Distinctive Mission for Muslims’ Conference: Remembering the Holocaust

Samuel Freedman, New York Times, Sep.23, www.nytimes.com/2011/09/24/us/distinctive-mission-for-muslims-conference-remembering-the-holocaust.html?_r=1&ref=religionandbelief

One afternoon this week, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran addressed the United Nations General Assembly, once again casting doubt that the Holocaust had occurred. Almost exactly 24 hours earlier, an otherwise obscure college student in Morocco named Elmehdi Boudra was convening a conference devoted not to denying the Holocaust but to remembering it.

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s speech, not surprisingly, made major news around the world, as had his similar pronouncements in earlier years and his Tehran convention of Holocaust deniers. Mr. Boudra’s conference, meanwhile, attracted virtually no media attention of any kind.

Yet it should have been trumpeted, all the more for its coincidental timing. While Holocaust denial or denigration in the Muslim world is a sadly familiar phenomenon, hardly news at all, the conference put together by Mr. Boudra and several dozen classmates, all of them Muslim, may well have been the first of its kind in an Arab or Muslim nation, and a sign of historical truth triumphing over conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic dogma.

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