SERBS CUT EARS & NOSES OF BOSNIAKS AROUND SREBRENICA IN THE FIRST MONTHS OF WAR
“The Serbs are taking out Muslims’ eyes, cutting off their fingers, ears, noses, cutting their bodies step by step and putting salt on their wounds, scarring their foreheads and backs or cheeks with Orthodox crosses and cutting off women’s breasts…”
Calling Attention to the Slaughter
By Nahid Khan
Moscow-Pullman Daily News
13 November 1992.
PULLMAN — Abdullah Hodzic was formerly the chief imam, or Muslim religious leader, of Zvornik, a Bosnian municipality bordering Serbia [very close to Srebrenica].
That is, until the Serb army destroyed his mosque, burned all the books of his library and killed or drove out all the Bosnian Muslims [Bosniaks] from the area.
Now he’s a representative of the president of the Islamic Council of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the head Islamic religious body of the country, and travels around the world to draw attention to the suffering of his people.
Hodzic was in Pullman Tuesday where he spoke on conditions in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Compton Union Building and at the Pullman Islamic Center, as part of a speaking tour sponsored by an American Muslim relief organization, Mercy International.
As an imam, in a Christian-Muslim conflict, Hodzic considers himself to be one of the fortunate ones to have survived the Serb policy of “ethnic cleaning,” which is directed mainly against Muslims [Bosniaks] of the former Yugoslavia.
He told stories of fellow imams who were killed for refusing to cross themselves, eat pork or drink alcohol, or worse, killed for refusing to drink the blood of their children who had just been murdered in front of them by the Serbs.
“The Serbs are taking out Muslims’ eyes, cutting off their fingers, ears, noses, cutting their bodies step by step and putting salt on their wounds, scarring their foreheads and backs or cheeks with Orthodox crosses and cutting off women’s breasts,” he said.
“They are slaughtering them like animals using axes and hammers, beating them to death and cutting their hands off and forcing them to eat parts of their own body and they rape Muslim women saying, ‘We want Muslim women to bring forth children who are going to be Serbs.’”
Hodzic said the purpose behind this is to establish a “Greater Serbia” and after Bosnia, other non-Serbian regions of the former Yugoslavia will undergo “ethnic cleansing” by the Serb army such as Kosovo, which is mostly ethnic Albanian and predominantly Muslim also.
“In Bosnia, they do not want us to have our own culture, literature, schools, libraries or mosques, to have even our lives. They want to uproot us, to erase from the face of the earth.”
He pointed out that the Bosnians are completely defenseless against Serb attacks because they have very few weapons. In comparison, the Serbs possess the third most powerful military in Europe, inherited from the Cold War arming of the former federal Yugoslavian army.
Hodzic attributes the lack of action from other European countries to help Bosnia or take steps to end the Serb invasion to the historic fear of Muslims held by Europeans.
In numerous meetings with European government officials and Christian leaders, Hodzic found more concern about an independent Bosnia becoming an Islamic state than they are about the Serb invasion and its bloody policy of “ethnic cleansing,” in which more than 100,000 Bosnians and Croatians are believed to have been killed.
“The Serbs want to destroy Muslims and Islam in Bosnia and we are afraid that Europe wants the same thing,” he said, because Europe fears having Muslims in Europe and doesn’t even consider them to be European.
“In their sight, all Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina are fundamentalists as long as their names are Islamic names. Most of us don’t practice Islam, but in their sight, we are all ‘fundamentalists’ and condemned to death.”