Jews and Muslims find common ground in 'offensive' BBC report referencing Holocaust

The original article pertained to a story concerning a group of Muslim schoolgirls from Germany who were racially abused while on a school trip to learn about the Holocaust in Poland.

June 29, 2017 03:26
1 minute read.
Star of David

a holocaust survivor wears a yellow Star of David on his jacket during a ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The BBC retracted a line from one of its online articles Wednesday after causing offense to both Jews and Muslims, The Jewish Chronicle reported.

The BBC made the correction following a complaint filed by prominent organizations representing both communities in the UK. In a joint statement, representatives from both groups urged the British channel to edit a line in an article which stated that the Holocaust was a “sensitive topic” for many Muslims because survivors settled in Palestine.

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The article pertained to a story concerning a group of Muslim schoolgirls from Germany who were racially abused while on a school trip to learn about the Holocaust in Poland.

Speaking to German Radio, girls from the group relayed several accounts of racism during their trip to visit Jewish death camps such as Majdanek and Treblinka, as well as the cities of Warsaw and Lodz. One girl recalled that she was spat at by a local, while another said she was kicked out of a shop for speaking Farsi.

The line which both Jews and Muslims found particularly offensive in the original BBC report was : “The Holocaust is a sensitive topic for many Muslims because Jewish survivors settled in British-mandate Palestine, on land which later became the state of Israel.”

The UK's Board of Jewish Deputies swiftly issued a joint statement together with Fiyaz Mughal, founder of Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), urging the BBC to amend the article.

Shortly thereafter, the two organizations filed the complaint. The BBC eventually removed the line from the story.


“In a story about Muslim schoolgirls suffering racism as they learn about the Holocaust, why have the BBC included the gratuitous line – offensive to both Muslims and Jews – that ‘the Holocaust is a sensitive topic for many Muslims’? Together, we call on the BBC to delete the offending passage and apologize,” Vice President of the Board of Jewish Deputies Marie van der Zyl told The Jewish Chronicle.

The BBC did not respond to The Jewish Chronicle's request for a comment.

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