Here is a new response to a common urban legend on Islam. I earlier wrote about this dangerous phenomenon.
I received the following email yesterday.
Sent: Monday, December 24, 2007 5:37 AM
Subject: Fwd: HISTORY
This week, the UK removed the Holocaust from it's school curriculum because it "offended" the Muslim population because they say it never occurred.
This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easy each country is giving into it.
It is now more than 60 years since the 2nd. World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the 6 million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, starved, burned and humiliated while German and Russian people looked the other way!
Now more than ever, with Iran among others, claiming the Holocaust to be a myth, it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.
This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide! Be a link in the memorial chain and help distribute this around the world .
Don't just delete this, it will only take a minute to pass it on...
A modified version of this email is in circulation too in which it claims that the University of Kentucky has removed the Holocaust from its curriculum.
Here is the response that I sent to the sender:
Greetings of peace,
It is important to verify the accuracy of such divisive emails before sending them out.
Please read how this email is false.
For the record, many millions of Muslims also perished during WWII, a war that was mainly between European, supposedly Christian countries (with the exception of Japan) and not with Muslim countries. Many Muslims risked their lives to save Jews from being killed by the Nazis (read: http://www.sptimes.com/2007/11/04/Worldandnation/Exhibition_honors_Mus.shtml ).
Additionally, the Holocaust denial, as well as anti-Semitism, started in Europe among people who falsely claimed to be Christian. It was not part of the Muslim culture. Moreover, in case you forgot, the Holocaust itself was an atrocity committed by Europeans who also falsely claimed to be Christian. In recent years, due to the political tension caused by the Middle East conflict and Israel's mistreatment of the Palestinians, some Muslims have unfortunately adopted some of the European anti-Semitic language. Such a practice was and continues to be rejected by the overwhelming majority of Muslims. Racism is strictly forbidden in Islam. Moreover, Judaism and Jews are not responsible for the actions of Israel any more than Muslims can be held responsible for the actions of Al-Qaeda. In fact, both, mainstream Muslims and Jews have respectively spoken against the misuse of the names of Islam and Judaism by such groups, individuals, and entities.
Read my past commentary on Muslims who deny the Holocaust.
Denying the Holocaust is immoral and un-Islamic http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/12/denying-holocaust-is-immoral-and-un.html
Another good piece to read by a leading American Muslim scholar is:
Holocaust Denial Undermines Islam http://www.tikkun.org/magazine/tik0708/frontpage/denial
Thank you and happy new year to you and your families.
- 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