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Muslim Slavery uses a unique wealth of hitherto unstudied sources to paint a practical, compelling picture of the experiences of slaves in nineteenth-century Morocco. Mohammed Ennaji brings to life a rich panoply of figures, with court cases, travel accounts, and archival documents, demonstrating the cruelty of an institution whose benign features some...
Muslim Slavery uses a unique wealth of hitherto unstudied sources to paint a practical, compelling picture of the experiences of slaves in nineteenth-century Morocco. Mohammed Ennaji brings to life a rich panoply of figures, with court cases, travel accounts, and archival documents, demonstrating the cruelty of an institution whose benign features some writers have overemphasized. In contrast to slavery in the Americas, he argues that only a fine line separated the fluid categories of slave and free, and he reveals how slaves’ dependence on their masters paralleled free Moroccans’ dependence on patrons for survival and social mobility. No other book on slavery in the Islamic world has treated the Muslim west, and no other book has examined the variety and extent of sources that Ennaji does in such a context here. Muslim Slavery offers a clear, readable history that tells the devastating story of slavery in this region, and uses slavery’s gradual disappearance in this century as a metaphor for Morocco’s move into modernity.
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