Imams who toured Auschwitz denounce Holocaust denial

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A group of imams who toured Auschwitz and Dachau said “denying the reality of the Holocaust” was “unacceptable.”

“We bear witness to the absolute horror and tragedy of the Holocaust, where millions upon millions of human souls perished, more than half of whom were people of the Jewish faith,” said the May 28 statement from 10 Muslim religious and intellectual leaders from the United States, Indonesia, Bosnia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and India. “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.”

The May 18-24 trip, which was organized by the Center for Religious Understanding, also included top U.S. officials, including Ira Forman, who had just been appointed the State Department’s special envoy to combat anti-Semitism, and Rashid Hussain, the special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

A 2010 visit organized by the Center for Religious Understanding, which hosted only U.S. imams, resulted in a similar statement.

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