Arab Slave Trade Inspired Arab Racism Toward Blacks
Its important to note that Arab is not a racial classification; an Arab is almost like an American in that people classified as Arab today could be Caucasian (white people), Asiatic or even Arabized Africans. In the beginning there was some level of mutual respect between the Blacks and the more lighter skinned Arabs. However, as Islam and the demand for enslaved Blacks grew, so did racism toward Africans.
As casual association with Black skin and slave began to be established, racist attitudes towards Blacks began to manifest in Arabic language and literature. The word for slave – Abid – became a colloquialism for African. Other words such as Haratin express social inferiority of Africans.
Arab Enslavers Targeted Women For Rape
The eastern Arab slave trade dealt primarily with African women, maintaining a ratio of two women for each man. These women and young girls were used by Arabs and other Asians as concubines and menials.
A Muslim slaveholder was entitled by law to the sexual enjoyment of his slave women. Filling the harems of wealthy Arabs, African women bore them a host of children.
This abuse of African women would continue for nearly 1, 200 years.