The African Slave Trade: The Islamic Connection

by Emmet Scott (September 2016)

In The Impact of Islam (2014) I showed that whilst slavery as an institution had been abolished in Christian Europe by the tenth century, it was revived in later centuries first and foremost by contact with the Islamic world.  more>>>


5 Responses

  1. I really liked this article as well as the previous one about the Roman Catholic Church.

    The only thing that is missing are the sources as I would like to keep reading about this subject myself.

  2. The North African Ms, in particular, also did a thriving trade in European slaves, going as far afield as Cornwall and apparently even the Baltic in search of white flesh.

  3. Hi Bernini, glad you enjoyed the articles. There are many books which touch on the subject of the Arab slave trade in Africa, as well as many documentaries and much material on the internet. Bethwell A. Ogot's book "Zamani: A Srvey of East African History (1974) is quite good, as is F. R. C. Bagley "The Last Great Muslim Empires" (1997). Not Slami, your comment is perfectly correct: The African slave trade was only part of Arab/Muslim slave-taking activities. About 2 million Russians and Ukrainians were enslaved by the Crimean Khanate between 1500 and 1700; another 1.5 million were taken from southern Europe by the Barbary pirates in the same period; and many tens of millions were enslaved in India during the course of Islamic history.

  4. There was a big difference between white and black slaves. The white slaves had an higher value and better treatment. Many Ottoman Sultans and Caliphs of Andalusia had blue eyes.This only a fact.

  5. I appreciate your article. As a high school world history teacher, I have always been shocked at how demonized the European colonists are portrayed concerning their role in the colonial African slave trade. The Muslim slave trade was a rampant force in Africa for centuries before and after the Europeans. This topic is glossed over in many world history textbooks. I find this frightening. Thank you for bringing this topic to the forefront of historical education.

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