Today marks the 25th anniversary since Serbian militias committed a genocide in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica. The city that was formally under the protection of the Dutch UN battalion Dutchbat. More than 8000 Muslim men and boys were separated from the women under the supervision of the Dutch Dutchbat III, deported and executed in cold blood to be dumped in mass graves afterwards. Muslim women and children suffered during the three-year-war, that lasted from 1992 until 1995 as well. Babies and children were killed. Muslim women were abused, dishonored and killed on a great scale as well.
Throughout the years there has been said and written a lot about this subject, either way it is of great importance to periodically bring the genocide of the Muslims in Europe to the attention of the younger generations periodically. The goal of this, is to not forget the many innocent deaths, but also to learn from the fates of those Muslims who considered themselves safe in Europe. It is therefore necessary to understand the underlying motives of the genocide. Moreover, it is important to reflect on the way they dealt with it. As to realize a more genuine and realistic future perspective for the Muslim generations.
Before the genocide occurred thousands of Muslims fled the ruthless Serbian militias and sought refuge in the Muslim enclave Srebrenica, that was previously declared a “safe zone” by the United Nations. The Dutchbat, under UN command, would guarantee their safety. However, this turned out to be untrue as the Muslims were handed over to the bloodthirsty Serbian militias without resistance. The Dutchbat even contributed to the evacuation of Muslim men even when they knew beforehand they would be tortured or killed. The open hate those militias carried against Islam and the Muslims was well-known.
Hatred against Islam and the Muslims
The deeply rooted hatred and resentment that a large part of Serbs carry towards the Muslims was voiced by Serbian general Ratko Mladic during a short video message. The video message was published before he gave the order to butcher the Muslims. He said: “Here we stand, July 11th, 1995 in the city of Srebrenica, in Serbia. On the eve of the Serbian holy day we give this city back to the Serbian nation. In remembrance of the uprising against the Turks (i.e. the Ottoman Khilafah) the day has come to take revenge against the Muslims.” In addition, footage appeared in which he calls upon Muslim children saying, “Where is your Allah now? It is Mladic that is going to save you.” Muslim hate cannot be expressed more explicit than this.
This was also known with the Dutch Blue Helmets. Despite their task to protect the Muslim enclave there was a partial sympathy to the Serbs and a shared hatred against the Muslims. There are several witness reports that confirm and detail the occurrence of physical intimidation. Like pointing guns at innocent Bosnian Muslims and voicing the wish to run over Muslims with a tank, as well as the abuse and rape of Muslim women! Even graffiti on the walls of the compound of the Dutch soldiers expressed the hate towards Bosnian Muslims. The contempt towards the Muslim refugees in Srebrenica was strongly present. They threw pieces of bread in between hundreds of starving Bosnians, who fought for it while they laughed. The behavior the Dutch batters displayed after the genocide on the Muslims took place was disturbing and is consistent with their thinking. In a well-known leaked video, drunk Dutch batters are dancing a few days after the genocide took place like nothing had happened. How realistic is then the expectation of that Dutch batters sacrificing their lives to protect the Muslims?
Also, hiding behind Serbian “superior force” to justify the military surrender to the Serbs without considerable resistance is weak. What then is the task of trained soldiers if they do not give their all to protect unarmed civilians? Is fighting back until an honorable end not considered part of the tasks? Moreover, two weeks later during a Croatian re-capture of Krajina the British took in thousands of Serbian civilians in their headquarters, fought back and protected civilians. Whatever the situation may be, what factually took place is that the Muslims were very easily handed over to the aggressor.
The attitude of the Netherlands and the aftermath of the genocide
So far, the scandalous actions of the Dutchbat, who did not only fail to take their responsibility but also assisted the aggressor. An absolute stain and shame that at the least should be recognized to soften the suffered pain, you would say. But the Dutch authorities have conducted themselves apathetically from the beginning and until this day refute any claims.
The first Srebrenica report of the NIOD was published no later that 2002, 7 years after the genocide. The conclusion was that the mission was inadequately prepared for, so much so that the Dutchbat could not be held accountable for the drama that occurred in Srebrenica. Previously in 1999, the UN also concluded that the Dutch Blue Helmets could not be blamed for the genocide.
The victims’ next of kin: “Mothers of Srebrenica”, do not see any progress towards a just end after 15 years and decide to report the genocide and war-crimes. Including Commander Thom Karremans, who commanded the Dutch UN-battalion Dutchat. However, three years later the Public Attorney decided not to prosecute Karremans.
In 2014 the court in The Hague judged that The Netherlands were not responsible for the 8000 Muslim men but were partially responsible for the deportation of more than three hundred men. In other words: Dutchbat was not responsible for the fate of 7500 victims.
In 2017 The Hague court confirmed the previous verdict in which that state was found responsible for the death of 350 Muslim men, but that only 30% of the suffered damages shall be reimbursed. The Dutch soldiers of Dutchbat, occupied with the task to protect the Muslim enclave were also held out of dodge. According to the court, the Dutch government is but accountable for 30%, only the 350 victims who were in the Dutch compound. So even in determining the compensation of the recognized and confirmed cases (due to negligence on the part of the Dutch government) only 30% is paid out.
In 2019 the High Council judged that the state is only partially accountable for the death of more than 300 Muslims and judged that not 30% but only 10% compensation should be paid to the next of kin.
Which judgement shall come after this? No compensation and/or acquittal?
It all comes down to The Netherlands, Europe and the entire UN failing to protect the Muslims in the West against Muslim hate. Additionally, they failed to take their responsibility regarding the genocide and aftercare of the next of kin.
We also see this behavior in the crimes of the Dutch government against former colonies like Indonesia, but also for example with the Dutch airstrikes in Iraq, in which a complete neighborhood was destroyed by a Dutch F-16. More than 70 civilians lost their lives because of this. Then too, the Dutch government claimed its innocence, came up with excuses and rejected any claims of guilt. The question is how The Netherlands and the rest of Europe will protect Muslim communities in the future against the ever-growing anti-Islamic sentiments. Considering the current track record the future does not look so bright.
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Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in The Netherlands