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difference between wives and sex slaves (Read 21665 times)
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difference between wives and sex slaves
Mar 4th, 2012 at 9:00am
 
falah wrote on Mar 2nd, 2012 at 6:37pm:
In the Islamic tradition, concubines are treated like wives in Islam, and there are lot of rules regarding the good treatment of slaves captured in war. Prophets like Abraham and Solomon lived with their concubines in this manner.

A slave woman with whom a man has intercourse is known as a "sariyyah" (concubine) from the word "sirr", which means marriage in Arabic.


What is the difference between a wife and a 'concubine' under Islamic law? Do they have the same entitlements?
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Re: difference between wives and sex slaves
Reply #1 - Mar 4th, 2012 at 9:32am
 
Quote:
  When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.  If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.  (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

Quote:
However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you.  You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land.  You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance.  You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.  (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

Quote:
When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.  But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.  And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.  If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.  If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.  (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

Quote:
Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed.  If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful.  You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts.  Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.  (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

Quote:
(Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)    If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father.  Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

Quote:
They must be dividing the spoils they took: there must be a damsel or two for each man, Spoils of dyed cloth as Sisera's spoil, an ornate shawl or two for me in the spoil.   (Judges 5:30 NAB)
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Re: difference between wives and sex slaves
Reply #2 - Mar 4th, 2012 at 9:47am
 
FD, who said that it was permissable to have sex with slaves without marriage?
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Re: difference between wives and sex slaves
Reply #3 - Mar 4th, 2012 at 9:53am
 
Falah did above. The issue of sex slaves has come up plenty of times before. I have not seen Abu, Falah nor any of the other Muslims here suggest that they have to marry them first, or even afterwards.

In fact it also came up in the context of the four wives rule. Sex slaves effectively allow a husband to have more than four wives, but I think you have to go to war and kill their husbands first. I suppose that is one difference between a wife and a slave.
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Re: difference between wives and sex slaves
Reply #4 - Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:10am
 
Falah, where do you get that sex slaves or concubines are halal in Islam?


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Re: difference between wives and sex slaves
Reply #5 - Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:20am
 
Annie Anthrax wrote on Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:10am:
Falah, where do you get that sex slaves or concubines are halal in Islam?

Dementia by religious zeal? Or the (cynical) thought of an opportunity to exploit the weak?
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Re: difference between wives and sex slaves
Reply #6 - Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:20am
 
Annie,

In the Islamic texts, women who are captives are considered to be part of the household, and the man has the same responsibilities to them as he has to his wives, and he therefore also has the same rights with her, which includes the permissibility of sexual relations. She is basically like his wife, she is not merely a piece of property like in the Western concept of slavery, where people were treated like beasts of burden.
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Re: difference between wives and sex slaves
Reply #7 - Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:21am
 
abu_rashid wrote on Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:20am:
Annie,

In the Islamic texts, women who are captives are considered to be part of the household, and the man has the same responsibilities to them as he has to his wives, and he therefore also has the same rights with her, which includes the permissibility of sexual relations. She is basically like his wife, she is not merely a piece of property like in the Western concept of slavery, where people were treated like beasts of burden.

QED.

Barely sugar-coated rhetoric that masks the bitter pill of slavery.
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Re: difference between wives and sex slaves
Reply #8 - Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:24am
 
North, my guess is you know very little about Islam, and the place "slaves" had in Islamic society.

Islamic civilisation for instance had not just one, but several instances where slaves actually became the rulers of the state, and enjoyed long lasting dynasties that were exclusively for slaves, and even their free born children were not permitted to inherit their posts.

Do some research, and you'll find that the Islamic concept of "slavery" was nothing like that in the West.
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Re: difference between wives and sex slaves
Reply #9 - Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:30am
 
abu_rashid wrote on Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:24am:
North, my guess is you know very little about Islam, and the place "slaves" had in Islamic society.

