in all societies.  Most of these slaves were white people, or Europeans.  In fact the very word “slave”, comes from the people of Eastern Europe, the Slavs. 

    St. Patrick, the English missionary to the Irish, was once  a slave himself, kidnapped from his home and taken to Ireland against his will. Patrick spoke out strongly against slavery.  He wrote:  “But it is the women kept in slavery who suffer the most.”

    Captured Slaves
    About 80% of those captured by
    Muslim slave raiders died before
    reaching the slave markets.

    The Greeks, from whom we derive so many modern, humanistic ideas, were utterly dependent on slavery.  Even Plato’s Republic was firmly based on slave labour.  Plato said that 50 or more slaves represented the possessions of a wealthy man. 

    Under Roman law, when a slave owner was found murdered, all his slaves were to be executed.  In one case, when a certain Pedanius Secundas was murdered, all 400 of his slaves were put to death. 

    Before the coming of Christ, the heathen nations despised manual work and confined it to slaves.  When Christ was born, half of the population of the Roman Empire were slaves.  Three quarters of the population of Athens were slaves.

    Slavery was indigenous to African and Arab countries before it made its way to Europe. Slavery was widely practiced by the tribes of the American Indians long before Columbus set foot on the shores of the New World.  Ethiopia had slavery until 1942, Saudi Arabia until 1962, Peru until 1968, India until 1976 and Mauritania until 1980.  What is also seldom remembered is that many black Americans in the 19th Century owned slaves.  For example, according to the United States census of 1830, in just the one town of Charleston, South Carolina, 407 black Americans owned slaves themselves.

    THE CHRISTIAN ROOTS OF LIBERTY

    But Jesus revolutionised labour.  By taking up the axe, the saw, the hammer and the plane, our Lord endued labour with a new dignity.  Christianity undercut slavery by giving dignity to work.  By reforming work, Christianity transformed the entire social order. 

    Our Lord Jesus Christ began His ministry in Nazareth with these words:  “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me.to proclaim freedom for the prisoners.and release to the oppressed.  Luke 4:18

    When the apostle Paul wrote to Philemon, concerning his escaped slave, he urged him to welcome back Onesimus “no longer as a slave, but.as a dear brother.as a man and as a brother in the Lord.”  Philemon 16.

    Because of these and other Scriptural commands to love our neighbour, to be a good Samaritan and to do for others what you would want them to do for you, Christians like William Wilberforce, John Newton, William Carey, David Livingstone, Lord Shaftsbury and General Charles Gordon worked tirelessly to end the slave trade, stop child labour, and set the captives free.

    From the very beginning of the Christian Church, Christians freed slaves.  During the 2nd and 3rd Centuries many tens of thousands of slaves were freed by people who converted to Christ.  St. Melania was said to have emancipated 8000 slaves, St. Ovidius freed 5000, Chromatius freed 1400, Hermes 1200.  Many of the Christian clergy at Hippo under St. Augustine “freed their slaves as an act of piety.” In AD315, the Emperor Constantine, just two years after he issued the edict of Milan, legalising Christianity, imposed the death penalty on those who stole children to bring them up as slaves.

    The Emperor Justinian abolished all laws that prevented the freeing of slaves.  St. Augustine (354 – 430) saw slavery as the product of sin and as contrary to God’s Divine plan (The City of God).  St. Chrysostom in the 4th Century, taught that when Christ came He annulled slavery.  He proclaimed “in Christ Jesus there is no slave.therefore it is not necessary to have a slave.buy them, and after you have taught them some skill by which they can maintain themselves, set them free.”

    For centuries, throughout the Middle Ages, bishops and church councils recommended the redemption of captive slaves, and for five centuries the Trinitarian monks redeemed Christian slaves from Moorish (Muslim) servitude.

    In 1102AD, the London Church Council outlawed slavery and the slave trade.  By the 12th Century slaves in Europe were rare, and by the 14th Century slavery was almost unknown on the continent of Europe.

