The Divergence of Judaism and Islam. Interdependence, Modernity, and Political Turmoil

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Issues of Jewish History as Reflected in Modern Egyptian Historiography · 245

is the following: “These events always had a pattern of single cases with
no element of perseverance or consistency. They cannot refute the notion
that the social relations between the Muslim Egyptians and the Jews and
Christians were to a large extent natural and in most cases good.”^41
As to the existence of decrees by the rulers about establishing a dress
code and limiting the freedom of employment, he claims that they were
inconsistently implemented and that the restrictions were gradually re-
moved and even disappeared entirely during some periods. To prove it,
he quotes the Jewish researcher Shlomo Goitien, who stated that among
the Geniza documents there were no signs of the special clothing or other
regulations relating to the period of al-Ḥakem bi ̓Amr Allah.^42 Moreover,
he writes that the fact that the researchers discovered extensive documen-
tation of the Sultans’ decrees about the restrictions of the Jews regarding
administrative positions and clothing (mainly during the Mamluk pe-
riod) proves that the protected charges did not always abide by these
restrictions and therefore they had to be enforced again and again by new
decrees, because “if the regulations were implemented, there would have
been no need for these decrees.”^43
At this point it should be mentioned that even in cases where Qa-
sem discovers that the Jews were not to blame for the hostility toward
them, he blames not the Arab population but their Mamluk and Ottoman
rulers, whom he considers representatives of a foreign power. From his
point of view, ignoring the spirit of the ̔Umar decrees by the rulers led
to the agitation of the crowd, who were generally more religious than the
rulers and who considered ignoring the ̔Umar regulations as contempt
for religious decrees.

Jewish History in Modern Times

Among the researchers who deal with the history of the Jews in mod-
ern times, the important ones are Aḥmad Shalabi, Saber Abd el Rahman
Ṭu ̔ayma, and Ḥasan Ẓaẓ. They discuss the principles of the Jewish faith
as they had learned it from the Bible and the Mishna, the Talmud, and the
Aggadah. The main aim of these works is to trace the relations of modern
Jews with their environment and point out the ideas of the chosen people
and the Promised Land as the source of the problem in these relations.
Research of social and economic importance can be found in the works

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