Islam’s Slave-Soldiers Return to Egypt


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This article is reprinted from Stonegate Institute.

The myths of a “patriotic” or “altruistic” Egyptian military carefully protecting the “rights” of its citizenry—the narrative of the mainstream media of the January 25 Revolution—are long gone.

Back in January, it was natural to conclude that the Egyptian military was the “savior” of the people, and that their “anti-democratic” president, Hosni Mubarak, embodied all of Egypt’s ills: such views are intrinsic to the Western worldview. Today, however, far from allowing protesters to stand atop its tanks in triumph, the military has taken to mowing them down with tanks at Maspero, and other barbarities—culminating in the recent massacre of civilians in Tahrir [ironically, "Liberation"] Square.

The military’s behavior is hardly inexplicable; Egypt’s own history offers countless precedents demonstrating context and continuity. Consider the Mamluks, the non-Muslims who were abducted and enslaved in youth, indoctrinated in Islam, and trained to become jihadists par excellence. While the Ottoman Janissaries, who terrorized Europe for centuries, are the most notorious of Islam’s slave soldiers, Egypt’s Mamluks—the word mamluk simply means “owned”—actually assumed power, establishing a slave dynasty in Egypt from 1258-1517.

Known for their fierce prowess—testified to by the fact that it was they who first defeated the otherwise unstoppable Mongol hordes at Ayn Jalut—Egypt’s Mamluk rulers were naturally oppressive, to both Muslims (which is legitimate under Islamic law) and non-Muslims (which is expected).

As James Jankwoski put it:

Ultimately, Mamluk rule rested on force. The chronicles of the period are replete with examples of Mamluk violence against the indigenous population of Egypt… From horseback, they simply terrorized those lesser breeds who crossed their paths. The sudden and arbitrary use of force by the government and its dominant military elite; frequent resort to cruelty to make a point; ingenious methods of torture employed both for exemplary purpose and to extract wealth from others: all these measures were routine in the Mamluk era.

One immediately discerns parallels between Mamluk Egypt and today’s military-run Egypt, from the fact that the Mamluks ousted their former Ayyubid master and installed their leader as ruler—just as the Egyptian military ousted Mubarak and installed their leader, Mohamed Tantawi, as ruler—to the fact that Egyptian citizens are again being terrorized and killed regularly, whether at Maspero or Tahrir Square.

But while the Mamluks were not indigenous, Egypt’s military today is made up natives; and while the Mamluks were slaves, today’s soldiers are free. These differences make the brutality of today’s military that much more objectionable.

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  • Larry

    Cairo, after all, is a muslim military garrison town. It's why it didn't exist before the muslim take over of Egypt.

  • oldtimer

    History repeats it's self.

  • StephenD

    There is nothing new under the sun. What led to stagnation before will do the same again. If you were evil and wanted to stifle the human spirit what would you do different from what they did in the past or from what any Islamic controlled government is doing today?
    The only issue in question is will there be a people willing to resist or will they succumb to Islam?

  • KKKK

    they say "there is nothing new under the sun." thats ture. history does tend to repent itself becuase we don't learn from the mistakes of the past.

    • scum

      the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

  • JSD222

    Actually the taxes put upon non Muslims were a lot less then the Byzantines and others who ruled before the Muslims took over. The Christians were happy to pay the tax. It eliminated the need for them to serve in the military and also provided them protection.

    Also they did not stagnate, Although the Ottoman Empire appeared to be stagnating when it split into smaller kingdoms these smaller kingdoms or sultanates were very much alive and supported the arts and sciences of the day.

    • Lakodaimon

      Yes, that's what new, revisionist, politically-correct, white-washed histories of Islam say.
      The original, primary sources sound a lot more like this article.
      Trying reading Alfred Butler's "Arab Invasion of Egypt"

    • VLADtheINHALER

      You're full of sh*t. Give me a source for your lies.

    • intrcptr2

      Um, the Ottoman Empire didn't split into sultanates; it was dismembered by its more powerful neighbors, and meddlesome western powers. The various bits and pieces that got sloughed off became modern Greece, Hungary, Roumania, etc. And the Sick Man of Europe had been stagnating since 1571, when the Venetians and her allies smashed Ali Pasha's fleet at Lepanto.
      The end came suddenly, and the fragments left in the deserts to the south got snatched up by France and Britian. The arts and sciences of the day would include the airplane and relativistic physics, which of course only those formerly Muslim lands to the north and west could comprehend.

  • PETER GRUSH

    They're comming

  • Yeshayahgu Goldfeld

    The Foreign Offices of the Western World employ hordes of Arabists and experts on Islam ,but never fail to misinterpret the real nature of Muslim regimes.