December 15, 2005 - As a sequel to his earlier comment that Israel should be "wiped off the map," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has now joined the ranks of the Holocaust deniers.
Last week, in an address to thousands, Ahmadinejad said:
"They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets....
"The West has given more significance to the myth of the genocide of the Jews, even more significant than God, religion, and the prophets.... (It) deals very severely with those who deny this myth but does not do anything to those who deny God, religion, and the Prophet.
"If you have burned the Jews, why don't you give a piece of Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to Israel?"
No head of state since Hitler has publicly expressed such blatantly anti-Semitic rhetoric. It is all the more ominous when considering that Iran is on its way to becoming a nuclear power. That Iran already exports terrorism is well known. Such reckless language from an aggressive country with nuclear ambitions threatens not only Israel, not only the Jewish people, but the peace of the entire world.
So an outcry against this state-sponsored hatred would seem imperative. What is the world reaction? The United States has condemned these remarks. So have some European countries.
But from the Muslim world? Nothing.
Ahmadinejad spoke in the name of Islam. He invoked the Prophet, Muhammad himself. Yet there has been no outcry from any Muslim country or any authority within organized Islam disavowing these comments or saying they do not represent the "real" Islam.
Muslims everywhere seem eager to go on record as opposing terrorism and insisting it is counter to the "real" Islam. But Muslim denunciations of terrorism are usually inspired by terrorist acts in the countries in which they live. Muslims in Spain have denounced the bombing in Madrid. Muslims in England have denounced the bombing in London. Muslims in the United States have denounced the attacks of 9/11. So it is not as though Muslims did not have a voice. Yet one can hear no denunciations of the terrorism, including the murder of many innocents, perpetrated by Iran's proxies Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.
And when it comes to the worst rhetoric and most serious implied threat against the Jewish people heard in over half a century, the Muslim world still says nothing.
So just what is the "real" Islam? A religion of universal peace and love toward one's fellow human beings? Or a religion whose teachings and whose representatives encourage ethnic hatred? When will the true voice of Islam speak?
Maybe it has.
Michal Zippori and CNN News Staff, "Iranian leader: Holocaust a 'myth', CNN.com, December 14, 2005.
Peace with Realism