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Saturday, 21 January 2012
Jews from the Middle East and North Africa are proud to stand with Christians in the Muslim world
Harif at a protest September 2011 - picture by Adrian Korsner
Lyn Julius is a journalist and co-founder of Harif, a group representing Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. Her parents fled Iraq in 1950. She joins us on the 10th of March for a united call to end oppression. Lyn talked about her decision to join us this year:
I will be joining you on the 10th March to represent HARIF, an association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. We are delighted to be here to support our Christian brethren in your march and peace concert. Your fight is our fight. We non-Muslim and non-Arab minorities in the Arab and Muslim world are all in this together.
There is a saying: “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.”
We Jews are the Saturday people. We have been indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa since Biblical times. But in the last 60 years over a million Jews have been driven out from the Muslim world – and that includes three thousand Jews from Pakistan. If it were not for the existence of Israel we would be refugees, and dispersed around the world.
My family comes from Iraq, where there were Jews 1,000 years before the Muslims. In 1948 there were 140,000 Jews. Today there are six.
The nightmare is repeating itself all over again. We are seeing the same plight befall you, the Sunday people. You too are being driven out by violence, intolerance and persecution.
We are facing a time of great flux in the Arab world. If the peoples of the region are to enjoy a better future, non-Muslim minorities must be free from fear, free from insecurity, free from persecution and intimidation. They must be permitted to practise their religion freely and not under sufferance. They must be allowed their rights as full and equal citizens.
We non-Muslims are the canary in the coal mine. If we are driven away or die, society in general suffers. Our very existence guarantees the rights of everyone else. That’s why we are here today.
Learn more about our 10th March 2012 protest and Trafalgar Square peace concert here: