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Holocaust memorial exhibition forced from Golders Green to Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 17:10 16 January 2019

The Golders Green Hippodrome Picture: Harry Taylor

The Golders Green Hippodrome Picture: Harry Taylor

Archant

An exhibition honouring Albanian Muslims who rescued Jews during the Holocaust which was supposed to take place in Golders Green has been forced to find a new location on the other side of London.

The exhibition is set to take place at a mosque in Redbridge on January 20.The exhibition is set to take place at a mosque in Redbridge on January 20.

The Love Your Neighbour exhibition had been set to be hosted at the Golders Green Hippodrome from January 6 – but it was cancelled amid criticism. It will now take place at an as-yet-undisclosed location in the east London borough of Redbridge on January 20.

The exhibition is backed by Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the Holocaust.

Simon Bentley, Yad Vashem UK Foundation’s chairman, said: “Yad Vashem, as the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, is committed to honouring non-Jews who have risked their lives to save Jews during the Shoah.”

He added that the “exhibition highlights these righteous among the nations by focusing on the Albanian Muslims who saved hundreds of Jewish lives during the Holocaust”.

The exhibition’s original hosts – the Markaz El Tathgheef El-Eslami, in the Golders Green Hippodrome – cancelled the event days ahead of its initial run.

A statement attributed to The Markaz, shared on Twitter, said it “did not know of the international connections some organisations had”.

It added the event was cancelled “once that was made clear”, asserting that the mosque is a community hub with “no connections to any foreign government and stays well clear of anything political or perceived to be political”.

This statement was shared on Twitter by Roshan Salih –editor of Muslim community news site 5Pillars and a journalist with Iran-funded Press TV – who said it was issued by the mosque.

“No to any kind of normalisation with Israel or Israeli institutions” he tweeted last month.

Barnet Multi Faith Forum, which also helped organise the exhibition, released a statement on Facebook on January 9 lamenting its cancellation.

The group said it is “obviously extremely saddened and disappointed that this peaceful project, of illuminating the best values of human dignity, has been caught up in the international politics of the extremist”.

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting welcomed the exhibition’s relocation to Redbridge.

“This is a great initiative and speaks volumes about how we do community cohesion in Redbridge,” he tweeted.

Register to attend on eventbrite.

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