“Mr. Foxman raised the question of the appropriateness of the State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism to accompany individually and privately sponsored trips,” the statement says. “Given that there are many places in the world where anti-Semitism remains a problem, we believe that her leadership role in fighting anti-Semitism is best done government to government.”
That refers to Rosenthal, the State Department official, whose grandparents were killed in the Holocaust. Given that the trip resulted in such a strong statement, in which Muslim leaders from around the U.S. publicly denounced anti-Semitism in the strongest terms, the trip organizers saw it as a major success.
One person familiar with the trip told Salon that Foxman called both Rosenthal and the White House to object. When it went forward anyway, he went beyond objecting to the participation of the U.S. officials and called a Polish rabbi who had a scheduled meeting with the imams and asked the rabbi not to see the group, the person said.
‘O you who believe, stand up firmly for justice as witnesses to Almighty God.” (Holy Qu’ran, al-Nisa “The Women” 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 (Holy Qu’ran, al-Ma’idah “the Tablespread” 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, Calif.
Chairman, Fiqh Council of North America
Imam Muhamad Maged
All-Dulles-Area Muslim Society
Vice President, Islamic Society of North America
Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed
Office of Interfaith & Community Services
Islamic Society of North America
Imam Suhaib Webb
Muslim Community Association
Santa Clara, Calif.
Ms. Laila Muhammad
Daughter of the late Imam W.D. Muhammad
Shaikh Yasir Qadhi
Dean of Academics
Al Maghrib Institute
New Haven, Conn.
Imam Syed Naqvi
Islamic Information Center
Imam Abdullah T. Antepli