Exactly 28 years ago today, literally 11th July 1995, the largest massacres since World War Two took place in Europe, the largest massacre on European soil took place. And all of you should be aware of this, it is something that is pertinent to us. It is relevant to our own history. And it is something that every single Muslim should be very painfully war. I am of course talking about the should we Nietzsche, or the Bosnian massacre that took place today, literally today. And today across the world. And especially in Srebrenica, where the graveyard is actually buried, I believe, a dozen people that were whose bone fragments were found every year, they find more bone fragments in the fields of that region. And so throughout every year, today, on the 11th of July, they hold a special ceremony.
The dignitaries, the Presidents they come and they give their respect. So today is that day, literally today 11th of July 1995. And I’ve spoken last year about the history of that I’m not going to go into that today. But very briefly, all of you should be aware that the Ottoman Empire conquered areas of Europe back in the 14th century. We’re talking about Kosova, we’re talking about Albania, we’re talking about Bosnia, we’re talking about Herzegovina, these are like four provinces that from the 14th 1500s, the Ottoman Empire conquered them as a part of what was happening in those timeframes. And as you’re aware of whatever Islam goes Alhamdulillah it trickles down. There’s never been a force conversion in our history, never has a sultan come and put a sword to the throats of the people and say convert.
But when there is a doula Islamia, when the people see the reality of Islam, organically, they begin to embrace it. And this is what happened in these regions. That’s why to this day, the majority of Albania, the majority of Kosovo, the majority of Bosnia, and these are in the heartlands of Europe, right to this day, the majority of these regions are actually Muslim.
So from the 1500s, the Ottoman Empire had conquered these lands, and slowly for the next 200 years, Islam began to spread until it’s now a vast majority. And you all of these regions, 70% 80% 90% of the people are Muslim.
And long story short after World War One, when the republics of that region collapse to they created this fragile state. The state of Yugoslavia for those of you in the 90s remember Yugoslavia, whereas Yugoslavia, now it’s gone. So Yugoslavia was a patched up state that was composed of enemies, you know, Serbians, Muslims and what not. The Serbs held in their hearts a grudge against the Muslims for 500 years, the Serbs held in their hearts anger, that the Ottomans had come, and they had taken our people and our lands.
And so long story short, when there was a referendum for freedom, the Bosnian Muslims, they wanted freedom. They wanted to break away they wanted their own independence. And the Serbs, even though they’re the minority, they said, No, the Serbs were in power. The Serbs had the military. The Serbs said no, and so when the Bosnian is voted for freedom, the Serbs then attacked Long story short, again, I went over this last year, you can find it online.
Today’s Fatha is not about the history, it’s about we’re gonna move on something else. To make a long story short, when a civil war broke out, the UN got involved, and the UN sent in troops to monitor the situation to prevent a massacre. And the UN created an enclave in the city of Srebrenica, and they said in this area, we will protect the people don’t worry.
And so mass migration took place 1995 From February March up until July 10s of 1000s of Muslims fled across the country. And they made their way to Srebrenica, this is now under UN territory, UN troops wearing the UN vests and the UN hats and there’s color video footage, you can find it there protecting this city because the UN said we’re not going to allow for a massacre. So 10s of 1000s of Muslims came, and the Serbian military, General Milosevic and others, they invaded Srebrenica, and they said to the UN get out of our way, and the UN agreed, the UN did not intervene.
The UN literally went and allowed Milosevic and the war criminals to then invade Srebrenica. And while the UN watch from the hills, this is the actually the Dutch government there were Dutch forces, the Dutch government reprimanded their own military generals slap on the wrist, nobody went to jail, but they basically said, you know, you didn’t do your job, but Well, they didn’t do their job and 10s of 1000s of people were killed. So the UN basically said, Okay, fine, you guys do whatever you want. And as they watched the United Nations as the troops watched, Milosevic and his troops invaded today, this is today 11th of July 1995. They surrounded the entire city, they rounded up 10s of 1000s of Muslims and There’s color video footage, it is very traumatic to witness this footage.
And you have, you know, fathers calling their sons, you come back and they promised us protection. You have all of these video footage circulating today in memory of this, and they began massacring and they massacred roughly 8500 Muslim men. 8500 today, and 10s of 1000s of women were raped, I’m sorry, to be blunt here, people don’t want to hear it. You mean not saying it is not gonna change reality. And you need to know this, that this is happening. And it happened in our lifetimes. 10s of 1000s of our sisters, you know, concentration camps and whatnot. And there are children from that there are children, there’s a documentary about the children from that day, because, you know, obviously, it’s an awkward reality that their mothers are this, their fathers are that and you know.
So this was the day that it happened. And every single year it is commemorated and people come and you know, give their respects and make dua and these are all Muslims, and they were killed because they are they were Muslims. Now, I’ve spoken last year more about the history.
Today, I wanted to move on to a little bit about theology a little bit about a very difficult question to ask ourselves, and that is, how do we as Muslims understand how such evil can take place like in the end of the day, these were evil people, the people who did the massacre, they hated Islam for 400 years.
And the general literally said this as well on record, he literally said This is revenge for the Turks for invading us 450 years, and his heart is full of anger. Can you believe and he said to Milosevic said today is the revenge of the Turks coming in. This is how much hatred they have. And it was a religious war through and through the Serbian version of Christianity. They have their own Orthodox Church against our Muslim brother in the Bosnian so the Serbs are predominantly Serbian Orthodox and the Bosnian are predominantly Muslim.
question arises, And this is a question that many of our youth struggle with, and also many of those who are outside of religion. They ask, why would a merciful God allow such a massacre to take place?
It’s so brutal if you see the video footage, and I don’t encourage any of you to do that. But I mean, on the other hand, if some of you do, it will really make you understand how evil people can be at the same time.
They had our brothers again, so many vivid stories. By the way, when I was in university of Medina, I got accepted the same year 1995. And this is an anecdote, the institution of Medina, because there was a massacre taking place. They had changed their policies, and they had begun to accept any Bosnian who applied, because that was their ticket to be saved from massacre.
So when I was in Medina, I got accepted 1995, When I was in Medina, every nationality had 5 10 15 from the Western world, you know, us Americans, we were 9/10 people. When I got accepted, there were nine Americans that sit Okay, none of them graduated from my budget. Understand that was those were different days. Bostonians hundreds.
And I didn’t understand why at the time, like how come there’s hundreds of Bostonians, and there’s only nine of us and seven Canadians and 10 British Why?
how come these guys have you know that much. And then I was told, if these people were not accepted, they would be dead.
It was a change in policy, humanitarian change and Islamic policy to simply accept anybody who’s applying. so that that’s their literally their ticket out. So we had during my whole five years, we have hundreds of students from that region, Kosovo, Albania, because I mean, there was the master was in Boston, but we had a large percentages from them, in any case.
in memory of what happened to our brothers and sisters in Bosnia?
And that question is, how can we understand as Muslims How can we rationalize even our youth ask us? Why would Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala allow 8500 Innocent people to be killed in one day?
By the hands of those who literally hate religion, hate the Quran?
Hate our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, what is the wisdom in all this?
To respond to this?