22 years ago today, the worst genocide since World War II was carried out, where over 8,000 Muslim men and boys were massacred by Serbian Armed forces in Srebrenica. This day is still within living memory and serves as a warning of the catastrophic effect of the perpetual dehumanising and demonising of the other.
The impunity and duplicity of many of those who stood and did nothing back then, echoes much of what we see happening across the world today, especially in the so called ‘War on Terror’.
On this most important of anniversaries, Moazzam Begg provides some timely reflections on the Bosnian conflict and the Srebrenica Genocide:
In 1994, I took the first of numerous trips to bring aid to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and helped to defend them. Like many others, I was horrified by the murder, torture and mass rape which was meted out against the Muslims of Bosnia and perpetrated at notorious concentration camps like Omarska, Trnopolje and Uzamnica.
All of this happened before the killing of 8,000 men and boys at Srebrenica – a place where internally displaced Bosnian Muslims had sought refuge in since it was a designated safe zone under the protection of Dutch United Nations soldiers.
In today’s ‘post-ISIS’ world, it is a sobering reminder that the largest genocide of civilians in Europe since World War Two, was carried out by people who described themselves as followers of Christianity and secularism.
As well as the unimaginable loss faced by the victims and their relatives, we must never forget that many who today claim higher values and principles, simply stood by and watched.
CC image courtesy of Roͬͬ͠͠͡͠͠͠͠͠͠͠͠sͬͬ͠͠͠͠͠͠͠͠͠aͬͬ͠͠͠͠͠͠͠ Menkman on Flikr
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