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forbidden, moreover, to testify in favour of a Jew against a Mussulman.
j. It is impossible to appeal to a higher tribunal than that in which the sentence has been passed.
Wh ich of these measures are especially disastrous and hard ? The impossibility of appealing to a higher tribunal. Such a step would draw upon the applicant the anger of the local Government, and would in a majority of cases endanger his life.
6th. What are the special taxes levied upon the Jews, and how are these collected ? The Governors do not adhere to the table of taxes prescribed by the Divan of the Shah, but always extort at least three times as much. The taxes are collected in the most violent and harsh manner, and in case of non-payment the chief members of the community are at once thrown into prison.
7th. Have they a?iy other grievatices not specified in the preceding questions ? Many who were compelled to embrace Islamism would gladly return to the religion of their fathers, did not the existing laws and the fanaticism of the people place them in danger of losing their lives, were they to do so. AtMesched alone, the chief town of Khoras-san, there are a thousand of these individuals. The whole community was converted about 34 years ago : they however secretly observe as much as possible the religion of their fathers ; but were they to do so publicly it would cost them their lives.
8th. What are the best means of affording them assistance ? They are far from wishing to expatriate themselves, for although oppressed they love their country. They place their hopes in your Society, and that it may intercede in such manner as it deems best with the Government of the Shah to ameliorate their condition.
9th. IVhat is, generally speaking, their material, intellectual, at id moral condition ? Pauperism reigns everywhere among them. Those who are in the more easy circumstances fear to show it. They are generally speaking quick and intelligent. Few men are to be met with among them who are unable to write in running Hebrew character, and fewer still who cannot read and understand their daily prayers, and the Bible. True it is that the oppression to which they are subjected has caused them to contract certain bad habits, but the Persian Jew is notwithstanding polite, hospitable, of a generous nature, and generally speaking, far superior to his Mussulman fellow-countrymen.
I am, &c.,
T. Lurion, President.
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