Wednesday, 17 December 2014



Rant Number 613           16 December 2014

‘America, we are coming! We will sell your women in the slave market!’ Thus boasted to TV cameras a young, mocking Jihadi warrior with central Asian features – Kazak, maybe - somewhere in Iraq.

America’s women need not lose any sleep over that threat - yet. Unlike the wretched, captured Yezidi ladies. Le Monde writes that 4000 of them have been kidnapped, raped and forced into slavery by ISIS men. Picked for their good looks, beaten if they resist, dragged away by the hair, the women are sold openly in a market, like cattle. Those with good teeth, blue or green-eyed are said to be preferred. White flesh turns on the brave Caliphate guys, it seems…

Here is a maddening paradox. As feminism has conquered outright the culture, laws and politics of the ex-Christian West, a sizable chunk of the Middle East revives female slavery. No metaphorically but in reality. What does it mean? As Alexander Dugin speculates, can time run backwards? Back to the infamy of slavery?

Neither Qur’an nor Sunna condemns slavery per se. And you won’t find a divine command against slavery in the Bible either. In the Letter to Philemon St Paul urges the recipient to treat runaway slave Onesimus with all kindness. ‘Receive him as you would receive me’, the Apostle enjoins. However, Paul does not state that slavery itself is wrong.

St Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, teaches that slavery - servitudo – is not from the natural law. Namely, it is not a natural state for man to be a slave – it is only ‘a convenience’. Something past ages needed for social and economic reasons. Thus Marx contended that old-fashioned slavery was abolished in the West when capitalism resorted to more efficient ‘wage-slaves’, like factory workers. It is not a matter a moral progress, he claimed. For Marx the deep economic structures determined human consciousness, so moral reformers like Wilberforce were only reflecting what capitalism had already disposed. Too sleek, methinks. A Stoic philosopher like Seneca lived in a functioning slave society – being himself the wealthy owner of slaves – yet Seneca wrote vibrantly against the irrationality and injustice of slavery. Hence the link between human thought and economic means of production is more complex than Herr Marx pretended it to be.

Notably, all examples of slavery Seneca gives in Epistle 47 to his friend Lucilius concern males. Mostly domestic servants necessary for running a large household in the Roman world. Only one sex slave is mentioned and that is…a man!

The Caliphate soldiers cannot have the excuse of the ancient Romans. Though older and plainer females are assigned to menial tasks, others, children included, are for sexual gratification. (Are there Jihadis with gay orientation, I wonder? Not ex officio, obviously, but I would not be at all surprised…) You need not be a feminist to be revolted by the idea of captive women being so treated. The mentality of such men must be less than human.

Arguably slavery had a sadistic, ‘possessing’ element in more than the sense of mere ownership or property. Le Monde relates the excitement, the thrill the Jihadis feel in looking forward to the slave auction. How many Western modern men (and women) might not confess to secretly envying that? Even the sensitive poet Gerard de Nerval while living in Cairo admitted to the pleasure of purchasing a pretty Javanese female. I am glad he got his comeuppance when the girl told him: ‘I am not a servant but a lady. I won’t do any housework.’ The unfortunate Yezidi captives are unlikely to have such an option.

The Jihadis are Saudis, Libyans, Chechens, Pakistanis, Tatars, Australians, British, even Italians. A cosmopolitan bunch reminiscent of the old French Foreign Legion. But, despite its repressive and colonialist raison d’etre, the Legion court-martialled and punished its occasional rapists. By contrast the Caliphate systematically promotes the violation of prisoners as a religious privilege. Western feminists have long accused all men of being potential rapists. Groan…Now that hideous potentiality is sadly realised.

The modern history of the Middle East is filled with atrocious episodes. It had been spared full-blown slavery, until now. No longer. Thanks to democratic scoundrels like Bush, Blair and their underlings, the people of Iraq have been martyred – and now brought to this shame. (Some women have preferred suicide to being violated.) The monstrous slave market is based in the Caliphate capital, Raqqa, Syria. Another violated land. Assad is no angel but you see what manner of fiends is poised to take over from him.

ISIS should be stopped and the slaves liberated but who is going to do it? President Obumble is married to a woman from slavery ancestry - should it not motivate him to act? Not very likely. Cameron and the EU bosses are chiefly obsessed with destroying Russia. The truth is that the West only intervenes when there is something valuable to be grabbed, like oil. The fate of the violated slaves is a mere bagatelle. Who cares?

Two thousand years ago Seneca, a sublime pagan, urged Lucilius to be on friendly terms with his slaves. ‘But they are slaves’, haughty people would say. ‘No, they are human beings’, the philosopher countered. ‘Slaves, surely?’ ‘No! Human beings!’ Seneca insisted. ‘Still, they are lowly slaves…’ ‘No, unpretentious friends’. ‘They are still slaves!’ ‘No, rather our fellow slaves, if you reflect that God has equal rights over slaves and free men alike.’

May God curse slavery and its enforcers.

Revd Frank Julian Gelli

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