Muslims boycott Holocaust Day in the UK
The Muslim Council of Britain is to boycott the National Holocaust Day for the second year running, the organisation said last night. A spokesman said it would not participate in the event on Jan 26 because it was not sufficiently inclusive.
"The MCB would be honoured to participate in a national memorial day providing that it clearly affirmed that the lives of all people, regardless of race or religion, are to be valued equally," he said. "This is why the Muslim Council has consistently called for a genocide memorial day."
The council, which is considered to be the main representative body for Muslims, caused controversy when it declined to take part in last year's national event which marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Stephen Smith, the chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: "Holocaust Memorial Day has always been an inclusive event. That is why, from its first year, survivors from Bosnia, Rwanda and the Holocaust have come together: Jews, Muslims and Christians, as well as non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust - gay and disabled people and Roma communities."
He added: "Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity for all communities and faiths to learn from a salutary past and expose all forms of racism - including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism - xenophobia, discrimination and bigotry."
It is the second controversy triggered by the council in the past few days. Earlier this week, gay activists criticised comments by Sir Iqbal Sacranie, the head of the council, in which he condemned civil partnerships and describing homosexuality as immoral.
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