13 January 2013

A Swedish Moslem fights antisemitism

“My parents fled from dictatorship so their children could grow up in a peaceful place and experience democracy, and then to come to a country where there is hate, discrimination and racism on our streets, this is not acceptable. Something must be done” is a sentiment we can all relate to. However, the source is an unusual: a son of Turkish-Azeri refugees to Sweden, one Siavosh Derakhti, studying in Malmo, and the winner of an award for fighting antisemitism.

The key is, of course, that his parents fled from Iran during the Iran/Iraq war, for the reasons given above, although it must have helped that his parents were hardly conventional members of Iranian society. Derakhti also fights Islamaphobia and anti-Roma prejudice as well as antisemitism. All in all, he sounds a thoroughly well-grounded citizen of the world.

He fought to put on a trip to Auschwitz, having been taken by his father to Bergen-Belsen when he was 13 and Auschwitz when he was 15, and says that the participants, mostly young Moslems like himself, were changed by the experience. Even though he has received death threats (presumably mostly from the frighteningly active Swedish far Right - see Searchlight, passim, on this, but I wouldn't put it past some of the Jihadist Moslems to also do this), he is determined to continue with this work: "“The negative responses made me want to work harder. I didn’t become scared and decide to stop,” he says." Brave young man. The article, a long one, is from The Times of Israel, and is well worth reading, just like the one I posted about the Israeli-Arab leader of the Israeli political party Da'am. The Middle East and the supposed "Jewish problem" needs lots more people like these two.

Read the whole article here.

By: Brian Goldfarb    


SnoopyTheGoon said...

Thanks Brian for posting this inspiring article. It is great to hear about Derakhti and his work fighting anti-Semitism along with Islamphobia and hatred of the Roma. When you think about it, it is very strange for Christians and Moslems to hate the Jews, since Judaism is the parent religion for both faiths.

To put it another way: Someone, believe it was T.S. Elliot but could be wrong, one wrote sneeringly:
"How odd of God to choose the Jews"

To which a fellow poet replied:
"Not so odd as those who hate the Jews,
while worshiping the Jewish God"!