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Faith, Politics -- And A New Cartoon Controversy -- Divide Serbia's Muslim Minority

The controversial cartoon that was published in "Blic."
The controversial cartoon that was published in "Blic."
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BELGRADE -- Passions are running high in Serbia's southern region of Sandzak after the "Blic" national daily ran a photomontage showing Mufti Muamer Zukorlic, the head of the Islamic Community in Serbia, dressed in the attire of an Orthodox priest and holding the hand of Pope Benedict in greeting, under a caption reading, "More Catholic than the pope."

The image -- which plays on a Serbian saying, "bigger than the pope" -- is a gentle poke at Zukorlic's reputation for grandiosity. More seriously, it appears to question the mufti's devotion to Islam, a challenge Zukorlic has found difficult to stomach. He is demanding a massive 100 million euros in compensation, and the Islamic community has called for Sandzak residents to boycott the Belgrade-based paper. Zukorlic and others are comparing the controversy to the 2005 scandal over the Danish cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad.

But critics say Zukorlic, more than anguishing over the slight, is actually using the scandal to his personal advantage. The influential mufti has recently sought to translate his influence into political power, and last month led the winning ticket in an election to the National Bosniak Council.

The new national councils, created last year, hand some decision-making powers on media, education, language, and national symbols to the country's ethnic minorities and are seen as an important step toward Belgrade's reparations toward its non-Serb residents and its integration with the European Union.

But an election that should have marked a historic achievement for Serbia's Bosniaks has instead become mired in a bitter feud between members of the Muslim community, as well as a larger debate about the role of religious leaders in politics, particularly in the war-torn countries of the former Yugoslavia.

Can a mufti rightfully maintain a religious role while serving a political post?

Mufti Muamer Zukorlic: Reputation for grandiosity
Make A Choice

Aida Corovic of Urban In, a civil-society NGO in the city of Novi Pazar, says for the sake of stability in Sandzak, Zukorlic should choose one or the other. 

"I'd be happy if people didn't see us as a tiny Islamic republic in the heart of Europe," she said. "Our political representative can't be a mufti. If Mufti Zukorlic wants to be a politician, I applaud his decision, but first he needs to leave his religious attire behind."

As the debate continues, the possibility of fresh elections also threatens to further ratchet up tensions. Zukorlic's ticket, the Bosniak Cultural Community, won 17 seats on the 35-seat Bosniak Council, leaving it just short of a majority.

Zukorlic's rivals in the election include Rasim Ljajic, the Serbian labor minister and the man in charge of the country's cooperation with The Hague tribunal, whose ticket won five council seats. They also include Sulejman Ugljanin, the former mayor of Novi Pazar and currently a minister without portfolio in the Serbian government, whose group took 13 seats.

Observers say Zukorlic, faced with the possibility of fresh elections, is determined not to lose ground in the struggle with his rivals to rule the nascent political body. And Safeta Bisevac, a reporter for the Belgrade daily "Danas," said the furor over the "Blic" photomontage is directly related to the jockeying for power under way in Sandzak.

"This can be seen as the continuation of the election campaign by other means, since the election for the Bosniak National Council might have to be repeated," she said. "The timing of this is perfect for Zukorlic, who's keen to present himself as the leading representative of Sandzak's Bosniak community."

Populist Approach

Political experts said Zukorlic's election victory was due to mounting dissatisfaction with the lackadaisical approach of the political elite, represented by officials like Ljajic and Ugljanin.

Even though the Bosniak Council is not equipped to address economic issues like unemployment and poverty, Zukorlic took a populist approach in his campaign, visiting striking workers and presenting himself as a genuine guardian of Bosniak interests, both religious and secular.

Zukorlic rival Rasim Ljajic
The mufti is viewed as a publicity-savvy master at self-promotion. But observers like Semiha Kacar of the Sandzak human rights committee say that in his public squabble with "Blic," Zukorlic may have gone too far.

"Zukorlic's reaction to the photo has alienated even many of those who have been engaged for years in the defense of minority rights," Kacar said. "These people object to the mufti's refusal to accept an apology from 'Blic' for what he calls its 'insincerity.' "

"Blic" has attempted to distance itself from the controversy. Editors say the photomontage, which ran on the paper's humor page, was not the work of regular staff members The newspaper says it has no electronic file or hard-copy original of the image.

