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Alan Simons
Author | Writer | Social & Allyship Advocate

Why we should honour the victims and survivors of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide

Moving from Hate to Hope: Remembering and Learning Together

This Sunday, July 12, 2020, at 7:30 pm (EDT), Canadian Muslims and Jews will gather to remember and honour the victims and survivors of the Srebrenica genocide. You can join them!

Twenty-five 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. Fifty years after the world said “Never Again” to the horrors of the Holocaust, genocide took place again on European soil.

This Sunday, Denis Suljić, researcher of radicalization and political violence, and Leora Schaeffer, Executive Director of Facing History and Ourselves in Canada, will explore how we can use the lessons from Srebrenica and the Holocaust to build stronger, more resilient communities.

Moving from Hate to Hope Initiative

After the Quebec City mosque shooting in 2017 and the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in 2018, Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto hosted an event, with the support of community partners, to bring Muslim and Jewish communities together to look at what we have in common and how we could work together to counter hate in our communities. More than 400 people attended the launch last year: and a coordinating committee of Muslims and Jews have continued to work together on follow up programs ever since.

The goal behind this ongoing initiative is to have Muslims and Jews get to know each other better and see where there are many commonalities, with a view to learning from each other and supporting each other against the current climate of hate.

Toronto sponsor organisations of the event include Holy Blossom Temple; Imdadul Islamic Center; Bosnian Islamic Association Gazi Husrev-Beg; Intercultural Dialogue Institute; Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims; Canadian Anti-Hate Network; JSpaceCanada; the newly formed Enhancing Social Justice Education (EJSE) and Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom. The invocation will be led by both an Imam and a Rabbi.

To quote Elie Wiesel: “Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.”

This Sunday’s event will help to bring one’s attention that from hate to hope is an integral and positive action for all Muslims and Jews to adhere to. For we must continue to work together against the many antisemitic and Islamophobic acts of intolerance and hate.

Register now! Enough already!

About the Author
Simons is an author, writer and social & allyship advocate. He publishes an online international news service, now in its 15th year, dealing with issues relating to intolerance, hate, antisemitism, Islamophobia, conflict, and terrorism, as well as an online community news site. As a diplomat, he served as the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Rwanda to Canada, post-genocide era. He has lectured and designed courses in the areas of therapeutic management, religion in politics, and communications. He recently published his sixth book.