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MCB Misuses SJ Publisher's Remarks To Conceal Bigotry

Commenting on the uproar caused by their attempts to sideline the UK’s Holocaust Memorial Day, Iqbal Sacranie, secretary general of The Muslim Council of Britain, remarks in today’s Guardian:

There is no shortage of Jews – including Leslie Bunder, editor of SomethingJewish.co.uk and Rabbi Schochet – who recognise that the memorial day in its present format is morally problematic. Still, the MCB recognises that this is enormously sensitive territory and if widening the scope of the day – while ethically right – is not politically feasible currently, then we should consider establishing a separate and truly inclusive genocide memorial day.

Poor Leslie… It’s never fun to be co-opted. Especially when it’s for devious reasons.
As Dave T points out at Harry’s Place,

The Muslim Council of Britian’s original gripe about Holocaust Memorial Day complaint – indeed one of its key reasons for boycotting the event in 2001 – was that it was too inclusive:
“It includes the controversial question of alleged Armenian genocide as well as the so-called gay genocide.”
Neither of these statements were true. The Armenian genocide was not commemorated as part of Holocaust Memorial Day 2001. The deliberate targeted murder of gays during the Holocaust was not described as a “gay genocide”.
Some of our readers might want to write to the Guardian to point out Sacranie’s suprising memory lapse about his organisation’s initial stance.

Leslie responds:

As I have always said, prior to the creation of the government Holocaust Memorial Day, we have had Yom Hashoah which is a day of remembrance.
That is one of the reasons for not understanding a specific need for another day that rightly ,or wrongly has come to be mainly associated with Jewish suffering during World War II even though it is meant to be inclusive.
The Jewish community has Yom Hashoah, which of course is still inclusive to others to remember what happened.
A government sponsored day should really focus on all suffering (on a global level) and look at what links them up together, and that is where an event such as the Holocaust has common ground, it shows what happens when bigots and racists get to power and what can come as a result.

More on this issue in today’s Boston Globe.

2 thoughts on “MCB Misuses SJ Publisher's Remarks To Conceal Bigotry

  1. As a humble little Jew, I get quoted in the same sentence as Rabbi Schochet. And Howard Jacobson is not even mentioned, one up for me on Howard.
    But seriously… of all the Jews, they could mention, why me?
    Of course, I have concerns about Holocaust Memorial Day here in the UK, when we already have Yom HaShoah.
    My other main concern is that Holocaust Memorial Day has never ever mentioned the Farhud which happened to the Iraqi Jews or indeed, what was going on around the world outside of Eastern Europe. Sephardi Jews also had a bad time, yet they seem to be ignored by Holocaust Memorial Day. A useful resource is http://www.farhud.org

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