Omar Ibn Said: A Muslim American Slave

Among the millions of slaves brought to North America through the transatlantic slave trade, several million were Muslims. Some of these people were literate and left behind manuscripts that attest to their experience of slavery, their continued commitment to Islam, and their ability to negotiate a space to express their identities. In the next Inside Islam radio show on November 7th, Jean will talk with Ala Alryyes, the author of the book  A Muslim American Slave: The Arabic ‘Life’ of Omar Ibn Said. In his work, Alryyes examines Omar Ibn Said‘s autobiography, which he maintains is “the only extant Arabic autobiography written by a slave in the United States.” Continue reading

Islam’s Position on Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a worldwide problem. There are an estimated 27 million slaves worldwide, according to  an Al-Jazeera series on slavery. Trafficking is defined as “the movement of these persons from their place of origin to elsewhere in their communities, provinces, regions, or across countries and continents, to destinations where they are ultimately exploited.” While all countries in the world prohibit slavery, human trafficking, many times referred to as modern-day slavery, continues to be a problem and affects countries all over the world, including some Muslim majority countries. While Muslims in these countries may engage in the crime of trafficking, Islam’s position on this topic is clear. Even though human trafficking is not explicitly prohibited in Islam, there are many aspects of it that are clearly forbidden in the faith. Continue reading