Common humanity

A Montreal lawyer, Azim Hussain, is not a fan of Holocaust denial.

The Holocaust denial of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an abuse of the Jewish victims of that genocide, and of the Allied soldiers who sacrificed their lives in order to end the genocide. The Iranian president obviously does not realize that thousands of Muslim Allied soldiers died in World War II. Unbeknownst to many, including many Muslims, soldiers from North Africa to the Indian subcontinent enlisted in huge numbers in the armies of their colonial masters to fight to end the Nazi onslaught. From 15-year-old Indian boy-soldiers fighting in Italy to Noor Inayat Khan, a female spy sent by the British into German-occupied France, Muslims made an immense contribution to the Allied war effort. If we take only the Indian subcontinent as an example, the British-organized Indian army had 617,353 Muslim volunteers.

I was staggered by that figure – six hundred thousand volunteers – in colonial India. Jeezis. I didn’t know that – and Hussain points out that many Muslims don’t either. So that’s a fact that should get out more.

History is rooted in a common humanity. It is that common humanity that impelled Muslims during World War II to sacrifice their lives for the sake of everyone’s freedom, and it is that common humanity that is undermined when Ahmadinejad makes it a hobby to rail against the Holocaust. If he does it in ostensible support for the Palestinians, he should know that the Palestinians do not need such specious “solidarity.” Advocating for Palestinian rights does not require a denial of Jewish suffering in World War II.

As Norm says, in the post where I found this, “Indeed – just as upholding the rights of the Jews in Israel does not require a denial of Palestinian suffering in the Nakba.”

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