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Thursday, January 4, 2007
UK Ban Shoah Denial?
BRITAIN should hold a
debate on whether to introduce a law
banning Holocaust denial, a senior
government minister said this
Security Minister Tony
McNulty, above right, was
speaking exclusively to the Jewish
News less than two weeks after
denier David Irving arrived back in
Britain after serving 13 months in an
was arrested in 2005 on a warrant dating
back to 1989 relating to comments he made
in a speech and interview during a visit
to Austria in which he claimed there
had been no gas chambers at Auschwitz.
While Austria, Germany and France are
among countries to have laws against
Holocaust denial, there
is currently no law outlawing this in the
However, McNulty said:
"David Irving is one to watch.
There is a debate to be had on a
Holocaust denial law, especially in
terms of incitement to religious hatred
"But there is a danger of people
becoming martyrs to the cause."
Janner, Chairman of the Holocaust
for other] welcomed
McNulty's views. He said such legislation
would be "great". However he was
pessimistic over the chances of such a law
being introduced. "Holocaust denial is
worse than libel, but it won't happen. The
chances of getting it in the UK are
McNulty, the MP for Harrow East,
insisted those who deny the Shoah should
be challenged and added his voice to the
chorus of criticism of ultra orthodox
group, Neturei Karta, after members
attended the recent Holocaust conference
in Tehran (below right).
He said: "It's strange to see orthodox
Jews sitting side by side with Iran.
Anyone taking part should be treated with
contempt they deserve."
Meanwhile, the Muslim Council of
Britain has said that it will consult
members of the Muslim community about
whether to participate in January's
Holocaust Memorial Day for the first time.
The organisation has not participated in
the annual event since it was founded in
2001, arguing that it is too exclusive and
does not lend enough weight to other
But following a following a meeting
last month, a posting on its website said:
"MCB's elected Central Working Committee
discussed whether or not to accept the
invitation to this year's Holocaust
Memorial Day. A vote was held and it was
decided to undertake a wider consultation
of British Muslims on this issue."
The Holocaust Educational Trust's
Karen Pollock said she was pleased
the MCB are considering whether to take
part. "Let's hope this next step will
reverse what has always been in my opinion
a misguided decision" she added.
McNulty added: "The MCB is wrong to
boycott Holocaust Memorial Day, whatever
they feel about other events in history,
it misses the point. For all the other
atrocities in history, the Holocaust was
so mechanised, so formal in a way we have
not seen before and happily not since."
Office telephone in London is (+44) 20
7035 8777; his Fax is (+44) 870 336
and imprisonment of David Irving in
dossier on the origins of