Srebenica, 17 years on…anniversary marked today

Bismillah hir rahman ir raheem – In the name of Allah, the kind, the merciful.

As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmat Allahi wa Barakatuhu – May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be on you.

It is apt to start this blog by writing about the 17th anniversary of the Srebenica massacre which was commemorated today. I watched the live streaming on Islam Channel, and was awed by the ceremony, and the grief which continues even after all these years.

520 newly identified bodies were ready to be buried by their relatives.  Seeing all those coffins with green shrouds was a humbling sight. A jewish holocaust survivor came to offer his support from the other side of the Atlantic ocean, and prayers were offered for the deceased.

I watched as history was being written, and wondered, like many others, how such a massacre could have happened in a modern European country, and, after the never to be repeated holocaust of the 20th century: a reminder that this should never happen again. And yet it did. Another holocaust. Another wiping out of a whole community through ethnic cleansing. Another sad state of affairs.

I remember watching the news 17 years ago, when reports came of the camps in Srebenica, with the starving waif-like pale emaciated skeletons of men and youths standing behind the fences of their concentration camps, with wide large innocent eyes looking out at the world.

The world knew….and yet the world watched and did nothing to help. All of this was allowed to happen.

With all the might of organisations such as the United Nations, oppression still continues. News reports come regularly, of ethnic cleansing, and people do nothing.

The Jewish supporter at the ceremony quoted from the Talmud about helping to stop bloodshed being committed by the witnesses. Yet his voice, like the voice of holocaust survivors and victims of ethnic cleansing, is not being heard.

Nevertheless, we muslims know, that one day the oppressors will face their questioning by the Lord of Creation and will not be able to escape from the consequences of their actions in facing a terrible doom worse than the violent acts they committed.

With this thought I ask Allah to bless all the victims of the Srebenica massacre with the gardens of Jannah – Heaven – and to bring peace to their relatives and survivors. Ameen.

Wa salaam – With Peace

Bano Younus

11 July 2012

Copyright: This article cannot be reproduced or reprinted without the prior consent of the author.


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