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Commercial privileges granted by Muslim states, especially the Ottoman and Persian Empires, to Christian European states to conduct trade. Based on the principle of aman (safe conduct), capitulations set custom rates; established the security of life, property, and religion; and established channels to settle legal disputes. As the balance of power shifted toward western Europe, they were used to obtain privileges and extraterritorial status for Europeans and their clients in Muslim lands, so that by the nineteenth century they became instruments of imperialist exploitation. They were abolished in the Ottoman Empire in 1914, in Iran in 1928, and in Egypt in 1937.

Subjects: Islam.

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