September 12, 2005

They're only Jews, so why bother?

United Kingdom: A committee set up to advise Tony Blair on Islamist extremism has turned out to consists of extremists. They have called upon the Prime Minister to abolish Holocaust Day because they claim it is offensive to Muslims. No doubt they will not demand any kind of reminder of the dangers of intolerance if, in the current climate of Islamophobia, some group decides to do the same to them.

Holocaust Day must be scrapped, say Muslim leaders - The Daily Telegraph, 12th September 2005 (via Religion News Blog

11 comments

Yeah, I spotted that in the RSS feed when I got back from the pub but thought it sensible to leave it till the morning. Thanks for saving me the effort -- I will now get back to playing Civ.

Whilst I'm certainly not in favour of scrapping Holocaust day, nor do I think Sir Iqbal "death-to-Salman-Rushdie" Sacranie is a particularly savoury character, we do have to recognise that there are many forgotten massacres like Sabra and Shatila and East Timor, which reinforces the notion that as long as such murders happen suitably far away from our own beds and to people we don't feel obliged to feel empathy for, we can conveniently and with impunity, afford not to care at all.

A day of remembrance for the victims of the massacres of people of all colour and creed in the whole world may seem too idealistic an idea, but it's not such a bad one...

Well the Jews, the homos...they are not keen on most of those who were killed in the Holocaust. At least these arse-hats are making their voice known now and not even bothering trying to seem "moderate."

My government (both major parties over decades) has a lot to answer for over its involvement in East Timor.

Red Wolf, that's a fair point but as usual the ROW was complicit in doing very little to resolve the situation (read: stop the killings).

In Rwanda 1994 we sent in the UN but without a mandate. Now they've got a nice little website, including a cosy, sentimental candle in remembrance. We'll never learn...

Gert: the systematic murder of several million people over several years by a legitimate government for no reason other than their race, religion, sexuality, and/or politics, is ever so slightly different than a couple of one-off actions where the two parties lay claim to the same bit of land.

Neither are the one-offs are exactly forgotten - East Timor is particularly well-known here because of the role played by our government and BAE Systems in equipping the Indonesian military.

And none of them have any lessons for us that come anywhere near that of the Holocaust, which grew from simply bigotry. And that's the lesson that's important - allow it to go unchallenged and we have an example of the sort of thing that can happen. It's not a mere hypothesis -- it actually happened. It doesn't matter who was on the receiving end, the lesson remains the same.

It's a lesson which seems to be lost on the self-appointed representatives of Muslims in Britain. What they have missed is that they are getting the same sort of nonsense that Jews got in Weimar Germany and the Third Reich, although in their case they have the additional burden of genuine terrorists who claim to be acting on their behalf. The far-right is doing far too well in much of Europe - a far-right that would like to either send Muslims 'home' to some third world shithole, or ideally just kill them all.

So, by wanting us to forget the Holocaust specifically, these particular Muslims presumably want us to not notice the warning signs of another one, should they ever happen. And in particular, I suppose they don't mind if it happens to them, because otherwise they'd be wanting us to remember the lessons of history.

Feorag,

the systematic murder of several million people over several years by a legitimate government for no reason other than their race, religion, sexuality, and/or politics, is ever so slightly different than a couple of one-off actions where the two parties lay claim to the same bit of land.

You're being very, very dismissive of "a couple of one-off actions where the two parties lay claim to the same bit of land". If you're referring to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict in relation to the massacres in the West Beirut refugee camps, then that's a very simplistic and honestly rather denigrating description of a tragedy about same the size of 9/11. Today is the 23rd anniversary of Sabra-Shatila (9/16). Guess what: in technorats 202 posts are tagged "9/11", just one (mine) "Sabra Shatila"...

And trust me, I fully understand the scale and scope of the Holocaust, it's a crime which today I'm still trying to understand, it never ceases to amaze me that this could actually happen.

Neither are the one-offs are exactly forgotten - East Timor is particularly well-known here because of the role played by our government and BAE Systems in equipping the Indonesian military.

No, not forgotten by you and me perhaps. Unfortunately also largely unknown to most people that I know at least. Go on, I dare you: try your immediate circle of acquaintances. "East Timor": "East what?". "Sabra Shatila": "Who??" Do I need to give more examples? As regards the Holocaust itself, there are plenty who prefer not to know, as well as those who claimed it was an Allied fabrication.

So, by wanting us to forget the Holocaust specifically, these particular Muslims presumably want us to not notice the warning signs of another one, should they ever happen. And in particular, I suppose they don't mind if it happens to them, because otherwise they'd be wanting us to remember the lessons of history.

Frankly, it appears to me you're not reading the sources you're quoting from. Sacranie et al are not calling for forgetting the Holocaust, they're calling for a more inclusive Genocide Memorial day. I don't subscribe to the idea but you're misrepresenting it altogether.

The thing is, the Holocaust is more than just genocide, which has been going on throughout human history. Examples of it are recorded in most mythological texts, including the Bible. By including the lesser stuff, you devalue the sheer horror of what humans can achieve. And to the Islamist loons, it's important that this particular horror is diminished because the victims consisted almost entirely of people of whom Islamist bampots do not approve (Jews, gays, stroppy women, socialists etc). That is their motive, and they don't like being reminded of their own bigotries.

As for East Timor, I dare not mention it in my circle of acquaintances, for fear of a long rant about the government, the military industrial complex, the supply of arms to dodgy regimes, the arms fair that's going on right now to whom the British government invited several dodgy regimes usw.

As for East Timor, I dare not mention it in my circle of acquaintances, for fear of a long rant about the government, the military industrial complex, the supply of arms to dodgy regimes, the arms fair that's going on right now to whom the British government invited several dodgy regimes usw.

Hmm... how lucky you are with such an knowledgeable social circle! I can only say that where I live ignorance of what goes on in the world is near-total. Actually, ignorance could be excused if there was actually a lack of sources of information but that's not the case. In reality it's indifference that's the problem.

Do you see a lot of opposition to the Fat "the ears" Secretary's enthusiastic attempts to tear down our civil liberties? To instant "anti-terror" legislation which will only come in handy as bog paper? To GW II? The main objection to Iraq is against British body bags, but "hey, we have to fight Global Terror!" Yes, we do, not encourage it...

No Feorag, the good people of Britain, largely speaking at least, are fast asleep.

Sorry for veering off-topic here.

I live in a major university city in the civilised part of the UK. It is not surprising or unusual for people to be well-informed here, and there are derogatory terms for those who aren't.

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This page contains a single entry by Feòrag published on September 12, 2005 5:49 PM.

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