“The soldier told the mother to make the child stop crying. But when the baby continued to cry, he took it from the mother and slit its throat. Then he laughed”, recounted Munira, who lost 22 members of her family.
These events happened in the heart of Europe, just 16 years ago. This child and more than 8000 other victims were murdered simply because they were Muslims. Yet as hatred against Muslims rises once again across Europe, the anniversary of this massacre each July is practically forgotten.
This is why MPACUK is launching Stop Islamophobia Week on 8th – 14th July, to remember our brothers and sisters who died in the Srebrenica Massacre and to take action to stop the growing Islamophobia we are all facing today.
Insh’Allah we will be initiating mass petitions to demand that our local MPs, councillors and police take effective steps to tackle Islamophobia. We will be contacting mosques to ask them to commemorate the victims of the Srebrenica genocide, and to help mobilise our community to stand up against the rise of anti-Muslim hate. And we will be raising awareness of the threat of Islamophobia and what we all need to do to prevent such hate ever reaching the point where Muslims face ethnic cleansing and genocide, as they did just a few years ago in Bosnia.
We are calling on all our Muslim brothers and sisters and every person who cares about humanity and justice to be part of Stop Islamophobia Week. Islamophobia is a threat to us all, the evidence is all too real:
• A Muslim pensioner died from his injuries a week after he was ambushed outside the mosque and beaten unconscious by an anti-Muslim gang in front of his terrified 3 year-old granddaughter.
• Imams have been attacked by Islamophobic thugs, entering the mosque and gauging their eyes.
• Many mosques have been attacked with firebombs, bricks and even pigs’ heads, or vandalised and scrawled with hateful graffiti.
• Muslim sisters have had their scarves pulled off in the street and been spat at and verbally abused.
Every single day Muslims face abuse, discrimination and Islamophobia in the media that further fans the flames of hatred. Now is the time to learn the lessons from Srebrenica. Thousands were murdered and tens of thousands forced from their homes for the simple reason that they were Muslims, while the world stood by and watched. Now is the time to say, “Never again” …and to put those words into action.
“Believing men and believing women are protecting friends of one another; they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.” (Qur’an 9.71)
“If any one of you sees a wrong, let him change it with his hand; and if he cannot, then with his tongue; and if he cannot then with his heart, and this is the weakest of faith.” (Sahih Muslim).