'Quick To Take Offense'

Zukorlic's highly public response to the scandal has overshadowed what, for some, is the larger question of whether all Muslims should be offended by the montage. Bisevac, for one, says the image was scandalous and could easily hurt the religious sensibilities of the Muslim community.

"A colleague recently told me that we Muslims are quick to take offense," she said. " 'First there were the Muhammad cartoons,' he said, 'and you want to kill the people who drew them. Now there's the photomontage, and it's a problem, too.' It seems that the general perception out there is that Muslims are easily offended. I think we are probably just more connected to our religion."

Scholar Rade Bozovic says many Serbs may fail to understand the "strong feeling of respect" toward faith that pervades Balkan Muslim communities. The "Blic" image was a "great mistake," he says, especially given the "raw sensibilities in this part of the world, where every excess is exploited for political ends and in the basest manner possible."

But others suggest that Zukorlic is unnecessarily drawing all of Sandzak's Muslims into what is essentially a case of personal insult. The mufti, who in addition to demanding 100 million euros in "symbolic" compensation, has also called the newspaper's actions the "politics of genocide."

Coming in the wake of the Serbian parliament's hard-won declaration condemning the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, Kacar says such an accusation is misplaced. "I think this only affects one individual," she says. "There was no mention of a mosque or any other religious institution."

Public Standoff

That argument has been echoed by Zukorlic's main Muslim rival, Grand Mufti Adem Zilkic. The pro-Belgrade Zilkic has entered a public standoff with Zurkolic, who is loyal to Sarajevo -- thus driving a deep wedge between Serbia's Muslim community. (Zilkic is also a close ally of Ugljanin, Zukorlic's rival in the Bosniak Council elections, thus turning a religious row into a political one as well.)

Zilkic's newly formed Islamic Community of Serbia -- whose name is confusingly close to Zukorlic's Islamic Community in Serbia -- has already requested a meeting with government representatives to discuss a row with Zukorlic over the rights to the Novi Pazar baths. Zilkic's groups claims to be the only body with the legal right to waqf, properties dedicated by Muslims for religious or charitable work.

Belgrade has yet to weigh in on any aspect of the debate. In many ways, the Serbian capital, with its law-bound commitment to the separation of church and state, is a world away from Sandzak, where faith and politics are deeply entwined.

The "Blic" cartoon may be easily dismissed as a prank in other corners of Serbia. But in the heartland of the country's Bosniak community, says journalist Bisevac, it has "done Zukorlic a favor."

"Regardless of what the reaction to the photo might be in the rest of Serbia," Bisevac says, "in Sandzak itself this will only prove a gain for him, especially among his own supporters."
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by: M...
July 03, 2010 12:01
Wherever there are muslims, and they didnt have all the politic power in their hands, there are problems. It's really difficult to live together and peacefully with this religious minority. Examples? all around the world: India, Thailand, Israel, now Serbia...
In Response

by: Abdulmajid
July 04, 2010 19:13
In all those places you named the Muslims are opressed and their dignty is stepped on. So what do you suggest, dear fellow? Since the Moozlims are soooo evil and their religion is pure evil, why not then put all Muslims under police right, deal with the Muslim countries under security-policy aspects, let the Messianists build the Third Temple over the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, nuke Mecca and Medina, put all the Muslims in the USA and Canada in concentration camps as they did with the Japanese Americans in WWII? And of course, let the Israelis clobber the Palestinians and the Serbs clobber the Bosnaks until they agree to their unconditional surrender and "peaceful transfer" (read, ethnic cleansing)? Of course then Ratko Mladic and his henchmen must not be pursued but awarded medals; or you can piously decry the mass murder committed in Srebrenica, but justify it as necessary; and of course it is not genocide because the Serbs were so chivalrous to let the women and children live. Okay, they robbed them, raped them a bit, expelled them from their home, killed their fathers, brothers, husbands and sons, but so what, right? After all, life and freedom have their price, right? The Serbs were angry for 500 years of Ottoman, Austrohungarian and ustasa oppression and crimes, right? And warriors need their rest, right? And Greater Serbia is the champion of Western values, right, defending hapless Europe from the Mohammedan hordes, right? Well let me tell you, I will not be taken like a lamb to the slaughter, as the European Jews were by the Nazis. Does this make me a terrorist?!?
In Response

by: A from: Europe
July 11, 2010 13:06
Abdulmajid, you think you Muslims dont step on others dignity?, you're the worst for it, Coptics in Egypt, Assyrians in Iraq feel your wrath, in Indonesia, christian majoirty Islands are ruled by Muslims, South Sudan was targetted by North Sudan with open violence and jihad, The Turks still illegally hold North Cyprus too.

