Head of BiH’s Islamic community: Bosniaks and Bosnian Jews are one body, both our peoples have suffered attempts to exterminate them

NEWS 27.01.202415:02 0 komentara

The head of BiH’s Islamic community, Husein Kavazovic, spoke at an event in Srebrenica organised on holocaust Remembrance Day, saying that today, a time when anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are gaining momentum in the world, it is important to "renew our vow to continue to be good neighbors and watch over each other, as we did in the past".

“We gathered on the day we commemorate the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. We remember the six million innocent Jews who died and the millions of other victims of fascist and Nazi ideology. We are doing it in a place where half a century after the historic “never again” was declared, humanity failed again and failed the test of responsibility”, Kavazovic said.

“I am glad to see that the Srebrenica Memorial Center, the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Jewish Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina are together preserving the memory of the innocent victims of the Shoah. We are glad to do so with our friends from all over the world. Commitment to the memory and commemoration of the victims of past genocides, rejection of all forms of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other intolerance, determined commitment to the protection of life, freedom of expression within the framework of respect, in such a way that as friends we can tell each other what concerns us, our expectations, attitudes and hopes, are principles that can be a guide to a better future for Jews and Muslims in the world”, he said.

At the event, organised at the Srebrenica Memorial Center, the Muslim-Jewish Peace Initiative was presented with the goal to promote mutual understanding and dialogue between the Jewish and Muslim communities. The document was signed by Kavazovic and the president of the World Federation of Bergen-Belsen Associations Menachem Z. Rosensaft.

Kavazovic said that the Initiative represents “an invitation to everyone, especially our Orthodox and Catholic neighbors, to join us on this journey”.

“The principles of “consistent and compassionate communication” and investment of joint effort in times of crisis are especially important to us in a way that we commit to stand together, pooling our resources, knowledge and strategies. Therefore, we rightly hope that our joint efforts will extend to crisis management, peacekeeping and reconstruction work, ensuring firm support and protection of our communities wherever and whenever a crisis occurs that threatens peace or threatens the recurrence of genocide,” he said.

He noted that the principles outlined in the initiative should be accepted by other religious leaders, academics, officials and people who share their common effort to leave future generations a better world in which the genocide committed in Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Srebrenica, Jasenovac will not be repeated anywhere else.

“Bosnian Muslims, Bosniaks and Bosnian Jews are one body. Our bonds were woven both in times of trials and in periods of prosperity and interaction, in which we learned from each other and helped each other for the sake of good. But both our peoples have suffered and know what attempts to exterminate and destroy them are. In the same way, both peoples have shown that hope in humanity is not lost despite the great evil to which we are exposed to, both in our distant and recent past, and how it fights to survive. And today, when the evil of anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred and Islamophobia is gaining momentum in our environment and throughout Europe and the world, we should renew our vow to continue to be good neighbors and watch over each other, as we did in the past”, he said.

He also pointed out that the Islamic Community in BiH adopted the Declaration on Peace in the Holy Land and the Rights of the Palestinian People at its last session, in which it calls on all international actors, Muslim leaders and religious authorities of all religions to resolutely work towards ending “the spiral of violence in the Holy Land and for peace to reign, not only between Palestine and Israel, but also among the spiritual followers of the forefather of the prophet of monotheism Ibrahim (a.s.) / Abraham”.

“The same declaration strongly condemns the attacks on civilians in the vicinity of Gaza and the taking of the civilian population as hostages, and calls for their release, as well as the release of thousands of illegally detained people, especially women and children”, Kavazovic explained.

He then quoted the declaration of the highest legislative body of the Islamic community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which says: “Resistance to occupation cannot be a justification for committing crimes, just as calling for the fight against terrorism cannot be a justification for killing civilians and collective punishment. Every crime should be the subject of independent investigations and court proceedings”.

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