On Sunday, July 12 2020, Canadian Jews and Muslims gathered for a virtual webinar to remember and honour the victims and survivors of the Srebrenica genocide.
25 years ago, on July 11, 1995, more than 8,000 predominantly Muslim men and boys were systematically selected for death because of their identity. They were murdered and buried in mass graves in Srebrenica over the next three days.
It is considered to be the greatest atrocity committed on European soil since the Holocaust, 75 years ago this year. 50 years after the world said “Never Again” to the horrors of the Holocaust, genocide took place again on European soil.
“This is intentionally an interfaith and intercultural event. It is an outgrowth of a series of events began by Holy Blossom Temple and Imdadul Islamic Centre called Moving from Hate to Hope, understanding Islamophobia and Antisemitism,” said moderator Andrea Lulka, a member of the event organizing group, in her welcoming remarks.
Titled ‘Moving From Hate to Hope: Remembering and Learning Together,’ the livestream program included a panel discussion with Denis Suljić, a researcher of radicalization and political violence, and Leora Schaeffer, Executive Director of Facing History and Ourselves in Canada.
The speakers explored how Canadians can use the lessons from Srebrenica and the Holocaust to build stronger, more resilient communities. The presentations were followed by an interactive and engaging discussion.
“We are here to remember and honor the victims and survivors of the Srebrenica genocide. We are here to learn the lessons of the genocide that took place 25 years ago and 75 years ago in Europe. We are here to honor the legacy of our people and keep vigil against hatred and intolerance. We are here to recommit to taking positive action to build stronger and more resilient communities together,” added Andrea Lulka.
In closing the online event, Imam Adnan Balihodzic of the Bosnian Islamic Association Gazi Husrev-Beg offered the Srebrenica Prayer –
We pray to almighty God,
May grievance become hope,
May revenge become justice,
May mothers’ tears become prayers
That Srebrenica never happens again to no one and nowhere