Slavery, the State, and Islam

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/29/2013
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Slavery, the State, and Islam looks at slavery as the foundation of power and the state in the Muslim world. Closely examining major theological and literary Islamic texts, it challenges traditional approaches to the subject. Servitude was a foundation for the construction of the new state on the Arabian peninsula. It constituted the essence of a relationship of authority as found in the Koran. The dominant stereotypes and traditions of equality as promoted by Islam, of its leniency toward slaves, is questioned. This original, pioneering book overturns the mythical view of caliphal power in Islam. It examines authority as it functions in the Arab world today and helps to explain the difficulty of attempting to instill freedom and democracy there.

Table of Contents

Introduction: the sources and structures of the bond of authority
The deadly lie, or the death announcement
The battleground of servitude: an illusory freedom
Open-air servitude
The master of heaven and the master of earth
The king and his subjects
The king and his entourage
The threshold of the king, or the weapon of forced servitude
Conclusion: between heaven and earth
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