A man I have known since grade school changed his name, years ago, to an Arabic one. He told me he rejected Christianity as “the white man’s religion that justified slavery.” He argued Africans taken out of that continent were owed reparations. “From whom?” I asked.
Arab slavers took more Africans out of Africa and transported them to the Middle East and to South America than European slavers took out of Africa and brought to North America. Arab slavers began taking slaves out of Africa beginning in the ninth century — centuries before the European slave trade — and continued well after.
In “Prisons & Slavery,” John Dewar Gleissner writes: “The Arabs’ treatment of black Africans can aptly be termed an African Holocaust. Arabs killed more Africans in transit, especially when crossing the Sahara Desert, than Europeans and Americans, and over more centuries, both before and after the years of the Atlantic slave trade. Arab Muslims began extracting millions of black African slaves centuries before Christian nations did. Arab slave traders removed slaves from Africa for about 13 centuries, compared to three centuries of the Atlantic slave trade. African slaves transported by Arabs across the Sahara Desert died more often than slaves making the Middle Passage to the New World by ship. Slaves invariably died within five years if they worked in the Ottoman Empire’s Sahara salt mines.”
My name-changing friend did not know that slavery occurred on every continent except Antarctica. Europeans enslaved other Europeans. Asians enslaved Asians. Africans enslaved other Africans. Arabs enslaved other Arabs. Native Americans even enslaved other Native Americans.
He accused me of “relying on white historians” who, he insisted, had a “vested interest to lie.”
What about Thomas Sowell, the brilliant economist/historian/philosopher, who happens to be black? Sowell writes: “Of all the tragic facts about the history of slavery, the most astonishing to an American today is that, although slavery was a worldwide institution for thousands of years, nowhere in the world was slavery a controversial issue prior to the 18th century.
Read the rest at: Slavery