To the shores of Tripoli” – The forgotten Christian slaves of Islam

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Hundreds of thousands of white Europeans were captured by Barbary MUSLIM pirates and sold as slaves in North Africa and the Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 19th centuries. Tens of thousands of Black African slaves are still owned today by Arab Muslims.

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These slave raids were conducted largely by Arab and Berber Muslim rather than Ottoman Turkish Muslims. However, during the height of the Barbary slave trade, the Barbary states were subject to Ottoman Muslim jurisdiction and ruled by Ottoman pashas. Furthermore, many slaves captured by the Barbary corsairs were sold eastward into Ottoman territories before, during, and after Barbary’s period of Ottoman rule.

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The Barbary Muslim pirates kidnapped Europeans from ships in North Africa’s coastal waters (Barbary Coast). They also attacked and pillaged the Atlantic coastal fishing villages and town in Europe, enslaving the inhabitants. Villages and towns on the coast of Italy, Spain, Portugal and France were the hardest hit. Muslim slave-raiders also seized people as far afield as Britain, Ireland and Iceland.

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In 1627, Muslim Pirates went on a pillaging and enslaving campaign to Iceland. After dropping anchor at Reykjavik, his forces ransacked the town and returned with 400 men, women and children and sold them in Algiers. In 1631, he made a voyage with a brigand of 200 pirates to the coast of Southern Ireland and ransacked and pillaged the village of Baltimore, carrying away 237 men, women and children to Algiers.

The barbaric slave-raiding activities of the Muslim pirates had a telling effect on Europe. France, England, and Spain lost thousands of ships, devastating to their sea-borne trade. Long stretches of the coast in Spain and Italy were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants until the nineteenth century.