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HOW GLOBAL ANTI-MUSLIM BIGOTRY BECAME ACCEPTABLE
#61
SREBRENICA IS THE TOWN IN EUROPE IN WHICH ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST BOSNIAKS- BOSNIAN MUSLIMS WERE COMMITTED BY THE SERBIAN MILITARY IN 1995. THIS TOOK PLACE IN A SAFE ZONE UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE UN. THERE WAS NO NATO INTERVENTION IN THE HEART OF EUROPE. MANY QUESTIONS REMAIN UNANSWERED AND THERE IS A FRAGILE PEACE IN THE REGION.

THE FACT THAT 
THIS WAS ALLOWED TO TAKE PLACE HAS IMPLICATIONS FOR EUROPEAN MUSLIMS AS  IT SET AN UNHOLY PRECEDENT. EUROPEAN MUSLIMS MUST NEVER ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN AGAIN AND ALL MEASURES NEED TO BE TAKEN AGAINST THE PERPETRATORS. ALSO JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIMS IS REQUIRED AND BOSNIAN MUSLIMS STRUGGLE FOR SELF DETERMINATION NEEDS TO BE FACTORED IN ANY ANTI ISLAMOPHOBIA STRATEGY. THIS SHOULD MEAN THAT THE NEAREST MUSLIM COUNTRIES IN THE REGION MUST MILITARY INTERVENE IF REQUIRED TO SAFEGUARD THEIR INTEGRITY, SECURITY AND SOVEREIGNTY.   



IN SREBRENICA A NEW WAR IS WAGED 
The Bosnian war may have ended 25 years ago, but a new one is waged over the memory of the genocide victims


Emir Suljagic is ex-deputy defence minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Jul 2020


https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinio...35179.html


On October 15, 2019, my appointment as the director of the Srebrenica Memorial Centre was to be made official. As I was leaving the campus of the International University of Sarajevo, where I taught international relations, my phone rang. It was the hospital. My mother had died. Later, I would come to realise that that day marked one chapter of my life closing for another one to open. When I finally arrived in Srebrenica, it took me a few weeks to understand that there was no precedent for what we were trying to do.

During the Bosnian war of 1992-95, thousands of Muslims sought refuge in Srebrenica in the eastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as Serb militias were committing genocide against the Muslim pupulation of the Drina Valley, hoping to create a homogeneous Serbian territory and open the border with Serbia. Today the town falls within the boundaries of Republika Srpska, drawn by the 1995 Dayton Agreement, and in 2003, it was in its former industrial zone, where the UN base had once been, that the memorial and a cemetery for the victims of genocide were established in 2003.


It should not come as a surprise that we operate in an environment that is openly hostile and rife with genocide denial. Locals as well as the authorities in Banja Luka, the capital of Republika Srpska, continue to see and treat us as an enemy, undermining our work and our mandate.

The ruling party of Independent Social Democrats under the leadership of Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, continues to invest public money into the production of "alternative facts" and alternative, counterfactual narratives about the events that took place in Srebrenica between May 1992 and July 1995.


Meanwhile, in Europe, there is a tendency to put the story behind and "move on". The European way of dealing with genocide, mass-murder and organised violence is forgetting. This is not a value judgement, but a fact. The entire global order is based on the ability of the West to turn former enemies into allies. That is very often the source of misunderstanding between us and our European friends who insist on reconciliation. Reconciliation is easy to talk about when the group targeted for genocide is simply no longer there, as was the case with the Jews after World War II. The Jewish communities across Europe were almost completely obliterated by 1945 and the few survivors ran as far away as possible for the most part.


The collaboration and crimes of many common citizens who benefitted from the murder of the Jews and took over their property were never really addressed. After the Nuremberg trials, which once again treated the Holocaust as a footnote, there was no mention of the crimes of Holocaust for another generation. Europe just moved on and the imperative of the ideological conflict between the West and the Soviet Union dominated public attention.


