Memorial Day – Remembering Srebrenica twenty-one years on

Today is the Srebrenica Memorial Day marking the Bosnian genocide in which the European Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina suffered “unimaginable savagery” at the hands of General Ratko Mladic’s forces. More than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were massacred in the greatest atrocity on European soil since the Second World War. We call on all to offer prayers for the victims, and to pray for peace and compassion in the world.

The Vice-Principal of Jamia Al-Karam and Vice-President of the UK Branch of the World Association for Al-Azhar Graduates, Bakhtyar Pirzada al-Azhari, has said: “Young Muslims under 20 years of age up and down the country may not fully be aware or relate to this tragedy, but it is clear in our memories. The Srebrenica massacre and others that occurred during that dark hour cannot be forgotten. They were killed and raped for being Muslims. The lessons must be learnt and these tragedies reminded of, for the world today is witnessing brutality and violence in many parts of the world. Racial hatred and religious intolerance must be addressed early, for hatred can kill. Today we pray for the martyrs and the victims, and pray for all humans suffering at the hands of fellow humans.”

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has stated: “What happened in and around the valley and hills of Srebrenica on those fateful summer days in July 1995 was an act of genocide that shamed Europe and shamed the world. We must never, ever forget what happened at Srebrenica – right here in Europe, five decades after the end of World War II. The world failed Bosnia in its hour of need.”

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ruled that the mass execution of Bosniak men and boys in Srebrenica constituted genocide. On 15 January 2009, the European Union passed a Resolution stating: “The European Parliament calls on the Council and the Commission to commemorate appropriately the anniversary of the Srebrenica-Potocari act of genocide by supporting Parliament’s recognition of 11 July as the day of commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide all over the EU, and to call on all the countries of the western Balkans to do the same.”

Visit the Remembering Srebrenica official website: