LONDON – A new publication highlighting Muslim acts of heroism during the
Holocaust will be published on Wednesday, chronicling the role played by Muslims
who defended Jews during World War II.
The 34-page booklet, titled “The
Role of Righteous Muslim Persons,” was initiated by Faith Matters, a London-based
interfaith organization that works toward reducing extremism and fostering
social cohesion in the UK. The aim of the booklet is to inform religious
communities and the general public about the littleknown stories of courageous
Muslims who stood up against injustice, protecting Jews during the
Guided by their Muslim faith and personal desire to do what
was right, they protected and saved the lives of many potential victims.
publication also aims to counter the narrative that no Muslims played a
the defense of Jewish communities during the War.
The work focuses on
people deemed ”Righteous Gentiles” by Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem and
role played by individuals, families and communities in countries such
Albania, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, Croatia, and Bosnia and
In Albania, Jews were not victims of the Nazis because of a
national code of honor called “Besa,” a desire to help those in need,
of another faith or origin.
The booklet also tells the story of Muslim
lawyer Khaled Mahameed, founder and curator of the first Arab Holocaust
in Nazareth, who believes that by understanding such atrocities, one can
up for justice and equality.
“This booklet is needed now more than ever,
especially when there is very little in the public domain about the role
Muslim communities played in the Holocaust, as well as numerous articles
sites which repeat the mantra that Muslim communities are overwhelmingly
negative in their thoughts and views about the Holocaust,” said Fiyaz
founder of Faith Matters and editor of the booklet.
“It highlights the
noble deeds and courageous acts carried out by Muslims towards their
neighbors, and I hope that faith communities will use the booklet as a
encourage greater understanding and respect towards each other,” he
“It is important to remember and learn from the actions of brave
people who risked their lives to save others during the Holocaust,” said
Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust. “These
individuals who faced great dangers to help Jewish people are