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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 108



into such preposterous fancies and pretensions. He began to promenade the city on horseback every night, and on these occasions the inhabitants of Cairo vied with each other in illuminations, banquets, and other festive displays. As no limit was observed in these amusements, and a great deal of licentiousness was the natural result, the caliph forbade any woman to leave her house after nightfall, and prohibited the men from keeping their shops open after dusk. During the next two years, Hakem displayed an unbounded zeal for the Shiah sect, inflicting indignities upon " the enemies of 'Ah," and even putting many distinguished Sunnis to death. At the same time he commenced a rigorous persecution of the Jews and Christians: the more eminent persons of both religions were compelled either to embrace the Mohammedan creed, or to submit to an entire confiscation of their property—and, in many cases, to undergo a violent death ; while the common people were robbed and illtreated on all sides, and obliged to wear a ridiculous uniform, to distinguish them from their Muslim neighbours. Between the years 1004 and 1005, he became more extravagant and ridiculous in his behaviour than before. He prohibited the sale of certain vegetables, ordered that no one should enter the public baths without drawers upon pain of death, and caused anathemas to be written up, over the doors of all the mosques, against the first three caliphs, and all those persons whom history mentions as having been inimical to the family and succession of 'Ali. About this time he began to hold public assemblies, in which the peculiar doctrines of the Fatemite or Bateni sect were taught, and Muslims of all classes and both sexes presented themselves in crowds for initiation. The most ridiculous laws and ordinances were now promulgated : all persons were forbidden to show themselves in the streets after sunset; strict search was made for vessels containing wine, and wherever found they were broken to


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