They Assaulted Muslims,

Deemed Their Blood lawful, and Enslaved Their Free People

Enslaving people will remain the dark chapter in the history of humankind due to human enslavement, and boasting the ownership of people. Ancient people imposed the right of domination and controlling other human beings, while nature and natural fine disposition dictate that everyone born on this earth shall come free without restrictions of enslavement. 

Slavery and enslavement of people are one of the most immoral and inhuman crimes on earth. It pains the soul and removes its peace to be provoked by tales and stories of enslavement. It gives the feeling of depression and nausea…

Ottomans have practiced throughout their history deceit and arrogance against humanity supported by the institution of slavery, at a time when the literature of the whole world criminalized enslavement, slavery, and the act of buying and selling human beings!

There is nothing more precious than freedom. It is the most supreme dream in the world of humankind. There is nothing more cruel and harsh than enslavement and injustice. Enslavement entails all kinds of injustice, abuse and oppression. 

Ottomans colonized the Arab countries by force and intensity throughout more than five hundred centuries. They colonized them under the illusion of alleged Caliphate which they believed that it makes Arab countries their inheritance, as their Sultans said: “all we aim at regarding our recapture of the Kingdom of Yemen, albeit it is our duty to perform because it is the heritage of our late holy father, is only to preserve the gulf of Eden…” They deemed that Arab countries were among their possessions, not only their land including its trees, stones, and treasures, but also human beings were deemed as such. They enslaved, scared away, and displaced them.

Ottoman Sultan: our recapture of the Kingdom of Yemen, albeit it is our duty to perform because it is the heritage of our late holy father.

The most repulsive and disgusting form of enslavement is colonizing countries, and exploiting them for the benefit of the colonialist; as well as humiliating and insulting their citizens, especially when the colonialist uses Islam as a disguise while it assaults Muslims, deems their blood lawful, and enslaves their free people. At the time when Islam came to instill the values of honor, pride, and self- esteem in the hearts of Muslims, free them from enslavement and humiliation, and revive the spirit of justice and equality so that there would be no enslavement, colonialism, depletion of the countries’ treasures, feudalism, and enslavement of an individual, not to mention an entire people. All are equal, and no one has authority among them except by righteousness and justice.
Ottoman occupation of the peoples did not bring any good to them. It was rather a great affliction to them. Thus, peoples went on being humiliated and enslaved. This is confirmed by the Lebanese President, Michel Aoun, saying that, “Ottoman state practiced state terrorism against Lebanese”, and that “all attempts to break free from Ottoman yoke was treated by violence, murder, and stoking sectarian strife”. He added that, “the state terrorism practiced by Ottomans against Lebanese, especially during World War I, claimed hundred thousands of victims due to starvation, recruitment and forced labor”. Words of the Lebanese President did not come out of nowhere. Evidence mentioned in the books of historians who witnessed the events is overwhelmed by abuses of Turkish rule, without any doubt. Arab and non- Arab peoples have suffered from their injustice and brutality.

Michel Aoun: all attempts to break free from Ottoman yoke was treated by violence, murder, and stoking sectarian strife.

Thus, Arab citizen remained suffering under injustice and enslavement. His revolutions against enslavement were confronted with Ottoman oppression and maltreatment. Turks deeply increased their brutality and arrogance expanding the circle of grievances. In addition, types and forms of enslavement and tyranny dominated and varied. 

1. Mohammed Al- Nahrawani, Yemen Lighting in Ottoman Conquest (Riyadh: Dar Al-Yamamah, 1967). 

2. Ibrahim Sha’ban, Ottoman Empire.. 6 centuries of terrorism, castration and women; (an article in Sada El- Balad newspaper, Saturday September 7, 2019).

They have deprived the children of their normal lives

The "Eunuchs" lived

with the Sultan's harem and were insulted and belittled

The Ottomans mastered the multiplicity of institutions of slavery. The military class of Janissaries was one of the finest classes, to which the Ottomans were keen on supporting for being an important supporter of slavery. The state used to take them as a tax in most of the non-Muslim families in Europe, with ages ranging from 7-14 years, so that they would be enrolled and trained for soldiering professionally.

 Many historians have agreed that the Janissaries are a group of young men, boys, homeless people, orphans, and Christian captives. The Ottoman Empire adopted and benefited from them, and brought them up on Islamic religious foundations, on the condition that they believe that the Sultan is their master and that they are his slaves. The Janissaries are fed by what is known as the Devşirme “Boys’ Tax”, where the Ottomans issued a law according to which one-fifth of the children of each occupied city were taken and included in the Ottoman army without a legitimate right allowing this act in Islam.

