Holocaust Denial in Error, Islamists Say

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The Islamist organization that is the largest de facto opposition group in Egypt's Parliament said Saturday that its leader had not meant to say that the Holocaust never happened when he called it a myth this week.

The office of Muhammad Mehdi Akef, the supreme guide of the group, the Muslim Brotherhood, said that his initial remark, on Thursday, had been intended to make a point about Western attitudes toward democracy and the Palestinians. In that message, Mr. Akef said, "Western democracy has attacked everyone who does not share the vision of the sons of Zion as far as the myth of the Holocaust is concerned."

He cited as evidence of Western intolerance the cases of the French writer Roger Garaudy, who was convicted in France in 1998 of questioning the Holocaust, and the British historian David Irving, who faces similar charges in Austria next month.

But on Saturday, his office said: "Some media gave this a meaning which he did not intend, a denial that the Holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis during World War II happened. The fact is that he did not deny that it took place."

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