A Georgetown professor says it’s not so bad. Meanwhile, at least fifty million Muslims support violent defense of their religion.
[Update a few minutes later]
A fourth Muslim group refuses federal funds to fight Islamic extremism. Gee, it’s almost as though they don’t have a problem with it.
And more on the joys of Muslim slavery from Rod Dreher:
Just past the 1:00 mark, Brown says that slavery under Islamic law was not comparable to chattel slavery in the American South, in part because the slaves of Muslims had rights. He said it was in fact comparable to feudalism in medieval Europe — something “social,” not “economic.” When the questioner persists in his challenge to Brown’s take on slavery in Islam, Brown goes on to say that it’s an undeniable fact that Muhammad held slaves.
“Are you more morally mature than the Prophet of God?” Brown says. “No, you’re not.”
So, there you have it. If Muhammad held slaves, how bad could slavery really be?
It’s a challenging point, actually: if the Prophet behaved in a certain way, who are Muslims today to stand in judgment of him and what he did? If we say that slavery is evil, are we not implicitly condemning the Prophet as an evildoer? Can a Muslim do that and still be a good Muslim? I don’t know.
It’s worth pointing out that in the New Testament, St. Paul doesn’t condemn slaveholding, which was common in his day, nor does he explicitly endorse it. He simply recognizes it as a fact of life, and tells slaves and slaveholders how to treat each other. (See here for more information.) However, the principles of Christianity led in modern times to the rejection of slavery among Christians. To canonize someone as a saint does not mean that they led perfect lives, only that the led lives of heroic Christian virtue. The only perfectly sinless life was that of Jesus Christ.
Nevertheless, it is worth considering whether or not Islam today has within it the resources to oppose slavery, which continues to exist in some Muslim countries. The line I quote above can be used to justify slavery (if Muhammad held slaves, who are Muslims to condemn other Muslims who own slaves?), or, I suppose, to undermine confidence in Muhammad and his teaching.
One of these religions is not like the other.
One of the infuriating things about the Zinnization of education is the notion that too many young people have that America invented slavery, rather than sacrificing over half a million men to end it, at the urging of Christians.