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Title:Islam and cultural hegemony: the ideology of slaveowners of the East African coast
Author:Cooper, F.ISNI
Book title:The ideology of slavery in Africa
Geographic term:East Africa
Abstract:Reflections on some fundamental problems in a particular historical context. The Islamic terms in which these slaveowners conceived of slavery served both to obscure and to illuminate. Islamic concepts mystified the appropriation of labor power, as well as the limitations in the actual control that the slaveholders had. But the ideology illuminated enough of the slaveowners' real power that slaves could not ignore it. They had to do what their owners - and many Western Islamicists - did not: separate Islam from social structure. By accepting Islam - without the slaveowners' conceptions of an Islamic order - and by asserting that hinterland origins could be a source of pride even to Muslims, they acknowledged what they were too weak to avoid, yet denied the ultimate denigration of slavery - acceptance of inferiority. Map, notes, ref.