China, Space Weapons, and U.S. Security (Csr) by Bruce W. Macdonald

By Bruce W. Macdonald

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In the earlier discussion of the Saªdis’ use of “bi-lis1n al-biny1n,” the creation of the mellah was shown to be one facet in a larger preoccupation with sultanic authority in Jewish memory. When the changes in the city’s topography are viewed through the lens of the Saªdi struggle for legitimacy, however, the mellah becomes absolutely central. By adopting an unambiguous position of authority toward the ahl al-dhimma, one that could be clearly read on the landscape of the capital, the Saªdi sultan could successfully buttress his claims against his detractors.

For one thing, it was extremely porous: from the moment of the mellah’s creation, Muslims passed through its gate on an almost daily basis to pursue all manner of activities. For another, Jewish space and Christian space were in many cases contiguous, because the mellah and the Kasbah shared a wall. 86) The customs house was also nearby. 87 Moreover, according to Saªdi regulations, all non-Muslim foreigners were required to be housed in the mellah itself. 90 Indeed there was a long tradition of housing captives inside the mellah’s walls,91 and in 1660 the Franciscan church was definitively relocated to the Jewish quarter when the sultan objected to its high towers, seen as potential citadels, located so close to the royal palace.

Woman! You must change the place of your residence. ” said the woman. “I will not change the place of my residence. ” “Leave her where she is,” the King commanded his soldiers. ” When the old woman died, the Jews buried her in the cemetery, while the Moslems hurried to the King to inform him of her death. Then the King commanded: “Let the Jewess’ room remain shut for ever. ” And so it was. The room was closed and over the woman’s grave they built a wall, which stands there to this day. 21 While the date is entirely plausible, a few notes of caution regarding it are nonetheless warranted.

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