The most determined rapists modern-day Europe has ever seen were those members of the regular Serb Army (in effect the Yugoslav National Army - the JNA) and the Serb paramilitaries, following the orders of Slobodan Milosevic and his disciples Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic. Their joint objective from 1991 was to ethnically cleanse the Muslims from large parts of the former Yugoslavia by any means, particularly raping the women (whose children were seen as taking their fathers’ Serb ethnicity) and killing the men. It is a well-documented story and to their great credit Foreign Secretary William Hague and actress Angelina Jolie have been steadfast in their mission of reminding the world just what criminals the Serb soldiers were for their brutal campaign of using rape as a weapon of war. They have both visited Srebrenica where in 1995 up to 8,000 Muslim men were executed by Serb forces.
On Tuesday 10 June 2014 for four days at the ExCel Centre in London there took place the global summit ‘End war rape 2014’ launched by Angelina Jolie, who has made two films from the Muslim perspective in Bosnia. But for all the huge coverage on this summit given by the Evening Standard one would be hard pressed to see reference to Bosnia’s Muslim women feature in that newspaper. It is the words ‘Muslim victim’ that are conspicuously absent from the Evening Standard’s reporting.
Take the 9 June Evening Standard issue and the front page article: ‘Kerry leads global fight to stamp out rape in war’ which continues on page 6 for a two page spread entitled: ‘Kerry: Perpetrators of vile acts must have no safe haven’. The word ‘Muslim’ is not printed at all when the Evening Standard makes just the briefest of reports on the ‘children of the Bosnian war’. On page 7 there is a feature on a woman, Lejla Damon, who was born of rape to ‘a Bosnian Muslim’ who wanted nothing to do with her, so she was adopted at birth and is now living in London. Far from commenting on the plight of the raped Muslim women in Bosnia the Evening Standard quote Lejla Damon saying: ‘I believe the only way in which we can change the atrocities that are going on in countries such as the Sudan, Central African Republic and Congo is if we try our hardest to integrate and educate. In this way we can help children and the next generation to get their lives back’. For pages 8 & 9 there is a two page spread entitled: ‘World leaders and artists coming together in ‘summit like no other’‘. Of all the events highlighted not one is on the raped Muslims of Bosnia. For US Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s article on page 15 entitled: ‘Let there be no hiding place for rapists in war’ there is no mention of Bosnia at all. (The Serb rapists who fought for Milosevic are, in the vast majority, all free two decades on).
For the 10 June Evening Standard issue: the front page mentions an “abandoned” victim of rape from ‘Bosnia’ for whom the opening day conference at the summit is dedicated. On pages 2 & 3 headed: ‘Hague: We cannot turn aside from these atrocities’ there is not a word on Bosnia. Likewise for page 4 with the heading: ‘The Standard is proud to support this bold and vital campaign’. Ditto for page 5. The two page feature on Angelina Jolie on pages 12 & 13 does not make one reference to a ‘Muslim’ victim in Bosnia. In the Editorial on page 14 entitled ‘Rape: the possibility of human progress’ not a word on Bosnia at all. Instead we get: ‘In recent years, rape has featured as a weapon of war in some of the world’s most chaotic and lawless countries, notably Congo; changing such behaviour will take persistence.’ On page 15 for the article by Sarah Sands entitled: ‘Wars are bad enough without the evil of rape’ there is mention of ‘Angelina Jolie’s film about Serb atrocities during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war’. But against whom the atrocities were committed we are not told. Another two page spread is found on pages 20 & 21, entitled: ’Sister Act’ with no reference whatsoever to Bosnia or its raped Muslim women. Indeed there are Islamophobic undertones. Pages 34-37 are again devoid of any mention of Bosnia’s Muslim women. A two page story on rape in the Congo is featured.
For the Evening Standard issue of 11 June there is a two page War rape summit article entitled: ‘Write last chapter in history of war rape, says UN envoy’. Not a word on Bosnia – a country on our doorstep and playing at the World Cup with its Muslim superstar Edin Dzeko of Manchester City. For the Evening Standard of 12 June under the ‘End war rape 2014’ banner there was an article entitled: ‘Britain to help Nigeria’s war on Boko Haram’. There was no reference to Boko Haram being rapists in the article which concentrated more on the methods that could be used to combat the deviant ways of this self- styled ‘Islamist’ group when kidnapping girls and behaving like thugs and who without doubt have no real connection to the Islamic ideal. The Evening Standard of Friday 13 June had as its ‘End war rape 2014’ campaign article: ‘The world is finally listening, say survivors of rape war’. It mentioned survivors from Rwanda, the Congo and Northern Uganda. But not Bosnia.
Who is the owner of the Evening Standard? It is the Russian Evgeny Lebedev who also owns the Independent. The Russians (save of course for the Russian Muslims and Chechens) have historically always been uncritical supporters of their Serb brothers and so too right through the Bosnian war (and Kosovo war) when the rapes and ethnic cleansing were on full display to the world and particularly to British and American intelligence officials. No matter, the Russians and Boris Yeltsin did not care. Evgeny Lebedev does not really care for the Muslims of Bosnia either. The plight of the raped Muslim women is ignored by his newspaper. Bosnia has not progressed at all since the end of the wars in the former Yugoslavia in 1999. Mladic and Karadzic are still on remand at the Hague.
Earlier this year when William Hague and Angelina Jolie were paying their respects to the fallen Muslims of the Srebrenica massacre Mr Hague referred to the ‘forgotten’ war and Muslims of Bosnia. His efforts now are laudable, but he more than most will remember that it was his Prime Minister at the time John Major and Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd and Defence Secretary Malcolm Rifkind who refused even to let the Bosnian Muslims arm themselves against their Serb and Croat butchers. The rapes and ethnic cleansing could have been prevented or at least stopped early by these three Conservative Party ministers in aggregation with the indifferent Bill Clinton who let the Muslims take the brunt of Serb and Croat aggression before finally, in 1995, ordering the bombing of Serb positions in Bosnia. Margaret Thatcher was aghast at her former colleagues’ cruelty and lack of conscience. ‘Europe has no conscience’ she said at the time. For that alone we wish peace and God’s blessing on Margaret Thatcher who had ten times the strength and humanity of her puny male colleagues: Major, Hurd and Rifkind.
The 'Best of British' features, articles from the mainstream U.K. press covering a variety of social topics including sexual health, abortion, rape, the family and libel.