EVIDENCE FROM THE TRAVELS OF IBN BATUTA http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/batuta.html "There was consequently less stigma attached to slavery, and in no other society has there been anything resembling the system by which, as has been shown in the preceding section, the white slaves came to furnish the priviledged cadre where the high officers of state, commanders, governors, and at lenght even Sultans, were exclusively drawn." I came upon this doing some research on the relationship between the Turks and Africa prior to colonialism. Interesting contrast to the way whites then treated Africans who they later subjected to slavery. Or is it really that much different today. In the unted states we have "high officers of state", military commanders, state legislators, black mayors, etc. Furthermore, the more one reads this document it is also interesting how Africans got involved in long standing conflicts between the Shiites in Syria and other areas. So, the presence of blacks among us troops in iraq is nothing new. Nor is the present conflict and in-fighting among the Shiites.