Reshaping Slavery to Make it Legal for Muslims

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Muslim destinations. 1 “Labour shortages occurred within the Southern Iranian and Persian Gulf Region during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries resulting in fresh demands for imported labour to work in the Gulf pots, in the coastal villages and in local militia. The East African slave trade provided the temporary labour until the First World War.”2 It is remarkable the combination of several forms of slavery and coerced labor in the labor market.3 The economic change and the rising demand of slaves from East Africa had several impacts in the supply and reception areas. Large number of pawned and bonded labor in Africa faced a changes in their condition, and were exported away their homes. On the other hand, a 'new understanding' of slavery took place in Muslim 'states', in which slavery was reshaped according their religious interpretations in order of keep it as a legal practice. Despite the increasing of slave exports to Middle East, Zanzibar Island remained as the main slave destiny for the most of slaves. The 60 per cent of slaves were absorbed by plantations on Zanzibar and Pemba.4 This expansion took place when the Omani Emirate of Zanzibar “imported” to Zanzibar and Pemba the plantation complex from Reunion and Mauritius.5 The sultan of Zanzibar Seyyid Sa'id began after 1820 a spectacular plantation development in Zanzibar and Pemba, seemingly inspired by the French. Plantations in the African Emirate were devoted to the cultivation of cloves for export to the Indian market. Such market had a remarkable growth, likewise slave importations from the mainland were increased, thus the Swahili Coast and Mozambique were involved in a constant export of slaves,6 and their shores were visited by ships owned by merchants f... ... middle of paper ... ...slavery than even before.”25 Furthermore, slave exports to the Persian Gulf also remained stables, little dhows with slaves traveled across the Indian Ocean avoiding the Royal Navy during the nineteenth century.26 Thus, it is clear that the diplomatic initiative was more symbolic than real, and the slave trade remained healthy through the Indian Ocean. Large number of ports were hostile to the British presence, whereby, the mission of control ships became almost impossible for the Royal Navy. On the other hand, the space to control was beyond the capacity of any Navy. Nevertheless, British were constantly chasing ships with the “banned cargo” and simultaneously pressing on rulers to stop slavery as mean of production. Despite all these attempts the slave trade continued until the official occupation by British of Zanzibar and large parts of the East African Coast,

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