Saturday, 17 January 2015

Si Kaddour ben Ghabrit- Imam of the Grande Mosquée de Paris

Seeing as we're going through the usual cycle holding all Muslims to account for the horrific crimes of a handful of individuals...

The individual pictured below is Si Kaddour ben Ghabrit, the first Imam of the Grande Mosquée de Paris, to this day one of the largest Mosques in France. The Mosque was built in 1926 by the French government as a token of gratitude to French muslims who had fought and died defending their country in the First World War.

When France fell under Nazi occupation in the Summer of 1940, the Mosque first sheltered resistance fighters and North Africans who had escaped from German POW camps, yet the Mosque's actions became most prominent in the Summer of 1942, when the Nazi collaborator regime planned the round-up of Parisian Jews. They were to be handed over to the Germans, before being sent to death camps in the east.

More than 1,700 people are thought to have found short-term shelter in apartments on or near the grounds of the mosque. Ghabrit set up an alert system that allowed fugitives to disappear swiftly in case of a raid - if necessary to the prayer room's women's section, where men were normally not admitted. He wrote numerous false birth certificates making Jewish children into Muslims. 

After providing initial sanctuary, the members of the mosque helped smuggle the Jews out to safety in Algeria or Spain, a task enabled by access to Paris's sewers directly beneath the mosque's grounds provided an escape path, as did the mosque's proximity to the city's central wine market on the Seine, saving them from almost certain death at Nazi hands.

In times like this it's important to remember that within living memory there were regimes in Europe seeking to murder minority groups whilst also loudly emphasising their Christian nature. At the same time there were Muslims risking their own lives to save Jews and other victims of persection. As a society we wouldn't tolerate anyone demanding all Christians apologise for the crimes of Vichy France yet some seem happy to act in a similarly idiotic manner in regards to Muslims and the criminals who claim to represent their faith.

When you do so your playing into the hands of those who wanted to round-up the Jews, and now want to round-up the Muslims.

"In exile like ourselves, workers like ourselves. They are our brothers. Their children are like our own children. The one who encounters one of his children must give that child shelter and protection for as long as misfortune, or sorrow, lasts."

~ Si Kaddour ben Ghabrit

(taken from FB) 

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