    THE ISLAMIC SLAVE TRADE

    However, with the birth of Islam came a rebirth of the slave trade.  As Ronald Segal in “Islam’s Black Slaves” documents:  “When Islam conquered the Persian Sassanid Empire and much of the Byzantine Empire, including Syria and Egypt, in the 7th Century, it acquired immense quantities of gold.stripping churches and monasteries.either directly or by taxes, payable in gold, imposed on the clergy and looting gold from.tombs.the state encouraged the search and sanctioned the seizure, in return for a fifth of the finds.”

     Segal notes:  “Female slaves were required in considerable numbers for.musicians, singers and dancers.many more were bought for domestic workers.and many were in demand as concubines.  The harems of rulers could be enormous.  The harem of Abdal Rahman III (912 – 961) in Cordoba contained over 6000 concubines!  And the one in the Fatimid Palace in Cairo had twice as many.”

    Slave raid
    An Arab slave raid in East Africa
    1888. The death toll from 14 centuries
    of the Islamic slave trade in
    Africa is estimated at
    over 112 million.

    Islam’s Black Slaves also reveals that the castration of male slaves was common place.  “The Calipha in Baghdad at the beginning of the 10th Century had 7000 black eunuchs and 4000 white eunuchs in his palace.” It was noted that there were widespread “homosexual relations” as well.  Islam’s Black Slaves notes that Islamic teachers throughout the centuries consistently defended slavery:  “For there must be masters and slaves.” Others noted that blacks “lack self-control and steadiness of mind and they are overcome by fickleness, foolishness and ignorance.  Such are the blacks who live in the extremity of the land of Ethiopia, the Nubians, Zanj and the like.”

    Ibn Khaldun (1332 – 1406) the pre-eminent Islamic medieval historian and social thinker wrote:  “The Negro nations are as a rule submissive to slavery.because they have attributes that are quite similar to dumb animals.”

    By the Middle Ages, the Arab word “abd” was in general use to denote a black slave while the word “mamluk” referred to a white slave.  Even as late as the 19th Century, it was noted that in Mecca “there are few families.that do not keep slaves.they all keep mistresses in common with their lawful wives.”

    It was noted that black slaves were castrated “based on the assumption that the blacks had an ungovernable sexual appetite.”

    When the Fatimids came to power they slaughtered all the tens of thousands of black military slaves and raised an entirely new slave army.  Some of these slaves were conscripted into the army at age ten.  From Persia to Egypt to Morocco, slave armies from 30000 to up to 250000 became common-place. 

    Even Ronald Segal, who is most sympathetic to Islam and clearly prejudiced against Christianity, admits that well over 30 million black Africans would have died at the hands of Muslim slave traders or ended up in Islamic slavery. 

    A dhow, the favourite slave carrying
    vessel of Arab slave traders.
    Dhow vessel
    Arab traders beat their cargo into
    submission on the run from the African
    coast to Zanzibar.

    The Islamic slave trade took place across the Sahara Desert, from the coast of the Red Sea, and from East Africa across the Indian Ocean.  The Trans Sahara trade was conducted along six major slave routes.  Just in the 19th Century, for which we have more accurate records, 1.2 million slaves were brought across the Sahara into the Middle East, 450000 down the Red Sea and 442000 from East African coastal ports.  That is a total of 2 million black slaves – just in the 1800’s.  At least 8 million more were calculated to have died before reaching the Muslim slave markets. 

    Islam’s Black Slaves records:  “In the 1570’s, a Frenchman visiting Egypt found many thousands of blacks on sale in Cairo on market days.  In 1665 Father Antonios Gonzalis, a Spanish/Belgian traveller, reported 800 – 1000 slaves on sale in the Cairo market on a single day.  In 1796, a British traveller reported a caravan of 5000 slaves departing from Darfur.  In 1838, it was estimated that 10000 to 12000 slaves were arriving in Cairo each year.” Just in the Arabic plantations off the East Coast of Africa, on the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, there were 769000 black slaves.

