London Exhibition To Bridge Muslim-Jewish Divides
Launched by the Board of Deputies of British Jews in Bloomsbury, London, the exhibition will aim to strengthen Muslim and Jewish relationships, recounting stories of heroism from the past.
Some 70 Muslims will have their stories explored at the exhibition, all of them having also been added to the Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to victims of the Holocaust.
The Yad Vashem honours nearly 25,000 so-called “righteous persons” who risked their lives to protect the Jewish community during Nazi Germany’s reign of terror.
The exhibition will also document the story of Bosnian Muslims who went to great lengths to preserve Jewish tradition by safeguarding the Sarajevo Haggadah, a 600-year-old manuscript that contains the illustrated traditional text of the Passover Haggadah which accompanies the Passover Seder.
Above all, it will hope to inspire new research into instances of collaboration between the Muslim and Jewish communities for a better future.
Fiyaz Mughal, director of the charity Faith Matters hopes the exhibition will inspire young followers of both religions to research this area in partnership: “That’s the best thing for empathy and cohesion: shared learning and a common pride in who we are.”
Rabbi Natan Levy, an exhibition co-ordinator, 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.”
“There are some small sections in Jewish communities who are trying to rewrite history and say that Muslims overwhelmingly helped the Nazis,” said Fiyaz. “And on the other side, there is a small section of the Muslim community who do not want to talk about the Holocaust for the sake of not wanting to build up an empathy with Jewish communities. That is unacceptable, because factually it’s untrue.”