100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

September 07, 1979 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-09-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Arab Mistreatment of Jews Has
Been Systematic for 1,000 Years

By ELIAS COOPER

(Editor's note: This ar-
ticle, the second in a
series, is excerpted from
"The Roots of Arab Hos-
tility," an eight-page arti-
cle which was published
in the June-July issue of
the American Zionist.
The late Dr. Cooper was
editor of the magazine
and professor of history
at Bronx Community Col-
lege.)
A comparative record of
Jewish experience in
iristian and • Moslem
lands would yield the fol-
lowing general picture:
while Jews suffered more
severe massacres in Chris-
tian environments, the pat-
tern of discrimination
against them, based on
theocratic perceptions, was
quite as complete under the
Crescent as under the
Cross.
The basic pattern of
Arab-Islamic discrimina-
tion against religious
minorities was established
by one• of the early suc-
cessors of the Prophet
Mohammed, the Caliph
Omar, who issued a series of
decrees which came to be
known as the Pact of Omar.
Its purpose was to regulate
the status of Jews and
Christians, who were
jointly referred to as dhim-
mis, i.e. "people of the pact,"
and to provide positive
demonstration of Islam's
superiority over antecedent
revealed religions by impos-
ing restrictions on non-
Moslems to .underscore
their inferiority.
Dhimmis were to pay a
land tax and poll tax from
which Moslems were
exempt; though permitted
to maintain their existing
religious institutions and
communal ' • self-
government, dhimmi com-
munities were forbidden to
erect new houses of worship,
which were in any case not
allowed to compete in size or
splendor with Moslem
structures; the testimony of
dhimmis was usually inad-
missible and always un-
equal to that of Moslems in
a court of law; they were not
allowed to ride horses or to
bear arms, or in any way of-
fend the dignity of a Mos-
lem.
Subsequently, restric-
tions were placed on the
kinds of clothing they
could wear, occupations
they could pursue, and
the areas in which they
:ould reside (the Arab
Jersion of the ghetto pre-
ceded the European
variety). While some of
these rules were relaxed
in some localities in cer-
tain times, they formed
the general pattern of
Jewish existence in Arab
lands in to the 20th Cen-
tury.
One reason for the as-
sumption that Jews were
better off under Islam than
under Christianity is that
up to the modern era, when
European powers estab-
lished control over most of
the lands of Islam, it was the

Christians who suffered
most from Moslem in-
tolerance.
From the Moslem con-
quest of Christian Spain to
the final defeat of the Chris-
tian Byzantine Empire, the
Moslem world was in a state
of nearly 'continuous war
with Christian Europe for
eight centuries. And, with
the exception of the rela-
tively brief triumph of the
Crusaders, the Christians
were on the losing. side.
Those Christians who
came under Islamic control
suffered frequent mas-
sacres, and those who lived
behind Moslem lines were
not only despised but sus-
pected as a fifth column.
The Jews, on the other
Band, presented no secu-
rity risk for the Arab 'and
other Islamic overlords
until the 20th Century
when the Zionist renewal
in Palestine threatened
to put an end to the
dhimmi status that the
Arabs had imposed on
them.
When Arab- spokesmen
nowadays stress the "equal-
ity" that had been accorded
to Jews in Arab countries,
they conveniently forget
that this condition, not only
for Jews but also for Chris-
tians, was limited to those
Arab areas that came under
European control in the
19th and 20th Centuries:
Algeria (1830), Tunisia
(1881),,Egypt (1882), Libya
(1911)Norocco (1912), and
the Levant (circa 1918).
In those Arab countries
where European law was
not introduced, as in
Yemen, Jews continued to
live under the humiliating
and oppressive Medieval
regimen imposed on them
by Islamic jurisprudence.
That the equality and se-
curity that Jews gained in
Arab countries controlled
by European powers was
due entirely to European
imposition against local
custom is underscored by
the circumstance that when
the European powers
granted independence to
their Arab colonies and pro-
tectorates, the situation of
the Jews invariably. deter-
iorated, on occasion to the
point of the loss of physical
security.
although
Thus,
Zionism as a modern
political movement
emerged first among
European Jews, it also
represented a means of
escaping oppression for
Jews in Arab-ruled
lands.

