Iranian government sponsors
|Dead bodies with captions indicating that they were not killed by poison gas.|
|More pictures of corpses with captions indicating that they died of a typhus epidemic.|
|Smiling prisoners of the Nazis freed at the end of the war, labeled "Truth."|
|Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad opened the session and thanked God that, in his opinion, the Zionist regime was declining. He said "...its lifetime will be over and their interests as well as reputation will be endangered." According to the official IRNA news agency, he said that:|
"The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom."
He called for elections among:
"Jews, Christians and Muslims so the population of Palestine can select their government and destiny for themselves in a democratic manner."
He referred to the Holocaust as a "myth" several times during his speech.
|Georges Theil of France said:
Theil maintains that the Nazis never used poison gas against Jews. He was convicted earlier in 2006 for "contesting the truth of crimes against humanity."
|David Duke, a former Louisiana Republican state representative elected in
1989, former Imperial Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,
2 and author of a propaganda novel
titled "Jewish Supremacism: My awakening to the Jewish Question,"
3 denied the
existence of the gas chambers that the Nazis used to exterminate millions of
Jews, Roma, and others. Duke said that:|
|Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, a former interior
minister and one of the founders of the Lebanese militia Hezbollah said:
|Historian Wolfgang Froehlich from Austria handed out reprints of his paper to attendees. He has already served a two-year jail sentence for denying the Holocaust, and did not want to risk reading it out loud.|
|Nabil Soleiman, an adviser to the ministry of religious affairs in Syria, said:|
|Rabbi Moshe David Weiss of the group Jews United Against Zionism,
an anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect presented a paper. His group
believes that the creation of the state of Israel violated Jewish religious
law. He said:|
|Haround Yashayai, head of the Iranian Jewish community said: "We consider the Holocaust as a fact and a disgrace for humanity."|
|During an interview with the Associated Press, David Duke said that:
|Bendikt Frings, 48, a German psychologist described Mr. Ahmadinejad as
"... an honest, direct man. ... We are forbidden to have such a conference in Germany. All my childhood, we waited for something like this."
|Frederick Toben, from Australia, said Mr. Ahmadinejad had opened an
He said that:
It is unclear whether he meant this number to be per day, per shift or per hour. He continued:
Toben was jailed for six months in 1999 for his ideas on the Holocaust.
|Six members of anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox Jewish sects -- Jews United Against Zionism and Neturei Karta (Guardians of the City) -- were in attendance. One wore a badge saying: "A Jew, not a Zionist."|
|The German government expressed the country's anger to the Iranian chargé d’affaires .|
|Philippe Douste-Blazy, the foreign minister of France, condemned the conference.|
|Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the UK said that the conference was "shocking beyond belief." He called it "a symbol of sectarianism and hatred. ... I look around the region at the moment, and everything Iran is doing is negative."|
|The White House described the conference as: "an
affront to the entire civilized world as well as to the traditional Iranian
values of tolerance and respect." Press Secretary Tony Snow wrote in a
|Mohammad Ali Ramini, an Ahmadinejad adviser who has called the Holocaust a "myth," said that he will head a committee to find "the truth on the genocide of Jews." He will be joined by a number of Holocaust deniers including Robert Fuerisson, from France and other deniers from Austria, Bahrain, Canada, Syria, Switzerland, and the U.S. There are apparently no Holocaust affirmers allowed on the committee. 5|
Muslims from the Washington DC area gathered on 2006-DEC-20 at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to honor the memory of Jews who were murdered during the Nazi Holocaust. Present were American University professor Akbar Ahmed, museum director Sara Bloomfield, three Holocaust survivors, and representatives from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the Arab American Institute.
Imam Mohamed Magid of ADAMS in Sterling, VA said that Muslims "have to learn from the lessons of history and to commit ourselves, never again." With an obvious reference to the conference of Holocaust deniers and minimalists, he said:
"No Muslim anywhere has the right to turn Holocaust denial into an Islamic cause. I applaud the Jewish community for making sure humanity never forgets how the Nazis murdered Jews, gypsies and disabled people, including more than 1 million children. They set an example for the rest of us on how to make people more aware of horrors like the genocide in Rwanda and slavery."
Museum director Sara Bloomfield said she was proud to be standing with her Muslim friends at an institution devoted to history and committed to confronting hatred. Ahmed agreed, but also emphasized that "hate is not only about hating Jews or anti-Semitism, but also about Islamophobia, the hatred of Islam."
CAIR's executive director, Nihad Awad, said that "misguided people" are wrong to question whether the Holocaust took place. He said:
"Belittling the suffering of any people contradicts Islamic teachings and the actions of the prophet Muhammad. It's a red line that no one should cross."
Holocaust survivor Halina Peabody, 74, of Bethesda said she was:
"overwhelmed with happiness. ... This makes me believe there are moderate Muslims, but I keep wondering if they are living under a cloud and are in danger of being assassinated." 6
Copyright © 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting 2006-DEC-29
Last update: 2006-DEC-29
Author: B. A. Robinson
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