UK: I am not surprised that Bari said this and you have to understand why he said it.
|Muhammed Abdul Bari accused ministers of stigmatising Britain's Islamic community and fuelling xenophobia.
Mr Bari, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain, criticised the Government for "unfairly targeting" Muslims, and said that it was undermining their status as "equal citizens".
He warned that blaming extremism on "a small, largely deprived community" leads to a "deterioration of community cohesion and fuels xenophobia".
In a presentation to MPs, Mr Bari went so far as to ask: "What is the degree of xenophobia that tipped Germany in the 1930s towards a murderous ethnic and cultural racism?"
His comments have drawn criticism from Jewish leaders, angry at what they believe is a "crass" comparison.
Jon Benjamin, the chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: "To try to recast modern Britain as equivalent to Nazi Germany is equally offensive and disingenuous, but also dangerous in that it will fuel alienation and anger, particularly at a time when conciliation is vital."|
It is the typical hyperbole you expect from groups like the MCB, they still haven't figured out comparing themselves to Jews in Nazi Germany is just a dumb comparison outside of the paranoid few who suck up whatever they push out. But for the first time, Bari is not the one saying it first. On December 10th, the Scottish spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain had this to say.
|Osama Saeed, Scottish spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain and a former Scottish National party candidate, said the growing number of attacks on Muslims echoed the state-sponsored persecution of Jews in pre-war Germany.
Saeed said many middle-class Muslims were considering leaving the country because they feared that they or their families would be attacked because of their religious beliefs. He fears tensions could spill into violent confrontations unless the government tackles souring relations with the Muslim community.
“We didn’t get to the situation in world war two out of nowhere,” said Saeed.|
Now being cynical, I could point out this is just another angle to water down the holocaust so it is not such a potent issue anymore. You keep saying it enough, it becomes old hat. Look at what Bari says about Holocaust Memorial Day.
|He also defended the council's controversial decision to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day.
In October, the council was criticised by Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary, for that decision. She threatened to withhold the council's funding, about £50,000 a year, if it did not back down.
But in his presentation to MPs on the All Party Group on Race and Community last month, which included Labour's Diane Abbott and Harry Cohen, Mr Bari defended the decision.
"The MCB would be honoured to participate in such a commemoration provided it gave equal respect to the innocent victims of all genocides around the world. But we cannot accept that some people are more worthy of remembrance than others purely on the basis of their religion."|
Problem for him is that the basis of the holocaust was the actions taken by the Nazi regime against Jews, gays, gypsies and anyone else that didn't fit in with the reich view of the world. But he does show that the reason MCB hates the Holocaust day is because its too Jewish for him and others to stomach. Never mind the fact the Memorial does mention recent acts and is used to educate that something like it must never happen to anyone else.