    Slave Market
    The slave market in Zanzibar sold an average of 300 slaves every day.

    In the 19th Century, the East African black slave trade included 347 000 slaves shipped to Arabia, Persia and India;  95 000 slaves were shipped to the Arab plantations in the Mascareme Islands.

    Segal notes “The high death rate and low birth rate among black slaves in the Middle East and the astonishingly low birth rate amongst black slave women” in North Africa and the Middle East.  “Islamic civilisation.lagged increasingly behind the West in protecting public health.  The arithmetic of the Islamic black slave trade must also not ignore the lives of those men, women and children taken or lost during the procurement, storage and transport.the sale of a single captive for slavery might represent a loss of ten in the population  from defenders killed in attacks on villages, the deaths of women and children from related famine and the loss of children, the old and the sick, unable to keep up with their captors or killed along the way in hostile encounters, or dying of sheer misery.”

    One British explorer encountered over 100 human skeletons from a slave caravan en route for Tripoli.

    The explorer, Heinrich Barth, recorded that a slave caravan lost 40 slaves in the course of a single night at Benghazi.

    The British explorer, Richard Lander, came across a group of 30 slaves in West Africa, all of them stricken with smallpox, all bound neck to neck with twisted strips of bullock hide. 

    One caravan with 3000 proceeding from the coast in East Africa, lost two thirds of its number from starvation, disease and murder.

     In the Nubian desert, one slave caravan of 2000 slaves literally vanished as every slave died.

    AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT

    In 1818, Captain Lyon of the Royal Navy reported that the Al-Mukani in Tripoli “waged war on all its defenceless neighbours and annually carried off 4000 to 5000 slaves.a piteous spectacle!  These poor oppressed beings were, many of them, so exhausted as to be scarcely able to walk, their legs and feet were much swelled, and by their enormous size formed a striking contrast with their emaciated bodies.  They were all borne down with loads of firewood, and even poor little children, worn to skeletons by fatigue and hardships, were obliged to bear their burden, while many of their inhuman masters with dreadful whip suspended from their waist.all the traders speak of slaves as farmers do of cattle.the defenceless state of the Negro kingdoms to the southward are temptations too strong to be resisted, a force is therefore annually sent.to pillage these defenceless people, to carry them off as slaves, burn their towns, kill the aged and infants, destroy their crops and inflict on them every possible misery.all slavery is for an unlimited time.none of their owners ever moved without their whips – which were in constant use.drinking too much water, bringing too little wood or falling asleep before the cooking was finished, were considered nearly capital crimes, and it was in vain for these poor creatures to plead the excuse of being tired.  Nothing could withhold the application of the whip.  No slaves dared to be ill or unable to walk, but when the poor sufferer dies, the master suspects that there must have been something ‘wrong inside’ and regrets not having liberally applied their usual remedy of burning the belly with a red-hot iron.”

    Slave Traders
    Arab slave traders along the Ruvuma River, East Africa, 1866, axe a straggler.

    Records for Morocco in 1876 show that market prices for slaves varied from £10 ($48) to £30 ($140).  Female slaves comprised the vast majority of sales with “attractive virgins” fetching between £40 to £80 ($192 – $386).  It was reported that “a considerable majority of the slaves crossing the Sahara were destined to become concubines in North Africa, the Middle East and occasionally even further afield.”

    CHRISTIAN SLAVES – MUSLIM MASTERS

    Segal also observed that:  “White slaves from Christian Spain, Central and Eastern Europe” were also shipped into the Middle East and served in the “palaces of rulers and the establishments of the rich.” He records that:  “All slavic eunuchs.are castrated in that region and the operation is performed by Jewish merchants.”

    Muslim raiders kidnapping women
    Muslim slave raiders kidnapped women from Europe for harems in the Middle East.

