Muhammad owned slaves, and the Qur’an takes the existence of slavery for granted, even as it enjoins the freeing of slaves under certain circumstances, such as the breaking of an oath: “Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation, feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom” (5:89).
While the freeing of a few slaves here and there is encouraged, however, the institution itself is never questioned. Slavery was taken for granted throughout Islamic history, as it was, of course, in the West up until relatively recent times. Yet the impetus to end slavery moved from Christendom into Islam, not the other way around. Because the Qur’anic word cannot be questioned, and the book does not contain the Biblical principles that led to the abolition of slavery in the West, there has never been a Muslim abolitionist movement. Slavery ended in Islamic lands under pressure from the West.
“UAE officer ordered to pay $1.2M to former worker,” from the Associated Press, December 27 (thanks to Kenneth):
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) “” A federal judge has ordered a naval officer from the United Arab Emirates to pay $1.2 million to a former domestic worker for his family in Rhode Island who accused him of forcing her to work long hours for little pay.
U.S. District Court Judge John McConnell in August ruled Col. Arif Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Al-Ali in default for failing to appear in court in a lawsuit brought by Elizabeth Ballesteros, who cared for Al-Ali’s family in East Greenwich when he was studying at the U.S. Naval War College.
On Wednesday, McConnell ordered Al-Ali to pay Ballesteros for forcing her to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and for what he called outrageous and inhumane conduct.
Al-Ali was previously acquitted of criminal charges.