Emails to the MCB on issues and concerns
|Warren Marks |
....While I share your views that mass murder should be eradicated and that
victims of atrocities should be remembered so that there should never be
a repetition of such events I am concerned that your decision not to
commemorate the day should be taken as a "regrettable" one.
Although the statement on your website is quite diplomatic it does not
explain what most will feel is the genuine and plausible reasoning
behind such a decision.
The holocaust was principally directed at one ethnic group which is why
it is particularly commemorated by the British jewish community, who
commemorate the lives of ALL people murdered during that dreadful
episode in history whichever nation or group they belonged to. (There is
a seperate day for the jewish community).
Perhaps the people who have taken such a decision in the MCB are unaware
of the implications of this and what it means to the rest of the British
public, not just the tiny jewish community. One reason for this is the
obvious comparison drawn on your website between the holocaust and the
occupation of Palestine. While many understand your desire to bring an
end to that conflict is as strong as all people, to draw a comparison
between war casualties and the attempted industrial destruction of an
entire ethnic group may be seen as an insult to the victims of the
holocaust. I note that it calls for commemoration of victims of Israel's
foregin policy but not Israeli victims of Palestinian "resistance".
Innocent victims should be remembered from whichever "side" they belong
to and whatever ethnic origin. Therefore, however diplomatic a website
statement may be, there is the possibility of an underlying feeling by
many that a political point is being made and I have to say it may be a
valid point. Balance is clearly required here. This does not in any way
minimalise the suffering of those in the occupied territories which is
definitely recognised by a very large section of the jewish community.
If no political point is being made, it is certainly curious that the
appalling situation in Darfur is omitted from your statement. This has
raised a few eyebrows and I hope this glaring omission will be corrected.
I have to tell you that my Muslim friends are aghast at your decision
and have told me of their embarrassment. Naturally, I have had to
reassure them that I am not offended as the decision was probably taken
by people who are perhaps unaware of the feelings of the vast majority
of British Muslims.
In a year that has seen increased attacks on jewish cemetries and Muslim
mosques there can be no doubt that ethnic minorities are facing
increasing problems and should be seen to have solidarity with each
other. The MCB policy regarding Holocaust Memorial Day will only be seen
as divisive. I am sure you will appreciate that the jewish community is
more likely to feel offended by your decision which I believe to be more
antagonistic rather than ameliorative.
I would also like to say that it is no more the job of the MCB to decide
how this day should be commerorated or indeed who it should. While many
will take on board your suggestions that the day may commemorate other
victims of genocide, I would consider it to be disrespectful to attempt
to change the meaning of something that was so obviously an emotive
issue to my Muslim friends.
Finally, I do not think this decision has been thought through properly.
The MCB has a duty to foment and cement good relations between the
British Muslim Community and the rest of the nation. I am afraid this
decision will appear to drive a wedge bewteen the two and will make the
fostering of good relations that bit more difficult. I hope in this case
I am wrong but I am of an age where I have seen too much water under the
None of the above means that I do not totally disagree with your wishes
and in time perhaps the day will include the commemoration of other
tragedies in the world. It is usual political practice in the UK to try
to effect change through "cameralism" which means that you could effect
change from within. This would mean that you accept the invitation to
stand side by side with those whose suffering you acknowledge and with
effective dialogue effect a possible change in the nature of this day.
There is always the possibilty that you could instigate another
"genocide memorial day".
In summary, I would like to say that I have done business with Muslims
all over the world for many years and hope to continue to do so for
years to come and it has always been a pleasure. Whatever one reads
about our two communities should not be heeded as we have too much in
common. Perhaps this time next year we will be celebrating peace in
Israel and Palestine and then you will be making arrangements to
commemorate the holocaust to stand proudly with fellow British citizens
who also make up our ethnic mix. Racists and extremists will only make
political capital of your decision also.
I am sorry if I have taken up too much of your time but I do hope you
find the time to respond.
|I very much support MCB on this stance. By just remembering the
Holocaust every year, we may become complacent when genocide happen to
other groups of people i.e. Rwanda, Bosnia etc. I don't think the word
genocide should be unique to the Jews..... Lets be fair and equal know!
I have read the Muslim Councilís stance on HMD with growing disquiet.
There are merits on both sides of the argument, the danger is that by taking a judgemental attitude we risk destroying the fragile unity that has now been forged amongst various Muslim Organisations.
The current argument against attending, however, sounds petulant and
immature. The dedication of January 25th as Holocaust Memorial Day has come about because of the hard work and dedication of the Jewish and Zionist lobby.