The Ottoman Empire exercised immoral acts in enslaving people and depriving children of their most basic rights to enjoy the protection of their fathers and mothers. This is considered one of the most heinous human crimes. The Janissary army considered these children as captives of the war that they fought with the Byzantine state and the Christian kingdoms in Eastern Europe. The matter has evolved into forcibly taking the boys to be a periodic tax that the state collects from the Christians in Eastern Europe, and it is called the Devşirme tax.

They opposed the emancipation of Islam to slaves by regularly codifying child slavery.

This tax is a crime against humanity, and an evidence to be added to the facts of history that the Ottomans who claimed Islam have a black history that humanity cannot forget. The Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, denounced one of his companions in the story of the bird, “Who made that bird mourn the loss of its son … brought her son back to her”. If a small bird has the right of affection and assembly, then what about the person whom Allah created to be free and generous, to live with dignity, not to accept oppression or submissiveness? 

As for the Ağas “Chiefs of Servants”, the Ottoman Empire adopted a system of castration against them in the palaces of the sultans, despite the fact that Islamic Sharia prohibits the principle of castration. The state’s adoption of this illegal system was one of the cases in which it went against Islamic Sharia. The Prophet Muhammad prohibited castration of people, so he said: “There is no castration in Islam,” Al-Albani corrected it.

The Ottomans were not satisfied with the castrated men, but rather they bought eunuch slaves from outside the borders of the state, where the castration process was carried out for the slave at a young age, to be sold in the slave market to kings and princes. The castration of slaves and selling them for service in the palaces of kings of various countries was a common business. There were two sects of eunuchs: black eunuchs, who were fully castrated, and white eunuchs, who were partially castrated. The white chief was called (Qabu Agassi). The chief of the black eunuchs, who was at the same time the supreme chief in the royal palaces, was called the (Qizler Agassi), meaning the (Chief of Girls), and (the chief of the House of Happiness). The state has put in place special regulations that apply to their service in the royal palaces.

The idea of castration is a pernicious idea, because of the enslavement and oppression it contains. If castration was the only crime of the Ottomans, it would have been sufficient to convict them of the heinous violation of human rights and their enslavement. The castration process that they were carrying out, and their view of the man and the woman, indicates the complexes and problems inside them, and reveals the fear that they possess over their women from the men who serve their palaces. The Ottomans ruled by conspiracy, and they dominated with brutality and women were their game, and gold is their last target behind all the countries that they controlled.

Castration was applied as a punishment to the Janissary soldiers, who deviated from military discipline, so if the abusive acts of the Janissary were repeated, they would be punished by law, and the eunuch judgment would be enforced. The chief of the Janissaries was the one who orders this punishment, and it is a great and cruel punishment because whoever suffers this punishment will lose his manhood, which qualifies him to work inside the harem palaces.

The feminist environment was rife with intrigue. These eunuchs lived in the royal harem palaces, and the word (harem) – commonly used in the Ottoman dark ages – was indicative of the feminine domination against the sultans and princes of Ottomans. The women in their palaces were of the greatest importance, and they were practicing the hidden role of Ottoman politics. The conflict between the harem of the palaces increases the authoritarian atmosphere prevailing, until very strange stories overflowed with this conflict and the accompanying intrigues and plots being hatched in the Ottoman palaces. If the walls could tell what was happening inside these palaces of immorality and decay, it would tell horrors & dreadful stories. 

The eunuchs lived in harem palaces and were insulted and detracted from their dignity and freedom. They lived deprived of their normal instinct that Allah had created for them. They were deprived – because of castration – of true parenthood and the right to have children of their own to help them in old age.

They deprived the "eunuchs" from living a normal life and starting a family.

1. Ibrahim Shaban, the Ottoman Empire … 6 centuries of terrorism, castration and harem, (Article in Sada Al-Balad newspaper, Saturday 7 September 2019). 

2. Hassan Al-Dika, The State of Muhammad Ali and the West, Acquisition and Independence (Beirut: The Arab Cultural Center, 1997).

3. Talal Al-Tarifi, the Ottomans – This was not a lie (Riyadh: First Edition, 1441 AH / 2020 AD).

4. Muhammad Marawan, “Janissaries, the Strength and Weakness of the Ottoman State,” (Libya: The Scientific Journal of the College of Education, University of Misurata, Volume 2, Issue 8, June 2017).

