Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
As a young adult, growing up in the Caribbean we are educated deeply into the history of slavery. After all, slavery has left a unique footprint in the lives, culture, status, economy of the Caribbean peoples. The majority of inhabitants of the Caribbean isles (and some mainland states) are either of African or Indian descent. We all know that there was the African Triangular Slave Trade where estimates of 6 million to 65 million Africans were captured and brought to the Western hemisphere. What is lesser known is the slave trade of the Indian peoples, although termed “indentureship”, for which the Indian peoples willingly signed into contractual labour on the sugar estates, the purposeful lack of judicial oversight, in the end made indentureship into a fancy title for the term, “slavery”. Although the Indians had contracts with the British, and the legal system to govern these indenturers was to be a judicial system, bribery, bias and overall need for cheap labour caused the abuse of this “legal system” to manipulate the contracts of these labourers.
Less I digress, Christianity has played or is known to have played a major role in the African Triangular slave trade. The question begs itself though, is there or was there Biblical justification for such an act of human degradation and torture? The answer may shock you and it’s a yes! A resounding yes. Just as today it is normal for a Christian to attack a Muslim, revile Muslims, abuse, curse Muslims, the same mindset was imposed on the Christians of the colonial era. They believed Africans to be of an inferior and cursed race, sanctioned by the sins of their forefathers, God had placed a sacred curse on the Africans and therefore it was the right of the Caucasian Christian peoples to impose severe punishment on God’s cursed people. This curse is known as the Curse of Ham and a person who has the Curse of Ham is identified by his dark skin colour:
Son of Noah and progenitor of one of the three great races of men whose ethnographical table is given by Genesis 10. Wherever the three sons of Noah are enumerated in the Bible, Cham is placed between Sem and Japhet. We may gather, however, from Genesis 9:24 that this enumeration is not based on their age, since Cham is there spoken of as the “younger son” of Noah, as compared, apparently, with both his brothers. The only incident of the life of Cham after the deluge, which is recorded in the Bible, is that related in Genesis 9:21-24. Cham sees his father under the influence of wine lying naked in his tent. He tells his brothers, who respectfully cover the patriarch. The sequel makes it plain that Cham was, on this occasion, guilty of great irreverence. For when Noah hears of the conduct of his sons he blesses Shem and Japhet, with their posterity, and he pronounces a curse, not on Cham, but on his son Chanaan and his descendants, predicting that they will be the servants of their bretheren.
You see, the story can indeed be found in the Bible, but the above excerpt from the Catholic Encyclopedia makes it clear what the punishment was, that these “cursed peoples”, had to be “servants/ slaves of their brethren”. The Geneva Study Bible makes it a bit more clear as to the verse’s meaning:
(r) He pronounces as a prophet the curse of God against all those who do not honour their parents: for Ham and his posterity were cursed.
(s) That is, a most vile slave.
What is striking is that Christians Right Wingers in America, claim that America is a Christian nation and always was a Christian nation. One must not forget that African Americans were not seen as human, or recognized as equals to Caucasian Christian Americans until 1954 under the Supreme Court’s decision in the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling. This extremely disturbing video displays the lengths to which Christian Caucasian Americans tortured innocent African Americans for over 60 years:
The contrast in Islam however, is vast, see this series of lectures by Shaykh Zahir Mahmood [db]:
wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]