“The mortality rate for the black Africans was about 90% – that is, only 10% survived – and the millions seized by the Arabs far exceeded the numbers who were bought by Europeans in the Atlantic Slave Trade.”
Last week, in an unlikely encounter near the Sangre de Cristo mountains of Colorado, I met a couple who had just returned from a sabbatical year in Togo. I asked them about Togo. They told me they had last been in the country ten years ago, and this time had been horrified by the visible signs of Islam in LomÃ©.Â Ten years ago, the wife, a native of Togo,Â told me, there could not have been more than four mosques in LomÃ©, and now, she said, “there are four hundred.” And what is more, these four hundred are now equipped with P.A. systems, used by the muezzins to make sure that everyone â€“ Muslim and Christian and animist â€“ all over LomÃ©, hears five times a day the Call To Prayer.
I began to think about Islam in Africa, and the steady advances it appears, largely, at the level of mosque and madrasa and missionary work, through the deployment of oil money from the rich Gulf states, to be making all over sub-Saharan Africa. It is amazing, when one considers the long history of Arab depredations and Arab cruelty, and Arab seizure of black Africans in the longest-running, and cruelest, slave trade in history.