However, there is no precedent for victims and survivors returning to the sites and places where genocide was perpetrated and continuing to live there and memorialise their loss. There is no precedent for allowing the political structures responsible for genocide to rule the part of the land where it was perpetrated. The Nazis were not allowed self-rule in Bavaria, for instance, in 1946. If we were not Muslim, the Bosnian Serbs would have been militarily defeated, all their war criminals summarily tried, and the ideology behind the mass murder thoroughly discredited. If we were not Muslim, the Bosnian army would not have been stopped on its march to Banja Luka in the autumn of 1995.

Recently, as part of research I have been working on, I came into possession of the transcripts of 57 sittings of the secessionist Bosnian Serb "assembly" which had been established in October 1991 by Radovan Karadzic. It is a common assumption, even among the scholars of genocide that genocidal intent is born and discussed in small, conspiratorial circles.  In this case, however, it was openly discussed in a forum of between 60 and 80 individuals, their discussions recorded for posterity on purpose. Every single aspect of the eradication of the Muslim population was debated in detail. Support for the "radical solution", as Karadzic once referred to the genocidal operation in and around Srebrenica, was so overwhelming that the entire enterprise could safely be named "genocide by plebiscite".


A number of deputies of this assembly are still alive and free. Some of them, like former chairman of the assembly and convicted war criminal Momcilo Krajisnik, have a voice in public. Whereas the individual legal responsibility of high-ranking individuals in the Bosnian Serb and Serbian leadership was addressed before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the political responsibility for the murder of more than 100,000, for the rape of tens of thousands, was ignored as state-building efforts were pushed to the fore by the international community.


We still see the people, who came to our villages in the 1990s to burn them down, walking in the streets freely; we still hear the same dehumanising vocabulary from the Bosnian Serb and Serbian politicians we heard back then; we are still the hated "Asiatic plague", as a former University of Sarajevo professor and leading member of the Bosnian Serb assembly referred to us in one of the sittings. That is why working at the Srebrenica Memorial sometimes still feels like being in a war-time enclave. I cannot say I mind the feeling. On the contrary, having once lived and survived the experience of an enclave, I have continued to feel surrounded even after 1995. It comes to me naturally, I even like being surrounded.

What I cannot handle are the open physical and social spaces of freedom. By coming back here, I decided to try and continue carrying the torch that my mother did not want me to carry. She never wanted me to take this job. She had lost one man in her life - her husband - here. With my mother's death, one war ended in my life, for another to start. It is a war for the interpretation of the war, as the renowned Bosnian poet Abdulah Sidran aptly put it. It is a war to honour the men and women I grew up with, who were murde
red mercilessly, and to make sure their deaths are not forgotten.



SREBRENICA GENOCIDE 25 YEARS ON : 
LESSONS FOR EUROPEAN MUSLIMS 
https://www.trtworld.com/perspectives/sr...lims-38196

If genocide denial is not confronted in Bosnia, it is possible the country could see a return to war in the near future.  The Srebrenica genocide of 1995, during which over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed, was the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War. This massacre occurred in the midst of the systematic ethnic cleansing of Bosniak Muslims in the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. A quarter of a century later, Almasa Salihovic and Emir Suljagic, survivors of Srebrenica, along with Safet Vukalic, a survivor of the 1992 Prijedor massacre, believe the lessons of this tragic event are being ignored as open genocide denial from the Bosnian Serb leadership becomes more brazen and nationalist. This, also, at a time when far-right political discourse becomes normalised across Europe. 
 