Post-koranic Islamic
teaching also places Jews
among the enemies of Is-
lam. Thus, the orthodox
school of Islam always ac-
cused Jews of being the
source of the most difficult
schismatic developments
within Islam.
Those within Islam who
challenged the idea of the
divine verbal inspiration of
the Koran and claimed that
the Koran was created by
Mohammed were accused of

Friday, September 1, 1919 15

BALFOUR CELEBRATION

following the teaching of a
particular Jew (Labid ibn al
Asim), and the Shiite
heresy within Islam was
likewise consigned to an
"evil Jew" — Abd Allah bin
Saba, a convert to Islam
who was accused of insin-
cerity.
Modern students of Islam
have raised doubts about
these allegations, but these
charges demonstrate a Mos-
lem tendency to ascribe to
Jews whatever might at any
time go wrong in the world
of Islam.
There is even a Moslem
conception of a kind of
devil in the form of an
anti-prophet with a
Jewish appearance and
intent. Contemporary Is-
lamic teaching on this
point is very blunt: "Al-
lah commands the Mos-
lems to fight the friends
of Satan wherever they
are found. Among the
friends of Satan — indeed
among the foremost
friends of Satan in our
present age are the
Jews."
From the point of view of
both Arab traditionalists
and radicals or modernists,
modern. Israel fits into the
demonology of Jewry quite
perfectly. From the view-
point of both camps, Israel is
merely the modern incarna-
tion of the enemy in the
Arab midst.
To Arab radicals, the
great enemy for many de-
cades has been Western im-
perialism, and Israel is
viewed by them as the last
vestige of the imperialistic
challenge the Arabs have
had to confront.
For orthodox Moslems,
the relatively brief con-
trol over the Arab world
(1918-1945) exercised by
Christian powers repre-
sented a contradiction of
Islamic claims to divinely
ordained superiority. It
was a calamitous event
for Islamic tradi-
tionalism when the first
people to successfully
challenge Western power
were the Jews of Pales-
tine, who established a
new state, Israel, in
reality a reincarnation of
the ancient Jewish king-
dom.
This despised people,
though fit only for subordi-
nation by Islam, had chal-
lenged a modern industrial
power, Britain, and, what
was worse, had defeated the
armies of several Arab
states.
The shock of being de-
feated by the despised Jews,
the former dhimmis, actu-
ally caused Arab theolo-
gians to search for some
sign in the Koran that this
was only a setback along the
road to an Arab victory.
Israel's success, there-
fore, represents a real chal-
lenge to Islam and the tradi-
tional concept of the Arabs'
place in the world and that
is why the Jewish state has
suffered repeated, if futile,
military attack, and relent-
less economic and political
warfare.

.

PRESENTS

A never-to-be forgotten evening of Music and Mirth!

Sunday, Oct. 21, 1979
Ford Auditorium

Paul Zim

7:30 p.m.

Sy Kleinman

"Vocal Virtuoso'

"Raconteur Extraordinaire"

SIDNEY SILVERMAN
President

:MAX SOSIN

DR. LESTER ZEFF

Co-Chairman

MRS SIDNEY Z. LEIB
Women's committee Chairperson

MRS. BERNARD WESTON
MRS. I. WALTER SILVER
Golden Sponsor Chairpersons.

GENERAL CONCERT COMMITTEE

CANTOR & MRS. SIMON BERMANIS
DR. & MRS. SANFORD A. BENNETT
MR. & MRS. SIDNEY L. BRAND
MR. & MRS. ALBERT BURKE
DR. & MRS. DANIEL BURMAN
PHILIP CHAPNICK
JULIAN M. COHEN
WALTER L. FIELD
RABBI LEON FRAM
DR. & MRS. ALEX S. FRIEDLAENDER
DR. & MRS. SIDNEY FRIEDLAENDER
MRS. SARAH GORDON
DR. & MRS. JACK R. GREENBERG
RABBI IRWIN GRONER
DR. & MRS. JOEL I. HAMBURGER
DR. & MRS. MAXWELL M. HOFFMAN
MRS. NORMA T. HUDOSH
MR. & MRS. MORRIS M. JACOBS
DR. & MRS. LOUIS L. KAZDAN
MRS. PAULINE B. KLEIN
MR. & MRS. RICHARD B. KRAMER
DR. SIDNEY Z. LEIB
MR. & MRS. SQL LIFSITZ

DR. & MRS. THEODORE MANDELL
DR. & MRS. HAROLD A. MAXMEN
MR.. & MRS. MAX NOSANCHUK
CANTOR HAROLD ORBACH
MR. & MRS. LOUIS PANUSH
MR. & MRS. JOSEPH POHL
LEONARD L. RADNER
MR. & MRS. JULIUS RING
MR. & MRS. SHERMAN SHAPIRO
MR. & MRS. HERZL SHUR
MR. & MRS. MARVIN SIEGEL
DR. I. WALTER SILVER
MR. & MRS. ALLAN H. SILVERMAN
MRS. SIDNEY SILVERMAN
MR. & MRA. PHILIP SLOMOVITZ
& MRS. CARMI SLOMOVITZ
DRS. SION & ELAINE SOLEYMANI
MRS. MAX SOSIN
HON. MICHAEL L. STACEY
DR. & MRS. EDWARD TREISMAN
DR. BERNARD WESTON
MRS. ALBERT FINKELSTEIN
Executive Director

SPONSORED BY THE ZIONIST ORGANIZATION OF AMERICA
THE DETROIT DISTRICT
18451 W. 10 MILE ROAD, SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN, PHONE 569-1515

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan