A Jew and a Muslim came together at the House of Lords to tell their story
Who were the Muslim Schindlers and Nicholas Wintons who saved Jewish lives during the Holocaust? A prominent Muslim and a prominent Jew come together this Monday at The House of Lords to tell the inspiring but little-known story of the righteous Muslims who, often risking their own lives, saved thousands of Jews from death in the dark days of World War Two. It’s a timely reminder of the good that can be done in the name of faith.
Fiyaz Mughal, Director of Faith Matters, and Rabbi Natan Levy, the Board of Deputies Interfaith and Social Action consultant, together spoke about the actions that some Muslims took during the Holocaust. Hosted by Lord Sheikh, who commended the initiative, they told of the moral and physical courage of individuals who believed in doing what was right. These stories of positive Muslim and Jewish interaction, even at the darkest moments in history, show a common bond and a link between people of two faiths who believe in the compassion of God and in the sanctity of life
Fiyaz Mugal said “The story of Muslims in the Holocaust is deliberately and mischievously being re-written post 9/11 as though Muslims generally supported the efforts of the Nazis. We are taking this opportunity to honour those regarded as ‘Righteous’ by Yad Vashem, who were Muslim and who have been honoured for risking their lives and the lives of their families in protecting the lives of persecuted Jews.”
Rabbi Natan Levy, co-ordinator of the associated exhibition, said: “This programme provides a unique bridge between the two communities, so that they can celebrate together, remember together, and not be driven further apart.”
Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to victims of the Holocaust, honours nearly 25,000 so-called “righteous persons” who risked their lives to protect the Jewish community during Nazi Germany’s reign of terror. Some 70 Muslims have recently been added to the list.
Jehangir Sarosh, Executive Director Religions for Peace UK hoped that the multi-faith attendance at this important will inspire followers of both religions to research this area in partnership.
Our speakers were:
Fiyaz Mughal OBE FCMI
Fiyaz Mughal is the Founder and Director of Faith Matters, which works on reducing extremism and developing platforms for discourse and interaction between Muslim, Sikh, Christian and Jewish communities right across the UK. Faith Matters also works extensively on community cohesion, interfaith, conflict resolution and prevent programmes at a local, national and international level. Fiyaz was previously a Councillor in Haringey (2006-2010) and a Councillor in Oxford (2002-2004). He was also appointed to the Working Group for Communities that was linked to the Extremism Task Force developed in 2005 after the 7/7 bombings. In early 2008, Fiyaz was successful in becoming an elected member IDeA Peer Mentor for national work with local authorities on the Preventing Violent Extremism agenda. He was also appointed member of the Local Delivery Advisory Group on Preventing Violent Extremism and was Advisor to the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg MP, on interfaith and preventing radicalisation and extremism.
Rabbi Natan Levy
Rabbi Levy is the interfaith and social action consultant for the Board of Deputies of British Jews. He received his rabbinical ordination in Israel from Rabbi Brovender and Rabbi Riskin in 2006. Rabbi Levy is the environmental liaison to the Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, and the co-author of “Sharing Eden: Green Teachings from Jews, Christians and Muslims”. He holds a MA in Jewish Studies from King’s College, London, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in environmental theology at Bristol University. www.bod.org.uk
Our host at the House of Lords:
Lord Sheikh is a Conservative Peer, businessman, academic and philanthropist. www.lordsheikh.com
For more information of this or other events in the “Saving the Other” series, please contact:
Stephen Herman 07825189263 / Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org