In an Internet search I came across a posting which cites a few examples of Muslim-Jewish cooperation during hard times saving lives of each other. Here below, I share four examples of Muslims saving Jewish lives during the World War II. These facts are important not only for the sake of history but also for creating a world in which people of different faiths can live together peacefully without intolerance and hatred, which, sadly, have become norms in certain parts of our world to tarnish our common humanity and/or heritage.
- In 1930 Albania, a small Balkan country, had a mere 803,000 citizens of which two hundred were Jewish. In 1943 the Nazis occupied Albania and in an unprecedented act of defiance the Albanian people refused to hand-over its Jewish residents. Instead various government agencies gave Jewish families fake documentation and Jewish refugees from Europe were given sanctuary (even while under Italian rule).
At a time when the European nations were sending their Jews to the gas chambers; Albania, the only European country with a Muslim majority, not only saved its Jewish residents –but absorbed so many European refugees that the Jewish population grew a staggering 900% during the war.
- Zejneba Hardaga, a Bosnian Muslim lady who lived in Sarajevo, had been recognised as “Righteous among the Nations” by Israel for hiding her Jewish neighbor, Josef Kavilio, from the Nazis during the holocaust.
- Throughout World War II a small number of Turkish diplomats (such as Necdet Kent, Namık Kemal Yolga, Selahattin Ülkümen and Behiç Erkin) risked everything to save the lives of 35,000 European Jews from the Nazi genocide. They were able to save so many Jews by leveraging Turkey’s neutral stance to pressure the Nazis into sparing the lives of Turkish Jews residing in Europe, while simultaneously granting thousands of European Jews fleeing the Nazi genocide refuge in Turkey
- When the Nazis came for the Iranian Jews living in France, Abdol Hossein Sardari, the Iranian Consul for Paris, used his position and influence to save the lives of the Iranian Jews in France. He fabricated a story that Iranian Jews were not ‘real’Jews, but Persians who’d accepted the teachings of Moses centuries earlier and therefore not subject to Nazi racial law. After months of intense debate by German racial scientists he’d convinced everyone but Eichmann who simply declared Sardari’s claim was “the usual Jewish trick”.
– You can read more such stories by clicking here.