Almasa was just 8 years old when she, her mother and siblings along with over 20,000 civilians, were forcibly expelled from Srebrenica. Her 18-year-old brother Abdullah was caught during a failed escape attempt and was murdered. Only 30 percent of his remains were found, subsequently buried over a decade later in 2008. In the light of far-right terrorists worldwide using Bosnia as inspiration for the persecution of Muslims, Almasa says her responsibility is not just in the fighting of the government’s genocide denial, but is in the vanguard of a global struggle to speak about Srebrenica in the same way as the Holocaust is remembered.  The perpetrator behind last year’s massacre in a Mosque in Christchurch, sang along to Serbian nationalist songs glorifying those behind Srebrenica - people such as Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic - as he live-streamed the murders of 51 worshippers. The white supremacist Norwegian terrorist, Anders Brevik, mentioned Bosnia 300 times in his manifesto.  



Whilst Europe and the UK may be far from seeing another Srebrenica-like scenario, Dunja Mijatovic, the current Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights from Bosnia and Herzegovina, says it serves as a cautionary tale of what happens when a European commitment towards diversity and multiculturalism wanes. Post World War II, Europe was supposedly built on the foundation of ‘never again’ repeating the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust or the nationalism which produced it.  Yet Srebrenica occurred in the heart of Europe and is within our living memory.  A particularly important part of this cautionary tale is the role the media played in demonising minorities. 



Safet Vukalic, a teenager at the time of the 1992 Prijedor massacre, remembers only too well the impact it had. He witnessed how Bosnian Serb and Serbian authorities, in the lead up to systematic slaughter, orchestrated a mass media campaign that drip-fed propaganda painting Bosniak Muslims as killers and as an existential threat to Serb people. Safet recounted how he would hear propaganda such as Muslim doctors mass sterilising Serbs, Muslims having kill lists, and Bosniak Muslims being othered as ‘Turks’.  

Official government media also played a crucial role in dehumanising Tutsis and mobilising ordinary Hutus to engage in the Rwandan Genocide. In Rwanda, authorities sent machetes and other weapons to Hutu households to kill their Tutsi neighbours, Safet remembers that Bosnian Serb authorities sent guns to every Serb household in his part of Bosnia. Emir Suljagic was keen to emphasise how Kofi Annan, the then UN head of peacekeeping operations, and the international community failed both Bosnia and Rwanda at the same point of history.



Armed with this knowledge of how othering often precedes mass killing, Safet has become more worried about the position of Muslims in the United Kingdom, where he has lived since escaping Bosnia in 1993. Islamophobia proliferates in the UK, particularly in the wake of the Brexit vote. A few years ago The Sun newspaper in the UK falsely reported that one in five Muslims supported ISIS. This came as hate crime has appeared to double in the UK over the preceding 5 years. During the coronavirus crisis, elements of the right-wing press manufactured fears of Muslims congregating in mosques and community centres during Ramadan, risking viral transmission. 



Further afield in India, social and government media channels have held the country’s 200 million Muslims responsible for spreading coronavirus, which has manifested in an upsurge of violence and hate crimes against Indian Muslims. There are increasing calls for social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and others to monitor and take action to stop the proliferation of racist messaging online and for mainstream politicians to be held to account. Anti-Muslim hate crimes in the UK rose by 375 percent after the current UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson described Muslim women with face coverings as ‘’letterboxes’’ in 2018. Whilst Boris Johnson’s comments are not on a par with the nationalist rhetoric of Serb leaders such as Slobodan Milosevic or Radovan Karadzic during the Bosnian war, it shows how those in power have a responsibility to use their platforms wisely. 



All three survivors I spoke to reflected on the insidious nature of fixating on the assimilation of Muslims into ‘European values’. The Bosnian war, like the Holocaust before it, tragically demonstrated the danger of this narrative.  Much as the highly-integrated German Jewish communities were not spared from the Nazi extermination campaigns, similarly nativised Bosnian Muslims were not spared the onslaught of genocide.

The survivors all emphasised how well integrated Bosnian Muslims were with their Serb and Croat neighbours, wearing the same clothes, eating the same food, in many cases living the same secular lifestyle to the point that Emir argues they were losing their religious identity. He argues European and Western identity has for centuries defined itself in its binary opposition to Islam and Jewry. 

