Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald borrows a title from Sayyid Qutb in addressing a common dhimmi misconception:
We often hear that Islam has a rich tradition of fighting against "inequality" and for "social justice." These claims need to be held up to the light. In fact, Islam is based on "inequality." It is the only belief-system in the world that recognizes, and legitimizes, for all time, slavery -- because slavery was good enough for Muhammad, al-insan al-kamil, the Perfect Man.
The Arabs were the first and the last and the most aggressive and cruel of slave traders in black Africa. The Arab enslavement of black Africans never ended; it continues today, most notably in the Sudan and Mauritania. Slavery was outlawed in Saudi Arabia officially only in 1962, and only because of Western pressure -- just as a century before, the African slave trade by the Arabs was severely curtailed only by the power of the British navy. Even today there are reports that indicate that slavery is still unofficially practiced in Saudi Arabia, behind those tall walls of the compounds of the rich who run and own everything in that country. For more on the enslavement of black Africans, see J. R. Willis, or Jan Hoogedorn's "The Hideous Trade" (about the seizure and castration of young blacks whose survival rate was 10%).
Of course, the Muslims also raided Western Europe for slaves. Europeans built the palace of Moulay Hassan in Morocco (see "White Gold" by Giles Milton, about Thomas Pellow). Muslim slave raiders also ventured into Eastern Europe, including the territories of the Slavs (Slaves), seeking more slaves. Finally, women were seized from Georgia and Circassia to fill the harems (and harems were not limited, as some Westerners appear to think, to the Muslim rulers).
But even without the long and continuing history of slavery or near-slavery, the nonsense about "equality" and "social justice" can be shown for what it is by the example of all the wage-slaves who occasionally manage, in London or New York, to run away from their cruel Saudi or Kuwaiti masters. Then the tales of what they endured are fleetingly the subject of attention, and then the door into Arab Muslim reality is slammed shut by some well-paid lawyers and other fixers.
In the Gulf states, the treatment of Filipino workers (Pinoys) and especially nurses, as well as of Indian and Pakistani and Sri Lankan and Thai workers, has been hair-raisingly horrible. They suffer both as non-Muslims and as non-Arabs, for the Arabs are careful to make not one distinction, but several: 1) Muslim or non-Muslim 2) if Muslim, Arab or non-Arab 3) if Arab Muslim, what kind of Arab Muslim? These distinctions are made at every level, in every encounter, in every situation. Even the governments of the Asian countries whose nationals are treated with such cruelty have on occasion protested.
As for "social justice" in the sense of economic justice, one wonders what those who have swallowed this line actually know about the Muslim countries, where despots and a handful of the rich rule and simply steal the country's wealth. In Pakistan, a handful of zamindars and generals rule over a primitive and self-primitivizing population. In Iran, the main objection to the rule by mullahs is their vast corruption. In Kuwait, the U.A.E., and all the other statelets of the Gulf, while there is so much money coming in that everyone gets a cut, the ruling family -- the Al-Sabah in Kuwait, the Al-Thani in Qatar, the Al-Maktoum in Dubai -– gets the largest share. And of course, the most fantastic thievery, the greatest theft in history, was that by the House of Saud in the country they named after themselves, "Saudi" Arabia.
As for the related myth of Muslim lack of materialism, those who believe in that nonsense have apparently wandered into the wrong room in the Museum of Religions and mistaken the exhibit on Buddhism for that on Islam. There is only one serious pastime in every rich Muslim country: shopping. And more shopping. Shopping in the gold souk. Shopping in the clothes stores. Shopping for electronic gewgaws. Shopping for the very latest in computer stuff. Going to Europe for more shopping: London, Paris, Rome. Via Condotti, rue du Faubourg St.-Honore, Fifth Avenue, Rodeo Drive. Shop, shop, shop.
Read any of the accounts by those who lived in Saudi or the Gulf statelets -- for example "Money Rush," or the novel "Eight Months on Ghazzah Street" by Hilary Mantel. There you will see that the rich Arabs in their buying habits, men and women, resemble no Westerner so much as Paris Hilton. Whole countries full of hypocritical, meretricious, vicious, brutal, corrupt, Jihad-funding people -- and with the buying desires of Paris Hilton or Michael Jackson, or both of them combined.
Then finally there is the grinding poverty in much of Saudi Arabia, endured by those who have the misfortune to be unconnected to the ruling family or any of their hangers-on. They endure this poverty out of the way of prying Western eyes, in districts where only the poor themselves, and those trusted to tell no tales, may venture. This is a story yet to be told.
So much for "equality." So much for "social justice" under Islam.