Now most of the western/"Christian" world actually condemns what happened in the Balkans to Muslims, yet when do you stand up and ever comdemn what you do?, theres always an excuse when you do it and its always palmed off as nothing.

basically you live in a world where its okay for you to do it, but not okay if anybody does it to you

Im not saying we dont do any wrong, what I am saying though is ive never met a Muslim who puts a non-Muslim first, but ive met plenty of non-muslims who root for and defend the Muslims
In Response

by: Abdulmajid
July 05, 2010 11:27
In all these places you mention, a Muslim minority is being oppressed by the non-Muslim majority; and parts of this majority try to destroy or expel the Muslims. And if teh Muslims resist instead of seeking a peaceful way for their annihilation, they are called "terrorists"!
In Response

by: Johann from: USA
July 09, 2010 16:05
We have problems with Somalis her in Minneapolis to. I support states based on religious base, like Isreal and Kosovo. Everywhere we try to mix togeather different religions we have problems. Jews in New York city have their own neighbourhoods. They like it !!! We have Russia. No harmony there !!!
We have Iceland. No Muslims there. We have diffeent sects of Muslims in
Irak. A lot of trouble there.

by: Zuzu from: California, USA
July 06, 2010 02:56
Dear brother Abdulmajid, I respect and share your anger, and I beg you to calm down a little in the context of comments on an Internet article.

Dear Mr. or Ms. M, I think you are close to something important. Politics is how we humans live together in groups, and under what rules. Various religions are also concerned with the same subject to a greater or lesser extent, and individual believers may be concerned with the interactions of politics and religion to a greater or lesser extent. Islam teaches us what we believe is the right way to live. How then do we live alongside people who have learned a different way to live?

Miss Manners defines a polite feminist as one who is concerned not with how the world treats her, but with how the world treats other women. In parallel, we can say a good Muslim political activist is concerned with the world's treatment of other Muslims. How do we distinguish that person in practice from a corrupt Muslim activist who is primarily concerned with the world's treatment of himself?

by: Zuzu from: California, USA
July 06, 2010 03:09
By the way, I don't understand the phrases "pro-Belgrade" and "loyal to Sarajevo". I think they should have been explained in the article.

by: Rade from: Ankara
July 06, 2010 11:56
Muslims get 'offended' when another faith feels free to express itself, Muslims feel 'oppressed' when people of other faiths deny to accept the domination of Islam. Problems lie within the 1984-like nomenclature and psyche of Muslims. Neither Zukorlic nor 'Abdulmajid' are sole examples to this tremendous phenomenon.
In Response

by: Abdulmajid
July 06, 2010 19:10
In Bosnia, in Palestine, in Kashmir and in other parts of India, other religions do not "express themselves"; their adherents use raw naked violence and terror against Muslims, and then they justify themselves by saying "It's just self-defense!" Or, dear Serbofascist fellow, would you define the genocidal anti-Bosniak crusade, Operation Cast Lead and Israel's aggression against its neigbors, the anti-Muslim pogroms in Gujarat, the Chinese oppression and culturicide going on in Turkestan and so on as "expression of freedom of other religions in fromt of Muslims? " What is an anti-Muslim with a Serb name doing in Turkey, or do you just say you post from there (I could say I post from Moscow and nobody would know it) And what do you suggest, to put all those evil rebellious Muslims in concentration camps? To put them down? Do you think your anti-Muslim friends can keep sweeping the floor with them as an underprivileged underclass forever? I can't look into the future but I see that in Kashmir and probably in Palestine as well, like in Kosovo already and in Bosnia, and both are not returning under Christian rule anytime soon, demography may be the decisive factor. And don't answer me with that fascist bullshit about Muslims wanting to take over the world and enslaving the rest of humanity. That is just the pretext those who hate Muslims use as a justification for killing and subduing us! But it has no truth contents whatsoever, and I am not interested in reading and refuting over and over again Scamela Geller-Robert Spencer-Oriana Fallacy-Radovan Karadzic smear and slander.

