For a deeper look into the real history of slavery, read ‘Black Rednecks and White Liberals‘ by Thomas Sowell.
©All rights reserved.
For a deeper look into the real history of slavery, read ‘Black Rednecks and White Liberals‘ by Thomas Sowell.
©All rights reserved.
“Slavery cannot be intrinsically evil in Islamic law,” Georgetown University professor Jonathan Brown stated during a July 20, 2020 webinar. This disturbing assessment came during a 2019-2020 series of presentations on his 2019 book, Slavery & Islam, whose theses have hardly improved upon this Muslim convert’s past scandalous comments on slavery.
On February 7, 2017, Brown had caused furor while presenting a paper on slavery and Islam at the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). Thereby he noted the traditional Islamic doctrine expressed in Quran 33:21 that Islam’s prophet Muhammad is an “excellent pattern” of behavior. Therefore this example sanctified the slavery practiced by him and his companions, including sex slavery, a doctrine that had justified slavery throughout Islamic history.
Once public, such views completely negated Brown’s disclaimer at the presentation’s beginning. “I always make some hyperbolic statement that really makes sense in the context,” he noted, such that he would face accusations of “calling for slavery.” Given such concern over criticism, he expelled this author from the presentation before it started.
Brown’s elaboration of his views during his subsequent book tour has been hardly more reassuring, for slavery is “simply a fact of life in the Quran” and perhaps even “part of the DNA of Islam.” “Every area of Islamic law is permeated by slavery,” something that “sharia, without exception until the 20th-century, validated.” Muslim scholars have even speculated about a “time when the laws of slavery will actually be needed again,” such as in a post-apocalyptic Mad Max-like world, he has noted.
For centuries, “Muslims were neck-deep in the trade of slaves,” Brown has observed. As others have estimated, this trade included 17 million black Africans, more than the 12 million taken to the Western Hemisphere in the transatlantic slave trade. As the Ghanaian historian John Azumah has noted, while the transatlantic trade enslaved mostly men for labor, Muslim slavers favored seizing women for use as sex slave concubines.
In this regard, Brown has unsettlingly reprised his 2017 comments on sex slavery. Thus any norm that sex be consensual “is fairly unusual in world history.” This corresponds to Islamic doctrine’s proprietary understanding of female sexuality, which, he has noted, denies any recognition of rape in marriage.
Slavery in Islam is faith-based, Brown has explained. Under sharia the “only way that someone can lose their freedom is if they are a non-Muslim who lives outside the Muslim state and is then captured by Muslims.” Slavery therefore “is a reduction in legal status that is caused by unbelief,” whose “vestigial effect” can remain even for an enslaved convert to Islam or a child born into slavery.
Yet Brown has argued that Islam is “obsessed with emancipation.” Islamic doctrine’s numerous biases towards freeing slaves, such as a means to expiate sin, means that Islam “does not have an equal in any religious or philosophical tradition” from the premodern world. “The Quran and Sunna are unprecedently adamant about emancipation.”
However this emancipation should not help a slave return to unbelief in Islam. “Freedom is not the most important thing in Islamic law,” Brown has noted, although Muslim scholars have historically argued that “slavery is intrinsically harmful.” Rather, true freedom comes from submission to Islam, an “emancipatory force.” Seventh-century Arab Muslim conquerors, for example, before subjugating the Persians, announced that they would be free only as “slaves of God alone.”
Correspondingly, Brown has described Islamic civilization as a “vacuum cleaner, just sucking in people.” Muslim scholars have historically advocated enslavement of non-Muslims as a means of introducing them to Islam. Then “Muslims are always manumitting slaves, which means they need new slaves,” in an “emancipation turbine.”
Brown has correctly described how Christians led the revolutionary movement against a once universal acceptance of slavery to create the “abolitionist consensus that is held worldwide today.” “Muslims talking about the issue of slavery and abolition of slavery doesn’t happen until they encounter essentially Western abolitionism,” a development true of the Westerners themselves. In his assessment, Christians had in the process to “desacralize scripture” in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament with its numerous references to forms of servitude.
Jewish rabbis and scholars would beg to differ with Brown, for as McGill University Professor David Aberbach has written, “Judaism is intrinsically an abolitionist religion.” “In Jewish belief, every human life matters.” Contrary to superficial readings, Rabbi Dov Linzer has noted, the “Torah only accepts slavery as a deeply entrenched societal institution.”
