Founder of Islamic Movement in Israel Condemns Holocaust Deniers

Rabbi Michael Melchior recently participated in the fourth Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism.  Sheikh Abdullah Nimr Darwish, founder of the Islamic movement in Israel, made a very important speech in which he condemend Holocaust deniers.  I have excerpted a portion of the article covering the event, which was publsihed in Haaretz (click here for full article):

February 13, 2007

The founder of the Islamic Movement in Israel condemned Holocaust denial in the Muslim world on Sunday, rejecting statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In an appearance before the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem, Sheikh Abdullah Nimr Darwish said: "Tell all who deny the Holocaust to ask the Germans what they did or did not do."

Also, Darwish accused his audience of not understanding Muslims or their concerns, and he protested Israel’s refusal to support the recent Saudi Arabian peace initiative involving Hamas and Fatah. "Why are you trying to distance yourselves from Muslims as if they were the devil?" he said. …

In many conversations that I have had with experts on Islam about the absence of outrage against Muslim extremism by the so-called "Silent Majority" of Muslims, we invariably get caught up debating the question of the persistence of this deafening silence from moderate Muslims.

When a constructive Muslim voice is expressed in a public forum, we should all take note and remember the importance of the event and the  courageousness of such people.  The fact is that Islamic pluralists who speak out against hate invite threats and death edicts (fatwa) from fundamentalist extremists who actively promote anarchy and the cult of death through martyrdom thoughout the Middle East.

I don’t agree with everything that the Sheikh had to say, but I am willing to give him the room to be constructive and to ask for more Muslims to join him in bringin more voices to light from the Silent Majority.

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