Uncommon Ground: The Nation of Islam and Holocaust Denial

The Nation of Islam and Holocaust Denial

The earliest significant link involved the Nation of Islam, and occurred in 1985, when Professor Arthur Butz lectured at an NOI Savior’s Day rally in Chicago. Butz, a professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Northwestern University, is the author of The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, a standard propaganda work for the Holocaust denial movement. He has also been a member of IHR‘s Editorial Advisory Committee since its founding. The ostensible topic of Butz‘s 1985 address was “International Zionism,” but much of his speech was in fact devoted to his mendacious views of the Holocaust.

More recently, Holocaust denial references have crept into the Nation of Islam’s tabloid, The Final Call. For example, in the May 6, 1991, issue, Abdul Allah Muhammad wrote, “…the four million extermination victims cited on the stone [at Auschwitz] was a blatant lie…. But the most astute Jewish mathematicians will ignore plain facts, continuing to bellow the six-million holocaust [sic] lie, and to condemn anyone who insists upon being intelligent enough to subtract three from six.” In the October 6, 1992, issue of The Final Call, Muhammad referred to Simon Wiesenthal as “a so-called Nazi-hunter who has been proven to be a liar and a fraud”; this, too, repeats an allegation originating with the IHR.

As noted earlier, the NOI activist who has most relentlessly expressed Holocaust denial and Holocaust-demeaning rhetoric has been Khalid Muhammad. While the “blaming-the-victim” rhetoric he used in his keynote address at the Holocaust Council’s inaugural meeting is an important aspect of Holocaust denial propaganda, the movement’s influence on Muhammad’s thinking became more pronounced in his April 19, 1994, Howard University speech. There, he noted that though “the Black African Holocaust” was responsible for the deaths of “600 million”[5], the “so-called Jew Holocaust” was responsible for the deaths of six million, “and we question that!” He further contended that the movie Schindler’s List was “really a ‘Swindler’s List'”; he thus echoed the rhetoric of Canadian neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel, who wrote in the February 1994 issue of the Holocaust-denial publication Remarks an essay titled, “Is Spielberg’s ‘Schindler’ a ‘Schwindler’?”


5. In fact, most authorities estimate the number of Africans forcibly brought to the New World as being between 10 and 15 million, with approximately two million dying in transit, and an additional 6 to 12 million dying as a result of the trade before leaving Africa — numbers horrendous enough to be morally wrenching without Muhammad’s irresponsible exaggeration.