The late Jewish sage Rabbi Jonathan Sacks delved into this deeper understanding of the Torah’s position of slavery. God’s intends “slavery is to be abolished, but it is a fundamental principle of God’s relationship with us that he does not force us to change faster than we are able to do so of our own free will.” Nonetheless, in the “Torah’s value system the exercise of power by one person over another, without their consent, is a fundamental assault against human dignity.”
This analysis requires that non-Jews such as Brown properly understand Jewish scripture. “Jews have always read the Torah through a rabbinic interpretive lens and not simply on the plain meaning of its words,” the website My Jewish Learning has observed. Thus Jews cannot “read every mitzvah as an ideal” that allows for no further development, Linzer has cautioned.
Accordingly, in various stipulations the “Torah indeed sees slavery as a problematic phenomenon,” Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of Jerusalem’s Western Wall and holy sites has noted. “Although it sanctions the institution of slavery, biblical law begins the process toward abolition,” University of Waterloo Professor James A. Diamond has observed. “Rules limiting slavery challenged the way society was built and prompted Jews to question an institution perhaps so natural it was invisible,” Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner has confirmed.
At a time when Romans had literally thousands of slaves per citizen, even the wealthiest Jews held very modest numbers of servants. And those servants, the Talmud tells us, were treated better by their masters than foreign kings would treat their own subjects.
Particularly the Bible’s Exodus narrative of Jews escaping bondage in Egypt imprints upon Jewish consciousness emancipation’s value. Diamond has noted that the Passover “commemorates the exodus, anchoring the relationship between God and Israel as Liberator and slave.” As Sacks commented, “Jews were the people commanded never to forget the bitter taste of slavery so that they would never take freedom for granted.”
Tellingly, Brown has noted that Islamic tradition rejects the Torah’s narrative of a gracious God emancipating Jews in ancient Egypt and equates them with Muhammad’s early Muslim followers in pagan Mecca. “The Muslims in Mecca are like the Jews in Egypt, but they are not slaves, they are oppressed.” Thus the Israelite exodus “is not a story of emancipation, it’s a story of victory over oppression,” symbolizing Islam’s triumph.
The contrast between beliefs held by Muslims such as Brown and the Judeo-Christian tradition clearly indicates why Muslims have struggled to reject slavery. Confronted with this moral evil, Muslim reformers have argued that slavery is an artifact of jihadist doctrines inapplicable in modernity, or that rulers have discretionary power to prohibit human bondage. Nonetheless, Brown has recalled that jihadists going to Muslims’ defense during Bosnia’s 1990s sectarian carnage had asked Saudi clerics about taking slaves, only to hear warnings that this would create bad publicity.
These Islamic realities reflect Brown’s moral relativism. Although the Ottoman Empire’s slave trade “was undeniably brutal,” he has argued that slavery and other often onerous labor relations such as indentured servitude have widely varied across human history. Following therefore his dubious claim that slavery is not really objectively definable, any slavery-induced “disgust is a cultural construct” and “just custom; it’s just urf.” By analogy, he has noted that China’s brutal dog meat trade horrifies many non-Chinese, although increasing domestic opposition to dog meat consumption undermines his cultural relativism arguments.
Despite grappling with slavery’s moral problems for Islam’s legitimacy, Brown has failed to find a solution. In recent years Islamic State jihadists in their mercifully brief caliphate have “really caused a crisis for young Muslims” by piously invoking Islamic canons to justify the enslavement of Mesopotamia’s non-Muslims. But as the foregoing analysis has proven, he is wrong to claim in Islam’s tu quoque defense that slavery’s abolition “is not indigenous to any religion or any philosophy.”
Contrary to traditional Islamic understandings of an aloof, arbitrary Allah, the biblical God’s natural law ultimately revealed slavery’s injustice to Jews, Christians, and the wider world. Church historian John B. Carpenter has noted as much in the relationship of America’s famed escaped slave and 19th-century abolitionist Frederick Douglas to the Jew Jesus Christ:
Christianity’s commitment to freedom was so pronounced that Frederick Douglass, who decried the hypocrisy of slave-holding religion vividly, did not convert to Islam and become “Frederick X,” but professed, “I love the religion of our blessed Savior.”