Islamic civilisation for instance had not just one, but several instances where slaves actually became the rulers of the state, and enjoyed long lasting dynasties that were exclusively for slaves, and even their free born children were not permitted to inherit their posts.

Do some research, and you'll find that the Islamic concept of "slavery" was nothing like that in the West.

I have no doubt that slavery takes many forms... But, in the end, its slavery... The same that prompted Jefferson to act against the Barbary states.
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Re: difference between wives and sex slaves
Reply #10 - Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:49am
 
When Islam came, there were already many causes of slavery throughout the world, such as warfare, debt, kidnapping and raids, and poverty and need.

Slavery did not spread in this appalling manner throughout all continents except by means of kidnapping; rather the main source of slaves in Europe and America in later centuries was this method.

The texts of Islam take a strong stance against this. For example, the following hadeeth warns that enslaving people through these illegal means is prohibited: “God, may He be exalted, said: ‘There are three whose opponent I will be on the Day of Resurrection, and whomever I oppose, I will defeat …(and one of those is) A man who sold a free man and consumed his price.’”
(Bukhari 2227)

It is worth pointing out that you do not find any text in the Quran or prophetic tradition which enjoins taking others as slaves, whereas there are dozens of texts in the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him) which call for manumitting slaves and freeing them.

There were many sources of slaves at the time of the advent of Islam, whereas the means of manumitting them were virtually nil. Islam changed the way in which slavery was dealt with; it created many new ways of liberating slaves, blocked many ways of enslaving people, and established guidelines which blocked these means.

Islam limited the sources of slaves that existed before the beginning of Prophet Muhammed's mission to one way only; enslavement through war which was imposed on prisoners-of-war.

People can only become slaves of Muslims by fighting against the Muslims. Slaves are for the soldiers who sacrificed their lives fighting to protect the Islamic state. However, the ruler of the Islamic state can choose to free the captives of war for nothing or for a ransom, if that serves the interests of the Muslims.

In the past, capture of prisoners during war was the most common way of acquiring slaves. Prisoners would inevitably be captured during any war, and the prevalent custom at that time was that prisoners had no protection or rights; they would either be killed or enslaved. But Islam brought two more options: unconditional release or ransom. God says in the Quran (interpretation of the meaning): “Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits the Islamic state)”
(The Quran, Muhammad, v.4)

During the battle of Badr, the Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him) accepted ransoms from the pagan prisoners of war and let them go, and the Prophet even let many of the poorer prisoners go for free, releasing them with no ransom. During the conquest of Mecca it was said to the people of Mecca: “Go, for you are free.”

During the campaign of Banul-Mustaliq, the Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him) married a female prisoner from the defeated tribe so as to raise her status, as she was the daughter of one of their leaders, Juwayriyah bint al-Harith. When the Muslims saw her honoured in this way, they let all of the other prisoners go out of respect to the Prophet's new wife.

Islam is not thirsty for the blood of prisoners, nor is it eager to enslave them.

Thus we may understand the limited ways that can lead to slavery in the Islamic state. Islam did not abolish slavery altogether, because the enemy who attacked the Islamic state was opposed to truth and justice was a wrongdoer, or was a supporter of wrongdoing or was a tool in the execution or approval of wrongdoing. Letting him go free would give him the opportunity to spread wrongdoing and aggression against others and to oppose the truth and prevent it reaching people. So slavery prevents the malevolet people from continuing their malevolence in the future.

Freedom is a basic human right which cannot be taken away from a person except for a reason. When Islam accepted slavery within the limits enslaving only those who fight the Islamic state, it put restrictions on the man who exploits his freedom in the worst possible way. However, if he was taken prisoner in a war of aggression in which he was defeated, then the proper conduct is to keep him in reasonable conditions throughout his detention.

Islam offers many opportunities to restore freedom to him and people like him.

The principle of dealing with slaves in Islam is a combination of justice, kindness and compassion.

One of the means of liberating slaves is allocating a portion of funds collected by the Islamic state in the alms tax towards freeing slaves. Freeing slaves is promoted in Islam, and is considered expiation for certain sins. Freeing slaves is prescribed as expiation for serious sins  such as breaking an oath, involuntary manslaughter, certain types of spousal abuse, and having intercourse during the day in Ramadan fasting. In addition to that, Muslims are also encouraged in general terms to free slaves for the sake of gaining God's pleasure.

This is a brief summary of some of the principles of dealing with slaves in a just and kind manner:

1 – Guaranteeing them food and clothing like that of their masters.

Abu Dharr said: "The Apostle of God said: “They are your brothers whom God has put under your authority, so if God has put a person’s brother under his authority, let him feed him from what he eats and clothe him from what he wears, and let him not overburden him with work, and if he does overburden him with work, then let him help him.”"
(Bukhari 6050)

2 – Preserving their dignity

Abu Hurayrah said: I heard Abul-Qasim [Abul-Qasim was a patronymic nickname for Prophet Muhammed peace and blessings of God be upon him] say: “Whoever accuses his slave when he is innocent of what he says will be flogged on the Day of Resurrection, unless he (the slave) is as he (the master) said.”
(Bukhari 6858)

Ibn ‘Umar manumitted a slave of his, then he said I heard the Apostle of God say: “Whoever slaps his slave or beats him, his expiation is to manumit him.” (Muslim 1657)

3 – Being fair towards slaves and treating them kindly

Uthman ibn Affan [who became the third Caliph of the Islamic state] tweaked the ear of a slave of his when he did something wrong, then he said to him after that: "Come and tweak my ear in retaliation." The slave refused but he insisted, so he started to tweak it slightly, and he said to him: "Do it strongly, for I cannot bear the punishment on the Day of Resurrection." The slave said: "Like that, O my master? The Day that you fear I fear also."

When a wealthy companion of Prophet Muhammed named Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf walked among his slaves, no one could tell him apart from them, because he did not walk ahead of them, and he did not wear anything different from what they wore.

One day Umar ibn al-Khattab [who became the 2nd Caliph of the Islamic state] passed by and saw some slaves standing and not eating with their master. He got angry and said to their master: "What is wrong with people who are selfish towards their servants?" Then he called the servants and they ate with them.

A man entered upon Salman al-Farsi (who had been a Christian who had converted to Islam and became a companion of Prophet Muhammed) and found him making dough – and by this time Salman had become a governor in the Islamic state. The man said to him: O Abu Abdullah, what is this? [eg. why are you doing this manual labour] He said: We have sent our slave on an errand and we do not want to give him two jobs at once.

4 – There is nothing wrong with slaves having precedence over free men in some matters

- with regard to any religious or worldly matters in which he excels over him. For example, it is valid for a slave to lead Muslims in prayer. A’ishah, the wife of Prophet Muhammed had a slave who would lead her in prayer. Indeed the Muslims have been commanded to hear and obey even if a slave is appointed in charge of their affairs.

5 – A slave may buy himself from his master and be free.

If a person is enslaved for some reason but then it becomes apparent that he has given up his wrongdoing and forgotten his past, and he has become a man who shuns evil and seeks to do good, is it permissible to respond to his request to let him go free? Islam says yes, and there are some Islamic scholars who say that it is actually compulsory to free such a slave, and other scholars who say that it that freeing such slaves is an action that God loves.

This is what is called a contract of manumission between the slave and his master. God says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And such of your slaves as seek a writing (of emancipation), give them such writing, if you find that there is good and honesty in them. And give them something (yourselves) out of the wealth of God which He has bestowed upon you”
[The Quran, an-Noor v.33]

This is how Islam treats slaves justly and kindly.

One of the results of these guidelines is that in many cases, the slave would become a friend of his master; in some cases the master would regard him as a son. Sa’d ibn Hashim al-Kaalidi said, describing a slave of his:

"He is not a slave, rather he is a son whom [God] has put under my care. He has supported me with his good service; he is my hands and my arms."

