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Interrupting a History of Tolerance: Anti-Semitism and the Arabs

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The anti-Semitic rhetoric of many Islamist groups is qualitatively different from the reflective jurisprudence associated with the treatises of classical Islam. There is little evidence of any deep rooted anti-Semitism in the classical Islamic world. Jews have lived under Islamic rule for 14 centuries and in many lands, they were never free from discrimination but were rarely subjected to persecution as in Christian Europe. Most of the characteristic features of European-Christian anti-Semitism were absent from the Jewish-Muslim relations. This paper examines the growth of anti-Semitism in Arab-Muslim world and identifies some of the historical events which have contributed to this development.

Affiliations: 1: Flinders University


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