While Brown’s exculpation for slavery in Islamic doctrine is unconvincing, he has nonetheless provided valuable insight into this previously “taboo subject.” As Azumah has written, a “critical approach is reserved for the Christian past but forbidden for the Muslim past.” However inadvertently and awkwardly, Brown has helped uncover Islam’s dark slavery legacy.
EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column and video is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.
My latest in PJ Media:
It is, or ought to be, clear to everyone by now that Black Lives Matter is not a genuine movement for racial justice and a more equitable society, but a Marxist organization using real, exaggerated, and imagined racial injustice to try to destroy the United States. Anyone who is still in doubt about this should consider the fact that some blacks are still enslaved today, and Black Lives Matter never has and never will say a word about it, because that organization doesn’t really care about black lives.
If they did actually care about the lives of black people, Black Lives Matter would today be drawing international attention to statements made recently by the Mauritanian anti-slavery activist Maryam Bint Al-Sheikh of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA). According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Maryam Bint Al-Sheikh stated in a June 18 interview: “Unfortunately, there is still slavery in Mauritania. More than 20% of people in Mauritania suffer from slavery – a situation where a person owns another person and does whatever he wants with him at any given moment. This situation exists here in Mauritania, unfortunately.”
Al-Sheikh further explained that slaves are often even “bequeathed from father to son. A person can own a slave and when that person dies, his children inherit the slave, who is later bequeathed to the grandchildren. This thing exists in Mauritania, unfortunately.” Even worse, “anyone who speaks out is considered a criminal whose natural place in in jail. Until not so long ago, [whoever spoke up] would have been killed.”
As an anti-slavery activist, Al-Sheikh has experienced this herself: “I was arrested and tortured multiple times. I was tortured both mentally and physically. The last time I was arrested, I had a 1.5-year-old baby. They separated us by force. And they weaned him. The Mauritanian state weaned my baby – a 1.5-year-old baby. He was weaned. And they prevented me from seeing him, and they wouldn’t let my husband or relatives visit me.”
Maryam Bint Al-Sheikh’s story is just one of innumerable such accounts. Why does Mauritania continually drag its feet about eradicating slavery, and persecute anti-slavery activists? The dirty little secret here is that it is because slavery is sanctioned in Islam.
There is much more. Read the rest here.
EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.
The short paragraph below is from a professional working in the field of childhood sex trafficking in Arizona. You can sense the frustration in the writing. Immediately following is a video, and immediately following the video is a transcription of the video. The video and transcription are sufficiently self-explanatory. Terribly serious and horrendously sad the numbers of child sex-slaves are growing.
WWLP 22 News – Children sold for sex and branded by their pimps. It’s a disgusting thought, but a terrifying reality for a surprising number of victims in Los Angeles, California. CNN’s Sara Sidner met some of the girls who have been saved from the streets but left with a permanent reminder of their nightmare. Her five-part series is the latest reporting in the Freedom Project, CNN’s ongoing effort to expose human trafficking. Take a look at the first installment of Sara’s special report.
They’ve been called all sorts of names over the years, from ladies of the night to prostitutes. But when they’re underage, police now have a different name for them. Capt. Lillian Carranza of the Los Angeles Police Department says, “We have come a long way in recognizing that these children are victims. They are not the suspects.” These days one of the surest ways to tell that a person has been trafficked: the marks on their bodies.
Sgt. Ron Fisher of the Los Angeles Police Department says, “The tattoos tell the story if they’ve been around long enough.” On patrol with LAPD’s Van Nuys vice unit, Sergeant Fisher says it’s common to see girls with brands…that signify ownership. “The typical tattoos that a pimp will use are dollar signs. They’ll have a tattoo of a money bag, they’ll have the crown that stands for the whole pimping thing.” Police say the girls rarely come to them for help. Instead, it’s when they get arrested that intervention sometimes happens. That is how this 15 year old found refuge from her trafficker. Vice cops getting her to a safe house, called Children of the Night.
(Sara Sidner, CNN Reporter) “What were you afraid of?”
(Sex Trafficking Victim) “I was scared he might kill me or he might kill my dad, because he always used threats like that, and he always had guns. There was just gangs, gang relations, and, so it was really hard to avoid him. I was scared.”
At 13, when she should have been worried about homework, she was being branded, bought and sold by a friend of her drug addicted father.
(Sex Trafficking Victim) “I didn’t really know how to sleep with people, because I was really young and I had never had sex before.”
