Claude Anet on the Consequences for Jews Living Amongst a “Fanatical and Hostile” Persian Shiite Population, Circa 1905

Jean Schopfer, nom de plume Claude Anet (May 28, 1868—January 9, 1931),  was a tennis player who reached two singles finals at the Amateur French Championships, winning in 1892, and losing in 1893. Schopfer/ Anet’s Through Persia in a Motor-Car, published in English translation during 1907, chronicled his ~1905 first hand observations of the chronic plight of Iran’s Jews under Iran’s Qajar dynasty Shiite theocracy, despite the alleged “Constitutional movement” era reforms. Notice the continued application of Shiite Islam’s heinous “najas” or impurity regulations, based upon the perceived physical (as well as spiritual) “contamination” of the non-Muslim infidel Jews.

Living in the midst of a fanatical and hostile population, Jews in Persia are reduced to the last extremity of degradation. Nearly all trades are forbidden to them; everything they touch is considered defiled. They cannot even live in the house of a Mussulman. There is very little justice in Persia for anybody—for the Jews there is none at all. Every possible exaction is practiced on them; nobody takes their part; and they live in appalling poverty, while their moral and physical degradation is beyond description.

 Claude Anet. Through Persia in a Motor-Car, translated by M. B. Ryley, London, 1907, p. 221.


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