Muslims honor Jewish Holocaust victims at Auschwitz
By Wojciech Zurawski
OSWIECIM, Poland (Reuters) - Prominent Muslims joined Jews and Christians at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz on Tuesday in a gesture of interfaith solidarity designed to refute deniers of the Holocaust such as Iran's president.
About 200 dignitaries from across the Islamic world, from Israel, European countries and international organizations such as UNESCO took part in the visit, which included a tour of the site and prayers in Arabic, Yiddish, English and French.
"We must teach our young people in mosques, churches and synagogues about what happened here," Bosnia's Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric told Reuters.
"This awful place should stand as a reminder to all people that intolerance and lack of understanding between people can result in... such places as Auschwitz."
Some 1.5 million people, mostly Jews, perished at Auschwitz, located near the Polish village of Oswiecim, during the Nazi German occupation of Poland in World War Two.
Organizers said Tuesday's visit was mainly aimed at rejecting the view, most forcefully championed by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but not uncommon in other parts of the Muslim world, that the Holocaust never really happened.
"We chose to give priority to representatives of the Arab and Muslim world and the reason for this is clear," said Anne-Marie Revcolevschi of the Aladdin Project which works to build ties between Jews and Muslims.
"It is mainly from some of these countries that the speeches and documents come that serve as a vehicle for denial (of the Holocaust), hatred and anti-Semitism," she said, in comments delivered ahead of the visit to Auschwitz. Continued...