The Foundation was invited by the CPS Muslim Staff Network to speak at the event organized for Holocaust Memorial Day. The talk was chaired by Baljit Ubhey, OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor, London.
Mehri Niknam gave the talk on behalf of the Foundation. Her co-speaker was Dr Waqar Azmi, Chief Executive of the “Srebrenica Commission” who spoke about the genocide in Bosnia.
Mehri Niknam spoke about confronting Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia by speaking about her experiences when as a Jewish delegate of a group of senior faith and interfaith leaders she visited Srebrenica. How what she saw and witnessed in Srebrenica made her see so many similarities with the Holocaust. She highlighted the Nazis aim to eradicate the Jewish people by making it the Third Reich official policy that was carried out ruthlessly and methodically at an industrial scale, resulting in the destruction of two thirds of the European Jewry. She compared the similar mind-set which made the Srebrenica genocide against the Muslims possible in Bosnia 20 years ago.
She spoke about the need to learn the lessons from the Holocaust and Srebrenica to tackle hatred and prejudice wherever we come across it. She said we must think about how prejudice and misinformation can be confronted in daily life whether in the press, the media or by individuals and group. We must not stand by and say “what is the government doing about it?” but to ask ourselves what am I doing to stand up against it? What practical steps each one of us can take to prevent hate crime and religious hatred by challenging prejudice? What practical steps individually or communally can we take to help those who are at the receiving end of such prejudices?
Finally she spoke about how the Foundation’s project to learn lessons of the Holocaust and Srebrenica works with schools to teach these lessons to young people.
Co-operation between JIF and CPS Muslim Staff network is ongoing.