    Historian Robert Davis in his book “Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters – White Slavery In the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy”, estimates that North African Muslim pirates abducted and enslaved more than 1 million Europeans between 1530 and 1780.  These white Christians were seized in a series of raids which depopulated coastal towns from Sicily to Cornwall.  Thousands of white Christians in coastal areas were seized every year to work as galley slaves, labourers and concubines for Muslim slave masters in what is today Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya.  Villages and towns on the coast of Italy, Spain, Portugal and France were the hardest hit, but the Muslim slave raiders also seized people as far afield as Britain, Ireland and Iceland.  They even captured 130 American seamen from ships they boarded in the Atlantic between 1785 and 1793. 

    According to one report, 7000 English people were abducted between 1622 to 1644, many of them ship crews and passengers.  But the Corsairs also landed on unguarded beaches, often at night, to snatch the unwary.  Almost all the inhabitants of the village of Baltimore, in Ireland, were captured in 1631, and there were other raids in Devon and Cornwall.  Many of these white, Christian slaves were put to work in quarries, building sites and galleys and endured malnutrition, disease and mistreatment at the hands of their Muslim slave masters.  Many of them were used for public works such as building harbours.

    Female captives were sexually abused in palace harems and others were held as hostages and bargained for ransom.  “The most unlucky ended up stuck and forgotten out in the desert, in some sleepy town such as Suez, or in Turkish Sultanate galleys, where some slaves rowed for decades without ever setting foot on shore.” Professor Davis estimates that up to 1,25 million Europeans were enslaved by Muslim slave raiders between 1500 to 1800. 

    THE EUROPEAN SLAVE TRADE

    While Islam dominated the slave trade from the 7th to the 15th Century, between 1519 and 1815 Europe also joined in this trade in human flesh.  And it was those European nations which had suffered the most at the hands of Muslim slave raiders, and under centuries of Muslim military occupation, Spain and Portugal, who dominated the European slave trade.

    It was the enemies of the Reformation who brought Europe into this disgraceful trade.  Emperor Charles V (whom Martin Luther defied with his historic “My conscience is captive to the Word of God.here I stand I can do no other.” speech) of the Holy Roman Empire who first authorised Europe’s involvement in the slave trade in 1519.  Because of Pope Alexander VI’s Line of Demarcation Bill of 1493 which barred Spain from Africa, Spain issued Asientos (a monopoly) to other nations to supply slaves for her South American colonies.  First Portugal had this lucrative franchise, then the Dutch, then the French.  Finally, by the treaty of Utrecht 1713, the Asientos was transferred from France to Britain.  Britain’s involvement in slavery was first authorised in 1631 by King Charles I (who was later executed by Parliament).  His son, Charles II, reintroduced it by Royal  Charter in 1672.

    According to “The Slave Trade” by Hugh Thomas, approximately 4 million (35.4%) went to Portuguese controlled Brazil; 2,5 million (22.1%) to the Spanish nations of South and Central America; 2 million (17.7%) to the British West Indies (mostly Jamaica); 1,6 million (14.1%) to French West Indies; half a million (4.4%) to Dutch West Indies and half a million (4.4%) to North America. 

    THE AMERICAN SLAVE TRADE

    Freed Slaves
    Slaves freed by the British Navy.

    It is extraordinary that, considering that less than 5% of all the Trans Atlantic slaves ended up in North America, the vast majority of films, books and articles concerning the slave trade concentrate only on the American involvement in the slave trade, as though slavery was a uniquely American aberration.  However, the vastly greater involvement of Portugal, Spain and France seem to be largely ignored.  Even more so the far greater and longer running Islamic slave trade into the Middle East has been so ignored as to make it one of history’s best-kept secrets.

    We tend to focus on what happened in North America because the United States would eventually fight a war, in part over slavery, and because of the enormous and vocal American opposition to slavery.  This was in sharp contrast to the indifference that Muslims, Africans and many Europeans evidenced towards it.

    THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE

    HMS London
    A steam pinnache of HMS London puts a warning shot across the bow of a slaving dhow in 1881.

    The legends of European slave raiders venturing into the jungles of Africa to capture free peoples are generally just that:  myths. 

