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When Muslims saves Jews:


If we look at history from an objective point of view we will found countless examples of Muslims saving the rights of other faiths ;


Bessa a code of honor that tells the story of Albanian Muslims who risk their lives to saves the Jews from the Holocaust 

Albania, a small and mountainous country on the southeast coast of the Balkan peninsula, was home to a population of 803,000. Of those only two hundred were Jews. After Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, many Jews found refuge in Albania. No accurate figures exist regarding their number; however, different sources estimate that 600-1,800 Jewish refugees entered that country from Germany, Austria, Serbia, Greece and Yugoslavia, in the hope to continue on to the Land of Israel or other places of refuge.
Following the German occupation in 1943, the Albanian population, in an extraordinary act, refused to comply with the occupier’s orders to turn over lists of Jews residing within the country’s borders. Moreover, the various governmental agencies provided many Jewish families with fake documentation that allowed them to intermingle amongst the rest of the population. The Albanians not only protected their Jewish citizens, but also provided sanctuary to Jewish refugees who had arrived in Albania, when it was still under Italian rule, and now found themselves faced with the danger of deportation to concentration camps.
The remarkable assistance afforded to the Jews was grounded in Besa, a code of honor, which still today serves as the highest ethical code in the country. Besa, means literally “to keep the promise.” One who acts according to Besa is someone who keeps his word, someone to whom one can trust one’s life and the lives of one’s family. 
The help afforded to Jews and non-Jews alike should be understood as a matter of national honor. The Albanians went out of their way to provide assistance; moreover, they competed with each other for the privilege of saving Jews. These acts originated from compassion, loving-kindness and a desire to help those in need, even those of another faith or origin.
Albania, the only European country with a Muslim majority, succeeded in the place where other European nations failed. Almost all Jews living within Albanian borders during the German occupation, those of Albanian origin and refugees alike, were saved, except members of a single family. Impressively, there were more Jews in Albania at the end of the war than beforehand.



When Muslims saved Jews



 a story from theconsciousmuslim,


Abdelhafid of Morocco with Si Kaddour Benghabrit (centre)

People across the world have gathered today to mark the liberation of Auschwitz. At this particular camp some 1 million Jews were killed. Often remarks are made of how one should heed lessons from the past; what initially seemed like peaceful protests grew into hatred and castigation of a minority leading to such devastating and traumatic consequences.
Habitually the narrative has been, and remains, that a large number of Muslims are anti-Semitic — a quick perusal over newspapers will surely feed this narrative. It is as if it is part of our Muslim genetic makeup to hate, and despise Jews, but this simply is not true. Ultimately the events surrounding Gaza, and the Palestine issue as a whole are used to justify this. Some it seems are unable to separate issues of religion and politics. A plethora of information can be found online, and elsewhere about the parallels between the two, many rightly raise the issue, but I thought I would share a story of positivity, at a time of deep distrust and darkness — some light.

Great Mosque of Paris, France

Si Kaddour Benghabrit was an Algerian Muslim man, a graduate from the esteemed al-Qarawīn University in Fes, where he studied and specialized in judiciary. He was well known in and around North Africa, facilitating others in their travels for Ḥajj. In 1926, The Great Mosque of Paris was built; a way of honouring and acknowledging the hundreds of thousands of Muslims that had died in the First World Warfighting against Germany. Si Kaddour Benghabrit was a founding member and served as rector of the Mosque. Remember I said earlier about heeding lessons from the past? Well, turns out we don’t, World War II ensued and France fell in 1940 to the Germans, Paris itself was declared an ‘open city’ on June 13th when the French government fled to Bordeaux.
France was home to a large population of North African Muslims and thousands of Sephardic Jews. Both groups were similar in culture and tradition, many of them spoke Arabic, neither ate pork — they were very much a community. The Grand Mosque played an important role, the country was in turmoil, it became an oasis — as well as a place of prayer, it was a source of help to all. This was epitomised by when Muslims saved the Jews. Yes, you read that right, Muslims saved Jews, Benghabrit provided them with false Muslim identities thus saving them from persecution and undoubtedly death. The Mosque was built upon a labyrinth of subterranean tunnels and rooms, areas that had been excavated for building stones for the city of Paris. These underground passages and sepulchres served as a hiding place and escape routes for those hunted by the police and Gestapo. The Jewish community knew the Arabic language well, they too were circumcised — outwardly they appeared as Muslim as the rest of them. The Nazi’s were notorious and unscrupulous in their pursuit of Jewish people, they would leave no stone unturned, by providing them with cover many Jewish people were saved — if news had got out that a Mosque was harbouring Jews the outcome would surely have been death for all.

ʿAbd al-Qādir Djezairi during the 1860 Druze Conflicts, painting by by Jean Baptiste Huysmans

Si Kaddour Benghabrit was awarded highest possible honour: the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, and lived out the rest of his life in Paris. Interestingly, he is also known as Abdelqader Benghabrit, sharing his first name with ʿAbd al-Qādir Djezairi, another Algerian Muslim man who famously saved thousands of Christiansfrom being killed a century earlier, he too was presented with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour. It is quite possible that he inspired Benghabrit!
Our tradition is full of heroic men and women that gave their lives not just for Muslims, but for others, they stood for truth and justice, they portray what it is to be Muslim not just outwardly but inwardly too.
It is about time we shared their stories.

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