Reformist Muslim

Exploring possibilities for the future of Islam and other thoughts

Location: London, United Kingdom

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Muslim Council of Britain

This is a bit late, but I think that its an important matter. The Muslim Council of Britain decided to boycott a Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony on the grounds that the event should recognise Genocide wherever it occurs and not just the Holocaust.

On the face of it, the justification given seems reasonable. Genocide has occurred since then in places like Rwanda and Yugoslavia and the 'never again' rhetoric is pointless if that is not recognized.

There are however several problems with the explanation given by Mr Sacranie. Firstly, he asked for Palestinian suffering to be included as well. Whilst Palestinians have suffered gross abuses of their human rights, to call it a genocide is legally and morally incorrect.

Secondly and more importantly, it is irrelevant when commemorating such an event as the liberation of Auschwitz whether or not genocide has also taken place in other places . What happened under Nazi rule was a crime against humanity and as human beings and community leaders, the MCB should have attended the function as a sign of respect for their fellow citizens many of whom were personally affected by the Holocaust. There is a time and a place for everything and boycotting such an event simply sends out the wrong message to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

Thirdly lets not forget some of the other outrages which have taken place over the last century. Millions of people were killed in Stalin's Russia and Mao's China. Lets hope the MCB's close association with the likes of Galloway have not blinded them to this.

Also while I also disagreed with the War in Iraq, the MCB could also have shown some solidarity and recognition of those butchered by Saddam including the Kurds the Shia's and the Marsh Arabs not to mention the countless dissidents or indeed those murdered gratuitously for the pleasure of Uday and Qusay - Not to justify what happened there, but Abu Ghraib existed before the Americans arrived there.

It is fashionable for those heavily influenced by the likes of John Pilger and Noam Chomsky to blame America for the sanctions imposed on Iraq and the suffering that that caused. However, the whole Security Council was behind that as a means to contain Saddam's regime. The fact that people suffered was due to the abuse of the sanctions by Saddam aided in some cases by those in the west which allowed him to live in luxury while 'his people' died. (This is not to mention that Chomsky constantly denied the Cambodian Holocaust which was also missing from the list of genocides)

Finally, the situation closest to Genocide today is happening in the Darfur region of Sudan. Perhaps Mr Sacranie when explaining his decision to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day should have called on Mr Blair and Mr Bush to form a coalition of forces to intervene in Sudan and put an end to the humanitarian crimes taking place there.


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3:53 pm, August 25, 2005  
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8:30 pm, August 26, 2005  

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