Connect with us

#Current Affairs

Oped: The Treachery Of Spreading Bosnia Genocide Denial In The Muslim Community

Published

The expanding train of the Srebrenica genocide deniers includes the Nobel laureate Peter Handke, an academic Noam Chomsky, the Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, as well as almost all Serbian politicians in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. One name in this group weirdly stands out: “Sheikh” Imran Hosein. A traditionally trained Muslim cleric from Trinidad and Tobago, Hosein has carved his niche mostly with highly speculative interpretations of Islamic apocalyptic texts. He has a global following with more than 200 hundred thousand subscribers to his YouTube channel, and his videos are viewed by hundreds of thousands. He has written tens of books in English, some of which had been translated into major world languages. His denial of the Srebrenica genocide may seem outlandish, coming from a Muslim scholar, but a close inspection of his works reveals ideas that are as disturbing as they are misleading.

Much of Hosain’s output centers around interpreting the apocalyptic texts from the Qur’an and Sunnah on the “end of times” (akhir al-zaman). As in other major religious traditions, these texts are highly allegorical in nature and nobody can claim with certainty their true meaning – nobody, except Imran Hosein. He habitually dismisses those who disagree with his unwarranted conclusions by accusing them of not thinking properly. A Scottish Muslim scholar, Dr. Sohaib Saeed, also wrote about this tendency.

In his interpretations, the Dajjal (“anti-Christ”) is American-Zionist alliance (the West or the NATO), the Ottomans were oppressors of the Orthodox Christians who are, in turn, rightfully hating Islam and Muslims, Sultan Mehmed Fatih was acting on “satanic design” when he conquered Constantinople, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were a false flag operation carried out by the Mossad and its allies, and – yes! – the genocide did not take place in Srebrenica. Such conspiratorial thinking is clearly wrong but is particularly dangerous when dressed in the garb of religious certainty. 

Help Us End Ramadan with 1000 Supporters!

Alhamdulillah, we're at 900 supporters. Help us get to 1000 supporters before Ramadan ends. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Hosain frequently presents his opinions as the “Islamic” view of things. His methodology consists of mixing widely accepted Muslim beliefs with his own stretched interpretations. The wider audience may not be as well versed in Islamic logic of interpretation so they may not be able to distinguish between legitimate Muslim beliefs and Hosain’s own warped imagination. In one of his fantastic interpretations, which has much in common with the Christian apocalypticism, the Great War that is nuclear in nature is coming and the Muslims need to align with Russia against the American-Zionist alliance. He sees the struggle in Syria as part of a wider apocalyptic unfolding in which Assad and Putin are playing a positive role. He stretches the Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings to read into them fanciful and extravagant interpretations that are not supported by any established Islamic authority.

Hosain does not deny that a terrible massacre happened in Srebrenica. He, however, denies it was a genocide, contradicting thus numerous legal verdicts by international courts and tribunals. Established by the United Nations’ Security Council, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) delivered a verdict of genocide in 2001 in the case of the Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstić. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague confirmed, in 2007, that genocide took place in Srebrenica. In 2010, two more Bosnian Serb officers were found guilty of committing genocide in Bosnia. The butcher of Srebrenica, Ratko Mladić, was found guilty of genocide in 2017.

In spite of this, and displaying his ignorance on nature and definition of genocide, Hosain stated in an interview with the Serbian media, “Srebrenica was not a genocide. That would mean the whole Serbian people wanted to destroy the whole Muslim people. That never happened.” In a meandering and offensive video “message to Bosnian Muslims” in which he frequently digressed to talking about the end of times, Hosain explained that Srebrenica was not a genocide and that Muslims of Bosnia needed to form an alliance with the Orthodox Serbs. He is oblivious to the fact that the problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the former Yugoslavia stem not from the Bosniaks’ purported unwillingness to form an alliance with the Serbs, but from the aggressive Greater Serbia ideology which had caused misery and destruction in Bosnia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Kosovo. 

Hosein’s views are, of course, welcome in Serbia and in Republika Srpska (Serb-dominated entity within Bosnia), where almost all politicians habitually deny that genocide took place in Srebrenica. He had been interviewed multiple times on Serbian television, where he spewed his views of the Ottoman occupation and crimes against the Serbs, the need to form an alliance between Muslims and Russia, and that Srebrenica was not a genocide. His website contains only one entry on Srebrenica: a long “exposé” that claims no genocide took place in Srebrenica. Authored by two Serbs, Stefan Karganović and Aleksandar Pavić, the special report is a hodge-podge of conspiracy theories, anti-globalization and anti-West views. Karganović, who received more than a million dollars over a six year period from the government of the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska for lobbying efforts in Washington, was recently convicted by the Basic Court in Banja Luka on tax evasion and defamation. The Court issued a warrant for Karganović’s arrest but he is still on the loose. 

