Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses the recurring and persistent problems of Islamic piracy and slavery, and the dhimmitude of France and Europe:
For centuries Muslim raiders went up and down the coasts of Europe, even as far as Ireland, and in one famous instance, Iceland. Rape and plunder were the intent. And the greatest wealth were the people themselves, the ones left alive after the raids and who were taken back to North Africa. There they were enslaved, set to work for their Muslim masters. A recent book, “White Gold,” by Giles Milton, in telling the story of one Thomas Pellow of Cornwall, reminds us of the one million people from Western Europe seized over the centuries by Muslim raiders. No doubt with modern tools, those who are skilled in the analysis of DNA, were they allowed to test populations in North Africa and elsewhere in the Muslim countries, could find genetic markers for distant origins.
In eastern and central Europe, and in present-day Russia, men were seized as slaves (and then forcibly converted). In certain areas, the kidnapping of women, especially Circassian and Georgian and other women from the Caucasus region, helped fill the harems not only of the rulers, but of ordinary Muslims.
And then there was, to fill in the gaps — the trade in black African slaves. Some were simply seized for the usual purposes — work, sexual slaves. But the young black Africans taken by the millions had a special role to fill: that of the eunuchs who attended to, and guarded, the women in the harems. Most people appear to believe that the “harem” was enjoyed only by the most powerful. The word “harem,” in fact, is often associated in the Western world only with the ruler — the famous “hareem” of the Ottoman rulers, the Padishahin, the “hareem” of this or that local potentate. But there were “hareems” everywhere in the Muslim lands. Ordinary Muslim men would, if they could afford it, have their harem. Any male slave who might come near such women, much less guard or attend to them, should be free from any sexual urges — that is, he should be castrated. In Jan Hogedoorn’s scholarly study of the economics of this “hideous trade” (as he titles his article), he explains that the Arab slave-traders would castrate the kidnapped black African boys on site, in the bush, and then march them northwards or eastwards by slave coffle all the way to the slave-markets of Egypt and North Africa, or to the coast where they were then taken by dhow to Arab slave-markets in Arabia, in Riyadh and Baghdad and Damascus and Cairo, and Constantinople and Smyrna, and in all the smaller slave markets. Only 10% survived this trek.
Islamic civilization had slave-soldiers, sex-slaves in the harems, slaves in the houses. For after all, slavery was part of 7th century Arabia, and is recognized in the Qur’an and by Muhammad. Thus whatever banning of slavery took place in the Muslim world took place under pressure from the non-Muslim world. It was the British (see J. B. Kelly, Britain and the Persian Gulf, 1795-1880) who managed to ban the Arab slave trade in African slaves — much to the chagrin of the local Arabs. Slavery was “officially” abolished in Saudi Arabia in 1962. Arab enslavement of black Africans, however, continues wherever — wherever it can be continued. In the southern Sudan, black Africans have been seized by Arab slavers. As is now well known, Western NGOs have managed to buy the freedom of some of those enslaved from their Arab masters. Black Africans are enslaved in Mali and Mauritania. And in Saudi newspapers one can find advertisements that read suspiciously. One that was brought to my attention a few years ago was an offer to swap a late-model American car for an Asian — i.e. Indian or Sri Lankan or Thai — female.
As the Western world grew in power, the Muslim raiding parties that once went up and down the coasts of Europe concentrated more and more on Christian shipping in the Mediterranean. In the Western world, these raiders — who were not working on their own, but carefully had to register their intended Christian targets in advance with, for example, the beylerbey of Algiers — made much of the Mediterranean unsafe, just as the pirates of today may be making shipping unsafe. Everyone knows about the Barbary Pirates. Americans like to tell the story of how at long last the robust response of the American Republic under Jefferson accomplished what those tribute-paying fearful Europeans could not accomplish. But the pride is slightly misplaced, for in the end the Barbary Pirates renewed their attacks here and there. It was only the French invasion of Algeria in 1830 that put a definitive end to the war conducted from North Africa by Muslims on the Christian shipping.
Muslim pirates today, in and around Malaysia and Indonesia and off the coast of Somalia, are of course introduced in gain, like pirates always and everywhere. But Islam adds a different dimension, and justifies, even elevates the enterprise.
That is why, for example, what some attempt to describe what has been happening in France as mere hooliganism and anti-social activity of a sort that one can find among non-Muslim rioters misses a point. That behavior, that hatred, even where it is not in every case the direct result of the promptings of Islam, is provided a justification by Islam and the tenets it inculcates of permanent hostility toward all non-Muslims. And the actions, the rage, the hatred are not merely justified, but intensified, given a quality that makes them essentially inassuagable, implacable. Any attempts to buy one’s way out of that hatred by the payment of jizyah (more housing, even more benefits beyond free medical care and free education and so many free things that Americans would hardly believe it), will not work. Islam is to dominate, Muslims are to rule. If they are not yet in their rightful positions, that is unjust. And whatever system exists will be unjust until Islam dominates, until the Infidel society has transformed itself so as to accommodate every Muslim demand, which is to say — to give up what distinguishes a non-Muslim people, culture, civilization, from a Muslim one.
And this is what Tariq Ramadan and others of his ilk like to talk about: that Islam is “European” (no it isn’t), that Islam is “here to stay in Europe and no one can do anything about it” (not so fast) and that’s just “the way it’s going to be” (not necessarily, not at all — Europe has powers of recuperation, and it only requires enough people coming to their senses, through educating themselves, in time).
Of course there are hooligans and a criminal class everywhere. But that does not mean that there is nothing specifically Islamic about what has been happening in France. The French government spends more on public housing than any other country in Western Europe. It spends more on education than any other country in Western Europe. The Muslims, chiefly North Africans, who live in France know perfectly well what life is like in the countries that they or their parents or in a few cases grandparents came from. They know French and they know Arabic. They could be sent back. They have no claim on France, none. Geographic happenstance means nothing. The French can stop paying the quite unnecessary guilt-talk-cum-tribute now. It is more than 40 years since the French had left Algeria, where they had left a legacy, an interval, of civilization, and Morocco and Tunisia, where after a mere 40 years (some “colonialism”) they had left similar legacies, and allowed at least some of the most intelligent members of those societies to begin, after a thousand years of mental enslavement, the space to think.
Islam tells people that they should not integrate — how, really, can any Believer be expected to integrate into, to accept, the laws, manners, customs, ways, and above all the dominant position, of Infidels? It makes no sense. It is against Allah, against the Qur’an, the Hadith, the Sira. Islam is “to dominate and not to be dominated.” Of course it is okay to rape “Brigitte,” whether “Brigitte” is a real gang-raped French girl, or France itself. It is okay to vandalize, or steal, the property of Infidels — it’s not really theirs in the first place. The world belongs to Allah, and to the Believers. Why should not Muslims act on this belief? Why are we so unfeeling, and unthinking, as to deny the self-evident superiority of Muslim ways, and Muslim laws, and Muslims themselves? If we Infidels, in France or elsewhere, insist on being stubborn, then we deserve what we get. And in the end, the Western world, it is felt, will not exhibit the necessary determination, and even gratitude to those who left the legacy that was inherited and is now being abandoned, in a colossal act of collective self-immolation.