Genocide in the age of American apathy

While media focused on the London bombings, Bosnia mourned alone.

by Adam Elrashidi

So, I was enjoying a burrito at Chipotle with two friends, when one of them turned to me and said, “You know, last week was the 10-year anniversary of the Bosnian genocides.”

Really? Hmm Ö I was not aware of that.

Sadly, I should have been aware. Perhaps, even more upsetting is the fact that, if asked, I am certain a great number of people are not aware that such an atrocity happened in the first place, or would even be able to locate Bosnia on a map – myself included for a long time.

On July 11, 1995, Serbian forces began to overtake the country’s capital of Sarajevo and systemically decimate the city’s Muslim population, thereby defying an accord decided upon by the United Nations declaring Sarajevo and five other cities (Tuzla, Bihac, Srebrenica, Zepa and Gorazde) to be “safe areas” for Bosnian Muslims to live.

By the time a peace treaty was reached in December 1995, nearly 7,000 Muslims were murdered and buried in mass graves still currently being excavated and discovered.

While the majority of the media focused on the horrendous events that transpired in London during the same week of the anniversary, Bosnia mourned alone. And though the bombings in London certainly deserved the coverage it received, I find the lack of news regarding this important anniversary shameful and disappointing.

Shameful in the fact that in regards to similar instances of mass genocide, we are steadfastly reminded to “never forget” so history does not repeat itself. However, these tragedies still happen because, as places such as Bosnia and Rwanda have made regretfully evident, we have forgotten; and that is where my disappointment sets in – both in the media and myself.

The Bosnian genocides transcend party affiliations and personal biases. It is up to us to take a step back and remember there is more going on in the world than Iraq or the latest movie blockbuster. If we truly are trying to “never forget” we must strive to remember the victims who suffered because we did.

Adam Elrashidi wants you to research what happened in Bosnia and e-mail him what you learned at [email protected]