True conspirators of the Srebrenica killings, according to Hosain, are not the Serbian political and military leaders, and soldiers who executed Srebrenica’s Muslims. The conspirators are unnamed but it does not take much to understand that he believes that the massacres were ultimately orchestrated by the West, CIA, and NATO. Hosain even stated on the Serbian TV that if people who knew the truth were to come forward they would be executed to hide what really happened. Such opinions are bound to add to an already unbearable pain that many survivors of the Srebrenica genocide are experiencing. It is even more painful when Bosniak victims – who were killed because they were Muslims – are being belittled by an “Islamic” scholar who seems to be more interested in giving comfort to those who actually perpetrated the heinous crime of genocide than in recognizing the victims’ pain. These views are, of course, welcome in Serbia, Russia, and Greece.

It is not difficult to see why Hosain’s views would be popular in today’s day and age where misinformation and fake news are propagated even by the world leaders who should know better. A conspiratorial mindset, mistrust of established facts, undermining of international institutions – these are all hallmarks of the post-truth age. In another time, Imran Hosain would be easily exposed for what he truly is: a charlatan who claims religious expertise. Today, however, his opinions are amplified by social media and by the people who already question science and established facts. For these reasons, he needs to be unmasked to safeguard the very religious foundations which he claims to uphold but ultimately undermines. 

Help Us End Ramadan with 1000 Supporters!

Alhamdulillah, we're at 900 supporters. Help us get to 1000 supporters before Ramadan ends. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Ermin Sinanović is executive director of the Center for Islam in the Contemporary World (CICW) at Shenandoah University, where he is also Scholar in Residence. His Twitter is @SinanovicErmin, and his personal website is www.erminsinanovic.com.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Asif Hussain

    July 23, 2020 at 11:25 PM

    Assalam u alaikum Brother you wrote such a lengthy article to deliver a “personal critique ” on Shiekh Imran Nazar Hosein just because he does not agree and support a certain point of view . I would expect rebuttal with logical argument which I dont see in this OPED. Was he personally contacted to know his point of view and why he holds such view ? Would he be given equal opportunity to explain his position on this” MuslimMatters” platform?

  2. rashidulislam

    July 24, 2020 at 1:33 AM

    Salam. First you wrote Mr. Hossein is a traditionally trained Muslim cleric, then you wrote he is a charlatan! I should also add here just to inform you that he also holds degrees in international relations from prestigious universities. He had been a diplomat for a long time before he became a cleric. He may be wrong in his opinions and arguments, we might be completely dismissive of that, but we must be respectful while doing so.

  3. Mohammed Wajid Akhter

    July 24, 2020 at 5:21 PM

    Salaam,

    Excellent and well researched article on someone who is very very troubling for the Muslim world. JazakAllah Khairun

    • rashidulislam

      July 31, 2020 at 2:22 AM

      Troubling, in what sense? Could you please explain? Having differences in opinion doesn’t make one troubling, at least not through an Islamic perspective, especially if that difference is based on that person’s reading and understanding of the Quran and the authentic hadiths. It might be challenging to most of the scholars and Muslims in general. But calling someone troubling! That requires a good logical explanation, at least from an Islamic point of view. Otherwise, it’s simply character assassination, which is not permissible in Islam. Salam.

  4. O

    July 25, 2020 at 3:33 PM

    Dear Brother Ermin

    Instead of resorting to argumentum ad hominem against Sheikh Imran why don’t you use the Quran to refute his arguments/views? This is what Sheik Imran is asking from his critics. Instead it is ad hominems or using history and neither trump the Quran. I can understand it is a sensitive topic given the oppression and murder of Muslims in Yugoslavia but sensitivities also do not trump the Quran. Also Sheikh acknowledges that oppression and murder was committed against the Muslims but he states that in his interaction with the Christians of Serbia that they feel pain and sorrow for what happened to the Muslims.

    Have you not realized that NATO was the instigator that riled up Muslims vs Christian so they could create a new colony? Unfortunately this is what Bosnia is. A colony of NATO.

  5. Emrah Yalpur

    October 8, 2020 at 3:26 AM

    Brp i jist stumbled across this Sheikhs youtube channel and i was shocked!!!! He is anti muskim, anti Turk, supporting Armenians over Azerbaijan and he hates the Ottoman Empire and makes fitna about muslims and Turks and our history… this is so scary for our deen.. im sure he is being paid by Israel or UAE or CIA or some organisation with an agenda against Turks.. however, he needs to be stopped!!

  6. Muhammed Khan

    October 17, 2020 at 5:55 AM

    NOthing treacherous about not siding with people who

    1) Hate/discriminate/do not hire women who wear hijab, and force women to deveil with burqas often
    2) Hting people who love NATO that kills Syrian Libyan and Afghan muslims for a decade
    3) Openly drink and worship Europeans and their culture while discrimianting and hating middle easterners indian pakistanis who gave them a hand in their worst hour

    Serbs/yugos in my experience with them in America in the NYC support 1) civil law , and quite frankly most o the most discriminatory killing was done by Croats 2)anti- NATO 3)have huge foreign populations with little trouble

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

..
..
.
.

Ramadan Video Series

MuslimMatters NewsLetter in Your Inbox

Sign up below to get started

Trending