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 toward 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.