“The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery” has published a piece entitled “ISIS says Islam justifies slavery – what does Islamic law say?,” by Professor Bernard Freamon, who “teaches courses on modern-day slavery and human trafficking at Seton Hall University School of Law in New Jersey and also specializes in Islamic Legal History.”
We do not have a free press. On the issue of Islam and jihad the mainstream press is a one-party state, with a few dissenting voices allowed now and again on Fox. Another aspect of this is that what the mainstream does present about Islam is very often flatly false, as here. Professor Bernard Freamon claims that “the Quran established an entirely new ethic on the issue of slavery and ISIS’s selective use of certain Quranic texts to justify contemporary chattel slavery ignores this fact. First, consistent with the new ethic, the emphasis in all of the revelations on slavery is on the emancipation of slaves, not on their capture or the continuation of the institution of slavery. (See, for example, verses 2:177, 4:25, 4:92, 5:89, 14:31, 24:33, 58:3, 90:1-12.) There is not one single verse suggesting that the practice should continue.”
None of these verses actually calls for the freeing of all slaves. These verses all call for or recommend the freeing of slaves under certain specific circumstances. For example, 58:3 says: “And those who pronounce thihar from their wives and then [wish to] go back on what they said – then [there must be] the freeing of a slave before they touch one another. That is what you are admonished thereby; and Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” That is, those who divorce their wives but want them back have to free a slave before they can restore their marriage. This is not a call for universal abolition; none of the other verses he cites are, either.
What’s more, there is considerable evidence on the other side that Freamon ignores:
The Qur’an has Allah telling Muhammad that he has given him girls as sex slaves: “Prophet, We have made lawful to you the wives to whom you have granted dowries and the slave girls whom God has given you as booty.” (Qur’an 33:50)
Muhammad bought slaves: “Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) reported: There came a slave and pledged allegiance to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) on migration; he (the Holy Prophet) did not know that he was a slave. Then there came his master and demanded him back, whereupon Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: Sell him to me. And he bought him for two black slaves, and he did not afterwards take allegiance from anyone until he had asked him whether he was a slave (or a free man).” (Muslim 3901)
Muhammad took female Infidel captives as slaves: “Narrated Anas: The Prophet offered the Fajr Prayer near Khaibar when it was still dark and then said, ‘Allahu-Akbar! Khaibar is destroyed, for whenever we approach a (hostile) nation (to fight), then evil will be the morning for those who have been warned.’ Then the inhabitants of Khaibar came out running on the roads. The Prophet had their warriors killed, their offspring and woman taken as captives. Safiya was amongst the captives. She first came in the share of Dahya Alkali but later on she belonged to the Prophet. The Prophet made her manumission as her ‘Mahr.’” (Bukhari 5.59.512) Mahr is bride price: Muhammad freed her and married her. But he didn’t do this to all his slaves:
Muhammad owned slaves: “Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Apostle was on a journey and he had a black slave called Anjasha, and he was driving the camels (very fast, and there were women riding on those camels). Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Waihaka (May Allah be merciful to you), O Anjasha! Drive slowly (the camels) with the glass vessels (women)!’” (Bukhari 8.73.182) There is no mention of Muhammad’s freeing Anjasha.
But these facts don’t fit what the mainstream media wants you to think about Islam, so you will never see them on CNN. If CNN’s “Freedom Project” really wants to end modern-day slavery, it should stop spreading falsehoods about how that slavery is justified by those who perpetuate it.