Ezra the Scribe shrine now a mosque

Post by Ahmed Saleh ALhasnawi.

With thanks: IraqiJews (of Babylon)

This recent video of the shrine of Ezra the Scribe ( Uzair) in Amara province was shot by Ahmed Saleh Alhasnawi.

 The shrine is unmistakeably a mosque, even though the local Shi’a have apparently no tradition of having revered it as a Muslim holy place.

Koranic inscriptions and hadith hang on the walls and much green paint has been used to decorate the building.

But Hebrew inscriptions still survive, namely the large ‘Yahweh’ typical of Jewish holy places in Iraq. There are marble tablets in Hebrew built into the walls. Look through a window into the sarcophagus and you will see an inscription in Hebrew identifying it as the final resting place of Ezra the Scribe.


Renovation to the brickwork also seems to be going on at the Yeshiva nearby. Repairs in 2000 are thought to have been paid for by the tiny Jewish community in Baghdad.

David Ozair (now living in Israel) comments on the IraqiJews Facebook page that he is a descendant of Ezra the Scribe and that his family, who were settled in Babylon for 2,500 years, all speak fluent Arabic. He hopes one day to visit his ancestor’s shrine.


  • Outrageous! yes. But it is unbelievable that such heritage still exists but denied to Jews who want to visit and most sadly unrecognized by arab-muslim nationalists as identifiably Jewish to the core.

    I think of it as a symbolic usurpation of Iraqi (Babylonian) Jewish identity of the first order, by making it their own. Blind usurpation and demagogical revisionist.

    It is Ezra the scribe, the one whom God allowed to define Judaism as we know it today. The person who after the first exile to Babylon then a return to Cannan by the Persian empire had to make Judaism codified and culturally institutionalized in order to it survive this long.

    How can such usurpation of cultural and religious identity be possible, even under irrefutable proof of Hebrew language signs, relics, and artifacts? I simply cannot understand. Only Islam (the religion of war and submission to their will of their God) can answer this, but I already know the answer. Submit to the will of "whatever" and live or else die or disappear.

    Sad indeed.


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