Actually, what they want is to subvert Britain's Holocaust Day -- which commemorates the systematic effort to obliterate all Jews from the face of the earth. Apparently, they feel that remembering this fact somehow suggests that "western lives have more value than non-western lives." After all, they say, adherents of their own faith have been brutally murdered in Palestine, Chechnya and Bosnia. Can't the Brits declare a National Genocide Day?
Okay. Where to start with this?
First, Palestine and Chechnya -- although ugly, brutal and uncivilized -- are not strictly speaking genocide. Second, the business about Western vs. non-Western is patently an effort to play what we Yanks would call the race card, and appeal to liberal guilt. It ignores the facts that (1) Islam is a religion, not an ethnic identity, and that (2) there are fair numbers both of Western Muslims and non-Western Jews. (And third, "National Genocide Day" has to be the worst holiday suggestion ever.)
But here's the real point. The Holocaust was a specific event, and one that we in the blood-soaked West do well to remember. It was, at least within modern times, our lowest hour -- and one we forget only at our peril. Britain, like America and most of the West, was briefly seduced by the charms of Fascism -- and in the battle to regain its soul, paid a steep price in human life. For Brits to remember the Holocaust has particular meaning, because -- between the refugees they sheltered from it and the war they fought to end it -- the Holocaust has played a central role in Britain's modern history. It would be a grave mistake to mix its memory up with the memories of every other horrific event.
Certainly, there have been other genocidal moments in world history. Yes, the Christian war on Muslims in Bosnia was one of them -- as is the Muslim-directed war against animists and Christians in the contemporary Sudan. Do we need to drag out the Armenians as well? If the Bosnians, Sudanese or Turks want to observe a national days of remembrance (or, in those cases, penitence), they are welcome to do so. They should. But the British have their own history to remember. It would be a grave mistake to muddle up the memory of the Holocaust with the memories of other distinct and terrible events -- each deserves the dignity of its own specific remembrance, especially by those whom it most affected.
Obviously, the Muslims in question here are hoping to vitiate what they perceive as too much Jewish influence on British society. Because Jews, as everybody knows, are the secret conspiracy that runs the world. (Okay, English majors tend to side with Shelley, and say that poets are the unacknowledged legislators, and the real hard-core conspiracy theorists hold out for either (a) the Trilateral Commission or (b) activist judges. Oh, and (c) the aliens who planted this radio transmitter in my left molar and I can't make it stop....)
But here's the ugliest part of this story: the British Muslims making this recommendation aren't a bunch of Islamofascist crackpots. They are select committee drafted to advise the PM and his Queen's government on matters of extremism. Another such advisor recently opined, less than brilliantly, that Blair joined the Iraq war under the influence of a sinister group of Jews and Freemasons. Who were no doubt sending him messages through that damned molar.