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Elijah Muhammad granddaughter visits Nazi death camps

PHOTO: A.J. GOLDMANN

Muslim delegates - prayers before the main monument at Dachau

The granddaughter of Elijah Muhammad the founder of the Nation of Islam has visited German Nazi concentration death camps in an effort to foster greater religious understanding and to gain insight into the Jewish experience of holocaust.

Laila Muhammad was one of eight prominent African American Muslim’s who visited Germany on a trip organised by Marshall Breger, an Orthodox Jew who served in the Reagan and first Bush administrations.  The delegation met holocaust survivors and visited the death camps of Auschwitz, and Birkenau.

Breger organised the trip to educate those Muslim leaders who may not have had the opportunity to learn in detail the history of the Holocaust. Breger said he hoped this would help combat Holocaust denial among some Muslims.

Looking for funding from the trip Breger had appealed to numerous Jewish organizations for financial assistance without any success.  He was eventually successful and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, a think tank affiliated with Germany’s Christian Democratic Union, agreed to fund the trip. The August 7-11th trip was co-sponsored by the German think tank and a New Jersey-based interfaith group called Interreligious Understanding.

The African American Muslim leaders all have significant followings in the US. On the visit were Imams Muzammil Siddiqi of Orange County, Calif.; Muhamad Maged of Virginia; Suhaib Webb of Santa Clara, Calif.; Abdullah Antepli of Duke University in North Carolina; and Syed Naqvi of Washington, D.C., along with Dr. Sayyid Syeed of Washington; Sheik Yasir Qadhi of New Haven, Conn.; and Laila Muhammad of Chicago.

U.S. Government officials, including the US State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, joined them and an official from the Organization of the Islamic Conference also participated.

Following the very successful trip the Muslim leaders issued the following statement:

“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
Dulles, Va.
Vice President, Islamic Society of North America
  • Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed
National Director
Office of Interfaith & Community Services
Islamic Society of North America
Washington, D.C.
  • Imam Suhaib Webb
Muslim Community Association
Santa Clara, Calif.
  • Ms. Laila Muhammad
Daughter of the late Imam W.D. Muhammad
Chicago, Ill.
  • Shaikh Yasir Qadhi
Dean of Academics
Al Maghrib Institute
New Haven, Conn.
  • Imam Syed Naqvi
Director
Islamic Information Center
Washington, D.C.
  • Imam Abdullah T. Antepli
Muslim Chaplain
Duke University
Durham, N.C.
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3 Responses

  1. In a liberal democracy, everyone has the right to practise whatever faith or superstition they want, so I make no comment on their right to do so. I would just like to point out, however, that Islam, by whcih I mean all the many various forms of Islam which nearly everyone else accepts as being part of Islam (i.e – NOT than nation of Islam) subscribes to the idea of anti-racism.

    In his final sermon, Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)made clear that racism has no place in Islam:

    “O people! Verily your Lord is one and your father is one. All of you belong to one ancestry of Adam and Adam was created out of clay. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab and for a non-Arab over an Arab; nor for white over the black nor for the black over the white except in piety. Verily the noblest among you is he who is the most pious.”

    Louis Farrakhan has stated that “White people are potential humans…they haven’t evolved yet.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/18/00) Check that reference for yourself folks if you do not belive me.

    I point this out because it is important for people to not associate the NOI with mainstream Islamic believers whose faith prohibits racism. Just because they call themselves Nation of Islam – this does not actually mean they really are.

    Real Muslims do not believe in racism, regardless of the manyother differences that might exist between one another.

    Imran

  2. Mr. Khan are you working for the Zionist or the FBI? First you say a person has the right to practice “whatever faith or superstition they want” then you condemn the Nation of Islam while embracing “many various forms of Islam.” You sound ridiculous!!!

    Then to show your allegiance to your Zionist masters, you quote the ADL’s misquote of Minister Farrakhan. Right…I checked the reference because I didn’t believe you.

    Racism has no place in Islam, but it is in Islam – that is what you need to address not waste time in words attempted to attack a man whom Allah has raised for our benefit.

  3. Actually EMTEC Films (what a charming name, but you might make it so much easier to take your points of view more seriously if you used your real name),

    ‘Mr. Khan are you working for the Zionist or the FBI?’

    I rest my case.

    ‘you quote the ADL’s misquote’

    This quote was taken from an article in The Guardian, which is a well respected UK national broadsheet not known in the UK as being particularly alarmist or Islamophobic (although I appreciate in this context is not a term that would apply in any case). The Guardian is not known for racist comments as far as I am aware. To see the full quote, and other choice Farakhan quotes, go to:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2001/jul/31/race.world1

    ‘a man whom Allah has raised for our benefit’

    That’s your view, which you are entitled to hold. I’d say I’m on fairly safe ground in saying that the VAST majority of the Islamic world not only disagree with you but would consider your words to be one of the biggest sins possible. My point was that in a liberal democracy, we all recognise that you can hold these views if you so wish.

    All the best,

    Imran

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