On August 7-11, eight prominent Muslim American imams and community leaders partook in a historic trip to two Holocaust camps, Dachau and Auschwitz. New Jersey Rabbi Jack Bemporad said the purpose of this trip was meant “to combat the rise in Holocaust denial that has popped up in various Muslim and non-Muslim circles around the world — and online — in recent years.” After their emotional and profound experience, these imams released the following statement:
Statement of Muslim American Imams & Community Leaders on Holocaust Denial
“O you who believe, stand up firmly for justice as witnesses to Almighty God.” (Qu’ran, 4:135)
On August 7-11, 2010, we the undersigned Muslim American faith and community leaders visited Dachau and Auschwitz concentration camps where we witnessed firsthand the historical injustice of the Holocaust.
We met survivors who, several decades later, vividly and bravely shared their horrific experience of discrimination, suffering, and loss. We saw the many chilling places where men, women and children were systematically and brutally murdered by the millions because of their faith, race, disability and political affiliation.
In Islam, the destruction of one innocent life is like the destruction of the whole of humanity and the saving of one life is like the saving of the whole of humanity (Qu’ran, 5:32). While entire communities perished by the many millions, we know that righteous Muslims from Bosnia, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, and Albania saved many Jews from brutal repression, torture and senseless destruction.
We bear witness to the absolute horror and tragedy of the Holocaust where over twelve million human souls perished, including six million Jews.
We condemn any attempts to deny this historical reality and declare such denials or any justification of this tragedy as against the Islamic code of ethics.
We condemn anti-Semitism in any form. No creation of Almighty God should face discrimination based on his or her faith or religious conviction.
We stand united as Muslim American faith and community leaders and recognize that we have a shared responsibility to continue to work together with leaders of all faiths and their communities to fight the dehumanization of all peoples based on their religion, race or ethnicity. With the disturbing rise of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hatred, rhetoric and bigotry, now more than ever, people of faith must stand together for truth.
Together, we pledge to make real the commitment of “never again” and to stand united against injustice wherever it may be found in the world today.
- Imam Muzammil Siddiqi, Islamic Society of Orange County, CA and chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America
- Imam Muhamad Maged, All-Dulles-Area Muslim Society, Dulles, Virginia and Vice President of the Islamic Society of North America
- Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, National Director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office of Interfaith & Community Services, Washington, D.C.
- Imam Suhaib Webb, Muslim Community Association, Santa Clara, CA
- Ms. Laila Muhammad, daughter of the late Imam W.D. Muhammad of Chicago, IL
- Shaikh Yasir Qadhi, Dean of Academics for the Al Maghrib Institute, New Haven, CT
- Imam Syed Naqvi, Director of the Islamic Information Center in Washington, DC
- Imam Abdullah T. Antepli, Muslim Chaplain, Duke University
For more information about the trip, read this article.