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Pakistan's Mock Devshirme

Reader comment on item: Modern-day Versions of Military Slavery

Submitted by Jack Berger (United States), Jun 16, 2006 at 13:14

Your discussion of the Ottoman practice of devsirme immediately brought to mind the infamous anti-Semitic ukase of Czar Nicholas I of Russia, under which young Jewish boys were forcibly conscripted into the Czar's Army for a term of service of 25 years.

This policy was clearly aimed at undermining the Jewish community, and hasten its assimilation into the Russian mass.

One wonders if the idea for this travesty has its origins in the earlier Ottoman practice.

A parallel thread can be found in the matter of the Nazi use of the Yellow Star. If one goes back to the 12th and 13th centuries, one discovers that the Roman Catholic Church persecuted the Cathars as heretics, and forced them to wear a yellow crucifix. They, in turn may have gotten the idea from the Moors in Spain, who were wont to do this to all manner of infidels, but Jews in particular.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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