colonial official with arab dignitaries , on the right is Tippu Tip (the most renowned Arab slave and ivory trader, died in 1905), in Zanzibar, Tanzania...
The beginning of the trans-Atlantic slave traded started first with the Portuguese expedition to get gold ~ but what they also found was a thriving slave trade of non-Muslim African being used as Muslim slaves. So to get gold from these Muslim Kingdoms they traded slaves. Which was one of the reasons they were able to set up ports along the coast, relatively unopposed, because the slaves didn't come from the Muslim dominated areas they were being taken to those areas. Besides this other good were being traded there as well.
The end of the fifteenth century was marked (for Europe) by Vasco da Gama's successful voyage to India and the establishment of sugar plantations on Madeira, Canary, and Cape Verde Islands. Rather than trading slaves back to Muslim merchants, there was an emerging market for agricultural workers on the plantations. By 1500 the Portuguese had transported approximately 81,000 slaves to these various markets. [About]
The majority of these slaves came from Europe and Africa -- there were always enterprising locals ready to kidnap or capture their fellow countrymen.
When the Europeans reached Africa there was this whole slave-trade machine already in operation ~ and these slave primarily came from non-Muslim areas..
Black Africans were transported to the Islamic empire across the Sahara to Morocco and Tunisia from West Africa, from Chad to Libya, along the Nile from East Africa, and up the coast of East Africa to the Persian Gulf. This trade had been well entrenched for over 600 years before Europeans arrived, and had driven the rapid expansion of Islam across North Africa.
By the time of the Ottoman Empire, the majority of slaves were obtained by raiding in Africa. Russian expansion had put an end to the source of "exceptionally beautiful" female and "brave" male slaves from the Caucasians -- the women were highly prised in the harem, the men in the military. [About]
Recently there was a problem with forced Islamization in a few Bulgarian villages ~ they had been Muslim through the communist years ~ but there was this effort to ~ like what is happening across Europe to get the women out of their regional clothes ~ into the Arabized black or black and white Arab dress. They brought a strict version of Islam to the schools and everyone was required to go to the mosque. And those who didn't go along with this were ostracised, threatened and called ~ Giaour or an infidel slave ~ it is considered to be an extremely derogatory term ~ and it goes back to the Ottoman's taking the non-Muslims as slaves.
Giaour (Turkish - gavur) is a noun in the Turkish language, most notable as a pejorative term and offensive ethnic slur for bulgarians and other christian people of the Balkans. It was widely used during the days of the Ottoman empire. The word was adaptated into turkish from Persian gdwr or gbr, an infidel. [+]
Although the law required owners to treat slaves well and provide medical treatment, a slave had no right to be heard in court (testimony was forbidden by slaves), had no right to property, could marry only with permission of their owner, and was considered to be a chattel, that is the (moveable) property, of the slave owner.
Conversion to Islam did not automatically give a slave freedom nor did it confer freedom to their children. Whilst highly educated slaves and those in the military did win their freedom, those used for basic duties rarely achieved freedom. In addition, the recorded mortality rate was high -- this was still significant even as late as the nineteenth century [About]
And the references to slavery continue today ~ within the Islamic world. Where the distinction lies in those who were taken as slaves and then converted to Islam, would still be referred to as slaves by the Arabs from the Arab region proper. I have it on good authority that those for example in Northern Sudan, who are called Arabs are still referred to as Arab slaves in derogatory terms. Other North Africans have similar stories ~ of being called this by those in Arabia ~ so there is a tiered system in Islam. Those who were made slaves and then become Muslim and those who were Muslim and took slaves.
You do wonder what the Muslims were doing all those years. But slavery proved to be an inefficient system of growing an economy, because only the few would have been made wealthy, and if you were not party to this, unless you were highly skilled, you could not simply get paid employment, because there were slaves for that.
-- free men could not be enslaved, and those faithful to foreign religions could live as protected persons, dhimmis, under Muslim rule (as long as they maintained payment of taxes called Kharaj and Jizya). However, the spread of the Islamic Empire resulted in a much harsher interpretation of the law. For example, if a dhimmis was unable to pay the taxes they could be enslaved, and people from outside the borders of the Islamic Empire were considered an acceptable source of slaves. [About]
Coptic Preacher’s open letter to Obama on Muslim history in US
In his speech that he gave in Cairo, our president [Barack Obama] said, “I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of American history.”
Have they, Mr. Obama, or was this just another peace-making pansy thrown out? Where are the facts? As a scholar in world history, I can tell you.
Other people have defiled another person’s response. They say he “got his basic facts wrong” and is “racist”. Unfortunately, those spectators were wrong on both counts. First, I am going to prove the fact that Muslim slavery in America could not have been possible.
When the flurry for North America’s colonization began, the Spanish conquistadors were one of the earliest explorers. Of course, the European monarchs and aristocrats wanted a share in the wealth too. So, they made a deal with King Mansa Musa of the south eastern Africa territory. Guns had just been successfully invented at the time, so they agreed to periodically trade guns for slaves. This is where the first African slaves were taken, because there were not enough Native Americans. Mansa Musa agreed, and you can easily find, even in a common middle school history book, that it is a plain fact that Mansa Musa was a devout Muslim. Funny how you call it “White propaganda” when it was an African who agreed to start this long slave toil.
Because he was such a devout Muslim, Mansa Musa would not even send the lowest class of Muslims into slavery, so instead, he conveniently sent the Christians to their toil.
Some other people said that Muslim blacks were in slavery.
They kept their heritage through songs of praise to the Christian God, once again proving that Mansa Musa disposed of as many African Christians as possible. So far, the only Muslim who played a part in our history was the one that started slavery.
Now I’m sure you are going to say that in early times, slaves were forced to convert to Christianity. Again, this is incorrect. It was the Spanish conquistador “missionaries” who were the ones who imposed this religion, and they didn’t even impose it on African slaves! They forced this on Native American tribes such as the Mayas, Aztecs, and even the early Olmecs. Why? Because the African slaves were already Christian!