Jews in Ottoman Lands copy.pdf

Jews in Ottoman Lands copy.pdf - Internet History...

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10/26/16, 11(11 AM Internet History Sourcebooks Project Page 1 of 5 Search Sourcebook Home | Ancient History Sourcebook | Medieval Sourcebook | Modern History Sourcebook | Byzantine Studies Page Other History Sourcebooks: African | East Asian | Global | Indian | Islamic | Jewish | Lesbian and Gay | Science | Women's IHSP Main Ancient Medieval Modern Subsidiary Sourcebooks African Eastern Asian Global Indian Jewish Islamic Lesbian/Gay Science Women Special Resources Byzantium Medieval Web Medieval NYC Medieval Music Saints' Lives Ancient Law Medieval Law Film: Ancient Film: Medieval Film: Modern Film: Saints Jewish History Sourcebook: Islam and the Jews: The Status of Jews and Christians in Muslim Lands, 1772 CE In 1772 a Muslim scholar in Cairo was asked how Jews and Christians should be treated. The answer is found in this selection, issued four years before the American Declaration of Independence. This answer is not law, but only the opinion of a conservative Muslim. The opinion is in Arabic. Question What do you say, O scholars of Islam, shining luminaries who dispel the darkness (may God lengthen your days!)? What do you say of the innovations introduced by the cursed unbelievers [Jewish and Christian] into Cairo, into the city of al-Muizz [founder of Cairo, 969] which by its splendor in legal and philosophic studies sparkles in the first rank of Muslim cities? What is your opinion concerning these deplorable innovations which are, moreover, contrary to the Pact of Umar which prescribed the expulsion of the unbelievers from Muslim territory? [This is exaggerated. Umar exiled the infidels only from Arabia.] Among other changes they have put themselves on a footing of equality with the chiefs, scholars, and nobles, wearing, like them, costly garments of cloth of India, expensive silk and cashmere fabrics, and they imitate them even in the cut of these very garments. In addition, whether through necessity or otherwise, they ride on saddles which are of the same type as those of chiefs, scholars, and officers, with servants at their right, at their left, and behind them, scattering and pushing back Muslims for whom they thus block the streets. They carry small batons in their hands just like the chiefs. They buy Muslim slaves, the offspring of Negro, Abyssinian, and even white slaves; this has become so common and so frequent among them that they no longer consider this offensive. They even buy slaves publicly, just like the Muslims. They have become the owners of houses and build new ones of a solidity, durability, and height possessed by neither the houses nor mosques of the Muslims themselves. This state of affairs is spreading and is extending beyond all proportions. They contribute for the extension of their churches and convents; they seek to raise them higher and to give them a strength and a durability which even the mosques and the monasteries themselves do not have.
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