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June 30, 2017 8:53 am

BBC’s ‘Holocaust’ Mention in Polish Racism Report Unites UK Muslim and Jewish Leaders in Condemnation

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The Holocaust memorial in the Polish city of Lublin. Photo: Holocaust Sites Today

The BBC has removed a line from one of its online stories that aroused the ire of Muslim and Jewish leaders in Britain for the same reason.

The controversy concerned a report about a group of British Muslim schoolgirls who recently visited Holocaust sites in Lublin, in eastern Poland. While there, several of the girls endured racial abuse, including being spat upon, from Polish locals.

The BBC report then stated, “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” – an observation that drew a furious condemnation from Fiyaz Mughal, the founder of Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), a group which provides counseling and advocacy support to Muslim victims of hate crimes in the UK.

Dismissing the line as “perverse” and “fake news,” Mughal said, “Holocaust education and awareness is not linked to developments in the Middle East and the assumption completely disregards the diversity of Muslim communities and the large numbers of Muslims who want to know more about the Holocaust.”

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He continued: “Many Muslims can distinguish between the practices of the Government of Israel and the implementation of policies regarding the Occupied Territories and Jewish communities globally. Linking political decisions made in Israel and Palestine to the genocide of Jews in Europe is frankly, sickening. Wherever such blatant linkages are made, they must be challenged and we therefore welcome the quick action of Muslim and Jewish groups and in particular that of the Board of Deputies, which we fully supported.”

Mughal’s condemnation was joined by Marie van der Zyl – vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews – who stated that the suggestion that the Holocaust is a “sensitive topic” for Muslims offends both Muslims and Jews alike.

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