Holocaust Day: MCB regrets exclusion of Palestinian genocide

27 Jan 2003

The MCB has conveyed its deepest sense of pain and anguish over the Nazi Holocaust. In a message to this Monday’s Holocaust Memorial National Day ceremony in Edinburgh, Iqbal Sacranie, MCB Secretary-General said: `We are fully with the Jewish community in their pain and anguish. None of us must ever forget how the Holocaust began. We must remember it began with hatred that dehumanised an entire people, that fostered state brutality, made second class citizens of honest, innocent people because of their religion and ethnic identity. Those who were vilified and seen as a threat could be subjected to group punishment; dispossession and impoverishment while the rest of the world stood idly by, washing its hands of despair and suffering that kept getting worse. We must do more than remember and reflect on the past – we must be able to see when the same abuses occur in our time.’

`The living memorial for the victims of the Nazi Holocaust’, Iqbal Sacranie added, `is ensuring we make the cry ‘Never Again’ real for all people who suffer, everywhere. We honour the dead most sincerely by working to end suffering and bring peace with justice to those who live without hope today. But sadly,’ he pointed out, ` ‘Ethnic cleansing’ is not a thing of the past; it is a present terror. Remembrance must, therefore, refocus our moral vision and rededicate our commitment to prevent current and future inhumanity, state brutality and crimes against humanity.’

However, he said that despite their persistent request, regrettably the memorial ceremony in its present form excludes and ignores other ongoing genocide and human rights abuses around the world, notably in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Much as we wanted to be there, he said they were unable to join the memorial ceremony but he urged the Home Secretary to make the Memorial Day inclusive of the sufferings of all people. `Genocide is the most abhorrent and outrageous crime against humanity and we are not going to prevent it by selectively remembering only some of its victims’, Mr Sacranie declared.