BERLIN – The Brussels-based Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE)
issued a statement mourning the death on June 13 of French Holocaust-denier Roger
Garaudy, prompting fierce criticism on Saturday from the Simon Wiesenthal
Center’s office in Paris.
According to the president of the Islamic
organization, the “FIOE received with great sorrow the news of the death of the
French thinker Roger Garaudy, known to the world as a distinguished philosopher
with a life of diverse contributions and interactions across the
The FIOE statement, which was posted on the group’s website,
added that Garaudy was a “great thinker” and “whether people agree or disagree
with pioneering thinkers, they cannot in any way ignore the vibrant ideological
and human life of a thinker, who spent close to a whole century of our lifetime,
with a keen concern for achieving understanding between nations, and interaction
Garaudy, a communist who converted to Islam in
1982, advocated a radical anti-Zionist policy and authored The Founding
Myths of Modern Israel
, which denied the Holocaust. He argued that Jews who were
deported to extermination camps under the Third Reich were not intentionally
In 1998, a French court convicted him of racial incitement and
he was given a suspended sentence for his denial of the Holocaust.
Shimon Samuels, head of the international division of the Simon Wiesenthal
Center, told The Jerusalem Post
via telephone from Russia on Saturday about the
FIOE, “If one is by judged by the friends one has, this Muslim organization
tarnishes Islam. The group has endorsed a Holocaust-denier, a racist, and the
FIOE is complicit in his views and glorifies his views.”
that the FIOE’s praise of Garaudy brings into question “whether this group is
representing Islam itself.
“What does it say about Islam if they adopt
him as a hero,” Samuels asked. “Can you imagine the Rabbinical Council of Europe
glamorizing [Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring] Brevik in view of his
hostility toward Muslims? We call on Muslim leaders to condemn the FOIE for this
travesty?” Samuels said the FIOE was affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood and had
its headquarters in London.
Agence France-Press noted that Garaudy won
then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s human rights prize in 2002.
according to AFP, “The head of Lebanese Shi’ite movement Hezbollah, Hassan
Nasrallah, in 2006 cited his treatment as an example of the West’s ‘hypocrisy
and duplicity.’” Garaudy also said that the 9/11 attacks were organized by the
He died in the Paris suburb of Chennevieres at the age of