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A historic Holocaust awareness awakening in Saudi Arabia, of all places: Applaud this significant step from the heart of Islam


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Robert Satloff

Friday, January 26, 2018

Saturday, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The UN resolution that established the commemoration urges all countries “to develop educational programs to instill the memory of the tragedy in future generations to prevent genocide from occurring again.” To its credit, Saudi Arabia has taken an important first step toward fulfilling that charge.

Saudi Arabia? Land of religious purity, whose king (Faisal) once celebrated the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as historical fact, whose UN representative (Jamil Baroody, 1976) once denounced Anne Frank’s diary as a forgery and claimed the murder of millions of Jews by the Nazis was fiction? The country that not only counted among its countrymen 15 of 19 perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks but whose religious hierarchy exported bigotry and intolerance to mosques and madrasas around the world for decades, fueling the hate on which Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas and all Islamist extremist movements thrived?

Yes, that Saudi Arabia. Here’s the background.




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Saudi-based Muslim Body Rejects Holocaust Denial

'History is indeed impartial no matter how hard forgers tried to tamper with or manipulate it'

JTA and Ron Kampeas

Jan 27, 2018

A Saudi-based Muslim group rejected Holocaust denial in a letter to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“History is indeed impartial no matter how hard forgers tried to tamper with or manipulate it,” said the letter sent Jan. 22 to the museum by Mohammad Al Issa, the secretary general of the Muslim World League, five days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “Hence, we consider any denial of the Holocaust or minimizing of its effect a crime to distort history and an insult to the dignity of those innocent souls who have perished. It is also an affront to us all since we share the same human soul and spiritual bonds.”

The letter was posted Thursday on the site of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Al Issa suggested the letter was prompted in part by his friendship with the think tank’s director, Robert Satloff, who has written extensively about North African Muslims who protected Jews during the Holocaust.

Writing separately, Satloff described meeting Al Issa last month when he led a delegation of lay leaders of his think tank to Saudi Arabia. A former justice minister, Al Issa had taken over the Saudi-funded Muslim World League in 2016. Satloff wrote that the league had been a linchpin in propagating “a radical, hate-filled, anti-West, anti-Semitic version of Islam.” Al Issa expressed a willingness to visit the Holocaust museum the next time he was in Washington.

The appointment of Al Issa appears to be of a piece with Saudi Arabia’s pivot westward under its new crown prince, Muhammad bin Sultan, Satloff said.


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