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Emet m'Tsiyon

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Jews Persecuted in 19th Century Egypt

The apologists for Arab Judeophobia, usually calling themselves "leftists," often argue that Arab Judeophobia goes back only to Zionism. We have seen much oppression, exploitation, persecution in the Muslim/Arab world before Zionism. Here are two accounts from the 19th century. Bear in mind that Theodore Herzl did not convoke the Zionist Congress until 1897 at the very end of that century:

In the eyes of the Muslims, it is known, there is no race more contemptible than the Jewish race and a Jew cannot be admitted without transition into the lap of the Mohammedan church; he is obliged, when he wants to embrace Islam, to first make himself a Christian . . . "
[Edmond Combes, French vice-consul in Egypt (19th century), quoted in Yahudiya Masriya, Les Juifs en Egypte (Geneva 1971), p 33]
The Muslims hate no other religion as they hate that of the Jews . . . Even nowadays, when all forms of political oppression have stopped and such great tolerance is witnessed toward the Christian religion, the Arabs still demonstrate the same contemptuous hatred towards the Jews.
[Moritz Luttke, quoted in JM Landau, Jews in Nineteenth Century Egypt (London 1969), p 19; from which quoted in Yahudiya Masriya, p 33]

And here the apologists and excuse-makers for Arab Judeophobia have been telling us that it is all because of Zionism, if they at all admit that Arab Judeophobia exists. We see that the non-Jewish sources, both Europeans living in Egypt in the 19th century, confirm what the medieval Maimonides [Rambam] and Bahya ibn Pakuda [Paquda] say about Muslim-Arab persecution of Jews in general, and what Edward Lane wrote about the same matter in the 1830s after his stay in Egypt. The contemporary 19th century sources remarkably confirm each other on the main lines.

Note that forcing Jews who wanted to convert to Islam to become Christians first is also reported for the late 15th century by Francesco Suriano. It is likewise reported regarding Alawite Muslims in Syria who might want to become Sunnis. This report is found in Jean-Pierre Peroncel-Hugoz' informative book, Une Croix sur le Liban.

Note too that the tolerance toward Christians noted by Luttke above has vanished in Egypt, and the Coptic Christians, the purest descendants today of the ancient Egyptians, are very much persecuted. There aren't enough Jews around any more.
Funny, isn't it, that today, what is called the "Left," openly champions the oppressive, exploitative Islamic social system?
- - - - - - - - - -
Coming: more about the Jews' status under Islamic oppression
Poems of Zion
Jews in Jerusalem and the Land of Israel in the 19th century before Herzl founded the Zionist Organization

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