There are many reasons for itís importance, firstly, the straightforward
recognition of the horrors of Nazi treatment of the Jewish people and
acknowledging itís many other victims. Secondly, the constant reminder of the Holocaust gives validity to the Zionists claim of the right to a place of safety for the Jewish people, thus wrong footing any one who wishes to question the legitimacy of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
The issue should not be about whether Muslims attend or do not attend HMD, no, the real question is WHY ARE THE MUSLIMS NOT COMMERATING THE HORRORS COMMITTED AGAINST MUSLIMS WORLD WIDE?
This is not some ghoulish Ďcelebrationí of the victim hood of the Ummah, but rather a reminder that there have been genocides that have been ignored, forgotten or rebutted by the world. Why should the Jewish people want to include Rawanda, Sabra and Chatila (how many Muslims even remember the year of that massacre?) Gujrat, Bosnia, Sierra Leone (how many even know that the majority of victims are Muslims?) It is their (the Jewish peopleís) party; they set it up, why should the quests dictate the menu?
Muslims should grow up and think a bit more rationally. We do not have to hang on the coat tails of someone elseís event. Arrange something that looks at genocide globally, including non- Muslims, our Prophet (pbbuh) was clear in the role of the Muslim as universal citizen. Go to HMD and then invite them to your event.
Then we will see who attends what.
At the expense of becoming over critical, I also find that the tone of your site often touches hysteria. You are right to point out the huge problems that beset the Muslim community, but the solution lies in a more practical direction. We cannot deny the fact that most of the media is owned and controlled by people who have Islamophobic agendas. But how many Muslim youngsters are being encouraged to become journalists? Where are the bursaries being set up by Muslim Organisations to ease the path of potential Muslim Melanie Phillips or David Aaronvichs? It cannot be argued that the media is so biased that it will not allow Muslims to succeed, that is sheer defeatism; we need Muslim organisations building up positive relationships with the hydra headed media to ensure that a minimum number of Muslims enter traineeships and are given the opportunity to voice the alternative opinion on the media.
Q-News , Muslim News and now Emel, are the lone voices, but do not even have a wide readership within the Muslim community, where are the Muslim
I am not confident that you will reply or publish to this, but I pray that you will, as I would be interested to know how many Muslims out in Cyber land and beyond share my feelings as I often feel that Muslims like myself are not heard.
|I am not a Moslem, but I do not need to be a Moslem to know that the
present anti-terrorism bill being forced by the Home Office Secretary
Charles Clarke through the Houses of Parliament is wrong and is
dangerous. He says he is trying to fight terrorism. I say that he is
trying to impose a dictatorship. Habeas Corpus is a basic right in any
democratic system and people must always be presumed innocent and must
have the right to a fair trial. The present bill authorizes detention
without trial for an indefinite period on the sole orders of the Home
Office Secretary. On top of that, the detainees will have no right to
ask why they are detained nor will they have right to their own
attorney, since the law establishes that the detainees will be
represented by an attorney designated by the State.
I am a member of a party that constantly criticizes Islam, but also as a
member of the said party I believe that concerning this issue Moslems,
Christians, Jews and peoples of all other religious groups should be
united and show their common opposition to the repressive laws being
imposed by the Labour government.
We have differences, but we also have principles that we all share.
Detention for an indefinite period and without the right to a fair trial
is something that both true Moslems and true Christians reject.
As somebody who stood as a candidate for the British National Party, I
can tell you that we are all against the repressive laws of the present
Labour government. We condemn the way people are being treated in
Guantanamo Bay. People have rights and those rights must be respected.
Watching the scenes of British soldiers mistreating prisoners in Iraq, I
believe that the punishment is too lenient. Those soldiers that were
subjected to a court martial should have been immediately executed. They
have tarnished the image of Britain and brought shame to all of us.
I marched though the streets of London rejecting the illegal war against
Iraq. Hundreds of thousands were killed by a liar government, the same
government that is trying to destroy basic human rights in this country.
If the Labour government says it has evidence, the Labour government
should show us the evidence, but I suspect that all the evidence this
Labour government has is pure lies, the same kind of lies they told us
about the imaginary Weapons of Mass Destruction to justify their
murderous attack against Iraq.
Moslems, Christians, Jews, and peoples of all other religions have a
right to a fair justice system.
May I, a white anglo-saxon, say how much I deplore the
statement by Hazel Blears to the effect that Moslems
should "expect to be stopped by police"?
We live in a multi-cultural society. I for one,
welcome this. It gives diversity, encourages tolerance
and allows us all to understand what makes the other
For further information please contact the MCB:
The Muslim Council of Britain
PO Box 52
Tel: 020 8903 9650
Fax: 020 8903 9026