4 Things you Should Know About the Trans-Saharan Slave Trade

In history, the trans-Saharan slave trade led to the death of many people and ruined many lives. However, in today’s modern society, this historical event barely receives the attention and importance it truly deserves, much especially in the Arab-Muslim culture. This is as ruthless as its counterpart, the trans-Atlantic slave trade which apparently receives more attention than the trans-Saharan slave trade.

Here are some of the most important things you should understand about the trans-Saharan slave trade.

  • During the trans-Saharan slave trade, millions of people were captured, sold and relocated away from their homes. They became slaves to new masters and are sold across North Africa and the Middle East to be utilized for domestic, military and even sex work.  
  • The trans-Sahara slave trade is different from other Islamic practices because this type of dealing is fully accepted by culture yet condoned for its ideology. Due to this, many Arabs often refer to people with African origin as abd or also known as slaves. They do not even consider this as offensive and derogatory term.

However, if people were aware of the significance and implication of the word “abd,” and its history, people would perhaps be more sensitive about it. This is why educating the people on the relevance and impact of this event to the African society may help them understand that slavery, colonialism, and genocide did not just originate from the Euro-American civilization.

  • Racism, oppression, and slavery in the Arab-Islamic society are as much as brutal as how the European and American people treated the black community. It is greatly believed that the Negro race is dutiful and inherent to slavery. In fact, during the medieval Arab society, most Arabs look down on the black community despite the teachings of Islam that condemn the act of racism.

This belief has led the modern-day culture to create a stereotype against black people and African people in general. Due to the lack of education and information about the trans-Sahara slave trade, most Arabs are clearly unaware and remain ignorant about the issues of racial discrimination.

  • In North America, most Arabs are unaware of the reality and the struggle of Afro-Americans to combat racism issues even if they experience similar racial discriminations of their own. There are also different structures of discrimination in Arab-Muslim communities.

It is clearly important for people to be more aware and educated on the history and origin of slavery and racism including the Arab-Muslim society and culture.

Read the original story via Ballandalus.

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