A spokesperson of Egypt's Islamist opposition Muslim Brotherhood retracted on Friday a remark made earlier by the group's top leader that the Holocaust was a "myth".
In his weekly article posted on Thursday on the group's website, the group's leader, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, had described the Holocaust as a "myth".
"American democracy is a democracy [that endorses] a single perspective and attacks anyone who disagrees with the vision of the sons of Zion concerning the myth of the Holocaust," Akef wrote in echoing similar controversial remarks recently made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
But Essam El-Eriane, a Brotherhood spokesperson, on Friday retracted the remark, adding that it was "only a minor part of Akef's article".
El-Eriane said that the use of the word "myth" was "inappropriate".
"The Holocaust happened to the Jews like it happened to other groups and we can't deny that," El-Eriane said.
Akef's article came two weeks after the group won 20% of the seats in the legislative elections, five-fold the number of seats it held in the previous Parliament.
The Muslim Brotherhood has over the past decade emerged as the strongest opposition group in Egypt with an Islamic platform, a trend that has worried secular Western governments, especially Egypt's chief Western ally, the United States.
Akef's article criticised US democracy and attacked the US administration for supporting Israel.
"The democracy that the US is keen on [promoting] is a democracy of exclusion, that rejects anyone who defends Islam or does not follow the path drawn by the sons of Zion," Akef wrote.
Akef also blamed the US for overlooking the Palestinians' rights.
"American democracy that claims its support for different peoples turns a blind eye to the brutality of Zionism in annihilating the Palestinian people, and completely objects to even condemning Israeli shelling of Palestinian civilians," he wrote.
In line with Akef's argument, El-Eriane said the Brotherhood is concerned over the US and European Union threats to cut aid to the Palestinian authority if Islamist group Hamas participates in the legislative elections.
"This is an instant of extreme interference in Palestinian domestic affairs and shows that US claims of democracy lack credibility," he added. -- Sapa-DPA