Iranian Holocaust denial gets a boost

3 Nov 2009 by CST

If it were not bad enough for Iran to have the world's best-known Holocaust denier as its President, Iranians now have the misfortune to have an even more committed Holocaust denier and antisemite as their Deputy Minister of Culture:

A top advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is considered the "brains" behind the president's Holocaust denial, was appointed Monday as the Islamic republic's new deputy minister of culture.

Mohammad-Ali Ramin is considered the Ayatollah regime's most hard-line Holocaust denier and anti-Semite.

Ramin, a historian, is seen as responsible for Ahmadinejad's proclamations that the Holocaust is a myth.

Ramin takes credit for organising the Holocaust denial conference held in Tehran in 2006, attended by French Holocaust Denier Robert Faurisson and ex-KKK leader David Duke:

"My suggestion was to establish an NGO, in Iran or elsewhere, that would reexamine this issue and investigate it with the help of international forums. But after making enquiries, we saw that nobody in the [entire] world had the courage to raise this issue and investigate it. Anyone who speaks or publishes anything about it is silenced immediately, before [the issue] can be examined. [That is why] we got the idea of organizing a non-governmental conference with the support of the Iranian government, but we [subsequently] discovered that nobody in the world would respond to it, and that it was totally ignored in the news.

"Naturally, I do not want us to take a one-sided view of the Holocaust, and to deny it out of hand, since we do not have sufficient and complete information about it. The purpose of the conference was to question the order that the West has imposed upon us in this manner..."

After the conference, Ramin was appointed General Secretary of the World Foundation for Holocaust Studies, which was formed to implement the work of the conference. The Foundation, which does not appear to have been particularly active since the conference,  was to be run by a five-person committee staffed entirely by Holocaust deniers from various Western countries: Michele Renouf of Britain, Fredrick Toben of Australia, Serge Thion of France, Christian Lindtner of Denmark and Bernhard Schaub of Switzerland.

Ramin's antisemitic propagandising does not stop at the Holocaust. Here he is, expounding various antisemitic theories to Iranian students:

'But among the Jews there have always been those who killed God’s prophets and who opposed justice and righteousness. Throughout history, this religious group has inflicted the most damage on the human race, while some groups within it engaged in plotting against other nations and ethnic groups to cause cruelty, malice and wickedness.

'Historically, there are many accusations against the Jews. For example, it was said that they were the source for such deadly diseases as the plague and typhus. This is because the Jews are very filthy people. For a time people also said that they poisoned water wells belonging to Christians and thus killed them,' Ramin said.

Ramin also pointed that powerful people also concocted other plots to mislead public opinion around the world. 'When the Islamic Revolution of Iran succeeded and attracted many people around the world, including Christians, the AIDS epidemic came about, and fear again overtook the world. After the September 11 attacks, the deadly epidemic broke out, which was destroyed when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. On the eve of the invasion of Iran, the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) illness broke out, but disappeared after the invasion,' he said.

Ramin also claimed that the spread of avian flu was a conspiracy plot cause[d] by the failure of America, Israel and Britain in the Middle East. Ramin pointed out that, to cover up and hide their failures, these countries have spread the news about the bird flu and thus preoccupied and distracted public opinion for some 5 to 6 months. 'Nobody asks how a bird infected with the flu could fly from Australia to Siberia,' he said, adding that even the Iranian minister of health had claimed to have stopped the disease at Iran’s borders. He claimed the holocaust story and bird flu rumors are interrelated. He stated that the killing of millions of chickens was intended to control the price and amount [of] chicken in the market.

It is not just Jews who have reason to lament Ramin's appointment as Deputy Minister for Culture. One of his reponsibilities is to issue or remove  licences to newspapers in Iran:

It seems Ramin's office already began exercising its authority, closing Monday a publication affiliated with the reformist opposition camp. The said newspaper, "Sarmaya", was shut for criticizing Ahmadinejad's economic policies.

As of today, 32 journalists and bloggers are held in Iranian prisons. In recent months, since the controversial presidential elections, many reformist websites have been shut down and many journalists arrested. Most of them have been freed since.

Iran's proxy in Lebanon, Hizbollah, also has an antagonistic attitude towards Holocaust education. Last week, Hizbollah's TV station al-Manar broadcast a news report 'exposing' the fact that Anne Frank's Diary is being taught to secondary school students in some Lebanese schools (transcript here):

Reporter: A new book, with indications of normalization [with Israel], has been monitored by Al-Manar TV. The English reader is taught in eighth grade in several schools in Beirut. The 60-page book recounts, in one of its chapters, the diary of a Jewish girl during World War II, who hid, along with her family, in Holland, to flee the Nazi persecution of the Jews, and out of fear of being killed or burned.

To avoid confusion or distortion, we purchased a copy of the book from a Beirut bookshop.

[...]

Reporter (holding the book): This is the book that is taught in several schools in Beirut, which recounts the diary of an Israeli girl during World War II. Let’s delve together into the details of this diary. 

There is an entire chapter, titled “Drama,” at the top of which there is a Star of David, along with clarification measures not found in other chapters, which aim to focus on the notion of the persecution of the Jews during World War II. Even worse than this is the dramatic way in which this diary is emotionally recounted. 

Naim Kalaani, Chairman of the Authority for Banning Zionist Products: Such a book is definitely in violation of the penal code. This is clearly a violation, and they must be prosecuted. This is tantamount to running towards normalization. The prosecution must automatically take action, because this is a criminal offense taking place in a school. 

Hizbullah MP Hussein Al-Hajj Hassan: Nobody teaches from a textbook without checking its content first. These respected schools teach the so-called “tragedy” of this girl, but they are ashamed to teach the tragedy of the Palestinian people, the tragedy of the Lebanese people, the history of the resistance, the history of the resistance in Lebanon, and the suffering of the South Lebanese, and the Lebanese in general, at the hand of the Zionist occupation. 

[...] 

Reporter: Al-Manar tried unsuccessfully to obtain the response of the Education Ministry. So it contacted General Wafiq Jazini, Director-General of the General Security, who said he knew nothing about the issue, and ordered an investigation into the details, and into the necessary measures to be taken. 

Until then, the question remains: Until when will the cultural scene in Lebanon be wide open to a Zionist cultural invasion, and were those involved in the matter aware of it, or not?

You may recognise the name of the Hizbollah MP quoted in the report, Hussein al-Hajj Hassan. He was in London in March, where he spoke at a meeting in Parliament as a guest of Jeremy Corbyn MP; and at Friends House, where he was hosted by the Stop The War Coalition. The meetings were organised to launch the English branch of the International Union of Parliamentarians For Palestine (IUPFP), an Iranian anti-Israel parliamentary association. The International Director of the IUPFP, Dyab Abou Jahjah, published a series of Holocaust Denial cartoons in Holland in 2006, prior to his joining IUPFP.


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