Another result of the Muslims treating slaves in this manner is that the slaves became part of Muslim families as if they were also family members. 

Gustave le Bon says in Hadarat al-‘Arab (Arab Civilization) (p. 459-460): "What I sincerely believe is that slavery among the Muslims is better than slavery among any other people, and that the situation of slaves in the East is better than that of servants in Europe, and that slaves in the East are part of the family. Slaves who wanted to be free could attain freedom by expressing their wish. But despite that, they did not resort to exercising this righ
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Re: difference between wives and sex slaves
Reply #11 - Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:53am
 
Instead of arguing the difference between slavery and... slavery, the most significant question worthy of debate should be... Why slavery at all?
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Re: difference between wives and sex slaves
Reply #12 - Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:54am
 
abu_rashid wrote on Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:20am:
Annie,

In the Islamic texts, women who are captives are considered to be part of the household, and the man has the same responsibilities to them as he has to his wives, and he therefore also has the same rights with her, which includes the permissibility of sexual relations. She is basically like his wife, she is not merely a piece of property like in the Western concept of slavery, where people were treated like beasts of burden.



Abu, does it say in the Quran that men can have a sexual relationship with slaves? In al Nisa, it says they can marry them. Why would they bother if they can just have halal sex with them anyway?

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Re: difference between wives and sex slaves
Reply #13 - Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:57am
 
Quote:
Gustave le Bon says in Hadarat al-‘Arab (Arab Civilization) (p. 459-460): "What I sincerely believe is that slavery among the Muslims is better than slavery among any other people


It's still crap for those on the receiving end though, isn't it?
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Re: difference between wives and sex slaves
Reply #14 - Mar 4th, 2012 at 11:25am
 
How did non-Muslims treat slaves?


Attitude of the Jews towards slaves:

According to the Jews, mankind is divided into two groups: the Israelites form one group and all of mankind is another group. 

As for the Israelites, it is permissible to enslave some of them, according to specific teachings contained in the Old Testament.

As for people other than the Israelites, they are a low-class race according to the Jews, who may be enslaved via domination and subjugation, because they are people who are doomed to humiliation by the heavenly decree from eternity:

Quote:
If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.  But if the servant declares, 'I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,' then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life”
[Exodus 21:2-6]


As for enslaving non-Hebrews, this is done by taking them captive or overpowering them, because they believe that their race is superior to others, and they try to find a justification for that slavery in their corrupted Torah. So they say that Ham the son of Noah – who was the father of Canaan – angered his father, because Noah was drunk one day and became naked as he was sleeping in his tent, and Ham saw him like that. When Noah found out about that after he woke up, he got angry and he cursed his progeny who were descendents of Canaan, and he said – according to the Book of Genesis 9:25-26:

Quote:
Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.’ He also said, ‘Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem.’


In the same chapter (v. 27) it says:
Quote:
May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his [or their] slave”.


In the Book of Deuteronomy 20:10-14, it says:

Quote:
When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves


Attitude of the Christians towards slaves:

Christianity confirmed slavery as it had been affirmed beforehand by Judaism. There is no text in the Gospels that prohibits or denounces slavery. It is remarkable that the historian William Muir criticized our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) for not immediately abolishing slavery, whilst overlooking the attitude of the Gospels concerning slavery, as there is no report from Christ, or from the Disciples, or from the churches concerning this issue.

Rather, in his Epistles, Paul advised that slaves should be loyal to their masters, as he says in his Epistle to the Ephesians, where he enjoins slaves to obey their masters as they would obey the Christ:

Quote:
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free”
(Ephesians 6:5-9).


In Grand Larousse encyclopédique, it says:

Quote:
It comes as no surprise that slavery has continued among Christians until today; the official representatives of the faith have affirmed its validity and accepted its legitimacy.

… to sum up: the Christian religion approved fully of slavery and still does so today. It is very difficult for anyone to prove that Christianity strove to abolish slavery.