    The embarrassing fact of history, is that the Europeans did not have to use any force to obtain these slaves.  The slaves were “sold” by their black owners.  There was no need for the slave raiders to risk their lives or venture into the jungles of Africa, they simply purchased the people from African chiefs and Muslim slave traders at the coast. 

    However, while the slave trade and slavery itself was always criticised vigorously in Britain and America, no comparable criticism was evident in the Muslim Middle East or amongst the African tribes which sold their own people, and neighbouring tribes, into slavery.  Almost all of the African slaves transported across the Atlantic were captured and sold by African rulers and merchants. 

    Many chiefs found it more profitable to sell their enemies, criminals and debtors than to kill or imprison them.  Many were weaker neighbouring tribes conquered for the express purpose of selling their people into slavery.  The disgraceful fact is that there were three equally guilty partners in the crime of the Trans Atlantic slave trade:  pagan African chiefs, Muslim Arabs and Christian Europeans.

    The Trade, as it became known, involved a triangular voyage.  Slave ships sailed from Bristol or Liverpool loaded with cloths, beads, muskets, iron bars and brandy.  This merchandise was then traded in West Africa in exchange for slaves.  Mostly African chiefs sold their own people, or engaged in wars and slave raids against neighbouring tribes to capture victims for this trade.  Often professional Arab slave traders provided the victims. 

    The middle passage transported the slaves to the West Indies.  Here the slaves were sold and the ships loaded with spices, rum, molasses and sugar.  The third leg of the journey was the return to England.  The average Englishman on the street was kept in the dark as to what was actually happening on the middle passage, until, in 1785, Thomas Clarkson’s landmark study “Slavery and Commerce In the Human Species” was first published at Cambridge.  According to Clarkson’s research, 10% of the slaves would normally die during the middle passage.  Strong men would fetch as much as £40 while the women and children were sold in cheap batches with the sick and weak men.  In England 18 000 people were employed simply on making the goods to trade for slaves in Africa.  This trade constituted 4.4% of British exports. 

    WILBERFORCE’S WAR

    On Sunday 28 October 1787, William Wilberforce wrote in his diary:  “God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the slave trade and the Reformation of society.” For the rest of his life, William Wilberforce dedicated his life as a Member of Parliament to opposing the slave trade and working for the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire. 

    On 22 February 1807, twenty years after he first began his crusade, and in the middle of Britain’s war with France, Wilberforce and his team’s labours were rewarded with victory.  By an overwhelming 283 votes for to 16 against, the motion to abolish the slave trade was carried in the House of Commons.  The parliamentarians leapt to their feet with great cheers and gave Wilberforce the greatest ovation ever seen in British history.  William bent forward in his seat, his head in his hands, tears of gratitude streaming down his face. 

    In 1809, the British government mobilised its Navy to search suspected slave ships, even foreign vessels on the high seas.  In 1810, the British Parliament declared slave trading a felony, punishable by fourteen years hard labour.  In 1814, the British representative at the Congress of Vienna insisted on the abolition of the slave trade being included in the International Treaty.  This Treaty was signed by all the European powers on 9 June 1815.  In 1825, Britain passed a bill making slave trading punishable by death. 

    Finally, just three days before William Wilberforce died, by an Act of Parliament in 1833, the British abolished slavery itself – setting all 700 000 slaves in British overseas territories free.  Wilberforce’s lifetime campaign of 59 years was now fully successful.  “Thank God that I’ve lived to witness the day in which England is willing to give 20 million pounds sterling for the abolition of slavery!” he exclaimed.  Within three days he died rejoicing.  (For the story of how slavery was abolished see the chapter on William Wilberforce – Missionary to Parliament in The Greatest Century of Missions).

    The “History of European Morals” suggests that “the unweary, unostentatious and inglorious crusade of England against slavery may probably be regarded as among the three or four perfectly virtuous pages comprised in the history of nations.”

    The abolition of slavery was one of the great turning points in history.  And the long and vigorous crusade by the British Navy throughout the 19th Century against the slave trade ranks as one of the most extraordinary and unselfish applications of national policy ever seen in the history of nations.

