U.K. Muslim group ends boycott of Holocaust Memorial Day
Britain's biggest Muslim organization reverses decision which has done 'more harm than good.'
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the largest Muslim umbrella organization in the U.K., decided over the weekend to halt its boycott of the country's official Holocaust Memorial Day.
The council's working committee decided to put an end to the six-year boycott, which started with the inauguration of the memorial day in 2001.
The MCB has since been subject to harsh criticism by the British government and Jewish organizations, and was often accused of anti-Semitism over the boycott.
Last year the MCB indicated a policy change, but the working committee ended up voting against it. "The decision was taken because staying away was doing more harm than good and being misconstrued," an MCB spokesperson told The Times.
18 members of the working committee voted in favor of halting the boycott, while eight voted against. MCB representatives will attend the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremonies, which will be held in Liverpool on January 27 - the 63rd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp.
Holocaust Educational Trust Director Karen Pollock welcomed the decision. "It is right that the Muslim Council of Britain have finally decided to participate in Holocaust Memorial Day. It is important to note that the day has always commemorated the Nazi genocide and genocides since the Holocaust. This was particularly clear in 2001, the first year of HMD which was themed Remembering Genocides: Lessons for the Future and paid particular attention to Bosnia. Similarly, in 2004, the theme of HMD was From the Holocaust to Rwanda," she said.
"In the past, various Muslim organizations and individuals have been involved in HMD and it is the right decision for the Muslim Council of Britain to join them."