NOTE: WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF COMPLETING THIS REPORT, AND WILL UPDATE
WITH THE SPEECHES OF THE GUESTS
Salaam, Namaste, Jai Jinendra, Sat Sri Akaal, Allah Abho, Hamazor Hama
Jai Swami Narayan, Yali Madad and God bless you. All these greetings
simply mean that I acknowledge and respect your presence. I sincerely
hope, in the next few years, we would have outgrown our cocoons and
would be able to use any of the above greetings interchangeably with
any one. The essence of the greeting is that the greeter wishes well
to the greeted.
our focus is on the Holocaust, in particular reference to the
attempted annihilation of Jewish people because of their faith. 6
Million Jews were massacred because of their faith. The whole world
stood by and did nothing until after the genocide of a 3rd
of the Jewish People….I
would paraphrase Einstein’s wisdom:
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do
It is the silence of good people that is responsible for the evil more
so than the people who do bad things. I hope each one of you at the
end of the program, would walk out with a feeling that “I” must stand
for justice and the least I would do is to speak. Never again, I would
remain silent when I see an atrocity”
Tragically we have seen more recent genocides and mass murders
following the Holocaust. The list is
quite large. Much of this could have been averted, had the good
people acted in time. To make sure we do not forget to mention any
name, I would request all of us to follow a minute’s silence and I
would urge each one of you to remember each one of the incidents and
pray for the victims of such atrocities….
event brings a closure in my life… when I was a little boy, my devout
Muslim Mother took away the book from me about Holocaust, and asked me
to read when I have the capacity to bear the suffering… I don’t know
how many of you are chickens, I was one for many years… could not bear
the sight of suffering when I saw the documentaries… of Holocaust.
Finally, God has helped to me see it, feel it and gave me the guts to
say Never again.
I request Beth Weems Pirtle, President of the United Nations
Association Dallas Chapter to share a portion of the UN Resolution
with us. It is also found in your program booklet.
adopted by the General Assembly
session |Agenda item 72 |05-48796
| 60/7. Holocaust remembrance
courage and dedication shown by the soldiers who liberated the
the Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish
people, along with countless members of other minorities, will forever
be a warning to all people of the dangers of
hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice.
United Nations will designate 27 January as an annual International
Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust;
States to develop educational programmes that will inculcate future
generations with the lessons of the Holocaust in order to help to
prevent future acts of genocide, and in this context commends the Task
Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education,
Remembrance and Research;
of the Holocaust as an historical event, either in full or part;
which have actively engaged in preserving those sites that served as
Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labour camps and prisons
during the Holocaust;
manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or
violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or
religious belief, wherever they occur;
Secretary-General to establish a programme of outreach on the subject
of the “Holocaust and the United Nations” as well as measures to
mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education, in
order to help to prevent future acts of genocide; to report to the
General Assembly on the establishment of this programme within six
months from the date of the adoption of the present resolution; and to
report thereafter on the implementation of the programme at its
allow me to acknowledge the following and due to the nature of the
event, I request you to
hold the applause and appreciate them in your hearts and minds.
Rosalie & William Schiff who have come to share their experience with
guest speakers are Beth Pirtle, Imam Zia Shaikh, Len Ellis and Harriet
We appreciate the volunteers Denise Mayoff, Anjum Anwar, Ashar Ahmed,
Carli Johnson-Scott, Arvi Gallardo, Jazzie Ghouse and Najma Ghouse.
Nikhat Qureshi of Bridges TV with the Schiff's
We appreciate the help from the staff of FunAsia –Dr. Farrukh Hamid,
Shabnam Modgil, Sunny Singh
We acknowledge the services of our Professional Videographer Fida
Hussain, Photographer Aftab Lakhani, and Nadeem Randhawa, Imran
Randhawa and Nikhat Qureshi of Bridges TV and Jay Gormley of CBS-11
TV. And also Jay Rafi who made our name badges.
We appreciate Dallas Morning News, Texas Jewish Post, Ek Nazar, DFW
International, Diya Magazine and others who have informed the public
about the event.
Friends, this event was made possible by the help of a few friends. I
called 10, and each one of them jumped at it. They believed in
commemorating the event, they believed in doing the right thing…I am
proud of them, each one of them. Let me ask them to stand up as I call
their name, please hold the applause till the last name: Zulfi
Ahmed, Anjum Anwar, Dr. Nauman Anwar, Shiraz Badruddin, Shawn Bhagat,
Rafi and Shahnaz Farukhi, Dr.
