Debating Iraq at Holocaust Memorial Day

For those working with Iraqi young people and refugee’s, discussions are taking place on how to approach the current situation with ISIS. For the majority of Iraqi people in Britain, they are again witnessing acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing, through crimes being committed against their families and friends. 

It is undoubtedly the case, that for the majority of people in Britain, they are concerned by the atrocities taking place but are also desperately searching for an approach, where they can discuss the issues involved, with Iraqi young people, in a form which is both engaging and constructive. 

When seeing what is taking place inside of Iraq, with the self proclaimed Islamic State attempting to eradicate Iraqi minorities, their history, society and culture, the things which are striking, is how similar the methods being applied are, to those experienced in NAZI occupied Europe. 

One can only draw a distinctive parallel between the daubing of the Arabic letter “N” for Nazarene, the forced taxation upon Iraqi Christians, with the race laws of NAZI Germany, and the introduction of the Star of David onto people’s clothing. 

It’s also hard not to feel the same revulsion for the murder’s by ISIS, of Iraq’s Yazidi’s, Turkmen and Shiite populations, or react with horror, when ISIS seek to quell dissent in area’s under their control, with a method of brutality, which is equally compatible with the NAZI beheadings of resistance fighters, in occupied France. 

And to this day, Governments are still seeking to return personal items and property back to the original owners, decades after the fires of Auschwitz were extinguished, by the Soviet Red Army. This alone makes me wonder, in the desperate efforts to flee, how many Iraqi homes have since been raided by ISIS militiamen? 

Every January 27th, Holocaust Memorial Day is remembered up and down the United Kingdom, where educational events are put on, to discuss the various subject matters, of what occurred under NAZI rule. Holocaust survivors themselves, describe what took place and give over their experiences as a warning, so that one day, mistakes of the past will never be repeated by future generations. 

Inside Great Britain today, only a small number of people, who survived concentration camps like Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, can truly understand the immediate impact of what Britain’s Iraqi young people are experiencing, and how living with the legacy of ethnic and religious based genocide, can also be shaped, so that young people can grow into adulthood, and not as prisoners of the past.

Where Miliband Got Iraq Wrong

The recent Ed Miliband comment in the Independent, The Isis threat must be confronted with clarity and determination, on the crisis of ISIS in Iraq, reads allot like a political call, for wanting to launch lifeboats, one hundred and three years after the sinking of Titanic. 

What is most bizarre, about the article by the Labour ‬Party leader, is his complete ignorance and failure to even mention the recent RAF‬ Aid drops to the besieged Yezidis on Mount ‪‎Sinjar‬, along with the complete dismissal of the We Are N and No2ISIS campaign work by Iraqi’s, Muslims, Assyrians, Catholics and Protestants world wide. 

It appears that Mr Miliband was also the last to notice the We Are N campaign by the Church of England and failed to hear the call for world wide action to protect Iraq’s minorities, by the Holy Roman Catholic Church. 

Unlike other British political leaders, Miliband has waited weeks to inform people, what was already known weeks and months ago, by the rest of us, about the dangers posed by the self declared Islamic State. 

Equally appalling, is the Labour Party leader has not once mentioned the role of either the Peshmerga or the Iraqi Special Forces, in both rescue missions and in pushing back advances made by ISIS and his article gives, what can only be described as lip service, to the on-going political work taking place in both Baghdad and Kurdistan. 

From reading Miliband’s article and with the Labour Party’s legacy in Iraq, being indeed questionable since the 2003 invasion, one is left wondering if Ed Miliband is out of touch with Foreign Affairs reality, has failed to read the British Government's own press releases, or has even seen for himself what is actually taking place inside of Iraq, from headline news reports. 

Better still, the Labour leader could even ask Britain’s Iraqi community what is going on in Iraq, after all, in the Labour Party controlled northern city of Manchester, there are only an estimated 18.000 Iraqi’s, whose families and friends are caught up in the crossfire. 

By Hussein Al-alak, editor, Iraq Solidarity News (Al-Thawra)