While Iran continues to lead a Holocaust denial campaign, orchestrated by its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a delegation of Muslim Imams visited the Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps this week, the Jewish Daily Forward reports. At the end of a prayer service opposite the gates of Dachau, one of the participants, Muzammil Siddiqi, imam of the Islamic Society of Orange County, California, is quoted by the Forward as saying, “We pray to God that this will not happen to the Jewish people or to any people anymore.”
The delegation was the initiative of Marshall Breger, an Orthodox Jew, who served as a senior official in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the New Jersey-based Center for Interreligious Understanding sponsored the event. The delegation was accompanied by Hannah Rosenthal, the State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, and Rashad Hussain, special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Visits by Arab and Islamic leaders, especially Palestinian leaders, at Holocaust commemoration sites have been fraught with emotions that have engendered bitter clashes in Israel and within the US Jewish establishment. The Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, which invited Yasser Arafat to visit in 1998, was compelled to withdraw the invitation because of the storm it aroused. Eventually, Arafat visited the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, amid fierce criticism.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 12, 2010
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