by: milosepig from: russia
July 06, 2010 20:26
serbia is a sorry country, serbs are just slaves of the russians who got a little country, i know i am a russian we know our history, just come back and be slaves you ugly serbs russia misses you, oh and muslims dont cause problems its the other religous groups that bring havok upon muslims

by: Alex from: Chicago
July 07, 2010 00:26
Abdulmjid,
Get your facts straight. Name me a Christian Theocracy that oppress rights of Muslims...you won't find one because it doesn’t exist. Most countries work on the principle of separation of church and state which seems to be very foreign in Islamic countries. Iran for example is a Theocracy and loves to tell their people what to wear, how to interact, what to think .....o and I forgot considers it a crime to either leave Islam or criticize it. That is oppression.....In Serbia there are crimes on both sides absolutely, but tell me is the crime worse because you’re a Muslim or Christian?......They are all crimes against humanity and God.
However historically Muslims don't seem to play well with their neighbors unless they are Muslims. Honestly I don't see why it is consider a religion ....it's seems more like a political system really like fascisms. That's what most westerners find alarming about Islam. ......when you become the majority in any country they just try to take over morally and politically. Really in every country you all just don’t build just mosques for peaceful worship and try to convert with your theology, you build on top of the heart of a Nations identity to dominate them. Why can't Muslims just worship in peace and not try to take over every country they come in contact with.....I tell you why because you all don’t practice what you preach(or maybe you due)……all I here from Muslims after they get angry is how peaceful their religion is . Where was the Muslim sympathy when the people in 911 lost their lives for an Islamic sense of peace. I’m sure I can’t remember one Muslim I knew that didn’t have that “Evil America finally got what it deserved feeling”. Well put your money where your mouth is and be PEACEFUL. Don’t tell me show me…..control your passions and pray for those you spitefully use you and you will become Sons of your Father in Heaven…o wait that last teaching is from Christ. I forgot Mohammed say’s Fight the Jews and Christians if they do not convert to Islam or refuse to pay Jizya tax(9:29)……or Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them(2:191)….so any questions why westerners don’t trust Muslim Majorities or governments. Muslims Majorities suppress art, free speech, and thought which is what the rest of the world believes in. Finally let me tell you also I will not be taken like a lamb to the slaughter either……freedom isn’t free.
In Response

by: Abdulmajid
July 07, 2010 19:26
Alex, tell me honestly what you want, total war against Muslims? And don't give me any tired, convoluted justifications or history lessons! Answer yes or answer no, but don't try to peddle the "moozlims are evil, Islam is evil" line to me. Serbs and their sympathizers and all other new crusaders worldwide can bluster with sanctimonious rage each and every time they feel their saintly nation and "just and holy" cause is slandered, but if we Moozlims object to being called evil and aggressive, then we are terrorists, right?
What country have Muslims taken over by war, was it not the other way round in the 19th and 20th century??? (Britain colonized Egypt Palestine and Iraq, France took North Africa and Syria, Russia Central Asia and Austria-Hungary Bosnia, and they did not come to liberate the natives)
You just blab the same blind idiocies Robert Spencer, Scamela Geller, Oriana Fallacy and Batty Yeor mouth and I refuse to discuss anything intelligent with such an individual! It would be pointless anyway.
And what do you mean, we Muslim should be peaceful? Peaceful like the European Jews in face of the Nazis you mean? Let us be slaughtered like at Srebrenica? Or do you deny that happened too?
Just so you know, fellow, I do NOT approve of nor celebrate Sept. 11th, but since you are putting me in the same group with the bloody evil loonies who orchestrated it and carried it out anyway, then allow me to say that I deeply regret that you were not in the middle of it, and that therefore I have to endure your obnoxious and disgusting islamophobic rant here!
In Response

by: muslim from: europe
July 12, 2010 22:19
"However historically Muslims don't seem to play well with their neighbors unless they are Muslims."

And this is why Alex Ottomans sent ships to rescue Jews and Roma, along with fellow Muslims, when the Spanish Catholic reconquista was chasing them out or killing or forcefully converting them.

Also, read something about millets in the Ottoman Empire, would you? Up to late 20th century legal experts found them pretty good examples of minority rights protection.

by: Zuzu from: California, USA
July 07, 2010 13:11
Alex, you raise some important questions, but in kind of an inflammatory way.

We don't even have to go to a theocracy -- examples minarets banned in Switzerland, the headscarves issue in France. (By Christian Theocracy do you mean a state that has Christianity as the official religion? Like Croatia? Or do you just mean the Vatican?) Do you want to talk about Islam's position in Israel?

And I'm so sad that nine years later we are still hearing this illegitimate canard about Muslims not condemning the 9/11 attacks. Vast numbers of American and other Muslims were extremely upset about the attacks, both singly and in organizations. Press releases were issued; individual Muslims spoke to reporters; Muslims lost their lives and relatives that day. If no Muslim walked up to you and apologized for something he didn't do, that is neither here nor there. And then it was Sikhs that got attacked, and are still getting attacked, because of this and other ignorant ideas.If I can tell the difference between Christian terrorists and my mother's Bible study group, surely you can tell the difference between Al Qaeda and a suburban mosque.

Milosepig, that was indeed piggy of you to say. Not helpful at all.
In Response

by: Abdulmajid
July 08, 2010 17:28
Even if all Muslims went out and demonstrated against such evil deeds as Sept 11th, to Islamophobes like Aleks it would not matter. A year ago, when two German couples said to belong to an Evangelical sect were abducted in Saada,Yemen, large crowds of people came out to demostrate their solidarity with those "Unbelievers", because even if they had a missionary agenda they had come to help (they were part of a hospital staff) and that help was appreciated. But the Ismlamophobes will always cherry pick the worst that Muslims do, just like the Nazis did with the Jews. Truth does not serve them, half-truths and outright lies do. It is not possible to discuss things intelligently with those evil-intentioned people. Their intention is genocide. I'll explain why:
the Nazis painted the Jews as dangerous enemies; the Hutu painted the Tutsi as dangerous enemies; Karadzic and Milosevic panted the Bosniaks and Albanians as dangerous enemies, and their henchmen and followers continue to challenge and dispute the national identity and history of Bosnia and Bosniaks. Because when a people or nation is demonized and delegitimized it becomes much easier for ordinary citizens to kill them. The SS men, the chetniks, teh Interahamwe, were for most, just ordinary people who wouldn't hurt a fly, good family fathers, law-abiding citizens, in some cases pious churchgoers, idealists, in short, good and honest people, and then they turned into sadistic killers and savages of the worst kind - and found no contradiction, because against "the enemy" anything goes. That is why the enemies of Bosiaks and of Muslims keep on blabbing about the "creeping islamization of the West" and of Bosnia as "terrorist redoubt and jihadist beachhead in Europe". Wíth such self-serving and self-satisfying propaganda lies they want to justify before themselves and before the unwitting public their genocidal anti-Bosniak crusade. And all around eth wortld bbbut especially in the USA and some European countries there are declared enemies of Muslim who keep demonizing them with the intention to eventualy commit genocide against them. Genocide can mean kill them or just kill some and expel the rest; and it can even include keeping a subdued, marginalized alibi Muslim minority to say "we didn't commit genocide" And the truth is that after WWII we heard so much aboutthe Holocaust (which truly was the most horrendous crime) that we forget the Nazios killed Roma, Russian prisoners, mentally disabled and scores of other people whom they deemed "unworthy to live"; that Stalinism killed over 20 million people, that Mao had milions of people slaughtered etc. After WWII they said: Never again shall genocide be committed" but they meant "-against the Jews. All other people are negotiable"
But to those who want to commit genocide against the Muslims I say "The Cross will NEVER chase the Crescent from Bosnia, or for that matter from Europe!" It is high time the West started traetimg Muslism as equals, and not say "In Muslim countries the Christian minorities are horribly mistreated" for even if it were so, what right do the Westerners have to mistreat the Muslims living in the West in turn, to take them hostages as it were? Islamophobia is not "criticism of Islam, it is not "freedom of expression" it is for most racist, bigot, xenophobic, potentially genocidal HATE SPEECH, fascism and therefore a crime! In Bosnia it certainly resulted in a crime of such magitude as has been seldom seen since the days of Gengis Khan!