    “.where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”     2 Cor 3:17

    SET FREE TO SERVE CHRIST

    Samual Crowther
    Rescued from slavery by the British Navy,
    Samual Crowther became the first African
    bishop of the Church of England.

    One of the many fruits of William Wilberforce’s life long crusade against the slave trade was that Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who was born in 1807 (the year Great Britain abolished the slave trade) in Yorubaland (modern Western Nigeria) was rescued by a British naval squadron.  When Samuel was just thirteen years old, he was captured by Muslim slave traders for transport across the Atlantic, but rescued by the Navy.  Samuel received an education in Sierra Leone, where he was converted to Christ, and after further education in England he was ordained as a minister of the Church of England for service with the Church Missionary Society. 

    Liberated Slaves
    Newly liberated slaves in Zanzibar.

    Samuel participated in the expedition up the Niger River Valley to overcome the ravages of the slave industry still entrenched there.  Of the 145 Europeans on that expedition, 130 were struck down with Malaria, and 40 died.  Yet the expedition succeeded in establishing a Missionary Center at Fourah Bay for training liberated slaves to evangelise West Africa.  It was built on the very place where a slave market had once stood.  The rafters of the roof were made almost entirely from the masts of old slave ships. 

    Samuel Crowther was one of the first four students to graduate from Fourah Bay’s College, Sub-Saharan Africa’s first university.  In 1864, Samuel Crowther was ordained as the first African Bishop of the Church of England in an overflowing Canterbury cathedral.  Today there are eighteen times more Anglicans worshipping in church every Sunday in Nigeria than there are in Great Britain.

    LIVINGSTONE’S TRAVELS

    David Livingstone
    Livingstone and his team free slaves from Arab slave raiders in the Shire Valley.

    However, as the British Navy was defeating the slave trade in the Atlantic, the East African slave trade was increasing.  It was missionary explorer David Livingstone whose graphic descriptions brought the ravages of the East African slave trade to light.  His Missionary Travels and Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambezi exposed the horrors of the slave trade:  “Two of the women had been shot the day before for attempting to untie their thongs.  One woman had her infants brains knocked out because she could not carry her load and it; and a man was dispatched with an axe because he had broken down with fatigue.those taken out of the country are but a very small section of the sufferers.  We never realised the atrocious nature of the traffic until we saw it at the fountain head.  ‘There truly Satan has his seat.’  Besides those actually captured thousands are killed and die of their wounds and famine, driven from their villages by the internecine war waged for slaves with their own clansmen and neighbours, slain by the lust of gain, which is stimulated, be it remembered always, by the slave purchases of Cuba and elsewhere.”

    A TRADE IN HUMAN MISERY

    The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society reported that most slaves were captured in the Lake Niassa area (Malawi and Mozambique), the Bahr El Ghazal region and in areas of Ethiopia.  Slaves were taken to East African markets like Zanzibar, Kilwa and Quelimane and then shipped to Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Iraq, Iran and to the islands of Pemba, Reunion and Madagascar. 

    The Anti-Slavery Reporter estimated the Muslim slave trade as exporting 63000 slaves per year.  Some estimates went as high as 500000 slaves exported in a single year. One researcher, Ralph Austen calculated that between 1830 and 1861 imports of slaves to the Persian Gulf averaged 3700 to 3100 per annum.  This same researcher noted that about 8855 slaves a year were retained as slaves on the East African coast as slaves of African slave masters.

    1833 Free slaves
    1833 – All slaves in the British Empire
    are set free by Parliamentary decree.

    Few authors dared describe the horrors involved in the Trans- Sahara slave trade:  kidnapping and castrating young boys to be sold as eunuchs (“the living dead”) in the homes of wealthy Arab landlords and force marching young women across endless miles of scorching sand in the Sahara desert to become slave concubines, most dying in transit.  The Muslim slave trade typically dealt in the sale of castrated male slaves:  eunuchs.  Eunuchs were created by completely amputating the scrotum and penis of eight to twelve year old African boys.  Hundreds of thousands of young boys bled to death during this gory procedure.  The survival rate from this process ranged from 1 in 10 to 1 in 30.  These castrated boys brought the highest price at the slave market. 

