Christianity often gets a bad rap as it pertains to Black history.
The Christian faith does not necessarily face scrutiny because of its doctrine, but the use of Christianity to justify the Middle Passage sometimes persuades Black Americans to criticize Christianity and look towards other religions for their spiritual needs.
However, many Black Americans do not criticize other religions for their enslavement of Black people, which is unfair to Christianity, turning a blind eye to our complete history.
Many have turned to other religions because of what White Christians did to our ancestors during slavery, and often turn towards religions that did the same to our ancestors centuries before.
While all religions, including Christianity, deserve blame for what their believers do wrong, singling out Christianity’s role in the enslavement of Black people while ignoring the fact that other religions did the same seems misguided to say the least.
According to Atlanta Black Star, “Some historians estimate that between A.D. 650 and 1900, 10 to 20 million people were enslaved by Arab slave traders. Others believe over 20 million enslaved Africans alone had been delivered through the trans-Sahara route alone to the Islamic world. Dr. John Alembellah Azumah in his 2001 book, ‘The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa’ estimates that over 80 million Black people more died en route.”
While that is not an attempt to disrespect the religion of Islam, because the number of Blacks who died at the hands of Christian slavers is enormous, how can one turn away from one religion because of its members’ involvement in the slave trade and turn to another religion with the same track record.
Atlanta Black Star reported that, “The Arab slave trade typically dealt in the sale of castrated males. Black boys between the age of 8 and 12 had their scrotums and penises completely amputated to prevent them from reproducing…
“Some men were castrated to be eunuchs in domestic service and the practice of neutering male slaves was not limited to only Black males.”
Ronald Segal, author of ‘Islam’s Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora,’ wrote that the calipha in Baghdad possessed 7,000 Black eunuchs (or castrated males) and 4,000 White eunuchs at his palace in the 10th Century.
In Manning Marable’s book “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” the late historian emphasized the fact that Islamic enslavement of Black people is often ignored in our history books.
What the enslavement of Blacks at the hands of Muslims tells me about the Islamic faith is nothing negative about the religion.
Too often people blame an entire faith for what one believer does as if that is indicative of the faith itself.
If a Catholic priest does something ungodly, some feel that the religion must be a farce.
If a terrorist happens to be Muslim, some feel that all Muslims are terrorist.
That’s like saying if one general manager of a media company is fired for sexual harassment or sexual assault, then all general managers must engage in that behavior as well.
It makes no sense.
What does make sense in my humble opinion is that if you look for fault from a body of believers, you will definitely find it.
No church, synagogue, mosque or Kingdom Hall is filled with perfect people.
All religious people have many mistakes on their resume just like non-religious people.
But if you choose or reject a religion, not based on its principles but on history, you will find out that there is much history that you do not know.
And all people, regardless of race or religion, have made all of the same mistakes since the beginning of time.