17 April 2013
The Board of Deputies of British Jews is set to open “The Righteous Muslim Exhibition,” recognizing the efforts of Muslims to save Jews from the Holocaust during WWII. Located in Bloomsbury, central London, the exhibition will display 70 photographs of Muslims who helped hide Jews from the Nazis and will chronicle their individual stories. It is hoped that the exhibition will inspire more research into Muslim-Jewish cooperation and educate the young members of both communities.
Fiyaz Mughal, director of Faith Matters, applauded the exhibition, suggesting that it would challenge the notion, increasingly held in the Jewish community, that most Muslims supported the Nazi treatment of the Jews. In an interview with the BBC, Rabbi Natan Levy, exhibition coordinator, said, “This program provides a unique bridge between the two communities so that they can celebrate together, remember together, and not be driven further apart.”
The exhibition will be held at the Bloomsbury office of the Board of Deputies of British Jews: 6 Bloomsbury Square, London, Greater London.
News Agencies – September 28, 2011
Free Men (Les Hommes libres) tells the little known story of a handful of Muslim agents who fought for the French Resistance, and who used the Mosque of Paris as the base for operations that included rescuing Jewish fugitives and assassinating Vichy informants. For this reason alone, writer-director Ismael Ferroukhi’s second feature is worth a look, though it’s unfortunately a far too academic affair that never surges with the suspense of many a WWII drama. Despite the presence of stars Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) and Michael Lonsdale (Of Gods and Men), these fighters may have a hard time busting out of Gaul. Pyramide will release in late September.
The Bridging Communities program was created three years ago by the Los Angeles chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League out of concern that Muslims were struggling with some of the same burdens Japanese faced in the years after the Pearl Harbor bombing.
While organizers acknowledge the Japanese experience during WWII – when more than 100,000 were forced into camps – was much more intense than what Muslims have faced in a post-9/11 world, they say there are similarities in the fear and suspicion aimed at a specific group during wartime.
“Following 9/11, all three (organizing) groups noticed a parallel between how Japanese Americans were treated after World War II and how American Muslims were treated after 9/11,” said Alex Margolin, a program associate with the Japanese American Citizens League in LA.
After angry protesters hurled insults at Muslim families attending an Orange County charity event in March, the Japanese American Citizens League and Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, among others groups, showed up at city council meetings and press conferences to condemn the incident. (Note: The linked YouTube video was edited by the Council on American Islamic Relations. Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly, who appears in the clip, has said her comments at an earlier protest were taken out of context and she was not at the evening rally in which protesters yelled slurs outside the charity event.)
The Japanese American Citizens League was also among the first to issue a statement warning against intolerance toward Muslims immediately after the World Trade Center attacks, said Patty Wada, the league’s regional director.