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March 6, 2014

Eight million Muslim victims of genocide and counting

Dr. Mohamed Elmasry

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Western media does not highlight the current genocide against Muslims in the Central African Republic or in Myanmar (Burma).

But there are more than 8 million Muslim victims of genocide throughout history. On a single day, July 15, 1099 more than 70,000 Jews and Muslims were slaughters by the Crusaders in Jerusalem (equivalent to five millions in today’s population).

Regrettably genocide against Muslims has not received a fair share of attention and research by historians. By remembering Muslim victims we are not playing down the genocide committed against other groups.

An estimated 2 million Muslims died in concentration camps in Russia's Arctic (1932-1957), another 2 million were slaughtered during the Spanish Crusades and Inquisition (912-1834), a further 2 million by the Mongol invaders (1219-1260) and an estimated 2 million by the European Crusaders (1095-1272). During the African slave trade to the Americas, an estimated 2 million African Muslims perished at sea. Other massacre of Muslims includes the recent ones in Kosovo, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kashmir, Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq.

The world should commemorate the Muslim victims of Srebeniza of July 11, 1995 as much as the Muslim victims of the massacre of Baghdad of February 13, 1258.

The term genocide was first introduced in 1944 and defined by U.N. Resolution 260(III), December 9, 1948: "Genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law.

Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group,

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group,

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent birth within the group,

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

Here are some of the Muslim victims of genocide throughout history:

1. All 70,000 inhabitants of Jerusalem, mostly Muslims, were massacred by the European Crusaders on July 15, 1099, "the blood was ankle-deep".

2. After the massacre of Antioch by the European Crusaders in June 1098 "no Muslims were alive". Massacres of Muslims happen also in Asklan (1099), Aka (1104), Antioch (1098), Beruit (1110) and Tropolie (1102).

3. During the Inquisition, in Spain and Portugal the choice for Muslims were to "leave, convert or be burnt at the stake". The decree was only suppressed on July 15, 1834 after all Muslims were killed or left.

Massacres of Muslims happened in Toledo (1085), Lisbon (1147), Cordoba (1236), Seville (1248), Maria (1266) and Granada (1492), "Promises of religious toleration were not kept".

4. The Moguls slaughtered millions of Muslims (1219-1260) in India, Persia, Iraq and central Asia including the Abbasia Caliph and his officials. The sack of Baghdad (Feb. 13, 1258) and the massacred of its population lasted more than 17 days and an estimated two million Muslims were massacred in Baghdad alone.

5. Some 15 million Africans were taken as slaves to the Americans (1500’s-1800’s) More than half were Muslims. More than 3 million perished at sea, more than half were Muslims.

6. Millions of Muslims civilians were massacred by the imperial powers of Europe in Africa and Asia (1500's to 1900's).

7. During 1932-1957, at Russia's Arctic Vorkuta concentration camps a total of 6 million died, more than one third were Muslims.

8. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims were massacred during and prior to the partition of India in the 1940's.

9. Following Deir Yassin massacre, Palestine, April 9-10, 1948, where 250 were killed by armed Jewish settlers, 100's of thousands left their homes in fear. Today there are over 4 million Palestinians refuges and exiles.

10. Israeli Lieutenant Dunhan reported to the command officer, after the October 29, 1956 massacre at Kafr Qasem, where 43 were shot by the army, "minus 15 Arabs ... it is difficult to count ... "

11. Several thousand Muslims were massacred in Philippines, Kashmir and Thailand (1970's-present).

12. During September 15-18, 1982, Israeli-backed Phalagist militia massacred thousands of Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon.

13. On March 16, 1988, the Kurdish town of Halabja (population 45,000), Iraq, was bombarded with chemical weapons. An estimated 5,000 died and 1,000's seriously wounded.

14. During the 1990s , the entire population of Iraq has been subjected to brutal sanctions. As a result over 1 million died including 575,000 children.

15. In Bosnia, Kosovo and Chechnya in the 1990 over than 200,000 Muslims were massacred and over 1.5 million Muslims were wounded, became homeless or exiled. Over 50,000 Muslim women and girls were raped.

16. On February 25, 1994 a Jewish settler shot dead in cold blood 60 Muslim worshipers at the Ibrahimi mosque, Hebron. Thirty more died when they demonstrated against the massacre.

17. On April 18, 1996, over 100 Muslims were massacred in the UN compound in Qana, Lebanon by the Israeli army.

18. Thousands of Muslim civilians were victims of Israeli bombings and shelling in South Lebanon and Gaza. Hundreds of thousands were displaced.

Muslims hope and pray that genocide against any group would cease to happen. Genocide is brutal mass extermination of innocent civilians who were of the 'wrong' race or the 'wrong' religion, at the 'wrong' time and 'wrong' place. We all should keep the memory of all the victims vividly alive.

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