Muslim Council Of Britain Ends Boycott Of Holocaust Memorial Day


According to a British newspaper article, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the largest Muslim organization in the U.K and dominated by Muslim Brotherhood groups, has voted to end its six-year boycott of Holocaust memorial day and representatives of the MCB will attend the next memorial day in January. In a statement, the MCB assistant general secretary, Inayat Bunglawala, explained:

“We have always sought a more inclusive title such as Genocide Memorial Day so that it would also give recognition to more recent massacres such as in Rwanda and that of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica. We wanted to uphold the principle of the equality of all human beings.”However, there was a growing recognition among our affiliates that non-attendance of HMD was inadvertently causing hurt to some in the Jewish community. The MCB has always placed a lot of emphasis on inter-faith work and building ties … so this was becoming a problem.”

According to the newspaper, unnamed sources say the MCB would have ended its boycott last year, but did not want to be seen to be caving in to government pressure. Last year the MCB’s central working committee voted by 23 votes to 14 to continue the boycott. The report also states that the decision may lead to some groups leaving the MCB and that the vote of the MCB working committee was 18 to 8 to end the boycott. Those supporting the boycott were said to believe the memorial day is “too narrowly focused on Jewish suffering and ignores recent genocides such as that in Rwanda and of Muslims in Srebrenica.” Daud Abdullah, the council’s deputy secretary general, voted against ending the boycott stating:

“I’m against it [attending]. Nothing has changed, we saw no reason why it [the boycott]should change.”

The former secretary general Sir Iqbal Sacranie voted to end the boycott stating:

“There are voices who have been attacking us from day one and trying to misconstrue our non-participation as antisemitism.” Sacranie’s last years as secretary general, which ended in 2005, saw him publicly justifying the boycott despite personally opposing it. He called on groups upset by the decision to respect the democratic vote and stay within the MCB: “There will be some who will be very unhappy about it.”

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