5. Muhammad Nasir Al-Din Al-Albani, Sahih and Weak Al-Jami (Beirut: The Islamic Office 1988 AH), 2:118.

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In a Sad Tragic Reality

The enslavement of Arabs ...

a long journey of injustice and humiliation

The Turks colonized the Arab countries with the ugliest forms of exploitation and tyranny. They have forced the population to flee to the unknown, and have thrown them into their wars without realizing the reason for this war and participating in it. The Ottomans practiced racial arrogance against the Arabs. The Turks did not observe the sanctity of religion and neighborhood. Their hearts were filled with hatred and they denied everything related to the Arabs. They did not give, but plundered and stole, and invented reasons for abuse and oppression. They created tragic stories of slavery and psychological and physical slavery, especially if it was carried out by a regime claiming to be the Islamic Caliphate at that time!
The Ottoman Empire entered World War I in 1914 AD, against Triple Alliance – Central Force, so the Ottomans gave their orders to mobilize people from the Arab countries under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. It was necessary to carry out the general mobilization in order to fight that war, and the people were mobilized forcibly and unjustly without wanting to displace and fight the war that they called the Safer Berlik. It is a Turkish word composed of two syllables (Safar) and has the same Arabic meaning, and (Berlik) meaning (together) or (group), meaning the general mobilization for war.

"The Ottoman Empire Era" ... a march of destruction and devastation against the Arabs.

The crime of “Safar Berlik” is one of those heinous crimes committed by the Ottomans, which inflicted physical and psychological harm on the Arab peoples. The psychological significance of the Arab people at the beginning of the twentieth century, suggests horror, misery, bad luck and sinister travel that is irreversible, as confirmed by the writings of historians who lived during that period. Mass displacement or unrequited labor are two dark sides that “Safar Berlik” refers to. 

Some Arab regions went through bitter years as a result of “Safer Berlik” of the Turkish rule, until it became a long journey of suffering and humiliation. Injustice has grown worse, people became fed up with it, and scholars, writers, and authors have embarked on the defense of Arabs. Their writings were filled with clarification at times and hinting at other times, and they confronted the conspiracies, and revealed an aspect of this injustice.

The “Safar Berlik” incident was a purely Ottoman political scheme, to isolate Arab cities, including the city of the Prophet, where the Ottomans sought to strip its identity and make it one of the cities of the Ottoman Empire and a center where the Turkish character prevails. The (Hejaz Railway) that the Turks built to Medina was another path of torment and displacement, and it was only for purely political purposes. 

The “Safar Berlik” incident has become a picture of tragedy, telling the painful scenes of thousands of families who were forcibly displaced from their homes. These are tales of injustice witnessed by the city halls and other Arab cities. It is rebellion against the laws of the universe, life, and disrespect for noble values.

"Safar Berlik" intended to turn large numbers of displaced Arabs into slaves.

The Ottomans were an epidemic that afflicted the Arab nation in killing its tumor with an incurable disease, and it spread throughout the exhausted body, which was followed by calamities and horrors. Palestine, Syria and Baghdad were not far from the tragedies from which they had a great share of war and displacement. The Ottoman tyrants mobilized thousands of people from the Levant towards war in the countries of the Caucasus. They were starved and perished in cold weather, and suffered from remoteness, wounds, and pains, and what returned from them is nothing but few people. You can hardly find a house from the Levant without its grief due to the loss or distance of one of its sons. 

It is reasonable for the historian to convince that the moment when the Ottoman Turks colonized the Arab world, it was the beginning of the accompaniment of torment by enslaving and killing people. The Ottomans were sadistic and thirsty for blood. They killed and tortured Arabs for no reason, and they killed commoners and boys who were not guilty. In four days, Selim I killed ten thousand people from the neighborhoods of one city in Egypt. As for plunder, it is part of their nature. The Ottoman army used to enter the homes of the Egyptians and steal everything in them, and sell women and children in the slave market. History books are full of dramatic events committed by the Ottomans in Egypt.

History contains black pages of the rule of the Turks from Ottomans. This history is full of slavery, terrorism and the most heinous crimes. The matter was not the result of specific political circumstances, or being confined to a specific period of time, but rather a ruling style that prevailed over the sultans and leaders of the Ottoman Turks. Some of them have been embedded in criminality and impulsivity in the shedding of Arab blood, as if that was a rooted principle in their policies against Arabs since the beginnings of the Turkish occupation of Arab lands. It seems like a march of destruction and devastation against the Arabs, so it has become a sad and tragic reality.

1. Muhammad Al-Sa`ed, Safar Berlik (Riyadh: Madarak, 2018).

2. Ibrahim Shaban, the Ottoman Empire … 6 centuries of terrorism, castration and harem, (Article in Sada Al-Balad newspaper, Saturday 7 September 2019). 

3. Hassan Al-Dika, The State of Muhammad Ali and the West, Acquisition and Independence (Beirut: The Arab Cultural Center, 1997).

4. Talal Al-Tarifi, the Ottomans – This was not a lie (Riyadh: First Edition, 1441 AH / 2020 AD).

5. Muhammad Marawan, “Janissaries, the Strength and Weakness of the Ottoman State,” (Libya: The Scientific Journal of the College of Education, University of Misurata, Volume 2, Issue 8, June 2017).