An Historical Enquiry. Illuminating the legacy of slavery in the region where it lasted longest, from the days of warrior slaves and palace eunuchs and concubines to the final drive for abolition, Bernard Lewis examines the romantic myth of the Middle East as a racial utopia. With twenty four rare and intriguing full-color illustrations, this fascinating study describes the Middle East's culture of slavery and the evolution of racial prejudice. Lewis shows that while Islam clearly teaches non-discrimination, prejudice often won out over pious sentiments, and he explores in detail how Africans were treated, depicted, and thought of from late antiquity to the twentieth century.
From before the days of Moses up through the 1960s, slavery was a fact of life in the Middle East. Pagans, Jews, Christians, and Muslims bought and sold at the slave markets for millennia, trading the human plunder of wars and slave raids that reached from the Russian steppes to the African jungles. But if the Middle East was one of the last regions to renounce slavery, how do we account for its--and especially Islam's--image of racial harmony? How did these long years of slavery affect racial relations? In Race and Slavery in the Middle East, Bernard Lewis explores these questions and others, examining the history of slavery in law, social thought, and practice over the last two millennia.
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