Tony Lloyd, Member of Parliament for Rochdale, has written to the Prime Minister with the support of over 30 cross-party MPs calling on him to finally apologise for his comments in 1997 about the Srebrenica genocide.
In July 1995, 8,000 mostly Muslim men and boys were taken from what was supposed to a ‘safe enclave’ of Srebrenica protected by Dutch UN peacekeepers by Serbian forces and murdered. The massacre was the worst episode of mass murder within Europe since World War II.
In 1997, when Boris Johnson was working as a political columnist for the Spectator, he penned an article challenging the call for more direct intervention against the Serbian army in the Bosnian war. He wrote: “Alright, I say, the fate of Srebrenica was appalling. But they weren’t exactly angels, these Muslims.”
Commenting, Tony Lloyd MP said: “As we commemorate the 25th anniversary of this atrocity, it is unthinkable that the Prime Minister would publicly attend national memorial events without having apologised for his comments in the past. There can be no excuse for blaming victims of a genocide for its perpetration – not even for a Prime Minister.
“If we are seriously to believe the Prime Minister is committed to tackling Islamophobia in our society, he should immediately and unreservedly apologise for this statement about Srebrenica and the distress it caused to Muslims in the UK and beyond.”
Dr Shazad Amin, CEO of MEND, said: “As Boris Johnson attends the Remembering Srebrenica memorial day he will be confronted by the call to remember, educate, and reflect on the Srebrenica genocide. In the same spirit, we believe it is essential that he also remembers his past comments on the Muslim victims of this genocide, educates himself on the consequences of such statements, and reflects and apologises for them.”