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Modern Where are all the black people in the middle east?

Discussion in 'History & Military Discussion' started by Ragnar, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. For hundreds of years the Muslim slave trade exported millions of African slaves to the middle east, in near equal numbers to the atlantic slave trade.

    In both South and North America there remains today millions of the descendants from the slave trade, and yet populations of black descent in the middle east is nowhere near where it should be.

    What the hell happened?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
  2. all fictions

    all fictions Painted Black

    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    IIRC, they were regularly castrated, so I venture that that's the main reason there aren't sizable black communities in the Middle East.

    Someone corrects me if I'm wrong, because I'm pretty sure I oversimplified it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
  3. Cetashwayo

    Cetashwayo Lord of Ten Thousand Years Magistrate On Leave Commission Artist

    Location:
    Across the Horizon
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  4. Private Lee O'Malley

    Private Lee O'Malley Head Puns = -10 to Next Roll Councillor

    Location:
    Japan
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  5. RazorSmile

    RazorSmile ROB Used To Be A Knife Missile

    Mostly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where the money is.

    Oh wait, you didn't mean economic immigrants and vacationers from Africa? Then I dunno.
     
  6. They walked home.
     
  7. Cetashwayo

    Cetashwayo Lord of Ten Thousand Years Magistrate On Leave Commission Artist

    Location:
    Across the Horizon
    Also, moved to H&M where this is likely to get more serious answers.
     
  8. Concubinage and polygamy were more accepted/institutionalized in the Middle East. This would probably have meant more high-status native men having children with African wives/concubines, and more low-status African men never getting a chance to have children. That seems like it might have made a difference.
     
  9. Zap Rowsdower

    Zap Rowsdower Ex-cultist vagrant

    Did the middle east even have chattel race-based slavery the way the US did? As I understand it the US' "once a slave, always a slave no matter how many generations" thing was fairly unique.
     
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  10. Norseman

    Norseman Entirely Wholesome

    It is always amusing to hear people ask "Well whatever happened to X racial/ethnic group? I hear about them in Y history, but then they just disappeared" only for the answer to be, "Uh what dude? They're still right there... see <links>".

    But yes they still exist, there are still millions of them I see, just like you know the descendants of the Circassians (ever wonder why there are so many blonde Turks and Arabs?) are still very much alive and kicking. Indeed it is amazing how many obscure ethnic groups really exist, even in supposedly ethnically homogenous nations.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
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  11. Tuna-Fish

    Tuna-Fish

    Location:
    Finland
    It wasn't so much race based, as religion-based. The main rule was that you could not enslave Muslims, everyone else was ok. Note that this did not mean that slaves were automatically freed if they converted, the ban was on the act of enslaving someone, once they were a slave, they remained a slave.

    The main difference from the US system was that a child of a slave mother and a free father would be unlikely to be a slave. This, and the fact that the male slaves largely were never allowed to form families or procreate, meant that the slave communities were not self-sustaining, and instead a constant stream of new slaves was required to maintain the system, with the half-black children instead forming separate low-class but free communities. This made large-scale slavery more expensive than it was in the US, restricting slavery to the very worst jobs and to conspicuous consumption, as opposed to the southern system where slaves did most of the labor.

    Also, the one place where the Arabs tried to set up a plantation system very similar to the US south had one of the largest slave rebellions in history, Zanj Rebellion (possibly, it's debated just how much influence African slaves had on the rebellion, the sources we have on it mostly suck), and the large-scale failure there possibly made later potential slave-owners reluctant of having that many slaves concentrated on a single plantation.
     
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  12. Soverihn

    Soverihn Kanye 2020

    Most of them got assimilated into the general population. Its like asking where are all the Red Haired Tocharians in China?

    They still exist, just not in large numbers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  13. My expertise is mostly focused on the Ottomans, so I can answer for them.

