History of the Jews under Muslim rule  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Jewish communities have existed across the Middle East and North Africa since Antiquity. By the time of the Muslim conquests of the 7th century, these ancient communities had been ruled by various empires and included the Babylonian, Persian, Carthaginian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Yemenite Jews.

Jews under Islamic rule were given the status of dhimmi, along with certain other pre-Islamic religious groups. Though second-class citizens, these non-Muslim groups were nevertheless accorded certain rights and protections as "people of the book". During waves of persecution in Medieval Europe, many Jews found refuge in Muslim lands. For instance, Jews expelled from the Iberian Peninsula were invited to settle in various parts of the Ottoman Empire, where they would often form a prosperous model minority of merchants acting as intermediaries for their Muslim rulers.

Today, Jews residing in Muslim countries have been reduced to a small fraction of their former sizes, with Iran and Turkey being home to the largest remaining Jewish populations.

Middle Ages

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "History of the Jews under Muslim rule" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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