(Sara Sidner, CNN Reporter) “So you were a virgin?”
(Sex Trafficking Victim) “So, um, and then, he’s like, ‘he’s going to teach you what to do and everything,’ and I just went with it because I thought, ‘ok, this is the lifestyle I am going to live for the rest of my life.’
So she thought nothing of the tattoo he insisted on giving her: his initials on her ankle.
(Sex Trafficking Victim) “One day he was like I tattoo all my girls. So, they took out Indian ink and a needle and he just did it.
The mark of slavery.
Anti-trafficking activist Lois Lee, founder of Children of the Night, says, “That’s not the way kids see it as. They belong to somebody, it’s important to them, ‘someone’s claimed me.’” Lee knows how they think. For more than 30 years, her organization, “Children of the Night,” has been a safe haven for sex-trafficked children. She says on the streets, new laws targeting sex traffickers have had some unintended consequences. “There’s fewer children prostituting because the gangs control them and they serve less time for using them for other kinds of crimes so why would you use them for sex if you could get life in prison or 20, 40, 60, 80 years for torture and kidnapping. Go use them for a burglary, use them for a carjacking, give them a gun. So you don’t go to jail.”
(Sara Sidner, CNN Reporter) “But the result is the same the kids are stuck in a horrible life.
(Lois Lee, Founder of Children of the Night) “There should be a law that anyone who uses a child in any kind of crime suffers the same penalties as if they use them for human sex trafficking.”
Lee says as horrible as that life may be, far too often the nightmare begins at home, where girls are sexually abused or neglected, making life with a trafficker seem more alluring.
“In focusing on current abuses in the Middle East, perpetrated by those claiming the mantle of Islam, Americans — whose Constitution continues to permit enslavement as punishment for crime — deflect attention from partial U.S. responsibility for the current crisis in Iraq. Sanctions followed by military invasion and its brutal aftermath laid the groundwork for the situation Callimachi describes.” See, the Islamic State doesn’t practice sex slavery because it is sanctioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah, but because the U.S. did bad things in Iraq. This is what passes for analysis on most university campuses these days. Much more below.
“The Truth About Islam and Sex Slavery History Is More Complicated Than You Think,” by Kecia Ali, Huffington Post, August 19, 2015 (thanks to David):
…Others scholars point out that just because the Quran acknowledges slavery and early Muslims, including the Prophet, practiced it doesn’t mean Muslims must always do so; indeed, the fact that slavery is illegal and no longer practiced in nearly all majority-Muslim societies would seem to settle the point. It is one thing for committed religious thinkers to insist that scripture must always and everywhere apply literally, but it is ludicrous for purportedly objective scholars to do so. Anyone making that argument about biblical slavery would be ridiculed.
The disingenuous reasoning here is appalling. Can’t anyone in academia deal with a topic honestly anymore? I know Kecia Ali is a university professor, and university professors today are mostly muddle-headed ideologues more interested in pushing their far-Left agenda than having rational discussion or searching for the truth, but this is ridiculous. There are so many things wrong with that paragraph that it is a breathtakingly compact example of how contemporary academics obscure, rather than expose, the truth. Here are a few of the ways Kecia Ali outrages the truth in that paragraph:
“Others scholars point out that just because the Quran acknowledges slavery and early Muslims, including the Prophet, practiced it doesn’t mean Muslims must always do so.”
Actually, the Qur’an tells Muslims that Muhammad is uswa hasana, an “excellent example” (33:21), which in Islamic theology has amounted to the proposition that if Muhammad did it, it is right and worthy of emulation. The fact that “the Quran acknowledges slavery and early Muslims, including the Prophet, practiced it” actually inhibited the development of abolitionist movements within Islam, because of the absolute prohibition on declaring something to be wrong that Muhammad considered to be right.
“…indeed, the fact that slavery is illegal and no longer practiced in nearly all majority-Muslim societies would seem to settle the point.”
Actually, it would settle the point if those majority-Muslim societies had outlawed slavery on the basis of Islamic principles, but they didn’t. They abolished slavery under pressure from the West. There was never an indigenous Muslim abolitionist movement, and to this day, slavery is practicedsub rosa in North Africa, Saudi Arabia, etc., and justified precisely on the contention that if the Qur’an assumes it and Muhammad practiced it, it cannot be wrong.
