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Genocide in Europe and Sarajevo

Why does Europe, which has the Inquisition on its past record and the experience of Hitler in the Second World War, remain silent in the face of slaughter and genocide?

Why does the world remain silent in the face of what's going on today with Assad in Syria, with Sisi in Egypt, with Boko Haram in Nigeria, as well as what is going on in Myanmar, East Turkestan, Sri Lanka and all the rest?

People are being killed across the world, but Europe and the U.N. remain silent and unreactive. 

Europe, the U.N., Russia and the U.S. are silent today and were silent in the past as well.  The way they remained silent in 1995 in the face of Sarajevo which is actually one hour by plane from Germany and two hours away from France, was one of saddest incidents that occurred beforethe very eyes of the world.

The world remained silent in the face of the Serbian siege of Bosnia, solely because it represented a bastion of Muslims in Europe.

There were two parties to the slaughter in Bosnia, the Croats and the Serbs. Sarajevo became part of Ottoman territory during the time of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror. The Muslim people were named as Bosniaks. 

This was the furthest outpost of Muslims in Europe.  The other party of the massacre in Bosnia was the Serbian nationalists. 

Hostility of the Serbians towards Muslims in the region goes back to the 14th Century. The Kingdom of Serbia suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 before disappearing entirely and becoming part of the Ottoman Empire in 1459. The Serbs never forgot that defeat and harbored a hatred for Muslims ever since. 

The first massacre of Muslims by Serbs happened in 1702. It was given the name of Istraga Poturica (the extermination of those who embraced the religion of Turks). That enmity reached a peak during the wars between 1992-1995.

A chain of massacres, not war, took place in Bosnia. A society, a generation, a lineage and culture was all but exterminated. 

The figures were horrifying.

  • 312,000 dead and two million people were forced to leave their homes.
  • 27,724 missing Bosniaks. 
  • More than 500 mass graves and 5,000 individual burials.
  • Thirty concentration camps in Bosnia as a whole.
  • More than 30,000 women raped.  
  • Hunger, poverty and even a failure to collect the dead in Bihac, which was under U.N. control.
  • And let us not forget the slaughter.
  • 15 dead, 80 injured at a football match in 1993.
  • 68 dead, 144 seriously injured in an attack on Markale market in 1994. 
  • 43 dead, 75 injured in the second attack on Markale market in 1995.
  • 8,372 men were killed in five days in Srebrenitsa in 1995.
  • Only 18,000 of the 20,000 bodies found to date have been identified. 

The Srebrenitsa Massacre in 1995 represented the worst slaughter since the Second World War. A total of 8,372 men were killed in five days, before the eyes of the world, in Srebrenitsa, a town in the middle of Europe under U.N. protection, and 30,000 women and children were exiled: Tens of thousands were raped or killed.

The Bosniaks in Bosnia were gathered in Srebrenitsa because it was supposedly safe and under U.N. protection. The population of the town increased 2.5 times, to around 60,000. But something unexpected happened: the Dutch soldiers representing the U.N. forces in the town deserted the town and by doing so they turned it over to the Serbs.

And after that, nobody put a stop to this massacre, carried out by the Serbs for days, which took place in the heart of Europe at the end of the Twentieth Century before the very eyes of the U.N. and the whole world. 

Repercussions of these terrible events suffered by the Bosniaks during the war continued after the war as well. These innocent people were unable to return to their burnt, ruined homes and villages. The reason why they couldn't return to their homes was even worse; they couldn't return because the war criminals who killed their relatives and who raped their mothers and sisters in the war were still living in the region and nothing was being done about them.

Bosnia is but one example from Europe: Massacres are taking place all over the world. Some of those responsible have died, some have been tried, and others are walking around freely.

The point that needs to be considered here is what could be the state of mind in which thousands of innocent and defenseless people can be slaughtered, how one person could murder another in cold blood.

We have already stated that Europe and the U.N.  remained silent in the face of what has happened in Bosnia and elsewhere in the world. What is even sadder is the way that Muslim lands remain silent and fail to react to such rapes and slaughters going on, the way they wait for Europe to do everything. 

Muslim countries must not forget that they have a responsibility toward those innocent people who look to them. They must set aside the disputes among them and come together to strive on behalf of oppressed Muslims. Muslim countries must establish a union to act in the name of good, love, peace, justice and tolerance. It is only possible to prevent the slaughter, war, conflict and savageries such as that in Srebrenitsa if we act in a union.

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