With President Alberto Fernández in Israel for the occasion, young Jews and Muslims met Thursday at the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires, to recall the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camp in Auschwitz.
Representatives from the two communities were keen to emphasise how dialogue builds bridges and destroys prejudice.
“As a Muslim I feel happy and honoured to be generating this [religious] coexistence and opening between Jews and Muslims,” Guido Edul, 24, from the Instituto Islam para la Paz NGO, told the Télam state news agency.
He was joined by Ezequiel Sporn representing the Latin American Jewish Congress in delivering a message of unity and co-existence between different religions at the recently renewed Holocaust Museum last Thursday.
“As a Jew being here represents recalling once more the tragedy of the Holocaust as living testimony of the atrocities suffered in Nazi Germany,” Sporn told Telám, adding: “It moves me deeply to do so with my friends from the Islamic community.”
“At the Instituto Islam para la Paz we have always considered dialogue fundamental for creating unity and co-existence. Being here today at the Holocaust Museum shows that they are opening up towards us. We hope to continue sharing this dialogue we have today,” chipped in Edul.
The museum’s exhibits include a 14th century scroll of the Torah (Old Testament) which was preserved by Muslims on the Greek island of Rhodes during the Nazi period.
“The Torah would be a loss not only for Jews but also all humanity and this teaches us that in the most difficult moments we can be there for each other like brothers,” said Edul.
Sporn highlighted: “It’s important that this story be known because it speaks of co-existence between peoples.”
Dialogue and interaction between the Jewish and Muslim communities goes back a long way in Buenos Aires.For the last two years the Iftar feast marking the end of the Ramadan fast has been celebrated at the local headquarters of the Latin American Jewish Congress while the Sabbath is honoured at the Instituto Islam para la Paz.
“We’re convinced that what we’re doing is a form of showing the world that there can be dialogue between Jews and Muslims and that peace is built with this dialogue,” concluded Sporn.