chapter  1
Historical themes: Muslim–Jewish relations in the medieval Middle East and North Africa
Byand North Africa Josef (Yousef) Meri
Pages 20

Today the history of Muslim-Jewish relations in the Middle Ages is often filtered through the lens of polemics in the media. A sound interpretation of history requires a sound understanding based upon careful consideration of the positive and negative events that shaped history and exploring aspects of history beyond two extremes – a discourse that aims either to glorify history or vilify religion or the actors and events. This chapter will highlight some of the most significant historical themes and personalities in the encounter between Muslims and Jews during the Middle Ages. Such encounters sometimes involved Christians and others. Relations between communities cannot be regarded as static, compartmentalized, and fixed but rather as flexible and changing throughout the Middle Ages.