Genocide in Europe
President of the Bosnian Community in Britain,
founder member of the IHRC
Prisoners of Faith Conference, 17 Feb 2002
In a short talk Demir Mahmutcehajic revisits the genocide
of Muslims in Bosnia, drawing from the personal experiences of his
family, he asks Muslims everywhere to learn some important lessons
The talk is a concise 16 minutes in duration, but
it raises some very important points which will stay with you. A
few passages from the lecture are provided below.
As part of my presentation , I wanted to
have my father with me. He is here in London, a victim of
torture and oppression. But when I asked him to come and stand
here in front of you and say it himself - how it was, he declined
he said its too painful for him to even remember, to think
Sometimes when he's in a good mood and
he feels that he wants to talk about it he tells us bits and
pieces - never a full story. What we know is that in 13 months
that he spent in a concentration camp in western Herzegovina,
he was imprisoned by the Croats, he says that not a single
bone in his body was left untouched, he says that not a single
nerve in his whole body not feel the pain of beating and torture.
Four months he spent in a cell deep underground, there was
water up to his waist and there was only one plank of wood
on which he was sitting, sleeping, doing everything. They
use to throw bread in to the water. Four months he spent like
He said the worst fear he
had through out that period is whats happening with his family
- whats happening with his daughter, his wife, myself and
other members of the family. And he said the worst torture
was when those animals brought a woman in a cell next to his
cell and they told him thats his daughter and he could hear
screaming, hear all horrible things, and they made him belive
that was his daughter.
What did they want from him? So that they
did such horrible things to a person who isn't a practicing
Muslim, he doesn't pray five times a day, he doesn't know
much about Islam. He was brought up in a communist system
which did not allow the education of Muslims. After the second
world war that communist system secretly killed Muslim leaders,
Muslim scholars so for 50 years Muslims lived in almost complete
What did they want from him?
... for him his faith is very
important, even though from the definition of many of us maybe
he is not a true Muslim. They asked him if you renounce Islam
publicly and you say that you are against this war then they
will let him go - give him money and a ticket to go to Australia
or any other country, united with his family and leave him
alone. He did not accept that. He said that after everything
that you did to me the only thing left is my faith. This story
can be repeated at least 750,000 times in a small land in
An emotionally charged talk...
pin drop silence ... audience riveted to their seats
... 2.5 million people facing
over 20 million enemies, ruthless enemies, enemies who believed
they are doing a holy duty by killing Muslims. Enemies who
killed a Muslim not because he was praying or because he had
a beard or because he was a member of Al-Qaeda or something
like that, but because he only had a Muslim name and sometimes
not even a Muslim name. Sometimes he would be drinking alcohol,
eating pork - not having anything to do with Islam. You wouldn't
recognise him as a Muslim, but his father was a Muslim or
had a Muslim name and that was a good enough reason to kill
him, not only to kill him, but to rape his woman, his children,
to plunder, to exterminate people like mice.
My message today is that for
us Muslims - doesn't matter where we live, is it west, is
it east, south, the moon - doesn't matter, we are seen as
the enemy. Regardless if we are Shia, Sunni, Brailvi, Deobandi,
black, white, man, woman, practicing, non-practicing - we
are the enemy.
We are a threat because there
is a seed in everyone of us, even if we are the worst of the
Muslim, there is a seed which if its planted can grow in to
a system, in to a society that Kufaar fears, that Kufaar knows
that sooner or later will destroy their system - when? Allah-u-Alim.
But they know it will happen and they work against it. They
prepare for hundreds and hundreds of years...
I would like to leave with
the message not of weakness but with a message of strength.
We Muslims often portray ourselves as weak. We are not weak,
we are portrayed as weak, we are strong. We have Allah subhanatalla,
or we serve Allah subhanatalla. We don't have to fear anybody,
we don't even need a big number, as Dr Ameli said "this
dunya for us is a prison so they cant do anything more to
us, if they kill us, alhamdullah, if they torture us, alhamdullah,
but our duty is not to accept what they do to us with silence
or without resistance. To all
the brothers all over the world I just send the message of
power, message of Islam.