In Washington, a group of Muslims and Jews came together on Wednesday at the Holocaust Museum to try to ignite the flame of peace.
An imam who delayed his hajj to mecca, three holocaust survivors and the director of the Holocaust Museum — Muslims and Jews who stood together in a hall of remembrance at the museum at a time when relations between their respective religions are strained by tensions in the Middle East and the Iranian president’s open denial that the holocaust ever occurred.
“To condemn this outrage in Iran — and let us be clear — what is going on there is not about history, it is about hate,” said Sara Bloomfield, director of the Holocaust Museum.
They toured the museum and lit candles in remembrance of those who died — victims of genocide — to condemn more recent sentiments that, some said if left unchecked, could see history repeating itself.
“Hate is not only about hating Jews, which is anti-Semitism, but extends today, unfortunately, all over the globe. So, Islamophobia, hatred of Islam, also becomes a great threat to all of us as a world civilization,” said Dr. Akbar Ahmad of American University.
Holocaust survivor Johanna Neumann recalls a little known period of history. She said she was a little girl in Europe, her family fleeing Nazi tyranny, when they were sheltered and protected by Muslims.
“We were always included. We were invited to the Mosque to go with them and doing Ramadan. At the end of the fast period, they sent us food. They sent us gifts, and we were a part of their lives,” said Neumann.
“We are here as humans to commit ourselves to work together for a peaceful world,” said Imam Mohamed Magid of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society.
Meanwhile, officials said what seemed such an easy meeting at a hallowed place in the nations capitol, appears nearly impossible on a world stage.
Those who attended the meeting Wednesday said they found it perfectly fitting that it should happen at the Holocaust Museum.