SHAFAQNA -Â Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders gathered for a Memorial Iftar (breaking of the fast) in memory of the genocide in Srebrenica.
This dinner was attended by 350 people hosted by North Manchester Jamia Mosque with special guests from the Manchester inter-faith forum. July 11 marked the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide that took place during the Bosnian War of 1992-1995 and this event was held to help raise awareness amongst Muslim leaders and communities across the UK about this atrocity.
The Memorial Iftar was attended by the Chief Imam of Manchester, Imam Qamaruzzaman Azmi as well as Imam Arshad Misbahi. Special Guests included; Rabbi Arnold Saunders of the Higher Crumpsall and Higher Brighton Synagogue, Heather Fletcher â€“ Co-Chair of the Muslim and Jewish Forum and Douglas Graham from the Manchester Methodist Church.
Also in attendance were Local Manchester Councillors Shaukat Ali and Naeem-ul-Hassan. Dr Waqar Azmi, founder of â€˜Remembering Srebrenicaâ€™ provided an introduction and informed the attendees the importance of remembering Srebrenica.
Imam Arshad Misbahi spoke abut the lessons this event has for Muslims in the UK and how hatred of all types must be rooted out of society.
â€œIf man is good then he can be raised to the highest levels where even angelsâ€™ bow down to them, however, Srebrenica and other genocide events such as the holocaust has shown that man can also fall and become the most evil of all creations”.
This feeling was also shared by Rabbi Arnold Saunders and Revd Douglas Graham who both read prayers from their respective faiths. As the 20th anniversary passes during the month of Ramadan, there have been over 200 remembrance events throughout the UK.
These have included The Westminster Abbey – London, St. Giles Cathedral – Scotland, the Welsh Assembly – Cardiff, Belfast City Council â€“ Ireland as well as with the Prime Minister David Cameron at Number 10.
Mr Mehmood Majid, a Trustee of North Manchester Jamia Mosque said, â€œThe mosque iftars such as this will help spread the message and awareness of Srebrenica to young communities to ensure that the atrocity that took place is never forgotten.â€