The saints affirmed that nature makes some people slaves.

Churchmen did not prevent slavery or oppose it; rather they supported it, to such an extent that the philosopher saint Thomas Aquinas supported the philosophical view that agreed with the view of religious leaders, and he did not object to slavery, rather he praised it because – according to the view of Aristotle – it is one of the conditions in which some people are created naturally, and it does not contradict faith for a man to be content with the lowest position in life.


In the Dictionary of the Bible by Dr. George Yousuf it says:

Quote:
Christianity did not object to slavery for political or economic reasons, and it did not urge believers to oppose their generation’s views with regard to slavery, or even debate it, and it did not say anything against the rights of slave owners or motivate the slaves to seek independence; it did not discuss the harm or harshness of slavery and it did not enjoin the immediate release of slaves. 

It did not change anything in the nature of the relationship between master and slave; on the contrary, it affirmed the rights and duties of both parties.


Contemporary Europe and slavery

In this era of advancement and progress, to ask questions about the pioneers of this progress and the numbers of people who died because of the way in which they were hunted, and who died on their way to the coast where the ships of the English Royal African Company and others would wait, then the rest died due to changes in climate. Approximately 4% died as they were being loaded onto the ships, and 12 % during the journey, let alone those who died in the colonies.

The slave trade continued at the hands of English companies that obtained the right of monopoly with the permission of the British government, then gave free rein to British subjects to enslave people. Some experts estimate that the total number of people seized by the British during slavery and exiled to the colonies between 1680 and 1786 CE was around 2,130,000.

When Europe made contact with Black Africa, this contact led to human misery during which the black people of that continent were faced with a major calamity that lasted for five centuries. The states of Europe came up with evil ways of kidnapping these people and bringing them to their lands to serve as fuel for their revival, where they burdened them with more work than they could bear. When America was discovered, the calamity increased and they became slaves in two continents instead of just one.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica says (2/779) on the topic of slavery:

Quote:
Hunting slaves in the villages that were surrounded by the jungle was done by lighting fires in the straw of which the corrals surrounding the villages were made, then when the villagers fled to open land, the British hunted them down with whatever means they had at their disposal.


During the period from 1661 to 1774, for every million Black Africans who reached the Americas, a further nine million died during the hunting, loading and transportation. In other words, only one tenth of those who were hunted survived and actually reached the Americas, where they found no rest or relief, rather they were subjected to hard labour and torture.

At that time, they had laws which any wise person would be ashamed of.

Among these evil laws were those which said that any slave who transgressed against his master was to be killed, and any slave who ran away was to have his hands and feet cut off, and he was to be branded with hot iron; if he ran away again, he was to be killed. How could he run away if his hands and feet had been cut off?!

It was forbidden for a black man to become educated, and the jobs of whites were forbidden to coloureds.

In America, if seven black people gathered together, that was regarded as a crime, and if a white man passed by them it was permissible for him to spit at them and give them twenty lashes.

Another law stated that the blacks had no soul and that they possessed no smartness, intelligence or willpower, and that life existed only in their arms.

To sum up, with regard to his duties and service to his master, the slave was regarded as sane, responsible and punishable if he fell short, but with regard to his rights, he had no soul and no being, and he was not more than a strong pair of arms!

Finally, after many centuries of enslavement and oppression, there came the protocol to abolish slavery and strive to put an end to it, in a resolution issued by the United Nations in 1953 CE.

Hence their consciences did not awaken until the last two centuries, after they had built their civilization on the corpses of free men whom they had enslaved unlawfully. What fair-minded person can compare this with the teachings of Islam, which came encouraging the freeing of slaves fourteen hundred years ago?


If you are interested to read about the rape and mistreatment of black slave girls by white Christian Americans the following is an interesting read as it an autobiographical account of a slave woman:

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs, Oxford University Press, (1st published in 1861, republished in 1988)
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