Chapter

Conquest and Enslavement

BERNARD LEWIS

in Race and Slavery in the Middle East

Published in print June 1992 | ISBN: 9780195053265
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854561 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195053265.003.0005
Conquest and Enslavement

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The chapter discusses the change of attitude brought about by three developments: fact of conquest, wider range of experience brought to the Arabs, and slavery and the slave trade. The fact of conquest was created by the advancing Arabs of a vast empire in which the normal distinctions inevitably appeared between the conquerors and the conquered. At the start, Arabs and Muslims were the same thing and the distinction was primarily religious. Eventually, the non-Arabs converted to Islam and were regarded as inferior and subjected to fiscal, social political, military, and other disabilities while the Arabs maintained their privileged position. The second factor was brought about by the encounter with fairer-skinned people who were more developed. The third development was brought about by massive importation of black slaves. The growth of the slave population was an indirect and unintended consequence of the most important humanitarian advances brought about by Islamic dispensation.

Keywords: Arabs; slavery; slave trade; Muslims; Islam; black slaves; slave population; Islamic dispensation

Chapter.  3063 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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