A conference affirming the reality of the Holocaust and decrying genocide, in the face of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s fevered fantasies! And it’s held in the world’s most populous Muslim country, modern, moderate Indonesia, the country that the Christian Science Monitor calls “an Islamic force for peace and progress”! What better chance would the nation’s moderate Muslims have to demonstrate their rejection of the maniacal hatred Ahmadinejad represents? But instead we read that “security was tight” and that the event itself was “discreetly organized.” Why, if Wahid indeed “remains a widely respected Muslim leader”? Couldn’t those who respect him be found in sufficient numbers to allow for this event to be held openly and without fear?
Now, don’t get me wrong: I am very happy that this conference took place at all. But when the mainstream media and government and law enforcement officials continue to insist that Muslims who abhor the jihad of Osama bin Laden et al make up the broad mainstream, it is odd that such conferences are so few, and so discreet.
“Bali conference slams Holocaust deniers,” from the Washington Times, with thanks to Davida:
BALI, Indonesia — An unusual conference to affirm the reality of the Holocaust opened yesterday in the world’s most populous Muslim nation — Indonesia — with a Muslim leader criticizing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for insisting the Nazi killing of 6 million Jews was a myth.
“Although I’m a good friend of Ahmadinejad, I have to say that he is wrong,” said former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid.
“I visited Auschwitz’s Museum of Holocaust and I saw many shoes of dead people. Because of this, I believe the Holocaust happened,” said Mr. Wahid, who remains a widely respected Muslim leader.
I’m sorry to be a crab, but it seems to me that Wahid’s affirming the reality of the Holocaust because you saw a pile of shoes rather invites his opponents to suggest that the shoes were trucked in from cobblers and have nothing to do with mass murder. There is abundant firmer evidence of the reality of this genocide; I do hope he got around to mentioning that also.
The daylong conference on the resort island of Bali styled itself as the “anti-conference of Tehran,” where a December 2006 meeting hosted by Mr. Ahmadinejad triggered worldwide condemnation for attempting to cast doubt on the genocide of World War II.
The Bali conference brought together moderate Muslim leaders, Hindu spiritual head Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Buddhist teachers, a Jesuit priest and even rabbis — rare in a country that does not officially recognize Israel or Judaism as a religion….
Why doesn’t the widely respected Mr. Wahid prevail upon the modern, moderate Indonesian government to end this and recognize Israel and Judaism?
Security was tight at the five-star hotel that hosted the discreetly organized event.
Indonesia’s government is secular and most of its 190 million Muslims are moderate, but a vocal militant fringe has grown louder in recent years. Al Qaeda-linked terrorists have twice attacked Bali — a mostly Hindu enclave — killing more than 220 people….
C. Holland Taylor, the chief executive officer of the U.S.-based Libforall foundation, said the predominantly Hindu island of Bali was chosen as host because it has itself been a victim of attacks by Islamic terrorists.
“This conference is focusing on all forms of violence conducted in the name of religion,” he said.
“Our primary focus is on supporting moderate and progressive Muslims in their efforts to promote the culture of liberty and tolerance,” the group states on its Web site.
Fantastic. I hope that this quietly staged and heavily guarded conference will now lead to some genuine action by those moderate and progressive Muslims.