(By: Cllr Qaisar Abbas)
ON SATURDAY, 11th July 2020, we marked the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. In July 1995, 8,372 Muslim men and boys were massacred in and around the town of Srebrenica, solely because of their religion. Many thousands were also displaced, raped and tortured. After the Holocaust, this is the worst atrocity in Europe and we must never forget this genocide.
The ‘Remembering Srebrenica’ website states that “Genocide does not happen overnight. It begins when hatred and intolerance are left unchallenged or are manipulated for political gain.”
Today, we reaffirm our commitment to stand up against all sorts of hatred, intolerance and racism.
This year’s Srebrenica Memorial Day Theme is “Every Action Matters”. I encourage everyone to reflect upon their own actions and choices that they make in their everyday life. We must ‘demonstrate that however insignificant it may seem, every action matters.’ It is also important to remember that those who stand up for a cause can make a real difference. The famous Persian poet, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, once said, “You are not just a drop in the ocean, you are the mighty ocean in the drop.”
On Srebrenica Memorial Day, we remember and honour those who were brutally murdered because of hatred towards their faith.
Today, we make this commitment that we will work together towards building a more cohesive society. We will work together towards building a stronger society. We will work together towards building a fairer society. We will work together towards building a safer society. So that, we can be free from hatred, discrimination and prejudice.
Let’s pray the Srebrenica Prayer.
“We pray to almighty God,
May grievance become hope
May revenge become justice
May mothers’ tears become prayers
Never happens again
To no one and nowhere“
Long live peace!