Jack Bemporad, Marshall Preger, and Suhail A. Khan: Muslims Reflect on the Holocausttags: Holocaust, Islam, Washington Post, Jack Bemporad, Marshall Preger, Suhail A. Khan
Rabbi Jack Bemporad is Director of the Center for Interreligious Understanding (New Jersey), and Director of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue at the Pontifical Angelicum University (Rome).
Professor Marshall Breger is Professor of Law, Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America; former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and liaison to the Jewish community.
Suhail A Khan is Senior Fellow, Institute for Global Engagement in Washington, DC and former liaison to the Muslim community for President George W. Bush.
May 18-24 felt like a lifetime: emotional, exhausting, and exhilarating, as amid the horror of the Holocaust, we escorted a global delegation of influential Muslim leaders from nine countries on an historic journey to concentration camps in Germany and Poland.
In 2010 we had embarked on a similar journey with eight of America’s leading imams, because falsehoods about the Holocaust remain a leading propaganda tool to foment deadly anti-Semitism and anti-Western sentiment. We sought to undercut that legacy with a journey that bore witness to the truth of the Holocaust....
We understood that few in the global Muslim community had extensive knowledge of Nazi ideology, or of 20th century German or Jewish history. This may be why Holocaust Denial among many in the Middle East and beyond is increasingly becoming a political tool to foment hate. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is distributed as a book of history, not rancid fiction. We felt it urgent to address these developments by simply allowing leaders to experience the truth of the camps. Our belief in the value of this process proved justified once again.
Islam is a religion that champions compassion. That was amply demonstrated to us by the profound compassion and care that these imams demonstrated throughout the journey, speaking with survivors, and honoring the places where few survived. These influential Muslim leaders have released an unprecedented public statement, which says in part:
“We acknowledge, as witnesses, that it is unacceptable to deny this historical reality and declare such denials or any justification of this tragedy as against the Islamic code of ethics...."
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