'Holocaust Memorial Day', letter from Iqbal Sacranie
27th January 2004
A leading article in yesterday's Guardian chastises the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) for not taking part in Holocaust Memorial Day. The view held by the MCB since the inception of Holocaust Memorial Day in 2001 is that the subtext of the memorial day - "Never Again" - is diluted by the exclusive nature of the event.
The memorial day would in our opinion be better served by covering the 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. We must do more than just reflect on the past. We must be able to recognise when similar abuses occur in our own time.
Not to acknowledge current and recent genocides would be to undermine the benefits of remembrance, deprecate lessons learnt from the Nazi Holocaust and call into question our commitment to prevent current and future inhumanity. The Nazi Holocaust began with a hatred of an entire people because of their religion and ethnic identity. To reflect a more tolerant and inclusive Britain, we believe that Holocaust Memorial Day ought to be renamed "Genocide Memorial Day" to make no distinction between genocides undertaken against people of other religions and ethnicity.
Muslim Council of Britain