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Saturday, May 17, 2014

OF BASTINADO AND FORCED CIRCUMCISION


Richard Burton in his book on pilgrimage to Mecca mentioned 'bastinado' a number of times. I was wondering what it meant. 

So, bastinado is a form of torture meted on slaves or infidels (western captives) by order of the sult of the Barbary Coast, present day Morocco Tunisia, Algeria and Libya. The pics below show it was carried out. Forced circumcision which could be messy was also a practice to punish or perhaps convert them into Islam!
 
American and European accounts depicted a slave's life in Barbary as an unending hell of torture, including the bastinado (left) and forced circumcision (right). 


A European slave being bastinadoed.


After the Civil War, in the late 1700s, The American with new new confidence and improved naval vessels led to expansion to North Africa.  The Sultan of Libya declared war against the US for interfering their slave trade in the Mediterranean. Or was it a conjured pretext for the American to come in? In one naval battle the Americans lost a ship in which lives were lost and among those captured probably bastinadoed!


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