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APPENDIX B.—JEWS IN PERSIA AND TURKISH KURDISTAN. 43
Centuries of persecution have not failed to stamp their effect in deep, broad characters upon the Persian Jews. Despised and persecuted, they are unable to command respect, or to arouse feelings of humanity in the breasts of their oppressors. Debarred from carrying on the ordinary trades of life, they have been compelled in many instances to earn their living by debased occupations. Taught by bitter experience to feel how unequal they invariably are to cope with the aggressions of the Mussulman population, they adapt their speech and conduct to their unfortunate condition. They passively submit to the vilest insults, whilst the petty acts of persecution gradually become habitual on the part of the Mussulmans. A Mussulman child may, with impunity, pull a Jew's beard and spit into his face. The poor Jew makes no complaint, and his resignation, taken as cowardice, is not calculated to act as a deterrent.
It is impossible for a European to form a conception of the sentiments of a Persian towards a Jew. Taught by tradition and custom to despise the Jew, as being an infidel and an impure and defiled creature, it is no wonder that the Mussulman acts towards him in a disgraceful manner. It is impossible for. Persians to imagine that in civilised countries the Jew is recognised as a human being who contributes his due share to the work and duties of society. The word " Jew" is considered as a term of disgrace, and is never used by a Persian without an apology for giving utterance to it. Is it surprising, then, that the Jews are ill-treated? Their cry for help will assuredly not fall ineffectually upon the ears of their brethren in lands where the blessings of education have rendered our co-religionists peaceful and prosperous. A movement may be set on foot for succouring our brethren in Persia by establishing schools in their midst, and by placing them on the road which leads to enlightenment and prosperity.
The information I have received concerning the Jews in Persia relates to their numbers, their synagogues, their schools, where Hebrew is taught, and their various occupations. Here has to be noticed that the Mussulmans never buy any kind of eatables from the Jews, because everything touched by a Jew is considered to become impure and defiled. Jews, therefore, dare not touch any such articles exposed for sale,as in that case they would be compelled to buy the victuals at any price the Mussulman vendor chose to exact. The Jews crowd together in their own quarters, where they have their own sales of fruit and other eatables. Their industry
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