A Worthing man, along with the Worthing Islamic Social and Welfare Society, has held a memorial event to remember 21 years since 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed by Serb nationals.
In what has become known as the Srebrenica massacre, the event evolved in July 1995 as a result of civil war in what was Yugoslavia at the time.
Aksar Sikdar, who owns the Royal Spice in The Strand, Worthing, organised the event last month at Worthing Town Hall in Chapel Road to educate people how to avoid conflict in the current global climate.
He said: “The best lessons for us as a community often lies within the past. We have several days to remember the events of the past, including Remembrance Sunday, Holocaust Memorial Day. Each one of these has a significant message to convey, whether it be a reminder of the sacrifices of those before us, or to highlight the collective failings of a community and the scale of barbarity that humanity is capable of wielding.
“What happened in Srebrenica and during other genocides was not the result of an overnight, spontaneous action taken by national leaders, but a long, slow process that allows hate to become widespread amongst a population. It begins at the bottom, starting with a growing sense of distrust and hate towards minority groups in cities, towns and villages.
“Over time this leads to violence, physical and non-physical, and the growth of hate groups and leaders, ready to capitalise on the misplaced fears of the masses. In the most unfortunate and extreme cases, such as Srebrenica and the Holocaust, the situation evolves into dehumanisation and popular support for the state to take action against these groups.
“We need to refer to these events, during a time when rhetoric targeted towards refugees, immigrants, Muslims and Jews is becoming ever more frequent.”
The event was attended by many people of various ethnicity, as well as local politicians including Worthing mayor Sean McDonald and Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne.
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