by: Anti-Dogmatic from: Real World
July 08, 2010 02:26
As an instructor who has a myriad of students I warn my students to "KEEP THEIR RELIGION OUT!" Not that their religion doesn't matter but w/ the type of religious discourse that is going around now you have a good chance of offending someone, i.e. infringing upon another’s freedom by saying this is what should be done because my book written by other ppl says so. Religion is a personal matter & should be kept within your own personal residence. Religion is a personal choice as are all your activities the only decision you don’t make is to be born. Religion has nothing to do w/ some spirit life or people walking on water or knocking down buildings religion is matter of moral teachings on how we should treat ourselves & others. All the religions today are all rooted in the Ancient Greek & Roman pagan cultures. So what because these ancients were pagans & had many GODS does that make them less worthy/ infidels? No they were smarter & more efficient people than we are . (No I’m not talking financially you shallow capitalists but morally & socially) But the big problem is when religions deal in Dogmatic Absolutes i.e. when they say that this is how things must be thus making it too rigid. Individual freedom is the one thing that ppl will die for and when you limit it ppl will revolt! Christianity for a long time was very Dogmatic and and its followers suffered. But w/ the Protestant Reformation (which ppl mistakenly equate with strict rules) the faith was liberated in its exercise. But Islam is still stuck in this pre-reformation rut that stifles individual freedoms. You (leaders of Islam) need to wake up & allow ppl to follow it without insisting on the overtly strict laws on dress, music, sex, etc. Finally you need to stop identifying yourselves as Muslim Brothers, religion is a personal choice. Yes there are Christian followers who do the same but not like in Islam. And this has to do w/ the narrow minded approach of joining church and state such as in the Middle East. The USA isn’t invading Iraq & Afghanistan because they’re Muslim we’re invading Iraqis & Afghanis. Church and state must be separated and I applaud the Muslim following ppls such as those in Bosnia for example who eat pork, smoke, drink, fornicate, etc..on Fridays. These things do not make or break the religion, you need to move out of the narrow minded view that it is "all or nothing." What should be respected and elevated is one's nationality, such as one's national language, practices, styles, clothing, dance, music, food, etc.. not what God one believes in. Yet the Islamic faith often teaches ppl to denounce their nationality. So lets say I'm a Christian today, today I'm not your "brother" and then a Muslim tomorrow, I then become your "brother" again and then on Saturday I become Jewish I then am kicked out of the family, haha. Listen, if Christianity falters, something else will take its place, you'll be fine, same with Islam. I'm not saying they will, all I'm saying is do not define yourself by your religion, practice your religion, but do not let it define who you are. The more you do that the more you will stifle & suffocate your followers. This is the liberal &open minded education that students are receiving today & we need to elucidate those values that all ppl can share regardless of their religion, many values that are upheld in a Democratic society. So when you Muslim followers are outraged at the actions going on in Iraq and Afghanistan now, pay attention to all the evil actions of your former political leaders of Saddam Hussein who massacred thousands of Muslim Kurds in northern Iraq, the Taliban who slaughtered thousands of Muslim Afghani citizens in empty soccer stadiums, & the always comical Ahmedinijad who fixed the previous election and stole the voices of many Muslim Iran voters and who is now considering letting a woman being stoned to death instead of being allowed to deal with her own personal family matters by herself.
In Response

by: Abdulmajid
July 08, 2010 17:42
This is not about what Islam is or should be, you are disgressing. This is about a Christian people - the Serbs - trying to put down and to exterminate a Muslim people - the Bosniaks, and that the national identity, the history, the very existence of the Bosniaks is being challenged and put in doubt. That is fascism! It is about the Islamophobes in the West and in Russia saying that Islam is inherently violent and evil, that the Muslims are trying to subversively conquer the world, in short, that Muslims are dangerous enemies whom it is right to oppress, subdue, dispossess, kill and expel. Just like what the Nazis said of the Jews. And it will not do if you supposedly "enlightened" Westerners continue to impose and force down the Muslims' throat your own values. In what was Protestant Christianity better than the Muslims. Didn't they have witch burnings right until the Napoleonic times? What about the Salem witch hunt? What about the genocide against the American Indians? What about slavery in the Confederacy?
And as for Bosniaks, they just want to be left in PEACE in their own country, which is Bosnia-Herzegovina. Because Bosnia is not Serbia or Croatia!

