Jews and Muslims in Cyprus: Positive Aspects of Coexistence
Cyprus is not only the island of Aphrodite and love, it is also a meeting place for many people and cultures. There is evidence of a Jewish presence in Cyprus since the Hellenistic period dating back to the third century BCE, when there were trade relations established between Cyprus and the Land of Israel. The Jews had close relationships with many of the other religious groups on the island and were perceived favourably by the first Muslims who arrived here in seventh century CE. This chapter endeavours to present Jewish-Muslim relations, emphasising the past three centuries, including Ottoman and British rule, to the present day. Jews as adherents of a religion revealed by God, possessed a scripture, and were given a better status than those who were non-monotheistic given by Muslim authorities. Conversely, Jews suffered greatly after World War II when they traveled to Palestine via Cyprus, as it became a safehaven, where Jews, aided by Muslim and Christians were kept in refugee camps before being transported to Israel. This study examines historical conditions that led to friendship and intercultural understanding, which has been the foundation of positive modern coexistence, trade, and exchanges of ideas in the present day. In addition, it answers the following questions: Were Jews able to keep their religion and be treated equally? How did Ottoman Muslims treat the Jews and how do Turkish Cypriots, an important population group on the island today treat Jews? How do cultural and religious differences influence interethnic, intercultural and interreligious relations today?
- an-Nawawī, Y. i.-Š. (2007). Das Buch der Vierzig Hadithe: Kitāb al-Arbaʿīn. Ins Deutsche übersetzt und kommentiert von Marco Schöller. Berlin: Verlag der Weltreligionen.Google Scholar
- Ben-Artzi, Y. (2015). Historical perspectives on jewish rural settlement in cyprus 1883–1939. In G. Kazamias & G. Antoniou (Eds.), Cypriot-Jewish relations. Histοrical and international relations perspectives. Nicosia: University of Cyprus Press.Google Scholar
- Bevan, E. (1999). Stoics and sceptics: Four lectures delivered in oxford during the Hilary term  for the common university fund. New York: Elibron Classics.Google Scholar
- Christodoulou, D. (1959). The evolution of the rural land use pattern in Cyprus. London: Geographical Publications.Google Scholar
- Cleveland, W. (2013). A history of the modern middle east. Boulder: Westview.Google Scholar
- Demosthenous, A. (1999). Rechtskollisionen bei der Auflösung von Mischehen zwischen Muslimen und Andersgläubigen. Der Islam, 76(2), 313–333.Google Scholar
- Georghallides, G. (1979). A political and administrative history of Cyprus 1918–1926. With a survey of the foundations of British rule. Nicosia: Scientific Research Centre.Google Scholar
- Jennings, R. (1993). Christian and Muslims in ottoman Cyprus and the mediterranean world, 1571–1640. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
- Kaldellis, A. (2007). Hellenism in Byzantium: The transformations of Greek identity and the reception of the classical tradition. Greek culture in the Roman world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Keser, U. (2009). Turkish assistance activities for the Jewish immigrants and Jewish immigrant camps on Cyprus during the second world war. Ege Academic Review, 9(2), 735–758.Google Scholar
- Kyrris, C. P. (1992). Presence and activities of Jews and Mohametans in Cyprus from the beginning of the Christian era down to the end of Ottoman occupation. In Metodología: La Biografía Histórica (Vol. 2, pp. 617–621). Madrid: Comité International des Sciences Historiques.Google Scholar
- Laks, A. & Most, G. W. (2016) Early Greek Philosophy, Volume 1: Introductory and Reference Materials. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Lewis, B. (1999). The multiple identities of the Middle East. New York: Schocken Books.Google Scholar
- Marcus, J. R. (1999). The Jew in the Medieval World. A Source Book. Cincinnati: The Union of American Hebrew Congregations.Google Scholar
- Mathopoulou, E. (2015). Pioneers in a stagnant economy: Jewish presence in British Cyprus, 1899–1939. In G. Kazamias & G. Antoniou (Eds.), Cypriot-Jewish relations. Histοrical and international relations perspectives (pp. 28–49). Nicosia: University of Cyprus.Google Scholar
- Mathopoulou, E. (2016). The Jewish presence in Cyprus 1878–1949: Ideological and socio-political perceptions, entrepreneurship and innovation in a colonial setting. PhD dissertation. Department of History and Archeology, University of Cyprus.Google Scholar
- Papadopoulos, F. (2011). Religion: Church and religious communities in Cyprus. Nicosia: Pedagocical Institute. Ministry of Education and Culture.Google Scholar
- Petasis, A. (Ed.). (2016). Intractable dilemmas in the energy-rich Eastern Mediterranean. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
- Podeh, E., & Alayan, S. (2018). (Eds.), Multiple alterities. Views of others in textbooks of the Middle East. Palgrave studies in educational media. Switzerland: Palgrave MacMillan, Springer International Publishing.Google Scholar
- Selikow, G. (2012). Jerusalem: The biography. Jewish Affairs, 43.Google Scholar
- Thucydides (1910). The Peloponnesian war (trans: Crawley, R.). London: J.M. Dent; New York: E.P. Dutton.Google Scholar
- Tirosh-Samuelson, H. (2003). Happiness in premodern Judaism: Virtue, knowledge, and well being Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press.Google Scholar
- Collard, C., & Cropp, M. (2008). Euripides fragments. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. https://www.loebclassics.com/view/euripidesdramatic_fragments/2008/pb_LCL504.171.xml. Accessed 26 March 2018.
- CyprusMail. (2017). Religious leaders committed to dialogue, dismayed at state of churches. http://cyprus-mail.com/2017/11/17/religious-leaders-committed-dialogue-dismayed-state-churches/. Accessed 22 March 2017.
- Marx, K. (1954) Declaration of war: On the history of the eastern question. Herald Tribune. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1854/03/28.htm. Accessed 22 March 2018.
- Poullados, M. (2016). Colonization as a vehicle of Islam. Sigma live. http://www.sigmalive.com/simerini/politics/306043/o-epoikismos-os-oxima-tou-islam. Accessed 19 March 2018
- United Nations Peacekeeping. (2017). Religious leaders of Cyprus meet on international day of tolerance. https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/religious-leaders-of-cyprus-meet-international-day-of-tolerance. Accessed 22 March 2017.
- The Statute Laws of Cyprus. No. 16 (1936). A law to regulate and control immigration, Supplement to The Cyprus Gazette, 390–399. http://www.cylaw.org.