“It is one thing for committed religious thinkers to insist that scripture must always and everywhere apply literally, but it is ludicrous for purportedly objective scholars to do so.”
Here again, this point is only valid if there were some mainstream Qur’anic case against slavery, reinterpreting the pro-slavery passages in a different way. But there isn’t. “Objective scholars” — as if Kecia Ali were one — may not find slavery in the Qur’an or Islamic law, but note that Kecia Ali is writing for an audience of Leftist non-Muslims in the Huffington Post: she is not trying to convince Islamic State slave owners that slavery is wrong on Islamic grounds. It is, in other words, far easier to lull non-Muslims into complacency about a human rights abuse that Muslims justify on Islamic grounds than it is to convince the Muslims who are perpetrating it to stop doing so.
“Anyone making that argument about biblical slavery would be ridiculed.”
Kecia Ali here assumes that the Bible and Qur’an are equivalent in their teachings and mainstream interpretation. In reality, the abolitionist movement arose in the UK and US among Christian clergymen who argued against the ongoing applicability of the Biblical passages justifying slavery on the basis of the idea that all human beings are created in the image of God and equal in dignity on that basis. The Qur’an and Islam, by contrast, make a sharp dichotomy between believers (“the best of people,” Qur’an 3:110) and unbelievers (“the most vile of created beings,” Qur’an 98:6), and consequently there was no teaching of the equal dignity of all human beings upon which an abolitionist movement could be based.
Kecia Ali probably knows all this, or should if she doesn’t. But she doesn’t tell her hapless HuffPo marks, that is, her readers.
Slavery was pervasive in the late antique world in which the Quran arose. Early Muslims were part of societies in which various unfree statuses existed, including capture, purchase, inherited slave status and debt peonage. Thus, it is no surprise that the Quran, the Prophet’s normative practice and Islamic jurisprudence accepted slavery. What is known of Muhammad’s life is disputed, but his biographies uniformly report that slaves and freed slaves were part of his household. One was Mariyya the Copt. A gift from the Byzantine governor of Alexandria, she reportedly bore Muhammad a son; he freed her. Whatever the factual accuracy of this tale, its presence attests to a shared presumption that one leader could send another an enslaved female for sexual use.
What she leaves out (again) of all this is the normative character of the Qur’an and Muhammad’s example for Muslims. That normative character is not some crazy literalist subsect of Islam. It is mainstream Islamic theology among all sects and madhahib.
Like their earlier counterparts in Greece and Rome, jurists formulating Islamic law in the eighth to 10th centuries took slavery as a given. They formalized certain protections for slaves, including eventual freedom for women like Mariyya who bore children to their masters; such children were free and legitimate. Jurists sought to circumscribe slavery, prohibiting the enslavement of foundlings and prescribing automatic manumission for slaves beaten too harshly. But the idea that some people should dominate others was central to their conceptual world; they used slavery-related concepts to structure their increasingly hierarchical norms for marriage.
Yet again: Kecia Ali doesn’t tell her unfortunate readers that Islamic law is not considered to be some man-made document like the U.S. Constitution; on the contrary, in Islamic theology Sharia is considered to be the unchangeable and perfect law of Allah himself. As such, its allowance for slavery is considered to be as divinely inspired and unalterable as the rest of it.
Still, early Muslim slavery (like early Muslim marriage) wasn’t particularly a religious institution, and jurists’ ideas about the superiority of free over slave (and male over female) were widely shared across religious boundaries.
“Still, early Muslim slavery (like early Muslim marriage) wasn’t particularly a religious institution” — an unsupported and false claim. “Jurists’ ideas about the superiority of free over slave (and male over female) were widely shared across religious boundaries” — everyone did it, you see, so it must be OK. This tu quoque argument might hold water if theologically-justified slavery persisted in religious contexts other than Islam today, but it doesn’t.
To say this is not to present an apologetic defense of Islam;
Don’t kid yourself, professor.
to the contrary, effective Muslim ethical thinking requires honesty and transparency about the lasting impact on Muslim thought on slavery and non-consensual sex.
Honesty and transparency on this issue would be refreshing, but it isn’t forthcoming in this article.
However, singling out slavery or rules governing marriage or punishments for a handful of crimes as constituting the enactment of “authentic” Islamic law surely reflects a distorted notion of a Muslim polity.
