Even if the extent of Jewish-Muslim accord over the ages is somewhat exaggerated, this Pakistani writer’s piece is much appreciated. We could do without his linkage of the late anti-Zionist/Judaism-hating Dr. Israel Shahak with Yossi Sarid, Akiva Eldar and Amira Hass, but I suspect that he doesn’t really know who Shahak was.
If you read the entire article, you’d learn that conservative commentator Dennis Prager protests the use of the Koran for the swearing in of the new Muslim congressman (Keith Ellison). I know that Prager used to claim to be a centrist; that a newly appointed board member of the US Holocaust Museum should hold this opinion is scandalous and puzzling.
[Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb. Subscribe by e-mail to MEWemail@example.com.]
“Victims of Holocaust Denial: Jews, Muslims, and Human Dignity”
By Dr. Munawar A. Anees
The Islamic Republic of Iran under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently hosted a conference of historical revisionists dubbed as “Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision.” It was neither global nor visionary. That it coincided with the commemoration of the international Human Rights Day betrayed the sarcastic intent of its organizers.
The conference was yet another attempt by Ahmadinejad to portray himself as a strong challenger to the State of Israel, calling for its destruction. He has characterized the Holocaust as a “myth.” He is quoted as saying that, “Israel must be wiped off the map…Anyone who signs a treaty which recognizes the entity of Israel means he has signed the surrender of the Muslim world.”(October 2005) Again, in December 2005, he said, “They have fabricated a legend under the name ‘Massacre of the Jews,’ and they hold it higher than God himself, religion itself and the prophets themselves.”
Earlier, Iran’s largest daily, Hamshahri, sponsored a widely publicized cartoon contest making a mockery of the Holocaust. This was a rebuttal allegedly to the right-wing Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad while reminiscent of the anti-Semitism once prevalent in Europe.
What went largely unnoticed was the courtly reaction to the cartoons by a paraplegic painter, Hossein Nouri, who painted, amidst flag-burnings and noisy protests, a portrait of the Virgin Mary in front of the Danish Embassy in Tehran; marking the respect Islam accords to the mother of Prophet Jesus.
Tehran ostensibly offered “scientists” from around the world an opportunity to discuss the Holocaust without taboos. This, however, stood in sharp contrast to the increased censorship of the Internet and denial of access to the websites critical of the Iranian government.
Another evidence of duplicity towards free expression came to light when a Palestinian lawyer, and one of the invited speakers, Khaled Kasab Mahameed, was refused entry visa by Iran. Mahameed runs the Arab world’s first Institute for Holocaust Research and Education, in Nazareth. He was prevented from telling the audience that “It’s not enough to curse these Holocaust deniers as foolish. We have to convince them the Holocaust did happen.” While hopeful of meeting with the Iranian President, he wanted to convince him that denial or questioning of “such huge, monstrous horror” harmed the Palestinian cause…. Click here to read entire article at MideastWeb for Coexistence.