October 30, 1998
The majority of the Jews of Iraq in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries lived in three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul. In the first half of the nineteenth century a process of modernization began in the Jewish community, paralleling the policy of Westernization and modernization in the Ottoman Empire, as reflected in the Tanzimet. The Jewish community was declared a millet, a religious community enjoying internal autonomy in religion and education. Like other minorities within the empire, the Jewish community was granted equal rights and security of life.