German dictator Adolf Hitler’s strong belief in the theory of ‘lebensraum’ led to racial segregation and persecution of Jews and other people in the Europe during World War II. In Nazi ideology, only Aryan race, predominant in Germany and other northern European countries, was the highest in racial hierarchy. This ideology laid the basis for the second great war.
Muslims and Jews have often been presented as enemies to each other, however the historical events tell us that they had had a relation of cooperation and assistance. Remembering these events is essential amid rise in portrayal of bad image of Muslims in the foreign media.
Several Muslims had risked their lives to rescue Jews from persecution during the World War II. There are several stories which manifest that Muslims and Jewish people enjoyed friendly ties. An Iranian diplomat Abdol Hossein Sardari had helped a large number of Jews by issuing passports to escape Nazi abuse. Khaled Abdul Wahab had given refuge to more than 30 Jews in Tunisia for four months until the occupation ended. Abdul Wahab is also called the Oskar Schindler (a German businessman and Nazi party member who protected scores of Jews) of Arab.
A Muslim family had sheltered famous holocaust survivor Johanna Neumann and her mother in Albania.
“They put their lives on the line to save us. If it had come out that we were Jews, the whole family would have been killed,” Neumann had told TIME.
Shaykh Taieb el-Okbi had issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to not to attack Jews.
There are several other accounts establishing good relations between both the religious groups. Now is the time for the Jewish people to pay back, as Muslims are facing the same situation which Jews once faced around the world.
According to a FBI report, hate crimes against Muslims had risen by 67 percent in 2015 in the United States in just one year.
Almost all the European and African countries had abetted in the genocide of Jews, but none Arab country participated in this inhuman act of Adolf Hitler. Muslim scholars had opposed the offer made to Algerians by French colonial officials to take over the Jewish properties.
Muslims not only helped the Jews in the Middle East but elsewhere as well. Si Kaddour Benghabrit, the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris helped about 500 Jews by disguising them as Muslims. Several Muslims in Albania had protected Jews from becoming victim of genocide.
“A history of co-tolerance of Jews and Muslims was suppressed by the language of the politicians who used the religious and geopolitical techniques of pitting them against one another,” Mehnaz M. Afridi wrote in ‘The Role of Muslims and the Holocaust’, while highlighting current situation between followers of the two faiths.
Mohammad Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League, in a long letter to the director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum had, on behalf of Muslims, expressed “great sympathy with the victims of the Holocaust, an incident that shook humanity to the core, and created an event whose horrors could not be denied or underrated by any fair-minded or peace-loving person.”
He said his letter was published immediately in English and Arabic on his organisation’s website and he had received messages from all over the world. He said no reputable scholar stood against his views, but they endorsed him.
The history establishes the fact that Muslims and Jews had once lived in harmony and supported each other. Specially Muslims of Tunisia, Algeria, Albania, Libya, and Morocco rescued and protected Jews from genocide, so now is the time for Jews all over the world to pay back when Muslims are facing persecution in Kashmir, Burma and even in Palestine, the country which hosted Jews at the time when the world rejected them.