Schools' anti-hate course


An anti-racism programme has been launched for schools which draws parallels between the Holocaust and the Serb massacre of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995.

It has been instigated by the Joseph Interfaith Foundation, a charity supporting Jewish-Muslim dialogue.

While the foundation has been active on campus for a number of years, the Auschwitz and Srebrenica programme, designed for 15-to-17-year-olds, is its first for teenagers.

Sessions have recently taken place at two east London schools, including London East Academy, a Muslim boys' school based at the East London Mosque.

"The boys learnt a lot from them," said Ustad Hassan, a teacher at the academy.

Every picture transported me to the Holocaust

Workshops explored the similarities between antisemitism and Islamophobia and the dangers which derive from stereotyping.

Tutors included rabbis Alexandra Wright of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St John's Wood and David Lister from Edgware United.

The foundation's director, Mehri Niknam, visited the memorial centre at Srebrenica as part of an interfaith delegation at the end of last year.

"The visit to the memorial centre and the artist studio were particularly harrowing, tormenting and disturbing for me," she recalled.

"Every picture, every statement, every execution building and every experience of the grieving mothers transported me to the scenes of the Holocaust."

The bodies of some 1,000 of the 8,000 men and boys killed there have not been recovered.

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