Religious freedom must be safeguarded
Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford spoke about her work as a Euro-MP to members of WIZO UK, one of the largest Jewish women’s organisations in the UK, at the invitation of Holocaust survivor Gena Turgel. The lunch assisted WIZO's fundraising for projects in Israel caring for vulnerable families and children.
Sarah Ludford, who is also vice-President of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel, commented:
“It was a wonderful privilege to be invited by the inspirational Gena Turgel who I met in January at the national Holocaust Memorial Day event. Her dedicated work in keeping alive the memory and lessons of the Shoah and educating children about the horrors of persecution, hate and murder is absolutely essential.”
“The EU was built on the principle of ‘never again’ following the horrors of the Holocaust and World War, and its principal values are democracy and fundamental rights. That is why I regard the safeguarding of religious freedom for Jewish and other communities as a vital human rights imperative."
"The lack of thought in demands for labelling meat killed in line with Jewish Schechita or Muslim halal prescriptions is extraordinary. It is both wrong to imply that pre-stunned slaughter is superior on animal welfare grounds to religious slaughter, and discriminatory. Would that all 'secular' slaughterhouses observed the Jewish injunction for animals to be killed with respect and compassion!"
"The recent ruling by a German court that circumcision could amount to bodily harm, potentially outlawing of a centuries-old religious tradition and medical procedure, is breathtakingly short-sighted. With extreme-right forces and anti-semitic and Islamophobic prejudice growing, democratic politicians must be extremely sensitive to religious minorities."
Notes to Editors
Sarah is pictured with (centre) lunch organiser Gena Turgel, and Tina Oberman. secretary of the WIZO UK Stanmore group. See more about WIZO at http://wizouk.org/