Remembering Srebrenica is calling on politicians, faith leaders and community groups to all come together urgently to show unity in confronting escalating problems of hate speech and hate crime around the country in the aftermath of the EU Referendum.
Reports are coming in hourly of shocking examples where people are being targeted just because of their nationality, race or religion, both online and on the streets of British towns and cities.
The charity are bringing communities together through Srebrenica Memorial Events in the week of 10th-17th July, which marks the 21st anniversary of the genocide. This community action is a reminder of the consequences of hatred and intolerance and draw striking parallels between the hate speech and discrimination in the Balkans in the 1990s and in the UK today. Hate crime in the UK has been on the rise in recent years, with over 50,000 incidents reported in 2014 – 2015, including a 43% increase in religious hate crime, but now there is a fear that more and more people are being targeted.
Dr Waqar Azmi OBE, Chairman of Remembering Srebrenica called for action, saying: “The stereotyping and dehumanising language that has become prevalent in our country must be challenged at every level of our society.
“Remembering Srebrenica’s dedicated Community Champions are leading a grassroots movement and this will be particularly active as we mark the 21st anniversary of the worst atrocity on European soil since World War Two this July, bringing communities together through acts of commemoration around Memorial Week.
“We also want people to step up and ensure that the divisive rhetoric ends now with action taken to challenge the stereotypes and prejudices that feed hatred. No matter what differences people may have on the issue of the European Union, now is the time to build bridges and make every person in this country feel safe from discrimination and hatred regardless of their age, sex, nationality, religion and sexuality.”
Remembering Srebrenica released a short video on Friday warning of the consequences of allowing hatred to go unchecked and asking people to pledge to take action. You can watch it here.
Their new book, which you can read online here, also details some steps you can take in living the lessons from Srebrenica and pledging to take action. There is also a list of community action taking place around the country in July on the Remembering Srebrenica website for everyone to find their closest one.