    SHARIA LAW AND SLAVERY

    Islam’s Black Slaves notes:  “the Quran stipulated that female slaves might lawfully be enjoyed by their masters.” Mohammad himself owned many slaves, some of whom he captured in wars of conquest and some he purchased.  The names of forty slaves owned by Mohammad are recorded by Muslim chroniclers.  Islamic law (Sharia) contains elaborate regulations for slavery.  A slave had no right to be heard in court (testimony was forbidden by slaves), slaves had no right to property, could marry only with the permission of the owner, and were considered to be chattel, that is the movable property, of the slave owner.  Muslim slave owners were specifically entitled by Sharia law to sexually exploit their slaves,  including hiring them out as prostitutes.

    One reason why very little has been written about the Arab involvement in slavery is that traditional Islamic culture still condones slavery.  The Sharia, the codified Islamic law which is based upon the teachings and example of Mohammad, contains explicit regulations for slavery.  One of the primary principles of Islam is following the example of Mohammad.  Whatever Mohammad did, we must do, what he forbade, we must forbid, what he did not forbid, we may not forbid. As Mohammad himself traded in slaves and owned slaves, accumulating multiple wives, even marrying a six year old, and having concubines – slavery and the sexual exploitation of women is deeply ingrained in Islamic tradition.  Muslim nations had engaged in the slave trade for over 600 years before Europe became involved in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. 

    SLAVERY TODAY

    Slave - my true storey

    Almost 200 years after the British outlawed the slave trade in 1807, slave raids and the sale of slaves in Muslim markets continues in countries like Sudan.  The slave trade remained legal in Saudi Arabia until 1962, when under international pressure it was finally abolished.  However, there are persistent, credible reports, that slavery persists in Saudi Arabia, and even that slaves from Sudan are ending up in Saudi Arabia.

    Recently, a former slave from the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, Mende Nazer, had her autobiography:  “Slave:  My True Story” publishedMende was captured in 1992, she was first a slave to a rich Arab family in Khartoum, and then in 2002 to a Sudanese diplomat in London, from whom she escaped and sought political asylum. 

    THE LAW OF LIBERTY

    Although the Old Testament provided for slavery for criminals and insolvent debtors, kidnapping and enslaving law-abiding people incurred the death penalty.  “Anyone who kidnaps another and either sells him or still has him when he is caught must be put to death.”  Exodus 21:16 

    The New Testament expressly forbids both the slave trade and slavery itself.  “.the Law is made not for the righteous but for Law breakers.for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers.” 1 Timothy 1:9-10

    “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free.for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

    “From one man He made every nation of men.” Acts 17:26

    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.love your neighbour as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31

    “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

    “.where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Cor. 3:17

    “.proclaim liberty throughout the land.” Leviticus 25:10

    Dr. Peter Hammond is the author of Faith Under Fire In Sudan and The Greatest Century of Missions.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    A History of Christianity, by Kenneth Scott Latourette, Harper, 1953

    Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters:  White Slavery in the Mediterranean; the Barbary Coast and Italy 1500 – 1800, by Robert Davis, Palgrave MacMillan, 2004

    God’s Politician, by Garth Lean, Helmers and Howard, 1987

    History of Slavery, by Suzanne Everett, Chartwell, 1997

    Islam’s Black Slaves, by Ronald Segal, Farrar, New York, 2001

    Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa, by David Livingstone, London, 1857

    Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambezi, by David Livingstone, London,1865

    The Greatest Century of Missions, by Peter Hammond, CLB, 2002

    The Slave Trade, by Hugh Thomas, 1997

    Under the Influence – How Christianity Transformed Civilization, by Alvin Schmit, Zondervan, 2001