In a previous post, I forwarded a bit of cynical humor regarding the recent Holocaust denial conference in Iran. Now I’d like to share with you one remarkable side story from that event which was not widely reported by the press.
Khaled Kasab Mahameed is an Israeli Arab lawyer who has opened a Holocaust memorial museum (the Arab Institute for Holocaust Research and Education) in his hometown of Nazareth. Mahameed, a Muslim, is devoting his life to educating Arabs about the history of the Holocaust – an understanding he believes is key to establishing peace in the Middle East.
Mahameed was scheduled to attend the conference in Iran and was hoping to use this unique forum to further his mission. Alas (not surprisingly) his visa request was denied by the Iranian authorities at the last moment. (Yes, you got it right: we’ve now gone from ultra-orthodox Jewish Holocaust deniers to a Muslim Arab Holocaust museum curator…)
I’d say Mahmeed’s courage represents at least one small redemptive story in the midst of this whole sorry affair. Here’s a recent piece about him and the conference from the Jewish Forward. For further reading, check out this May 2005 article from the Boston Globe.