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Muslims boycott Holocaust Day

The Muslim Council of Britain decided to boycott it for the second year saying the January 26 event was not "sufficiently inclusive."

india Updated: Jan 06, 2006 20:54 IST

The Muslim Council of Britain, the country's main Islamic umbrella group, has decided to boycott the National Holocaust Day for the second year running saying that the January 26 event 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," a spokesman for the organisation said.

"This is why the Muslim Council has consistently called for a genocide memorial day," he said.

The Council, 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."

He said, "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."

First Published: Jan 06, 2006 20:54 IST