Muslim Holocaust exhibition to be hosted in Redbridge after Golders Green mosque cancels amid criticism
PUBLISHED: 15:10 16 January 2019
A Redbridge mosque is hosting an exhibition honouring Albanian Muslims who rescued Jews during the Holocaust which had been set to take place in Barnet – but was cancelled amid criticism.
The “Love Your Neighbour Exhibition” is set to open at an as-yet-undisclosed location in the borough on January 20.
The exhibition is backed by Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the Holocaust, whose museum is based in Jerusalem.
Simon Bentley, Yad Vashem UK Foundation’s chairman, said: “Yad Vashem, as the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, is committed to honouring non-Jews who have risked their lives to save Jews during the Shoah.
He added that the “exhibition highlights these righteous among the nations by focusing on the Albanian Muslims who saved hundreds of Jewish lives during the Holocaust”.
The exhibition’s original hosts – the Markaz El Tathgheef El-Eslami, based in the Golders Green Hippodrome – cancelled the event days ahead of its initial January 6 run.
A statement attributed to The Markaz, shared on Twitter, said it “did not know of the international connections some organisations had”.
It added the event was cancelled “once that was made clear”, asserting that the mosque is a “community hub” with “no connections to any foreign government and stays well clear of anything political or perceived to be political”.
This statement was shared on Twitter by journalist Roshan Salih – editor of Muslim community news site 5Pillars and journalist with Iran-funded Press TV – which he said was issued by the mosque.
“No to any kind of normalisation with Israel or Israeli institutions” he Tweeted last month.
Barnet Multi Faith Forum, who also helped organise the exhibition, released a statement on Facebook on January 9 lamenting its cancellation,
It read that the group is “obviously extremely saddened and disappointed that this peaceful project, of illuminating the best values of human dignity, has been caught up in the international politics of the extremist.”
Ilford North MP Wes Streeting welcomed the exhibition’s relocation to Redbridge.
“This is a great initiative and speaks volumes about how we do community cohesion in Redbridge,” he tweeted.
The Markaz El Tathgheef El-Eslami has been approached for comment.
Register to attend on eventbrite.