Remembering Srebrenica in the Jewish Community
Saturday 11th of July marked the 20th solemn anniversary of the Genocide at Srebrenica. The event was marked in Britain by a service at the Westminster Abbey on the 6th of July. The Joseph Interfaith Foundation in co-operation with the Liberal Jewish synagogue and New North London synagogue marked the occasion.
Rabbi Alexandra Wright of the Liberal Jewish synagogue said in her sermon: “Today marks the twentieth anniversary when more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were massacred by Bosnian Serb forces in 1995. We remember that act of genocide that took place before the eyes of the world with prayers and words of remembrance. The Jewish community knows and understands the devastation that is caused by hatred and discrimination, prejudice and brutal acts of violence. We will stand to remember the victims of Srebrenica, calling to mind the memory of fathers and sons, brothers and friends. And we will stand to pledge ourselves to eliminate hatred and prejudice and to proclaim aloud our shared humanity”.
Hanna Yusuf, a young Muslim graduate and Journalist who is a member of the Joseph Interfaith Foundation attended the service at LJS and read the special Jewish prayer for the victims of Srebrenica genocide.
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg of NNL synagogue said: ‘ The words of Munira Subasic, President of the Mothers of Srebrenica Association are haunting: “Help us find the bones of our children. The perpetrators remain silent and deny everything”. It is not enough to remember, humanity also has to learn how to act rightly”.
Shamim Ahmed, a Muslim university undergraduate who is the project coordinator for the Foundation, attended the service and read the special Jewish prayer for the victims of Srebrenica. At the end of the service he attended a discussion session about his experience of visiting Srebrenica. He said the visit not only taught him about the genocide at Srebrenica but also helped him to gain a better understanding of the Holocaust.