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A Muslim view about HMD

by: Nic Careem - Last updated: 2007-01-27

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day

As a British Muslim and co-founder of the Anne Frank pledge for a better world in 1998, the pledge was signed by Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton and other world leaders including Tony Blair and Roman Prodhi,  I find it extraordinary that the Muslim Council of Britain should seek to boycott a day to remember all those victims of Nazi persecution and hatred.

For the past few years I have been producing and promoting a play about my close friend Eva Schloss, an Auschwitz survivor and step-sister of Anne Frank. Hers is a story that reminds us where irrational hate can lead to. Five million, eight hundred thousand Jewish men, women, young children and babies died a horrific death in the Holocaust in what can only described as hell on earth.
Unlike other genocides the Holocaust was the systematic and industrialised process to eliminate the Jewish race and others Hitler and the Nazi's considered inferior human beings - including Muslims, people of African and Asian origin, gays, the disabled and people with an opposing political ideology.
I am sure the vast majority of British Muslims have no problems with their brothers and sisters in the Jewish community having one day a year to mark their loss and others too who perished at the hands of the single biggest act of brutality against one group of people by another in history. So I plead to the MCB support Holocaust Memorial Day and show your humanity - anything else could be interpreted as a denial of it. 
Holocaust Day is a chance to show the world that Muslims stand shoulder to shoulder with their Jewish brethren and people of other faiths and none in a mark of respect to all those who perished in the Holocaust and other genocides since and to show those who try and divide us, from whichever group they come from, that we will stand together against intolerance and irrational hate wherever in the world it rears its ugly head.
Unless the insidious and pervasive nature of irrational prejudice and hatred is challenged, in whatever shape or form it shows itself, it can quite easily become part of normal every day behaviour and history has shown where this can lead to.  Turning a blind eye to the suffering of humanity is a denial of our own humanity. 
More than 700 Million people have died needlessly since the Holocaust and many millions are still dying today because of their race, ethnicity or faith.  This madness has got to stop!
I am desperately hoping whoever takes over running of the world from its present leaders has the vision to realise that great acts of change only requires the courage to just do it. 
My friend Eva's story should be a wake up call to all of us on how easy it is for hate and prejudice to take a foothold unless we challenge it and nip it in the bud. This is not political correctness, it is political sense.
Join our campaign to make our country into genuine hate free zone! Where people are judged, as Martin Luther King said, "by only the content of their character"