Indian Slavery and Islamic Slavery

explanatory Essay
1513 words
1513 words

That notorious Islamic presence in the Indian Ocean, and specially in the East African coast had an obvious importance in the development of the slavery as institution. However, as Cooper has pointed out, it is important take in account that there is not such “Islamic societies” as an homogeneous group of communities ruled by the Sacred Law. Instead, on each different place, the “Islamic slavery” was shaped by the local conditions and reshaped by the economic and social changes.1 The Islam was one of the “ideological frameworks” used in the African continent to justify the slavery of other human beings.2 The main characteristic shared by the slavery in the societies ruled by the Islamic law, was the understanding of slavery as a condition to become part of the kinship group, the assimilation within the “new” cultural context was inherent to the slave condition. The slave was an alien, by and large an infidel, thus the slavery was the mean to convert the alien into the Islamic religion, once converted he or she started a process of incorporation into the Islamic society.3 This particular feature allowed to the slaves reach important positions in the official bureaucracy and the military apparatus. The women became part of the Muslims families, mostly as concubines or domestic slaves, those concubines who had children from their master became free after the master dead, and their children inherited the father condition.4 The other commonly cited characteristic in this framework, is the possibility of social mobility for slaves, some of them reached important positions within the administrative and military apparatus, and became part of high strata in their societies.5 According to the 'religious framework” criticized by Lovejoy,.6 ... ... middle of paper ... ...conomic shifts in East Africa and the Middle East, but also to British campaign to abolish the slave trade after 1807. The decline of slave demand in the Atlantic had a direct impact in the increasing of slaves as labor force in Africa25 and the Indian Ocean.26 The economic change in the region was notorious in the Persian Gulf and in Zanzibar and Pemba Islands. Seemingly, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East suffered an important productive transformation in the nineteenth century, resulting in an increasing in the use of slave labor in occupations different than the 'traditional' roles in domestic and luxury positions.27 According to Clarence-Smith, in the nineteenth century 300.000 slaves were exported from East Africa to Middle Eastern, 500.000 to Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Ports located on the Persian Gulf were points to re export slave workers to other Muslim

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the islamic presence in the indian ocean and the east african coast had an obvious importance for the development of slavery as institution.
  • Argues that the "islamic model" has two main flaws: the explanatory framework is derived from the holy book and the islamic tradition, regardless of historical changes and local conditions.
  • Explains that slavery in africa was assimilative, whereby the slaves were incorporated into the kinship group.
  • Explains that bonded labor and slavery were influenced by islamic law and african practices. plantation crops in the indian ocean affected such conceptions, thus slavery became harsher.
  • Explains that the slave trade became more important after the establishment of europeans factories in south and south asia in the seventeenth century.
  • Explains that the dutch east india company (voc) shipped african and asian slaves to work as domestics servants, artisans, and laborers at their headquarters at batavia, at strategic commercial emporia such as malacca and makassar.
  • Explains that the dutch introduced slaves from indian and the east african coast in their attempt to colonize the mascarene islands between 1638 and 1710.
  • Explains that the decline of slave demand in the atlantic had a direct impact on the increasing of slavery as labor force in africa and the indian ocean.
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