FIOE: Srebrenica shall remain indelibly etched in memory, its screams reverberating in the world’s hearing

The 20th anniversary of the atrocities of Srebrenica is upon us, yet the screams of the victims and their families continue to ring in the ears of a world that failed to come to their rescue. The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe presents its heartfelt condolences, and solidarity, to the victims’ families, and all the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina, on this painful anniversary.

The events of twenty years ago in Srebrenica, and across Bosnia-Herzegovina, inflicted upon the population in areas targeted by mass killings, terror tactics, rape, and lethal military attack, were not merely an agression against the person, but a horrific onslaught on human values, a grave violation of moral principles, a flagrant contravention of conventions, religions, and divine codes, and an appalling trespass on human dignity in this era.

Nothing in this world can ever compensate the people, who lost relatives and loved ones, in one of the most horrendous massacres of our time. The tragedy is still raw in the hearts of those still waiting the remains of their family members to be recovered, and hence, honoured with decent burial, even after the passage of such a long time. Those struck by the loss of their relatives in these horrors continue to shed tears, and feel the hurt of loss deep in their soul, while people of conscience in this world can only share the pain and sadness from deep within.

The 20th anniversary of the massacres in Srebrenica is an occasion for European and international recognition of the genocide that occurred in the first part of the nineties of the last century. It is quite odd that the international community would drag its heels in granting such a description, giving the impression that the world continues to delay in living up to its humanitarian and moral obligations, and is hesitant to provide the moral redress due to the victims.

Future generations will not understand how the international community allowed the tragedy at Srebrenica and other massacres and atrocities elsewhere in Bosnia-Herzegovina to happen within sight and hearing, or how Europe’s politicians stood powerless in face of the renewed horrors at the heart of the Continent, only fifty years after the end of the Second World War.

The people of Bosnia-Herzegovina suffered a dreadful ordeal, yet gained everyone’s admiration, in choosing to look to the future, rather than dwell on the distress of the past, in deciding to turn the page on conflict, and give preference to the language of coexistence, wisdom, and humanity.

The 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacres is an occasion to renew solidarity with the families of the victims; on the other hand, while those many thousands, who were brutally cut down, shall remain alive in the memory of Europe’s Muslims, and all humanity, and the survivors of the massacres shall stand as witnesses to chapters that can never be erased from human history.

Brussels, 11 July 2015

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe