High-ranking Muslim leaders from around the world visited the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, where more than a million people massacred by the Third Reich during World War II.
Imams from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Saudi Arabia, India, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Turkey, the United States, and other countries came together to pray for the victims of the Holocaust. The visit also marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army in 1945.
Mohamed Magid, the President of the Islamic Society of North America said that the stories behind the camp were very touching and the world should condemn antisemitism before adding, “What can I say? I am speechless.”
The visit to the Auschwitz Memorial is part of a memorandum of understanding signed between the Muslim World League and the American Jewish Committee to educate the Muslim clergy about the Holocaust.
“I believe that by paying my respects to the victims of Auschwitz, I will encourage Muslims and non-Muslims to embrace mutual respect, understanding and diversity,” Muhammad bin Abdul Karim al-Issa, the Saudi head of the Muslim World League, a widely recognised thought leader on moderate Islam, said in the statement.
In 2017, al-Issa visited the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and declared Holocaust denial a crime against Islam. Prior to his visit, in 2013, 11 imams, sheikhs, and Islamic religious scholars from nine countries took part in an unprecedented trip to Germany and Poland to see and discuss, firsthand, the horrors of the Holocaust.
Constructed in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1940, more than 1.1 million people were killed in the Auschwitz concentration camp – 1 million of which were Jews.