CAIRO,(Reuters) – The leader of Egypt”s Muslim Brotherhood on Saturday said that when he called the Holocaust a myth this week, he did not mean to say it never happened.
The office of Mohamed Mahdi Akef, the "general guide" of the large Islamist opposition group, said in a statement that his remark on Thursday was meant merely to make a point about the West”s attitude towards democracy and the Palestinians.
In a message on Thursday, Akef said: "Western democracy has attacked everyone who does not share the vision of the sons of Zion as far as the myth of the Holocaust is concerned.
He cited as evidence of Western intolerance the cases of French writer Roger Garaudy, who was convicted of questioning the Holocaust in France in 1998, and British historian David Irving, who faces similar charges in Austria next month.
But on Saturday, his office said: "Some media gave this a meaning which he (Akef) did not intend (and read it as) a denial that the Holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis during World War Two happened. The fact is that he did not deny that it took place."
"He (Akef) brought up the case of Garaudy … to contrast it with the West”s disregard for the victims of the Zionist state and its daily crimes against the Palestinians," it said.
"He cited that as evidence of the West”s policy of a double standard and of the democracy of exclusion which it practices on a wide scale," the statement added.
Some 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis and their allies between 1933 and 1945.
Akef”s group won 88 of the Egyptian parliament”s 454 seats in elections in November and December, making the Brotherhood the largest opposition group in the chamber.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad caused international outrage this month when he called the Holocaust a myth and suggested Israel be moved to Germany or Alaska.