* Hazem Saghiya
Lebanese journalist and author Hazem Saghiya says Arab and Muslim leaders who deny the Holocaust are committing a grave error and stepping into the domain of the intellectually retarded and educationally deficient.
Holocaust denial is for the intellectually retarded
Muslim Brotherhood leader Mahdi Aakef has joined Khaled Mash'al, who, in his turn, had joined 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 retarded and educationally deficient circles. When the denial is being uttered by Arabs and Muslims, this adds another dimension, which is the inability to achieve any progress in reality, and 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 Ahmadinejad's opinion as 'an academic point of view,' and despite Aakef's dubious 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 combine 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 Ahmadinejad, 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 [won] the legislative elections... As for Aakef, 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 Talas, or some letters and instructions of Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the library of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizbullah abound 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 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...
First published in the daily Al-Hayat