What Jews can — and should — do for Muslims

BY HANNAH ROACH '17

"Anne Frank could have been an 83 year old writer living in Boston." Countless signs with similar messages have appeared since Trump's Immigration Ban was signed on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Frank, like many other Jews, Romani and disabled individuals, was denied a visa and subsequent entrance into the United States. She, like many others, was a refugee.

When Trump signed the executive order barring entry into the U.S. for people from Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Iran, Iraq and Syria, he violated the promise of "Never Again."

When Trump deliberately excluded Jews from his speech on Holocaust Remembrance Day, he nearly stumbled into Holocaust denial. It wasn't just that he didn't mention my religion – he didn't mention genocide, he didn't mention persecution in any capacity. His statement read: "It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror."

Like many Jews, the Holocaust is something I can't particularly talk about in all its nuances and vast complications. What I can talk about is how important it is for Jews to stand up at this time for POC, Muslims and refugees. Many Jews, including myself, sit under the umbrella of white privilege. When we see acts of aggression such as this, it becomes imperative for us to speak up and work hard. 

Genesis 25:9 in the Torah reads, "And Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, at the face of Mamre." I mention this passage of Torah because this is when Islam and Judaism joined together to bury our collective patriarch, Abraham or Ibraham. This passage is often cited as it links the two religions, reaffirming that the two are seen as family working towards a collective goal. 

This goal will always be peace.

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