The cult of Muhammad and of Islam. Islam is not a religion but a fascist cult. It is supremacist, racist and Jihadic. It merges church and state. Islam negates free-will, rationality, and natural law.
Segal has studied and written extensively about Black Slavery. He is a South African writer, and this book is a useful one-volume compendium with some good and surprising information about the vast Arab-Muslim slave-trading of Black African - an imperialist genocide which is ignored. Segal's body count would estimate that some 12-14 million blacks were slave traded from 700 AD to the beginning of the 20th century [p. 56]. This figure is based on the calculations and investigations by other scholars, and is largely accepted as being accurate, if conservative. This means about 10.000 slaves per annum – which in fact could be low given the number of caravans and the extent of the trade and the demand [p. 60]. The number of blacks transhipped into Islam might well total 20 million or more. This means that 20-100% more blacks were slave-traded into the Arab and Muslim empires, than were shipped across the Atlantic. But few discuss it.
Segal quite bizarrely tries to avoid the obvious and deny that slavery is a part of the Koran and endemic in Arab and Islamic society. Muslim theology demands slavery. At the time of Mohammed, black slaves were common in Arabia, mostly servicing domestic and field tasks. This reality became a part of the Koran – as did much of Arab pagan practices like polygamy; rock worship; the kissing of stones; the praying to a moon idol [Allah] and the other various rituals and insipid deeds demanded by the cult.
The Koran is of course quite racist, as are the Hadiths or interpretations of Mohammed's sayings. Racism promotes slavery – it always has throughout history. Segal is simply wrong when he states that Islam is race-neutral. It isn't. Anyone who has bothered to read the Koran would know this. The Koran has a very strict hierarchy with Arab Muslim males on top; and Blacks near the bottom with females and slaves. Racism is endemic in Koranic theology and found its expression in the massive and quite profitable slave trading of Blacks.
Mohammed for instance referred to Blacks as "raisin heads". (Sahih al-Bukhari vol. 1, no. 662 and vol. 9, no. 256), and "pug-nosed slaves". (Sahih Moslem vol. 9, p. 46-47). Mohammad owned several black slaves. Muslim scholar Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya confirms this through his research of the Hadiths and Mohammed's life. Since Mohammed is the most important human in history, the owning of black slaves would be normal, necessary and even celebrated within Islam. To my knowledge Christ for example did not deal in slave trading or slave owning. If he did Christianity never would have eliminated slavery. Even today in Saudi Arabia, the heartland of Islam, the common word for "Black" is "Abd", also meaning "slave".
The value of this book is in the detail of the actual black slave trade. Interestingly the high point of Muslim racist violence against blacks was during the 19th century.
“...it was in the nineteenth century that the largest numbers of black men, women, and children were enslaved and the largest numbers of other blacks killed in the process....Certainly, the raiding and warfare for slaves were conducted on a scale and with a ruthlessness that seemed at times to be frantic.” [p. 145]
Black slaves were sought for the service sector, including harems, domestic work, and light field work. Segal maintains that there were about 2 black female slaves taken, for every male [p. 4]. If true this is the opposite of the Atlantic slave trade. Men were commonly used in military service [p. 45], and young black boys were castrated and trained as eunuchs to guard mosques and harems. Black slaves were also sold into the expanding Muslim empires in India and central Asia staring in the 8th century and reaching an apogee in the reign of Shah Tajan the builder of the Taj Mahal in the mid 17th century [p. 33]. Tens of thousands of blacks were in service in India during this period at any one time, in the military and working in mines and fields. In fact the cross-Indian ocean trade in black slaves was enormously profitable and is dealt with in some detail by Segal. Chinese and Indian demand for African ivory was highly developed, and along with the ivory trade came the slave trade. [p. 102]
Within the African slave routes, Segal estimates that for every 10 slaves which reached Cairo for example, from the Sudan, 50 must have died along the way [p. 151]. This would put the total number of black slaves captured and transported well above the 15 million figure. It also highlights the brutality of the entire slave process that the Arabs and Muslims imposed on the Africans. How this comports with the 'Islam is Peace' cult, so prevalent today in our mindless PC world, remains unexplained.
Islam's slave-based society was not a multi-cultural harmony of pious inter-faith love. It was the imposition of an Arab and Muslim elite upon the rest. Slaves, peasants and non-Muslims were simply used, thrown away, destroyed or taxed into oblivion. In fact life under Muslim rule was so bad that revolts were common, almost yearly experiences. The black 'Zanj' revolt [Zanj is an Arab pejorative akin to nigger]; of the 9th century was so vast, extensive and bloody, that it helped to create a permanent racist hatred by Arabs for blacks. It was only with great difficulty that the Zanj rebellion was put down.
In other parts of the Islamic empire, slavery and over-taxation made life a miserable experience:
“Taxes on the peasantry came to reach half the value of production, and many peasants simply abandoned the land to search for sustenance in the swelling cities....slaves from Black Africa, whose increasing numbers were required in the pursuit of conspicuous consumption....” [p. 22]
Famine was common along with armed insurrections by both slaves and non-Muslims against their Koranic masters [p. 32]. Diseases and pandemics due to poor urban, rural and health conditions were rampant. The backwardness of Islamic society militated against innovation and advancement, including the use of sewers, clean water, the wheel [lost in North Africa for 300 years]; and husbandry techniques such as deep iron ploughs, harnesses and horsehoes – common by the 7th century in supposed 'Dark Age' Europe. As poverty increased so too did raids and brigandage. In fact during large epochs of Muslim rule, population declines of 1/3 in some areas were common [p. 32].
Yet all we hear are tales of the Muslim Golden Age.
There is much to commend this book. It would be far better however, if an editor had gone through the entire edition – especially the first 30 or 40 pages. The first part of the book is simply riddled with errors about Islam which detracts from the books important theme. The author appears to be sympathetic to Islam; and gives the usual false and laughable bromides about the Arab moon cult being a religion [it isn't]; that Islam condemns racism [the Koran and Islamic history promote racism], that it advanced civilization [it has tried to extinguish it]; and aided mankind's spiritual development [the cult of submission does not contain any ethical code]. The author knows little about Islam. He is wrong about - slaves being freed in large numbers [some were but not many] [p. 9]; the integration of blacks into Arab society [many slaves simply died] [p. 9]; and the rejection of force to advance Islam [p. 19] [Islam was spread by war].
But if one can ignore these obvious errors; and concentrate on the detail of what Segal provides about the massive Muslim slave trading of Blacks; the book is worth reading.