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Emet m'Tsiyon

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Sultan of Morocco's Affection for and Loyalty to His Jewish Subjects

Sultan Mulay Abd ar-Rahman of Morocco [1822-1859] had a dispute with the French consul in Tangier, apparently over the rights of Jewish merchants holding French citizenship. He explained to the French consul just how he perceived the rights of his beloved Jewish subjects in his dominion, the same rights being conferred on non-Moroccan Jews venturing into his domain.

This letter was sent 1841 and is included in Bat Ye'or's book on Eastern Christianity:
The Jews of Our fortunate Country have received guarantees from which they benefit in exchange for their carrying out the conditions imposed by our religious Law on those people who enjoyed its protection: these conditions have been and still are observed by Our coreligionists. If the Jews respect these conditions, Our Law prohibits the spilling of their blood and enjoins the protection of their belongings , but if they break so much as a single condition, {then -BY} Our blessed law permits their blood to be spilt and their belongings to be taken. Our glorious faith only allows them the marks of lowliness and degradation, thus the sole fact that a Jew raises his voice against a Muslim constitutes a violation of the conditions of protection. If in your country they are your equals in all matters, if they are assimilated to you, this is all well and good in your country, but not in Ours. Your status with Us is different from theirs; you are considered as {having the status of-BY} "reconciled," whereas they are the "protected."
Consequently, if one of them ventures into Our fortunate Empire in order to engage in commerce, he must conform to the same obligations as the "protected {peoples-BY}" in Our midst and adopt the same external signs {of discrimination -BY}. He who does not desire to observe these obligations would be wiser to stay in his own country, for we have no need of his commerce, if the latter is to be conducted in circumstances contrary to Our blessed law. . .
Ended the 20th of the holy month of dhu l-Hijja, of the year 1257 [= 1841]. [Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam from Jihad to Dhimmitude (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson, 1996), p389]
The sultan is expressing the general Muslim concept of dhimma, which holds non-Muslims in humiliating subjection --not unlike apartheid (although based on religion, not biological race or skin color)-- from Morocco to Indonesia. Some details of dhimma vary according to time and place, but in principle it is the same everywhere. The sultan makes clear that the "protection" granted to the Jews is very conditional --indeed uncertain-- to be sure. Nevertheless, Islam society and its oppressive ways have long found their loyal defenders in the West, both on the "Left" and the "Right." The Bolsheviks issued a pro-Islamic manifesto in late 1917, not long after the Bolshevik coup d'etat. This manifesto, "An Appeal to the Muslim Toilers of Russa and the East", totally disregarded the Muslim abuses of non-Muslim subjects of Muslim states, such as the Armenian genocide. The Bolshevik pro-Islamic stance has caused us suffering since then.
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Coming: More on the dhimma status in Morocco, Jews in Jerusalem, poems of Zion, BBC, etc.

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