Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Double Standards in Response to Slavery

Admiral Lord Nelson

In the UK's Guardian an article has appeared called "Toppling Statues: Nelson's Column should be next", which seeks to set aside Nelson's brilliant achievements as an Admiral to defend Britain from invasion by Napoleon, and instead to embroil his memory in the current iconoclastic movement in the USA that seeks the removal of all historical figures who can be implicated in any way with slavery.

The argument goes that since Nelson was an obstacle to the abolition of slavery, this should be the sole criterion by which to judge his historical contribution. Nevermind that he fought bravely against another form of slavery, that of conquest by a foreign power.

Will this rule be applied to all those who owned, endorsed, or profited from slavery?

If so, there is one person in particular who should come under scrutiny. He owned slaves and advocated slavery. He encouraged his followers to make slaves of others and explicitly endorsed the sexual enslavement of women (“those whom your right hands possess”).

This person forbade images of himself to be created so there are no monuments erected in his image. However, there are monuments in his name springing up all over the world; monuments to a religion of slavery in which “Abdullah” (slave of Allah) is a common name. These monuments are called mosques.

Will the wrecking balls be visiting these monuments? I don't think so. Double standards in favour Islam are the contemporary hypocrisy.

See thereligionofpeace for a good summary of slavery in Islam. Here is a sample:

There is not, and never has been, an abolition movement in Islam.
Unlike the West, the Muslim world has yet to offer an apology for slavery.  The institution is ingrained in the Qur'an.  To admit that it is a mistake would be to admit the fallibility of the Qur'an and bring its divine origin into question.  Even today, Muslims act as if Islamic slavery was a favor done to the millions of unfortunate men, women and children who were forcibly uprooted from their native lands and sent to lives of sexual and menial servitude deep in the Islamic world. 
Ironically, the British Navy, where Nelson was such a significant figure, did an enormous amount to rid the world of slavery.

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