A group of American Muslim leaders made a first-of-its-kind visit to Nazi concentration camps this week, prompting tears from at least one of them. Eight imams made a three-day trip Dachau and Auschwitz this week, co-sponsored by a German think tank and the New Jersey-based Center for Interreligious Understanding, and strongly supported by the United States government.
The trip, as reported in the Jewish Forward, was the brainchild of law professor Marshall Breger, an Orthodox Jew and former senior official in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Breger said, “There is a view that there is growing anti-Semitism in the Muslim world, reinforced by people like President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, that there is growing Holocaust denial in the Muslim world. In light of that, the idea was to offer education to those who might not have the kind of knowledge that we’ve had about World War II and the Jewish community, and to do this in a public way.”
The imams prayed at Dachau, with a concluding prayer by Muzammil Siddiqi, imam of the Islamic Society of Orange County, California: “We pray to G-d that this will not happen to the Jewish people or to any people anymore.” Suhaib Webb, an imam from Santa Clara in the Bay Area, grew up in a white Christian household in Oklahoma and later converted to Islam. Walking around Auschwitz with tears in his eyes, he said, “It was far worse than I imagined.”
“No Muslim in his right mind, female or male, should deny the Holocaust,” said Mohamed Magid, imam and executive director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society. “When you walk the walk of the people who have been taken to be gassed, to be killed, how can a person deny physical evidence, something that’s beyond doubt?”
Just a few days earlier, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinajad reiterated his claim that the Jews “made up” the “so-called Holocaust.”
Read more at Arutz Shevah.