More history of Jews in Iran - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Rustam
    • 31.12.07 | 20:41 (IST)

    Lord Curzon described the regional differences in the situation of the Persian Jews in 19th century: "In Isfahan, where they are said to be 3,700 and where they occupy a relatively better status than elsewhere in Persia, they are not permitted to wear kolah or Persian headdress, to have shops in the bazaar, to build the walls of their houses as high as a Moslem neighbour's, or to ride in the street. In Teheran and Kashan they are also to be found in large numbers and enjoying a fair position. In Shiraz they are very badly off. In Bushire they are prosperous and free from persecution."[16] Another European traveller reported a degrading ritual to which Jews were subjected for public amusement: At every public festival ? even at the royal salaam [salute], before the King?s face ? the Jews are collected, and a number of them are flung into the hauz or tank, that King and mob may be amused by seeing them crawl out half-drowned and covered with mud. The same kindly ceremony is witnessed whenever a provincial governor holds high festival: there are fireworks and Jews.[17] In the 19th century there were many instances of forced conversions and massacres, usually inspired by the Shi'a clergy. A representative of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, a Jewish humanitarian and educational organization, wrote from Tehran in 1894: "?every time that a priest wishes to emerge from obscurity and win a reputation for piety, he preaches war against the Jews".[18] In 1830, the Jews of Tabriz were massacred; the same year saw a forcible conversion of the Jews of Shiraz.

    from the article: Endangering the Jews of Iran
    First published 00:00 31.12.07 | Last updated 00:00 31.12.07
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