News that Jonathan Brown, a tenured Georgetown professor and holder of the Al-Waleed bin Talal Chair in Islamic Civilization at Georgetown University, has delivered a lecture defending slavery andWhich brings to mind the Fascist slavery and work-to-death policies of the Third Reich. Not to mention the WWII Japanese.
rapenon-consensual sex. Umar Lee, a Muslim who heard the lecture and was offended by it, posted about it here. He wrote:
While the lecture was supposed to be about slavery in Islam Brown spent the majority of the lecture talking about slavery in the United States, the United Kingdom and China. When discussing slavery in these societies Brown painted slavery as brutal and violent (which it certainly was). When the conversation would briefly flip to historic slavery in the Arab and Turkish would slavery was described by Brown in glowing terms. Indeed, according to Brown, slaves in the Muslim World lived a pretty good life.
I thought the Muslim community was done with this dishonest North Korean style of propaganda. Obviously not. Brown went on to discuss the injustices of prison labor in America and a myriad of other social-ills. Absent from his talk (until challenged) was any recognition of the rampant abuse of workers in the Gulf, the thousands of workers in the Gulf dying on construction sites, the South Asian child camel-jockeys imported into the United Arab Emirates to race camels under harsh conditions, or the horrific conditions of prisoners in the Muslim World (the latest news being 13,000 prisoners executed in Syria).
Brown constructs a world where the wrongs of the West excuse any wrongs (if he believes there are any) in the Muslim World.
“Slavery wasn’t racialized” in Muslim societies, Brown stated. That would be believable if it weren’t well-known black people in the Arab World and African-Americans in this country weren’t constantly referred to as abeed (slaves) simply because the color of the skin.
Brown described slavery in the Muslim World as kinder and gentler. The Arab poet who wrote “before you buy the slave buy the stick… for he is nejas (impure)” is perhaps a better description of Arab slavery than what Brown offered.
“Slaves were protected by shariah (Islamic Law)” Brown stated with no recognition of the idealized legal version of slavery and slavery as it was practiced. In this version of slavery there is an omission of kidnappings, harems, armies of eunuchs, and other atrocities.