May 01, 2012
Dr. Sharat G. Lin
San Jose Peace and Justice Center
48 South 7th Street, Suite 101
San Jose, CA 95112
Protest letter on behalf of Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB), representing the interests of Bosnian American and Bosnian Canadian citizens, the Institute for Research Genocide, Canada (IGC), the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (ACBH), Bosnian American Genocide Institute and Education Center (BAGI) as well as the Institute for Research of Crimes Against Humanity and International Law, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosniak Cultural Association, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dear Dr. Lin,
On behalf of survivors of the Genocide that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), we are deeply concerned with your decision to host Dr. Michael Parenti as a guest speaker for the May 31st fundraiser.[i] Dr. Parenti, a self-proclaimed “Balkan Revisionist” and author of To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia explicitly denies that genocide, systematic rape of women and girls and ethnic cleansing ever took place in BiH.[ii] Dr. Parenti places the blame on Bosniaks for the Genocide in Srebrenica and other massacres that took place throughout the war of aggression on BiH.
As a result of his denial, Dr. Parenti has publicly disregarded that approximately 50,000 Bosniak women were raped during the three year war of aggression on BiH.[iii] The rapes were in fact used as an official Serb policy for ethnic cleansing. To this day, his outrageous claims have not been supported by internationally accepted evidence but only by other genocide deniers. His conspiracy theories are in direct conflict with the official rulings by the International Court of Justice, the International War Crimes Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, as well as various declarations from the United States Congress and the European Parliament.
We acknowledge the importance of freedom of speech, however, falsifying facts and denying genocide is unacceptable and deeply traumatic for the survivors and their families who continue to suffer due to the physical and emotional trauma they underwent. Hundreds of thousands of Bosniaks who survived the genocide in BiH have made the United States and Canada their second home; most of them having lost someone as a result of genocide and aggression. Dr. Parenti uses his writing to purposely hurt those who have survived genocide, and having him attend this event will send the wrong message to all genocide survivors. In addition, it will send a message that San Jose Peace and Justice Center supports Parenti’s genocide denial. We hope that you will agree that having Dr. Parenti speak would be highly inappropriate and contrary to the mission of your organization which strives to promote peace and justice.
All genocide deniers directly undermine peace and justice because the only way to peace and reconciliation is to acknowledge the truth and punish those responsible. Dr. Parenti’s work and constant expression of denial is damaging to the healing process of the survivors of the genocide in BiH and we urge you to stand up for justice and truth and reject all affiliation with Dr. Parenti and his work.
Haris Alibasic, MPA
President, Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB)
Professor Emir Ramic
Director, Institute for Research Genocide, Canada
Ajla Delkic, M.A.
Executive Director, Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (ACBH)
Dr. Smail Cekic
Director, Institute for Research of Crimes Against Humanity and International Law, University of Sarajevo
Dr. Senadin Lavic
President, Bosniak Cultural Association, Sarajevo
Sanja Seferovic-Drnovsek, J.D., MEd
Director, Bosnian American Genocide Institute and Education Center