‘How Islam moderated slavery’: BBC blasted for piece explaining the ‘nice’ way to treat humans as property
In the current climate of heightened racial tensions, marked by worldwide protests and the tearing down of colonial-era statues, it has emerged that not all slavery was created equal – at least, according to the BBC.
As celebrities, politicians, and the public at large parse their social-media histories for any evidence of untoward or potentially racially offensive comments, jokes, memes or otherwise, it appears the BBC is the latest institution to have views expressed in the past come back to haunt it.
In an archived article from 2009 discussing slavery and Islam, critics highlight how the BBC included such grim subheadings and points as “How Islam moderated slavery,” including “Islam treated slaves as human beings as well as property” and how, mercifully, “Islam barred Muslims from enslaving other Muslims.”
Muslim slavery is good slavery.White slavery is bad slavery.Thanks for that BBC.— Lawrence Hakiwai (@Omahuson) July 9, 2020
Though the BBC writer does acknowledge that Islam“made freeing slaves a virtuous act,” and makes several other concessions in the piece, it still apparently strayed too close to apologetics for slavery, in the eyes of many irate tweeters, becoming an exercise in whataboutery and deflecting blame on to Christians and white people.
Many more African were sold off into slavery in the Islamic world than sold across the Atlantic. Today there are many millions of slave descendants in the America's, but hardly any African descendants n the Islamic world. What happened? In a word. Eunuchs. https://t.co/wH48gQ7cC3— CliffSmith (@CliffSmith3) July 10, 2020
Many were particularly irked, given the plight the Yazidi suffered at the hands of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) jihadists in the so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
Good god, tell that to the Yazidi women taken as sex slaves. BBC trying to rewrite history, much? What about those poor young men strung up by their ankles recently? 😡— Sal (@wellynelly6) July 9, 2020
The article resurfaced after reports emerged that Al-Qaeda had begun to rebrand itself as a “champion of the oppressed” to capitalize on the groundswell of support for anti-racism, anti-establishment, and anti-colonialist movements across the Western world in the wake of George Floyd’s killing at the hands of the Minneapolis police department.
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