Arabs and the Traffic in White Slaves
The trade in White slaves was one of the few sources of foreign exchange for western European powers in a period when the East produced the goods that Europeans could not procure elsewhere. The sale of White slaves to Asia and Africa was one of the few sources of gold for European treasuries.
From the eighth to the eleventh century France was a major transfer point for White slaves to the Muslim world, with Rouen being the center for the selling of Irish and Flemish slaves.
At the same time that France was a transfer point for slaves to the Muslim world, Italy was occupying much the same position… Venetians (were)… selling slaves and timber across the Mediterranean. The slaves were usually Slays brought across the Alps… The Venetians were the earliest successful Italian sea traders and because profits on (slave) trade with the Muslims were lucrative, they resisted efforts to stop them. In return for their exports of timber, iron and (White) slaves, they brought in oriental luxury products, mainly fine cloths… (William Phillips, Slavery from Roman Times to the Early Transatlantic Trade.pp. 62-63).
The stereotype from Establishment consensus history is of the Muslim slaver herding chained Blacks through the desert. In fact, for seven hundred years, until the fall of Muslim Spain, those being herded were first and foremost overwhelmingly White:
Before the tenth century, the Muslims generally bought Christian Europeans as slaves… By the tenth century, Slavs became the most numerous imported group… during the late Middle Ages, until the fall of Granada in the late fifteenth century, most slaves of the… Muslims were Christians from the northern kingdoms… (William Phillips, Slavery from Roman Times to the Early Transatlantic Trade.p. 69).
In the vast lands of the eastern European steppes from the eighth to the twelfth century, there was a well-developed slaving network… Slavs and Finns, called saqaliba (slaves) indiscriminately by the Muslims, entered the Muslim world by these Caspian and Black sea routes. (William Phillips, Slavery from Roman Times to the Early Transatlantic Trade.pp. 63-64).
The fate of the hundreds of thousands of White slaves sold to the Arabs was described in one Spanish text as atrocissima et ferocissima (most atrocious and harsh). The men were worked to death as galley slaves. The women, girls and boys were used as prostitutes.
White males had their genitals mutilated bycastration attempts.Based onthe high prices white eunuchs commanded throughout the Middle Eastern slave markets most of these castration victims did not survive the savage procedure.
Escape from North Africa and the Middle East was almost impossible and those White slaves who were caught trying to flee were punished by having their noses and ears cut off, or worse.
Early Muslim texts provide insights into the extent to which the Arabs identified Europeans with slavery, classified White slaves as animals and even produced learned racist disquisitions on the supposed merits of emasculated East European slaves. In his ninth century treatise on beasts, The Book of Animals, the Muslim scholar Jahiz writes:
Another change which overcomes the eunuch: of two slaves of Slavic race, who are… twins, one castrated and the other not, the eunuch becomes more disposed toward service, wiser, more able, and apt for various problems of manual labor… All these qualities you find only in the castrated one. On the other hand, his brother continues to have the same native torpor, the same lack of natural talent, the same imbecility common to slaves, and incapacity for learning a foreign language. (Charles Verlinden, The Slave in Medieval Europe, vol. 1, p. 213).