Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Letter to The Guardian

Yesterday I wrote a letter to The Guardian about Iqbal Sacranie’s complaint that Holocaust Memorial Day was too exclusive. They didn’t print it, so here it is.

Has the Muslim Council of Britian had a change of heart? The chair of the MCB, Sir Iqbal Sacranie, writes that Holocaust Memorial Day is "too exclusive" ('Holocaust Memorial day is too exclusive', September 20, 2005). Those of us with longer memories can't forget that the MCB's complaint in 2001 was that HMD was too *inclusive*. They objected to the fact that gay victims of the Nazi death camps were remembered. In a January 2001 press release, the MCB said it had "reservations" about the inclusion of "the so-called gay genocide".

Strangely, on a topic that has generated so many column inches, it seems strange that The Guardian only printed one letter on the subject – from Shami Chakrabarti the Director of Liberty, the civil rights watchdog.

Still, it was an astute observation:

“The new-look Guardian continues to present the state of British political discourse in all its glorious irony. On the day when Polly Toynbee rightly warns of the disastrous counterproductivity of speech offences and internment, Iqbal Sacranie's priority is with the title of Holocaust Memorial Day (Response, September 20),” she says.

Why is he so obsessed? There are some good theories over at Harry’s Place and on Normblog.


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