Chapter

Myth and Reality

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/9780195053265.003.0014
Myth and Reality

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The chapter refutes the claims of both exclusive virtue and exclusive vice and points to certain common failings of humanity. It aims to demonstrate the myth and the truth behind each myth, such as the myth of Islamic racial innocence and the myth of total racial harmony in the Islamic world. These myths had a Western creator and they served a Western purpose. The author, in reviewing the evidence of prejudice and discrimination in the Middle Eastern part, discovers and tries to correct the false picture drawn by myth makers. There were obvious contrasts that led some European observers to defend Muslim slavery or to praise Muslim racial attitudes. One of these defenses was from Kremer. He abhorred slavery and described the abduction and transportation of African slaves in blood-chilling terms. However, he also took note that the slave was treated well once he reached his destination.

Keywords: humanity; racial innocence; racial harmony; Islamic world; myth makers; Muslim slavery; Kremer

Chapter.  1876 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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