Leaders of the Jewish and Muslim communities in the north-west of England held a joint event online on Sunday to commemorate the 25-year anniversary of the Srebrenica Massacre in Bosnia.
The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester heard from Aldin Zilic, a Bosnian who came to the UK as a refugee aged nine, as they reflected on the murder of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys by Serb forces in and around Srebrenica under the noses of United Nations peacekeepers in 1995.
The cross-communal organisation said the massacre was “the greatest crime committed on European soil since the Holocaust” in an online event attended by local MP Kate Green as well as Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons Afzal Khan MP.
Zilic described how his hometown of Olovo was the birthplace of the famous Jewish painter Daniel Ozmo, who was murdered in the Holocaust.
Growing up two of his best friends were a Serb and a Croat, and the town was well integrated, with Bosnian Muslims happy painting Easter eggs and pledging to Yugoslav values at school, which he said were similar to British values, but “they meant nothing when the genocide started”.