by: Darko from: Novi Sad
July 09, 2010 20:38
First of all, no body wants to exterminate muslims in Serbia, in Serbia lives about 5 % muslims, they are fully represented in parliament, and in current Serbian goverment of 23 ministers, two are muslims, Sulejman Ugljanin and Rasim Ljajic ! Second, Bosniaks in Serbia even have elections for their national counsil, organiyed and financed by the Serbian goverment. In Novi Payar the center of serbian Bosniacs, state has opened two universites, one governed by the Zukorlic ! Third, in Serbian parliament there are three Bosniacs parties, for which the cenzus iz 0,4 %, and for serbian the cenus is 5 %.
As for Bosnia my family origin is from there, all evil in Bosnia draws its conections from the second world war, when almoust half milion Serbs were cilled by the fascist croatian ustasas. and in many crimes commited by them muslims take actions, later serbian retributions were terrible crimes against the muslims, but the evil continued in the later bosnian war, were all sides commited terrible crimes, but the total number of victims was around 100.000, of whom more then 30.000 were Serbs, and around 10.000 were catholic Croats.
And most important fact is that, SERBS, BOSNIACS, and CROATS are the same people, who share the same LANGUAGE, HISTORY, ETHNIC BACKGROUND, CUSTOMS, MENTALITY, but are divided only by the religion, which in fact nobody practuce very much. Zukorlic and politisans like him only wants to exploit the only diference betwen people in sandzak, only for their own profit and nothing else ! People of Serbia and Sandzak neds jobs and good salaries, and not the demagoghic mesagges from Zukorlic, or his Serbian counterparts in the same crime !!!
In Response

by: Abdulmajid
July 10, 2010 18:03
Well , dear fellow, yoru peopel DID try to exterminate the Muslims in Bosnia, don't you deny it. That all people need jobs and a perspective, yes, that is very true. But I'm afraid the Bosniaks will not trust you, not after srebrenica and not as long as there are some who wish to continue the war with inflammatory rhetoric, who say "Bosniaks are the enemy within, whom it is legitimate to destroy or expel"; as long as Bosnia is divided and the serbofascist aggressors are allowed to keep the spoils of war, like the cities of Visegrad, Foca and Srebrenica, or regions like Podrinje, Semberija and Posavina, whose pre-war population was over 50% Bosniaks, and now there are none because they were murdered and expelled; and there is no need to say "but you expelled the serbs from Sarajevo" because it was Karadzic's leadership who forced them out. And as long as the destroyed important cultural properties liek the historic 16th century mosques of Banja Luka and Foca are not rebuilt; as long as a majority of Serbs do not unequivocally, earnestly and honestly distance themselves from both the genocidal anti-Bosniak crusade of 1941-45 and 1992-95, there is no point in "letting bygones be bygones". The leadership in Banja Luka has two options: allow all Bosniaks eexpelled from Semberija, Posavina and Podrinje to return and participate constructively into turning Bosnia into a country where three constituent people live in mutual respect, if not in friendship (the Serb autono,ous regions must then be based on whatthe pre-war Seerb majority was, not on that established throughh genocide). Or, if they insist ainkeeping their own private fief and contuinue the war by otehr means then tehy will have no time to regret it.
And Serbia must earnestly and credibly follow through on Boris Tadic's declaration that they will not interfere in Bosnia's internal affairs and respect its integrity and sovereignty.
Unfortunately I think that most Serbs still harbor the same feelings of moral and racial superiority that made Milosevic's and Karadzic's genocidal crusade possible. Many people in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan had those feelings too (even those who actually were not fascists), and everybody knows what was necessary to cure them. In any case I have no sympathy whatsoever for those who do. I know most Serbs are good, honest, kind, generous and hospitable and very symapthetic people, but who in any way approves of the genocidal anti-Bosniak crusade can never be my friend.

by: MT from: Mauritius
July 13, 2010 06:43
There's surely lots of passionate views here. But can you guys please learn to use paragraphing?
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