During the recent gleeful Dave Hill bashing at CiF, a few commenters mentioned a bit of British-Muslim history that Trev's not so keen on promoting - the Muslim slave trade of the Barbary coast.
Dave did make a valid point though, when he spoke of history being revised and rewritten "as different, often competing, emphases and interpretations are accorded to those already known".
The North African slave trade (aka 'Barbary Corsairs') has been known of and documented for centuries. Maybe a million Europeans were victims.
According to Robert Davis in "Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500-1800", in the 1630s nearly as many Brits were being enslaved annually by (North) Africans as (West) Africans were being enslaved by Brits.
Once it had finally been suppressed, a whole genre of Victorian soft-porn art arose featuring swarthy chaps with towels on their heads examining the sumptuous curves of some poor benighted European maiden. Characters in novels as late as the mid 20th century (by which time it was seen as something of a joke, a spectre to frighten old maids) might mention "white slavers". Yet it's been curiously airbrushed out of English narrative history. Why ?
I'll hazard a guess that until the last 30 years or so we liked to see ourselves as winners - and while we may not have liked to see ourselves as oppressors, that was better than seeing ourselves as oppressed. After all, Britons never shall be slaves.
That's all changing now. Victimhood's where it's at. I've noted on the nationalist, nativist Right in the last few years the increasing co-option of the language of minority rights - which, given current demography, is only being a few steps ahead of the curve. I did it myself when I wrote of the indigenous Brits as the 'native Britons' - a conscious echo of what in the States and Canada are now the First Nations. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is quoted, not in hope that it will have any effect, but to highlight the plight of a nation seen as facing cultural effacement (of which Mr Phillips effort was perhaps one small part).
So I get the impression that "different emphases and interpretations" will include the rediscovery of the Muslim slave trade and its British victims. We shall see.
Tree climbing and other things
5 hours ago