Delivered on July 11th, 2015 at Bosnian Centre
It is our solemn duty to gather to remember the genocide of Bosnian Muslims. A genocide that occurred, again in Europe, 50 years after the world promised they would never let this happen again.
But in those years, we watched in horror as Bosnian Muslims were slaughtered, with impunity, for the sole crime of being ethnically different from their Serbian attackers. They were killed because they were Muslim. At about the same time, Azeri muslims were being slaughtered, again targeted only for their ethnicity, by Armenian forces in an orgy of ethnic cleansing.
Both these things happened right before the eyes of the International community. We all watched in horror as the film footage of massacres and destruction came in day after day, all the while the world’s superpowers, those who promised NEVER AGAIN, stood on the sidelines and did nothing. Or worse, when the UN did step in, its Dutch soldiers actually shepherded men and boys to be massacred.
Where was the protection?
What happened to this guarantee?
By the time Turkey was able to lobby NATO to act, it was already too late. Hundreds of thousands dead, millions displaced, In my hometown in Turkey, Kirklareli which is next to Turkish-Bulgarian border, a refugee camp was set up for 50 thousand Bosnian Refugees. I used to visit the camp with my mother to deliver food and aid, and present gifts to the children, and I still remember the devastating expressions of sadness and sorrow in the faces of those Bosnian refugees. They would never talk about what happened even though we asked some times, when they try to speak, almost immediately they would burst into tears. They would always carry the photos of their husbands, fathers and children they left behind or were killed. 20 years on, now we still have similar scenes in the refugee camps set up in Turkey this time for the 4 million Syrian refugees displaced as a result of the brutal regime in Syria and a genocidal death cult, the genocidal treatments are still being carried out in Myanmar towards Rohingyas.
Srebrenica Genocide happened only 20 years ago. But the world seems determined to forget.
NSW Parliament, which seems so keen to talk about massacres, even those from over 100 years ago when the victims are Christian, says nothing about Bosnia, or Khojaly. The Pope, one who over a billion look to for moral guidance, himself willing to label the pain of Christians genocide, has remained strangely silent on the issue of what happened on his doorstep IN LIVING MEMORY. There is a shameful silence about this from parliaments and politicians around the world, even though the UN and International Courts and the Australian Parliament have recognised the events as Genocide. Why the silence?
Could it be that a genocide of muslims by Christians does not fit with their world view?
Could it be a sense of shame that they failed to act?
Or could it be, that they still hold the view of self appointed “genocide scholars” like Colin Tatz, who supported the actions of the Bosnian Serbs, even as we watched their aggression nightly, labelling theirs “A rightful cause”?
Where is the resolution of this International Association of Genocide scholars? Where is the resolution of the Australian Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies? Don’t these genocides matter?
It is shameful.
Talk about an inconvenient Genocide.
As the Australian Turkish community, once again we strongly curse this heinous crime against humanity, and we deeply share the grief of our Bosnian brothers and sisters as we shared it 20 years ago when we organised many aid campaigns in Australia for them, today we stand in solidarity with you, and condemn any attempts to minimise or deny the genocide which took place in Srebrenica 20 years ago.
Executive Secretary of ATA Alliance