By Cnaan Liphshiz (JTA) – Following protests by Muslims, a mosque in London dropped plans to host an exhibition on Muslims who saved Jews during the Holocaust. The Centre for Islamic Understanding in Golders Green, which did not say why it cancelled the event, was due to hold the exhibition about Muslim Albanians who rescued Jews last Sunday. It abandoned the plan after some Muslims protested the planned event’s links with Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum, the Jewish News of London reported Jan. 4. Calls for a boycott were spearheaded by Roshan Salih, editor of the British Muslim news site 5 Pillars. “Commemorations must never be done in conjunction with Israeli oppressors or their supporters,” he said. In response to the cancellation, he wrote that the mosque “is to be commended for responding to community concerns.”
Jews who helped community leaders at the mosque set up the exhibition had said prior to the cancellation that they saw the event as a significant moment in Jewish-Muslim relations in Golders Green, which is one of the United Kingdom’s most-heavily Jewish areas. It’s “incredibly important to remember that Jewish and Muslim communities have always historically supported each other and will always continue to do so,” Rabbi Natan Levy, head of operations at the Faith Forums for London, which helped organized the cancelled event, told the Jewish News. “By spending more time together and seeking to understand our commonalities and appreciate our differences we can provide a united front against hatred,” he added.