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637 PACT OF OMAR

The pact is often ascribed to Omar I (Umar ibn al-Khattab), the second successor to Mohammed, although most historians believe it was only attributed to him by Omar II (Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz) an Umayyad caliph (r.717-720) known for his extremism. The pact determined the place of Jews in Moslem society. Jews were not allowed to build new synagogues, had to pray quietly and were forbidden from preventing other Jews from converting. They were also forbidden to ride horses or hold judicial or civil posts. In order to be easily distinguished from Moslems, they were eventually forced to wear a yellow patch (850), a practice the Christians later adopted. They were also banished from "Holy Arabia". In many Moslem countries (Saudi Arabia) some of the aspects of the pact are still in effect today.




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