Genocide Memorial Day, from Inayat Bunglawala
Your leader comment (Evening Standard, Tuesday 13th September 2005) says that the Muslim Council of Britain 'has now proposed' that the Holocaust Memorial Day be renamed to Genocide Memorial Day. In fact, the MCB has adopted this position ever since the Home Office first mooted the idea of a Holocaust Memorial Day in 1999.
The view held by the MCB is that the subtext of the memorial day -"Never Again" - is unfortunately diluted by the exclusive nature of the event.
The memorial day would in our opinion be better served by also covering more recent and ongoing mass killings and human rights abuses in our world, and thus make the cry "Never Again" real for all people who suffer, even now. In the last decade we have seen genocide take place in both Rwanda (1 million killed in 1994 in the space of a few weeks) and Chechnya (10% of its population has been killed since the Russians launched their invasion of the tiny republic in 1994) and Bosnia. We need to do more than just reflect on the past. We must be able to recognise when similar abuses occur in our own time.
The Muslim Council of Britain
London E15 1NT