Jonathan Brown – Islam and the Problem of Slavery

This is the first in three pieces on the question of Islam and slavery. It demonstrates that the very term slavery is so ambiguous as to be functionally useless for the purposes of discussing extreme domination and exploitation across history. It should be conditions of extreme exploitation that are focused on, not shifting terms. The second essay will lay out the understanding of slavery in the Shariah and Islamic civilization. The final part will examine the abolition of slavery in Islam.