December 31, 2005 Special Dispatch No. 1062

Columnist for London Arabic Daily on Arab & Iranian Leaders Who Deny the Holocaust: ‘[This] is Discussed Only in Intellectually and Educationally Retarded Milieus’

December 31, 2005
Special Dispatch No. 1062

In a column that was published on December 26, 2005 in the London daily Al-Hayat, columnist Hazem Saghiya harshly attacked Arab and Iranian leaders who denied the Holocaust. Those he singled out included Muslim Brotherhood leader Mahdi 'Akef, Hamas leader Khaled Mash'al, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The following are excerpts, in the original English:

"Mahdi 'Akef has joined Khaled Mash'al, who, in his turn, had joined [Iranian President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in denying the existence of the Nazi holocaust that targeted the European Jews. The issue is no longer tackled or discussed, except in intellectually and educationally retarded milieus. When the denial is being uttered by Arabs and Muslims, this adds another dimension, which is the inability to achieve any progress in reality, then proceed to contest history with myth.

"For the millionth time, the truth must be reiterated: the stance towards the Holocaust is not linked to the stance towards Israel. Those who connect the two are either staunch Zionists who consider that the attitude towards the Hebrew State is automatically the same towards the Holocaust, and vice versa; or Jewish haters who consider that acknowledging the Holocaust is tantamount to supporting Israel, and leave no space for contradicting it.

"As it was previously mentioned, there is no longer a need to discuss this settled issue, despite what an Iranian official said when he dubbed [Ahmadi]nejad's opinion as 'an academic point of view,' and despite 'Akef's muddy sources ranging from David Irving to Roger Garaudy.

"Most importantly, the 'culture' of denying the Holocaust - which is, among other things, the outcome of lack of education - has grown to occupy a dominant position in public Arab and Islamic life. Although the issue was about to come to an end and be confined to narrow margins that gather utter fanaticism with utter retardation, the heavy, poisoned Iranian rain blew on us and was welcomed, quite avidly, by the eager Arab deserts.

"The issue is now no longer restricted to narrow margins. The reason is that [Ahmadi]nejad, regretfully and painfully, is the President of the Republic elected by millions of Iranians. As for Mash'al, he is one of the symbols of the organization that bit at Palestinian municipalities, and may now bite at its Parliament too, in case legislative elections take place, confusing the world over the way to avoid such a stalemate. As for 'Akef, he is the rising star in Egypt, as his Muslim brethren have secured more than a quarter of the Parliament's seats. They could even have achieved more in better electoral circumstances.

"Ushered by some writings of the former Syrian Defense Minister Mustapha Tlas, or some letters and instructions of Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the library of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizbullah abounds with long excerpts drawn from Protocols of the Elders of Zion, The Jewish Peril, and other yellow pages intermingled with mythical visions about martyrdom and graves.

"This means that we are not to be envied at all. The ailment is swelling up from the heart of the societies to the decision makers therein. It is no coincidence that the elements of the bloc spreading and disseminating the above mentioned 'ideas' are those same elements who promise us salvation from occupations and darkness to a brighter and more glowing horizon. It is also no coincidence that the same bloc represents an anti-modern sensitivity coupled with a certain regression to what has [been] tried many times before, in power as well as in opposition…"

Share this Report: