Muslims mark HMD
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2007-01-24
HMD with The City Circle
Despite no formal agreement from the Muslim Council of Britain to show its support for Holocaust Memorial Day, a group set up to represent the interests of young Muslim professionals has joined with the Holocaust Memorial Educational Trust to mark this year's event.
The event hosted by The City Circle in central London saw an audience of both Muslim and Jews hear testimonies from both Holocaust and Rwandan survivors.
"The Holocaust represents an example of mass murder and genocide that should never be forgotten, particularly at a time when Europe is uneasy about, and even fearful of, its minorities, including its Muslims," said Asim Siddiqui, chairman of The City Circle. "The Srebrenica massacre on our doorstep, only eleven years ago, and the Rwandan genocide of 1994, in which up to a million people were killed, remind us that no-one can afford to be complacent about any increase in racism and intolerance in Europe or anywhere else."
Reflecting on her experience, Rwandan survivor Jean Mazimpaka said: "During the genocide in Rwanda, all the demons from hell came down to our country. Like the Holocaust, my people, the Tutsis, were targeted, and killed simply because we were different."
Mazimpaka also commented on current issues affecting the world today. "We must remember that we must work together to ensure that action is taken in Darfur today, to prevent another genocide occurring to another people simply because they are different as well."
Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock expressed her delight that The City Circle showed support for the day and a desire to mark it. "It demonstrates what so many members of the Muslim community have expressed to us, that there is a role for all communities to play in Holocaust Memorial Day. As well as remembering those who were lost during the Holocaust, the day provides the opportunity to reflect on more recent genocides, such as Rwanda and Bosnia."