The Islamic State’s attempt to create an imagined pristine community relies on a superficial and selective enactment of certain provisions from scripture and law, an extreme case of a wider phenomenon.
Once again, an assertion without evidence. How is the Islamic State being superficial and selective in its interpretation of the Qur’an and Sharia? Kecia Ali doesn’t tell us. She just wants us to take her word for it.
Religious studies scholars, of course, must analyze their doctrines.
I’m all for that.
What beliefs do they express? How do they formulate them? What one mustn’t do is take them at face value, as the legitimate expression of a timeless Islamic truth.
And why mustn’t one do this? Because above all, Kecia Ali and the Huffington Post don’t want you to have a negative view of Islam. But why should one not think that the Islamic State’s practices are the “legitimate expression of a timeless Islamic truth”? Yet again, we just have to take Kecia Ali’s word for it.
In fact, the stress they put on the errors of their Muslim opponents, who actively dispute their interpretations of many things including slavery, makes very clear that there is no one self-evident interpretation of Islam on these points.
Note that Kecia Ali doesn’t actually offer an alternative interpretation of the Qur’an passages that the Islamic State adduces in order to justify slavery. She just tells us that some unnamed “Muslim opponents” of the Islamic State have offered this. Who? When? Where? She doesn’t tell us. Why not? Could it be that this Muslim challenge to the Islamic State hasn’t actually happened at all?
…In the thousand-plus years in which Muslims and non-Muslims, including Christians, actively engaged in slaving, they cooperated and competed, enslaving and being enslaved, buying, selling and setting free. This complex history, which has generated scores of publications on Muslims and slavery in European languages alone, cannot be reduced to a simplistic proclamation of religious doctrine. The fact that the Islamic State must preface its collections of rulings for slaveholding by defining terms such as captive and concubine illustrates that it is drawing on archaic terms and rules, ones that no longer reflect anything like the current reality of the world.
I doubt that even the Islamic State jihadis would deny that these are old terms and rules that have fallen into desuetude. But they would argue that they are part of the law of Allah; the fact that they’re old and long unused doesn’t change that, and actually only increases the urgency of reviving them, so as to bring the practice of Muslims back in line with the commands of Allah. Here yet again, Kecia Ali is attempting a sleight-of-hand, pretending that this issue is all about human law, not about the law that Muslims consider to be that of Allah himself.
By focusing on religious doctrine as an explanation for rape, Americans ignore the presence of sexual abuse and torture in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and in Assad’s Syria by the regime and other factions in its vicious ongoing war. None of this is to deny the horror of the systematic rapes Callimachi reports or the revolting nature of the theology she describes. It is to point out that there are reasons why the story of enslaved Yazidis is one that captures the front page of the New York Times: it fits into familiar narratives of Muslim barbarity.
The idea that the New York Times is interesting in retailing “familiar narratives of Muslim barbarity” is beyond ludicrous. For years, the Times has again and again obscured and whitewashed numerous incidents of barbarity committed by Muslims and justified by their perpetrators by reference to Islamic texts and teachings. Rukmini Callimachi’s piece was highly anomalous in acknowledging, even in a slight and incomplete manner, that the Islamic State justifies its practices by referring to teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. But to admit that fact would be to expose as false and manipulative the ever-present narrative of Muslim victimhood, and Kecia Ali is not going to do that.
In focusing on current abuses in the Middle East, perpetrated by those claiming the mantle of Islam, Americans — whose Constitution continues to permit enslavement as punishment for crime — deflect attention from partial U.S. responsibility for the current crisis in Iraq. Sanctions followed by military invasion and its brutal aftermath laid the groundwork for the situation Callimachi describes. Moral high ground is in short supply. The core idea animating enslavement is that some lives matter more than others. As any American who has been paying attention knows, this idea has not perished from the earth.
“Moral high ground is in short supply.” Because the U.S. Constitution “continues to permit enslavement as punishment for crime” (the 13th Amendment says: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”), we shouldn’t judge the Islamic State’s barbaric practice of sex slavery.
Kecia Ali’s moral equivalence here is nothing short of monstrous. But for her efforts, she will no doubt be hailed in Leftist circles and laden with honors, while the Islamic State’s sex slaves, for whose rights and human dignity she could have and should have spoken out instead of engaging in this gruesome apologetic for their enslavement, continue to suffer daily torture.
This is American academia today.