This historic antagonism bore bitter fruit - including the Crusades, the Spanish Reconquista, 
the Holocaust and of course the Bosnian war.  Emir shares the view of Bill Clinton, the American president at the time of the Bosnian war, that European leaders were prejudiced against Bosnia due to its majority Muslim population. 

According to the Clinton Tapes:

'European allies constantly blocked proposals to adjust or remove the arms embargo imposed on Bosnia because "an independent Bosnia would be 'unnatural' as the only Muslim nation in Europe”....Clinton said President Francois Mitterrand of France had been especially blunt in saying that Bosnia did not belong and that British officials spoke of a painful but realistic restoration of Christian Europe'.

Within Bosnia, Republika Srpska has institutionalised genocide denial. Emir, Almasa and Safet all strongly believe that this Bosnian Serb entity, which now controls 49% of Bosnian territory, was the construct of a murderous campaign but has since been legitimised by the international community in the wake of the 1995 Dayton peace agreement which ended the war. For all the survivors it is no surprise that Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of the Bosnian presidency, dismisses the Srebrenica Genocide as a “fabricated myth”, nor that a commission to investigate war crimes whitewashes Serb atrocities.  

Denial has become so flagrant that Bosnian Serb authorities plan to build a statue of Peter Handke, a controversial Nobel laureate known for his denial of the Srebrenica genocide. Almasa tells me survivors’ pain is compounded by the fact that today’s mayor of Srebrenica denies the genocide, victims are coming face to face with perpetrators in their daily lives and local figures celebrate July 11 as a day of national celebration. In some cases, streets, statues and buildings have been renamed to celebrate Bosnian Serb war criminals and their allies

Safet, Amir and Almasa’s message to the world is that if genocide denial is not confronted in Bosnia, in the near future, the country could very well see a return to war. With the unfolding State-backed repression of Muslim communities in Myanmar, Kashmir and China, and increasingly normalised antipathy towards Muslims in Europe, reflecting on what happened at Srebrenica 25 years on, has never been so relevant.
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#62
CHECK THIS OUT 

IN COMBATTING GLOBAL ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ISLAMOPHOBES  AYA SOPHIA AND CONSTANTINOPLE HAVE UNDOUBTEDLY TAKEN THE LEAD AND DELIVERED A POWERFUL SLAP ON THEIR BIGOTTED FACES. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THESE HISTORICAL EVENTS IS ENORMOUS. NOT ONLY IS KEMALISM BEING THROWN IN THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY.  BUT IN THE RANKS OF MUSLIMS THE SAUDIS HAVE BEEN TOTALLY EXPOSED AS AN IMPOSITION OF FAKE LEADERSHIP ON THE UMMAH BY THE WEST.  THE CUSTODIANS OF THE HARAMAIN SHOULD HAVE BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT IN THE DEFENCE OF ISLAM AND MUSLIMS GLOBALLY.   AT A TIME WHEN THE OTTOMAN ISLAMIC SPIRITUAL AND POLITICAL TRADITIONS ARE BEING REVIVED THE SAUDIS HAVE BANNED THE HAJJ. THE STRUGGLE FOR AUTHENTIC ISLAMIC LEADERSHIP IS ARISING AND HISTORY IS GOING TO SWEEP AWAY THE DEBRIS. THERE IS ALSO A WARNING HERE FOR NONMUSLIM POWERS WHO HAVE BEEN DIVIDING, EXPLOITING AND OPPRESSING MUSLIMS GLOBALLY THAT THEIR PARTY IS COMING TO AN END. MORE ON THIS WILL FOLLOW SOON.



HISTORICAL MOMENTS:
THE FIRST KHUTBAH OF HAGHIA SOPHIA AFTER 86 YEARS 




SOME EXAMPLES OF MOSQUES IN EUROPE CONVERTED INTO CHURCHES IN HISTORY 
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