Time to Stop Demonising the Western World

It’s time to stop demonising the western world. Most people have a very one-sided understanding of the history of Britain, the west in general, or anywhere in the world for that matter. This post will focus mostly on the issue of colonialism, slavery, and expanding empires.

Stop demonising the west.


If you talk about slavery, most people will automatically think of the transatlantic slave trade. Of course, this period of time was a very dark period for Britain and its involvement in the slave trade.

If you were only aware of the western involvement in the slave trade, someone may mistakenly think that it was unique to western countries. However, this is far from true. In fact throughout history, slavery has been the rule, not the exception.

Britain is always targeted when it comes to the issue of reparations. However, slavery has existed in virtually all civilizations for the majority of the time that the human race has existed. In fact, there are believed to be around 40 million people living in slavery today.

Only a small percentage of the British population actually owned slaves. This was around 3000 owners out of a population of millions. Former colonial countries are doing better than their neighbouring countries, with their populations enjoying longer life expectancies, and generally having a better quality of life.

Transsahara Slave Trade

The history of slavery in the Muslim world has deep roots, with institutions inherited from pre-Islamic Arabia. Throughout Muslim history, slaves served in various roles, from powerful emirs to harshly treated manual labourers.

During the time of the transatlantic slave trade, more men would be traded, with around a 10 percent mortality rate during the transit. With the transsahara period, more women were taken as slaves, with a death rate of over 80 percent during transit. Plus, they would castrate the men, which would result in around 10 percent of them dying from the brutal procedure. 

It’s estimated that over 28 million Africans were enslaved by Muslims over a time period of 1400 years. There are some reports that suggest that it’s still currently happening in certain Muslim countries.

It’s essential to recognize this aspect of African history, even though the transsahara slave trade often remains less discussed than the transatlantic slave trade.

Africans Enslaved Africans

Africans also enslaved other Africans. In fact, there were more slaves kept in Africa than were ever sent across the Atlantic. Also, African kings acquired great wealth from the selling of their own people in and out of Africa.

Barbary Slave Trade

The Barbary slave trade involved the capture and selling of European slaves in the largely independent Ottoman Barbary states. Barbary pirates raided ships throughout the Mediterranean and coastal towns from Italy to the Netherlands, capturing sailors, fishermen, and coastal villagers. These captives were often taken to Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis.

Estimates suggest that between the 16th and 18th centuries, 1 million to 1.25 million Europeans were enslaved in North Africa by Barbary corsairs. British sailors and coastal dwellers were also kidnapped and sold into slavery in North Africa during this period. It’s a shocking history that sheds light on a lesser-known aspect of the transatlantic slave trade.

It was the increasing power of the British Empire and its military that stopped the capturing and enslaving of Europeans. It was also believed that the British Empire halted Islamic expansion.  

Britain was also the first Empire to abolish slavery. Britain also pressured other counties into doing the same. Many British sailors lost their lives trying to enforce the ban on slavery.

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