The Similarities Between the Violence Against the Rohingya and the Holocaust are Too Scary to Ignore

Since the beginning of our species, humanity has evolved in ways that our ancestors could have never dreamed of. But there is one aspect that is unchanged: hate.

In Myanmar, the official policy against the Rohingya people, a Muslim minority has been discrimination and violence. On a recent episode of the WNYC show, The Takeaway, the subject was the brutal treatment of this specific group, which has escalated in the last five years.

The similarities to the Holocaust are too scary to not ignore.

  1. Spreading lies and slowly dehumanizing a specific minority.
  2. Enacting laws that strip them of their rights as citizens and human beings.
  3. Removing access to educational and professional opportunities for both children and adults.
  4. While the world looks away, those in power continue on their path, knowing that nothing and no one is standing in their way.
  5. Destroying homes and taking material possessions at will.
  6. Forcing many to become refugees and ramping up the persecution of those who stay.
  7. Outright murder.

While I was listening to this story, I could feel and hear the cries of the six million murdered. Their souls reach through time and space, asking why it is happening again. I wish I could answer them. But I cannot.

Maybe this time, the rest of the world will pick their head out of their asses and stop this madness. But knowing what has happened in the not too distant past, I highly doubt it will happen.

May the memories of everyone who has been killed by hate be a blessing. Z”L.

P.S. In the English city of Norwich, human remains were recently found in a well. Tests revealed that the victims (three of whom were young girls) were all murdered in a medieval pogrom simply because they were Jews.

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How Many More Anti-Jewish Crimes Will be Committed Before Something is Done?

Antisemitism is a very real thing. Nearly a century after the Holocaust, the same lies and hatred that killed 6 million Jews have once more found new life.

On August 20th, Eyal Haddad, a French Jew of Tunisian descent, was murdered with an axe by a Muslim neighbor. His body was burned and mutilated. Just like Sarah Halimi in 2017, the only reason why he was killed was that he was a member of the Jewish faith.

Yesterday, an Orthodox Jewish man in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn was hit over a parking spot. The young man who hit him threatened to find his victim again and repeat his actions.

I find both events to be extremely frustrating. In regards to the murder of Mr. Haddad, the authorities are already stating that he was not killed because of his faith. It does not take a brainiac to figure out why Mr. Haddad is no longer alive. When it came to the assault in Brooklyn today, no one stood up to this punk kid. They just stood around and let it happen. The person who was behind the camera I find especially culpable. They decided that it was more important to keep filming.

What I am bothered by is the double standard. When Israel (and the Jews by extension) defends herself against verbal and physical attacks from her neighbors, the accusations are fast and brutal. But when we try to call out the antisemitic lies, no one listens.

Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become American Book Review

America’s history is made up of immigrants. But as obvious as this truth is, there are still many who will deny this reality.

Wajahat Ali is a writer and the son of Muslim immigrants from Pakistan. His memoir, Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become American, was published at the beginning of the year. Growing up as an average American kid, he lived in two worlds: the suburbia that was his childhood and the Pakistani culture that his parents knew. Coming of age during the 9/11 era, he inadvertently became the face and the voice of his faith. Eventually finding his way as a writer, a husband, and a father, Ali has a unique insight as to what it is to live in the United States with its promises and contradictions.

I loved this book. His writing is funny, sarcastic, heartbreaking, and real. What I related to was how universal his experience is. Though my own family has been in this country for more than a century, I’m sure that my forebears would relate to Ali’s story. The names may change, the places may change, and the language may change, but the sentiments remain the same.

Do I recommend it?

Absolutely.

Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become American is available wherever books are sold.

Both/And: A Life in Many World Book Review

It’s easy to think that we know someone famous based on the headlines and the soundbites coming from the press. The reality is that we don’t know them at all.

Huma Abedin‘s memoir, Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds, was published last November. Born to Muslim Pakistani and Indian immigrants in Michigan, she spent her formative years in Saudi Arabia. Taking a job with the Clinton administration in the late 1990s, she has worked for Hillary Clinton for more than two decades. She is also known for her troubled marriage to Anthony Weiner, a politician whose fall from grace can only be described as brutal.

The reader is taken on a journey across the world and across the spectrum of local, national, and international politics over the last few decades. Abedin’s tale is that a woman who has broken boundaries, redefines what it is to be American, and that of a survivor who has thrived in spite of the dark times in her life.

This book is so good. Abedin leaves nothing off the table, telling her story in an emotionally honest and open manner. Her narrative is nothing short of inspirational.

The part of the book that was the most challenging for me as a reader was the scandal that broke up her marriage and opened the door to he who shall not be named. It is akin to a rollercoaster that had no off switch. Given what was being thrown at her, she could have easily taken to her bed and soothed her grief with food or alcohol. Instead, she took it one day at a time and got through it with her head held high and her courage intact.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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