Mohammad Iqbal Shariff and Basit
TV with Imam Sheikh Zia ul Haq
Nikhat Qureshi of Bridges TV Bernie Mayoff
It takes a few courageous men and women to step up and do the right
thing. Their work has
long term effects and hope in some distant future, their efforts will
make a dent and benefit the whole humanity. But spiritually it is very
rewarding for them. Please honor and appreciate these two great
individuals whenever you have a chance to meet them : Rabbi
Robert Haas and Bernie Mayoff. Who are the moral pillars of this
WISDOM OF THE RELIGIONS
Now let’s begin the
program with a verse from each faith based on the theme “Whoever
saves one life, saves the entire world” – The Talmud – Perhaps
you have noticed, everything is done in alphabetical order…
Rafraf – Bahá’í
"It is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same
feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from
your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and
the essence of detachment may be made manifest." (Baha'u'llah)
Esther Vasquez filling in for Rev. Mark Hernandez, Christian
Its from the Book
of Romans, Chapter 5, verse 18:
"Then as one man's trespass led to
condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to
acquittal and life for all men."
filling in for Swami Nityananda Prabhu – Hindu
Vasudeva Kutambam - The whole world
is one family - Bhagvad Gita
Mohamed Eliabiary –
It's the 2nd verse
(chapter 5, verse 32).
On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any
slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in
the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one
saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.
Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet,
even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the
Shah - Jainism
Jivaanaam" means "Living beings (souls) render services to one
another" or in short "Live and let live."
Levin – Judaism
which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the
whole Torah; the rest is commentary."
Mike Ghouse filling
in for Sardar Harbhajan Singh - Sikh
Ratan Vakil –
Ushtā ahmāi yahmāi ushtā kahmāichit
Vasē-khshayãs Mazdāo dāyāt Ahurō
utayūiti tevīshī gat tōi vasemī
Ashem deredyāi tat mōi dāo Ārmaitē
rāyō ashish Vanghēush gaēm Mananghō.
… Yasna 43.1
May the Wise, Ruling-at-will God (Ahurā
Mazdā) grant radiant happiness to the person who radiates happiness to
any other person. I pray for steadfast strength and courage in order
to uphold righteousness. Through serenity grant me the blessings of a
rich life of good mind.
each nation and each faith is like a beautiful bus; when you plan to
go some where,
you make sure all its tires have the same amount of air pressure for
it to run effectively, to give better mileage, lasting tire wear
out..... all the mechanical parts must be greased, all the parts must
be checked for a safe, stable and
We need to work
together to ensure that every one is on par to ride the road of
progress, we need to fill the tire if it is inadequate instead of
asking the tire to fill it itself. Whose loss is it if the tire does
not fill it itself? We have to help the communities that are at a
disadvantage, we need to bring them for a well balance smooth
functioning society. Ignoring one tire or a community is an
irresponsible thing for the bus journey.
Each one of
us needs to be the 'source' of goodwill to bring that equilibrium. You
and I are not safe if the world around isn't. All change begins with
you and me. And I pledge that whatever I do, I will do it to bind
people together, and would be a source of good will.
It is the responsibility of each
one in the world to make a better world, each day we need to ask
ourselves, what have we done today to make the world a better place
RABBI ROBERT HAAS
Now I request
my friend, Rabbi Robert Haas to introduce our honored Keynote Speaker.
The Rabbi and I have known each other for the last three years. He
and I did a Radio program called “Wisdom of Religion – all the
beautiful religions” once a month, early in the morning! Rabbi Haas
is one of the most knowledgeable persons I have known at his age. He
is truly a gentleman and a scholar. He imparted great knowledge about
Judaism to our listeners in Dallas for nearly two years.
in McAllen, Texas, Rabbi Robert Haas attended the University of Texas
and received a B.S. in Education. After serving as a public school
teacher in Houston, he entered rabbinical school and was ordained in
the first Reform Rabbinical Class on the West Coast in 2002. Rabbi
Haas is currently the Associate Rabbi at Temple Shalom in Dallas.
HON. ROSALIE & WILLIAM SCHIFF
ONE MORE QUESTION !
Harriett read the following poem:
REFUGEE BLUES, written in 1939 by W. H. Auden
Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.
Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you'll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.
In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew:
Old passports can't do that, my dear, old passports can't do that.
The consul banged the table and said,
'If you've got no passport you're officially dead':
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.
Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go today, my dear, but where shall we go today?
Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
'If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread':
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.
Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
It was Hitler over Europe, saying 'They must die':
O we were in his mind, my dear, O we were in his mind.
Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
But they weren't German Jews, my dear, but they weren't German Jews.
Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.
Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
They weren't the human race, my dear, they weren't the human race.
Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
A thousand windows and a thousand doors:
Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.
Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.
W.H. Auden was an English poet and dramatist, born in 1907. He was a
student at Oxford when his first poems were published. In the late
1920s he was living in Berlin and saw the rise of Hitler; in 1939 --
the year he wrote this poem -- he left Europe for America. And in
country, Auden met Chester Kallman, the Jewish man who became his
lifelong companion. Until his death in 1973, Auden kept publishing
poetry and drama; increasingly, his subject was the isolation of man.
IMAM SHEIKH ZIA-UL-HAQ
Now, I’m pleased to
introduce you to my new friend, Imam Zia Shaikh, his address at the
recent Friendship Among Faiths program was wonderful, he picked up the
conversation from where Rabbi Paul Steinberg began and carried on
Sheikh Zia Ul
Haq was born in Pakistan. At the age of 4, he moved to England where
he was engaged in regular education until the age of 13. He then
enrolled in Full Time Islamic education. Initially, he memorized the
entire Qur'an and then undertook an Islamic Theologian (Aalim) course
which spanned a further Eight years. Aalim course included Arabic
language, Usool, Fiqh, Tafseer-ul-Quran and Hadith.