    Slavery in the Ottoman Empire (and islam in general) was very different from the chattel slavery of the Americas. While the vast majority of American slaves were agricultural workers, most slaves in the Ottoman Empire were employed in military or domestic roles. Most important for your question, there wasn't a racial component to Ottoman slavery. While slaves brought to the Americas were enslaved almost exclusively from black africans, black africans were simply one of many sources of slaves for the Ottomans. Furthermore, black Ottoman slaves were enslaved for religious reasons, rather than ethnic ones. Islam has restrictions on Jewish, Muslim, and Christian slaves, but has no such restrictions for pagans, and thus black pagans from the Sudan and East Africa were a profitable target of slavery.

    In general, Ottoman (and muslim) slavery was much less generational than American chattel slavery. If a slave converted to islam, there was a high chance of he/she being freed, or at least their children being freed, in their lifetimes. Finally, black slaves in particular were prized as eunuchs, with the head of the imperial harem being the Chief Black Eunuch (and other notable families employing black eunuchs as status symbols while mimicking the Imperial court), which tended to limit crossbreeding.

    Slaves from Africa also were often bought before they reached market in Istanbul, and places like Egypt and Arabia would have absorbed many Sudanese and Ethiopian slaves before they reached Istanbul and Aleppo. Slaves in Egypt, for example, who gained their freedom could return to the Sudan without too much difficulty, and many did.

    In summary: since slavery wasn't generational and wasn't racial in the OE, and since black eunuchs were especially popular, black slaves that made it into the heart of the OE mostly assimilated or never had children. Same goes for the OE's perimeter areas like Egypt and Arabia. But there are still black minorities due to the slave trade throughout the Middle East, but racial politics are very different in the ME than in the US, the two aren't really comparable.



    Regarding muslim slavery outside of the Ottoman Empire, while I'm not an expert, I don't think it's too different from the Ottomans. The North Africans weren't using plantation slavery, and black slave numbers would be limited, coming from across the sahara or bought from Ottoman traders. Most of these people would work as domestics, eunuchs, or galley slaves (north africa can't support plantations). Many would also be sold to the Europeans: black slaves were a status symbol for Europeans, especially in Spain and Portugal, and the first experiments with race-based chattel slavery were done by the Portuguese planting sugercane on their atlantic island holdings.


    Globally, once the 1500s happened the American slave market for black africans was enormous, and likely further limited the utility of black slavery. Why would the Ottomans pay exorbitant prices for Ethiopians when, aside froma few prestige positions, circassians could accomplish the same role?
     
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  14. Furthering my point about agriculture is the fact that any large black slave populations anywhere but the Americas would simply be joining existing populations of peasant workers. The slaves wouldn't be particularly special in that regard. But in the Americas, slaves were the ones spearheading the populating of "empty" (whether because it was actually empty or because disease or Europeans killed the natives) land. So a large community of black Sudanese settling near Cairo would have little effect: as muslims, they wouldn't experience too much trouble marrying into the far more numerous arab families, eventually leading to the effective erosion of a separate "black" identity for those people. In contrast, a group of slaves who were sold across the Atlantic and settled in South Carolina would not have locals to intermarry with, nor the opportunity to be free, nor the opportunity to move as they wish. That black community would grow, multiply, expand, join with other similar communities, and develop its own separate culture, history, language, etc,

    So American chattal slavery concentrated black africans and essentially forced them into new communities. In the muslim world, religion (rather than race or ethnicity) was the main divider between people. A black muslim could marry a circassian muslim without too much intercommunal difficulty, but a black christian in Mississippi marrying a white christian in Mississippi would cause national outrage.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
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  15. Apocal

    Apocal Alpha Technoblack Moderator

    Location:
    California
    There are a lot of black Iraqis in Basra. There are a smattering of others throughout the Middle East, but there wasn't nearly the taboo behind interracial relations there, so for the most part you just see pockets where the locals have a bit more of the swarth or curlier than usual hair.

    edit: Oh yeah, finally read the thread; yeah the stereotype of the African slave in Muslim lands was basically Varys or the Unsullied, so chopping the dick and balls off was much more common. It wasn't always the case -- I'm pretty sure the Najahid dynasty was created by Ethiopian slaves -- but it happened enough that they needed to keep going back to Africa to enslave more dudes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
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  16. Tuna-Fish

    Tuna-Fish

    Location:
    Finland
    And those would be the descendants of the Zanj, of Zanj rebellion fame. The swamps near Basra were the only major place in the middle east where large-scale plantation agriculture was attempted, right up until the slaves revolted.

    I've always found it interesting in how the similar economic conditions almost immediately created the same agricultural system as the US south. The only difference was that in Iraq, the slaves revolted successfully enough that the system was broken. Even though the Abbasids won eventually, no-one ever attempted to recreate the plantations.
     
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  17. galahad

    galahad Seeker of Truths

    I think you are downplaying the importance of race in Islamic world. The middle east is one of the worst anti black, white fetishizing place on Earth. Black muslims face extreme prejudice from their white counterparts. While it would not be Loving vs Virginia level outrage, a Sudanese marrying a Circassian would be an unusual occurrence.
     
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  18. Apocal

    Apocal Alpha Technoblack Moderator

    Location:
    California
    Oh OK, I didn't realize the Iraqi slave revolt and the Zanj rebellion were the same thing.

    Unusual probably, but not nearly as big a deal as a Christian doing so, yeah?
     
  19. Historically, when most if not all of the black slavery occurred in the Middle East, race really wasn't important, and white fetishizing wasn't really a thing. All of that stuff began to grow in importance as western influence grew, after the end of slavery in most if not all of the region
     
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  20. galahad

    galahad Seeker of Truths

    The problem pre-dates Islam, Islamic religious texts decry mistreatment of black slaves like Bilal (the only black Sahabi). The Prophets last sermon, one of the most important events in Islam declared equality of whites and blacks, arabs and non arabs.

    Even today the problem persists. Mauritania outlawed black slavery in 2007 ! Yemen still has some black slaves around. Sudan civil war was fought between "Arabs" (mostly Arabised Sudanese) and black Sudanese over oppression of latter.

    Slavery's last stand - CNN.com
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
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  21. Droman

    Droman دروس درومان

    My dad's maternal family's cousins two grandfathers back are Black Jordanians, so I've met a few of them by accident while in the typical region where they live. As far as I know from the family story, one brother or the other converted to another religion and married away from the family, but they're not sure which brother and into what religion. Given most of us aren't too swarthy, I'm guessing it was the one who moved down and married into the Black Jordanian community.
    Don't know if I can agree. There's a cultural preference for paler skin but that's because we live in hot countries where tans are common. That's typical for many countries.
    More class than race, usually. Though we do have racist preconceptions about black people based on American pop culture.
    Depends on where you are, I think. It also depends more on class structure than racial divisions as well, given. We tend to hate Gypsies more than black people.
    My goodness, there was slavery in a slave-owning era? Seriously though, of course they had black slaves back then. They were right next to Africa, where else where they gonna slave? The Barbary states loved white slaves themselves.
    ... Mauritania is black.
    Next to civil war having, boat-people migrating Somalia, so not a surprise.
    And oil rights. And tribal differences. And British policies. Etc...
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
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  22. Lol. Lived in Qatar for two years, there were tonnes of Black people. My fave was a girl called Nisha, best party animal, heaps of fun if yah know what I mean ;) really changed my Asian biases against Black women.
     
  23. Ok...ignoring the weird and completely unnecessary racism, most black people in Qatar (and the entire gulf) are recent economic migrants from Africa used as cheap labor, denied citizenship, and often extremely susceptible to abuse considering the archaic, to say the least, judicial systems of much of the gulf.


    And if her name was Nisha, she was probably just a dark skinned Indian, which would make sense since the Gulf states prefer migrants from the Indian subcontinent, particularly Pakistan and Bangladesh
     
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  24. Apocal

    Apocal Alpha Technoblack Moderator

    Location:
    California
    "Nisha" is a common-ish west African diminutive form of "Tanisha."
     
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