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From Forced Conversion to Marranism

Crypto-Jews in Morocco and Their Fate

Paul B. Fenton


This article traces the history of the forced conversion of Jews to Islam in al-Andalus and Morocco from the Middle Ages to modern times. An account is given of the various discriminative measures and even persecution to which Jewish converts were exposed. Indeed, even though they became with time sincere and learned Muslims, just as the Marranos in Christian Spain, the sincerity of their conversion was doubted and they were constantly accused of the negative traits attributed to the Jews. The article also discusses a recently discovered defence of the New Muslims authored by an Islamic scholar of Jewish origin which throws new light on the fate of these converts.

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Paul B. Fenton

Half a century has now elapsed since the first publication in 1950 of André Neher’s Amos, contribution à l’étude du prophétisme. Born in Obernai (Alsace) in 1914 and deceased in Jerusalem in 1988, André Neher was one of the great thinkers of contemporary Judaism. His initial career as a secondary-school German teacher was interrupted by the Second World War, which he spent exiled in the ‘Free Zone’ engaged in intensive Jewish study together with his father and brother.