He graduated in 1994 and has been serving various communities as an
Imam since then, initially in England, and since the end of 1995 in
the USA. Masters in Arabic and Islamic Theology. Here is Imam
We may have heard the phrase "History
repeats itself". However, when we discuss terrible things that have
happened historically, we often wish history didn't repeat itself.
When we look at wars, genocide, tyranny
and all other forms of oppression, we can deduce that all of these
calamities happen because of the human not being able to control his
base desires. These heinous crimes that have been committed over and
over again in history, happen because of the innate human nature that
is found in all of us, that if we don't control, can make us worse
than animals. A verse from the Quran is most appropriate at this
095.004 We have indeed created man in
the best of moulds,
095.005 Then do We abase him (to be) the
lowest of the low,-
095.006 Except such as believe and do
righteous deeds: For they shall have a reward unfailing.
(meaning that humans can reach peaks in
goodness and in evil; when one does righteous deeds, he can be the
best of the best, but if one does evil deeds, he can become worse than
Humans, when they don't control
themselves, can become the victims of their own weaknesses. Biases,
prejudices, racism, arrogance are such weaknesses, which lead to
oppression, tyranny, genocide and murder.
Sometimes, when the human falls prey to
these weaknesses, he consoles himself by putting various cloaks of
righteousness over the tyrannies that he is committing, committing the
evil in the guise of patriotism, protection, or security.
It was Hitler himself who fooled the
Germans into believing that they were the "Aryan master race", and
that the Jews were threatening their very existence by mixing with the
Aryans. According to Hitler, the Jews were conspiring to obliterate
them. These claims, however outlandish they seem today, were bought by
the people of the time, and they fell prey to Hitler's propaganda.
History tells us that they believed in what the Fuhrer was telling
them, and subsequently went along with his Anti-Semitic ideals,
resulting in one of the greatest catastrophes in history.
If we take a lesson from history, we
will learn that we cannot fool ourselves by this kind of
self-consolation. However noble our goals may be, we must learn that
murder is murder, genocide is genocide, tyranny is tyranny, and evil
is evil. Then and only then will we decide, as humans, that there
should never be another holocaust, another Hiroshima, another
Nagasaki, another Bosnia, another Kosovo, another Rwanda, and another
9-11, and all of the other catastrophes that have happened at the
hands of humans.
If we learn anything from history, it
must be that sometimes, we must not let history repeat itself.
Thank you Imam Zia.
......and when they came for me.
Martin Niemöller was a supporter of the Nazis in their earliest days.
By 1934 he recognized that a sinister power was growing and he began
to express his dismay. There were not enough voices like his early
enough. By 1939 he was imprisoned. He survived the Sachsenhausen
concentration camp outide
where 100,000 people died or were murdered in violent “medical:
experiments. He survived the Dachau concentration camp near Munich
where camp records list 30,000 people exterminated in death chambers
and thousands more dead from ill treatment. In 1946, following the
end of the war, he wrote:
They came first for
and I didn't speak
up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for
and I didn't speak
up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for
the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak
up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for
and I didn't speak
up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for
and by that time no
one was left to speak up.
Hope you have found
this event to be meaningful and found a purpose in life. Please allow
me to introduce my friend ….Bernard Mayoff, we call him Bernie.
This has been an amazing evening. Rosalie
and William will be here for a while after the program to answer
questions. There is a Jewish prayer that is said at Jewish
holidays, at celebrations and at special occasions. It gives thanks
that we have been blessed to be alive to reach the event.
It isn’t appropriate to say a prayer of
gratitude that we are all together for a commemoration reminding us
of the worst of man’s inhumanity to man. And yet this is a
remarkable gathering together tonight of people taking one of those
important steps toward making the world a better place for us today
and for those who follow us. I’m sure you feel your own sense of
reverence of the moment and that it is something that will stay with
each of us. Now we are all witnesses. Never forget that each of us
can make a difference.
For those of you that are Oprah fans, you
know that her latest book club selection is Night, by Elie Weisel,
about his experience as an inmate in the Auschwitz Concentration
Camp, and that Oprah is visiting
Auschwitz next month with Elie. Also, I want to
mention that at
2:00pm on April 23, at Thanksgiving Square, there will be an
event recognizing Yom Ha’Shoah. That is about a week after
Passsover that has become a traditional time for commemorating the
Holocaust. You are all welcome to that event which is expected to
feature a national speaker on lessons learned and lessons still to
learn. That event is being coordinated by the
Dallas Holocaust Museum who loaned the photographs that were on
display in the lobby this evening. The Museum is temporarily
located at the southern end of the
West End and you’re all encouraged to visit
there. Brochures will be on table.
Thank you for being here tonight. Have a
safe journey home. Shalom. Salaam. Sayonara. Ciao. Good night.
VISITING THE SCHIFF'S