Jews and Muslims: Images of Sephardi and Eastern Jewries in Transition

University of Washington Press
Publication - Aron Rodrigue

Following the rise of Islam, many Jewish communities lived in predominantly Muslim lands. Muslim-Jewish co-existence was not seriously challenged until the modern period when European colonialism and the emergence of Zionism and Arab nationalism led to growing friction and conflict, resulting in the mass departures of Jews from these lands in the middle of the twentieth century.

Jews and Muslims throws light on the history of these communities and on the developments that led to the snapping of ties between Jews and Muslims by focusing on the century before the end of Jewish life in these areas. It interweaves analysis with translations of primary documents drawn from the archives of a French-Jewish organization, the Alliance Israelite Universelle, that had an extensive Jewish school network around the Mediterranean basin and whose teachers reported extensively on local events and trends over the decades. It illuminates the political, socio-economic, and cultural changes that eroded the place of Jews in Middle Eastern societies and offers a unique perspective, from within, on the historical background of some of the most vexing problems of the modern Middle East.