Today marks the 26th anniversary of the massacres in Srebrenica, in which over 8,000 Bosniak-Muslims were murdered in the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War.
The theme for this year’s Srebrenica Memorial Day is “Rebuilding Lives”, which honours the stories of two million people who fled the country seeking refuge across the world.
Approximately 10,000 Bosnians were welcomed into the UK, reflecting our country’s historic commitment to offer refuge to the persecuted. Mosques, church halls and community centres opened up their doors and offered support to these survivors until they were able to be resettled into their new homes.
Zara Mohammed, Secretary-General of the MCB, said:
“I will never forget my visit to the Srebrenica memorial where I heard harrowing tales from survivors who had lost their loved ones, all because of their identity. I met with the widows who still lived with the scars of those days and some who are still waiting to find the bodies of their loved ones. The genocide of Bosniak-Muslims will continue to be remembered as one of the worst atrocities committed on European soil.
This year we recognise the two million refugees who fled their homes for safety. We should find strength and inspiration in the spirit of these survivors, who have persevered, rebuilding their lives with dignity and sharing their harrowing stories so we never forget the lessons learned from Srebrenica.
Remembering Srebrenica means more today than ever before. In such a polarised climate, where Islamophobia has become far too pervasive, we must come together, firm in our commitment to challenging hatred and prejudice, and build a just society that is inclusive of all.”