Dr. Muhammad bin abdel-Kareem Al-Issa (Screensheet) (Screensheet)
Dr. Muhammad bin abdel-Kareem Al-Issa

“We consider any denial of the Holocaust or minimizing of its effect a crime [that] distort[s] history and an insult to the dignity of those innocent souls who have perished,” a prominent Saudi cleric stated. 

By: The Tower and United with Israel Staff

In a historic move, the leader of the Muslim World League, a group based in Saudi Arabia, has condemned Holocaust denial as a “crime [that] distort[s] history and an insult to the dignity of those innocent souls who have perished.”

In a letter sent to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum last week, Dr. Muhammad bin abdel-Kareem Al-Issa, the secretary general of the Muslim World League, wrote that “history is indeed impartial no matter how hard forgers tried to tamper with or manipulate it.”

Al-Issa wrote the message, sent to museum director Sara Bloomfield, five days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day was marked on January 27.

Al-Issa also referred Holocaust denial as “an affront to us all since we share the same human soul and spiritual bonds.”

The cleric did not specify Jews as the principal victims of the Holocaust in his letter, but instead spoke of “this human tragedy perpetrated by evil Nazism” and “our great sympathy with the victims of the Holocaust, an incident that shook humanity to the core, and created an event whose horrors could not be denied or underrated by any fair-minded or peace-loving person.”

Al-Issa also expressed a willingness to visit the Holocaust museum the next time he visits Washington, D.C.

The Arab world is notorious for its Holocaust denial.

Al-Issa, a former justice minister, had taken over the Saudi-funded Muslim World League in 2016. The league has previously been known for propagating “a radical, hate-filled, anti-West, anti-Semitic version of Islam.”

Robert Satloff, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy,  speculated that Al-Issa’s appointment is a reflection of the reform movement led by the new crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, who has vowed to eradicate extremism in the kingdom.

Speaking in November, Al-Issa stated that “any act of violence or terrorism that tries to hide behind religion has no justification whatsoever, not even in Israel.”

Al-Issa has been vocally supportive of the reforms pushed by Bin Salman in his move to “fight extremist Islam.”