The Nazi Holocaust that took the lives of millions of Jews, Gypsies, and others is a historic fact. Denying it or playing politics with it is immoral and serves not only to deprive its victims of their humanity, but actually also discredits those who engage in such denial.
It is even more serious of an issue when Muslims engage in such practice because Allah clearly commands us in the Quran not to let the injustice of others against us make us sway from justice. We always have to stand by truth and justice as a principled stance, no matter how others treat us. We should treat others the way we would like to be treated, not as we might actually be treated by some.
It is true that certain extremist Jewish groups and individuals have manipulated the tragic memory of the Holocaust to silence any criticism of Israeli crimes against Palestinians. A good book to read on this topic is the Holocaust Industry by Professor Norman Finkelstein, a renowned scholar and academic who is also the son of Holocaust surviving parents.
However, Muslims and those who sympathize with the plight of the Palestinians should not link that political conflict with the Holocaust. Debating whether the Holocaust happened or not is not only insensitive to the families of the millions who perished, but is also counter-productive to the efforts to help the just Palestinian cause, especially when such arguments are raised by an Arab or a Muslim. Moreover, those who deny or question the Holocaust are not only fighting the Zionist extremists, but they are also insulting and hurting many fair Jews who are vocally critical of Israeli brutal policies and who are our friends and allies.
We want and will achieve justice and peace in that part of the world and especially for the Palestinians who have taken the brunt of the suffering, but not through unjust means. The end does not justify the means. Good ends can only be achieved by good means.
We all have a responsibility to debate the Middle East conflict based on the real facts which involve occupation, racism, brutality, and the violation of International Law. The conflict is not about Jews, Christians, or Muslims.
If the memory of the Holocaust is to be brought up, it should never be to deny it, but rather to remind us all of how low human beings can become in allowing such brutality and viciousness to happen and to do all we can to prevent it from ever happening again, to anyone.
Read more about the Holocaust at:
The following is a statement from CAIR regarding this issue:
CAIR CONDEMNS IRANIAN HOLOCAUST DENIAL CONFERENCE
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/13/06) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today condemned a conference in Iran that seeks to deny the Holocaust, the systematic destruction of the Jewish community in Europe by the Nazis during World War II.
In a statement, CAIR said:
"No legitimate cause or agenda can ever be advanced by denying or belittling the immense human suffering caused by the murder of millions of Jews and other minority groups by the Nazi regime and its allies during World War II. Cynical attempts to use Holocaust denial as a political tool in the Middle East conflict will only serve to deepen the level of mistrust and hostility already present in that troubled region."
CAIR also expressed concern that individuals who have promoted racist views, like former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, were invited to speak at the conference. "Islam, through the example of the Prophet Muhammad, has always rejected racism in any form," said CAIR's statement.
In his final sermon, the Prophet stated: "All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab. Also, a white (person) has no superiority over a black (person), nor does a black have any superiority over a white - except by piety and good action." SEE: http://cair.com/Muhammad/
The Washington-based council has in the past condemned an Iranian contest soliciting political cartoons mocking the Holocaust and supported calls for an apology from an Arab-American newspaper that published excerpts from an anti-Semitic tract.
In its past statement supporting an apology from the newspaper, CAIR said "we must challenge those who would fan the flames of anti-Semitism." CAIR's statement condemning the Iranian cartoon contest called the Holocaust "one of the lowest moments in human history."
- Hussam Ayloush
- Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html