By WEA RLC Principal Researcher and Writer, Elizabeth Kendal
On Tuesday 10 October at around 4:30am, an unidentified assailant armed
allegedly with a "Zolja" hand-held grenade launcher shot a missile into a
mosque in the Jasenica area of Mostar, southern Bosnia. Jasenica is a Croat
majority suburb of Mostar which is split evenly between Bosnian Muslims and
Bosnian Croats. The attack happened before Muslims arrived for a pre-dawn
Ramadan meal, so the mosque was empty and there were no injuries. (Link 1)
While the attack may have been perpetrated by a disgruntled voter unsettled
by the outcome of the 1 October elections, it is just as likely that the
mosque was struck by an Islamist tasked with triggering a sectarian conflict
that would enable a "justified" military expansion of Islamist control.
FRAGILE STABILITY THREATENED BY ISLAMISATION
The scenario of ethnic-religious polarisation envisaged in my earlier WEA
RLC News & Analysis posting - "Bosnia and Herzegovina: Religious tensions
rising" (link 2) - is coming to pass. Bosnia's peace is extremely delicate.
As ethnic-religious identity, zeal, insecurity and defensiveness rise in the
various communities, all religious groups that exist as minorities are
likely to suffer increased discrimination and persecution.
Of course Protestants are a minority across all of Bosnia. According to a
report by Forum 18 (Link 3), Sarajevo is the only place where Protestants
have not had difficulties getting building permits. This is probably because
America supported the Islamist cause in the Bosnian war (as they did in
Kosovo) with devastating effectiveness. So in Sarajevo at least, the Bosniac
Islamists who doubtless have the power to turn persecution of Protestants on
and off presently want it turned off. How long this will last is
questionable, as the US-led War on Terror and the post-war radicalisation of
much of the Bosnian Muslim population (particularly youths) makes the
US-Bosniac Islamist alliance extremely delicate too. Protestants will
probably only be tolerated in Sarajevo as long as the US-Bosniac Islamist
alliance holds and the Islamists believe their friends in Washington are
still useful with regard to the advance of the Islamist or Muslim
nationalist agenda for Bosnia.
Forum 18 reports that in Croat areas, Protestants wanting building permits
are obstructed, while in the Republika Srpska (Serb Republic), Protestants
face considerable obstruction and harassment. Of course Serbs generally (and
understandably) are suspicious and resentful of Protestants whom they view
as pro-American, which to them means pro-Bosniac Islamist and anti-Serb.
FROM DAYTON TO 1 OCT 2006:
SEPARATED PEOPLES, COMFORTABLY GROWING APART
Bosnia has three main ethnic groups: Serbs (Eastern Orthodox), Croats (Roman
Catholic), and Bosniacs (Muslim). The Dayton Accords, which brought an end
to the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, kept the state unified and independent but
divided it into two autonomous entities: the Muslim-Croat federation, and
the Republika Srpka (Serb Republic). (Full background at link 2)
Since the war, states such as Iran and Saudi Arabia have invested heavily in
the Muslim-Croat federation's physical and ideological reconstruction in
line with Sarajevo's Islamisation strategy. According to locals, mosques
have sprung up in Sarajevo "like mushrooms after the rain". Sources report
to Forum 18 that the number of mosques in Sarajevo is now "at 250 or more".
Meanwhile, older and war-damaged mosques have been "renovated" by Arabs with
Saudi funds. They ensure the "renovated" mosques conform to Wahhabi
standards (stripped of European and Sufi icons and decorations). Wahhabi
missionaries have flooded in to teach the nominal Muslims of Bosnia how to
be "good Muslims", following the "true way", being more observant, more
assertive, less tolerant, wearing veils and growing beards. But by advancing
Islamisation, Sarajevo has been increasing the incompatibility of Muslims
and Christians and directly threatening the stability brought by the Dayton
Meanwhile the Republika Srpska has maintained its ethnic and religious
distinctives - using Cyrillic rather than Latin script, and building
Orthodox Churches rather than mosques - and progressed in rather a different
direction. While the Bosniac leadership is developing ties with Islamic
states (advancing cultural ties with Iran and an air-traffic agreement with
Libya), RS is advancing cultural ties with, and building bridges (literally)
to Serbia, much to the chagrin of the Bosniac Islamists and Muslim
nationalists who have protested this "conspiracy against Muslims". (Link 4)
RESULT OF 1 OCTOBER 2006 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
CONFLICTED PRESIDENCY REFLECTS CONFLICTED PEOPLE.
Bosnia has a national central government with a three-person rotating
presidency. Each entity - the Muslim-Croat federation and the Republika
Srpska - also has its own president and parliament. Each ethnic group has a
representative in the central presidency. The Serbs must vote for their Serb
representative, whilst in the Muslim-Croat federation, Muslims and Croats
may vote for a Muslim or a Croat. The leading Muslim and the leading Croat
win positions as the representatives of their ethnic group.
Religious tensions have been rising in Bosnia because of the Islamist,
Muslim nationalist and Western, US-led push for constitutional reform which
would strengthen the central (Muslim dominated) government at the expense of
the entities. For Islamists, the US-proposed reforms don't go far enough as
they maintain the Republika Srpska (RS) as an entity. For Serbs in RS, the
reforms go too far too fast and threaten to undermine Serb autonomy and
return the Serbs to dhimmitude. Islamist Bosniacs, driven by Islamist
ideology, are keen to dissolve the Republika Srpska. In response, the Serbs
have threatened to hold a referendum on secession rather than live as a
Christian minority under Muslim domination. The constitutional reforms and
the status of Republika Srpska were central election issues.
The winners of the national presidential election are polar opposites,
creating a conflicted presidency which reflects a conflicted people. The new
federal parliament does likewise.
The Muslim representative in the new Bosnian presidency is Haris Silajdzic
who was the war-time Foreign Minister and Prime Minister under Islamist
President Izetbegovic. Silajdzic campaigned as an advocate of the
dissolution of Republika Srpksa (RS) (as quoted in "Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Religious tensions rising" WEA RLC: link 2).
The Serb representative is Nebojsa Radmanovic of the pro-West "Union of
Independent Social Democrats", the party of Bosnian Serb Prime Minister
Milorad Dodik who has vowed to hold a referendum on secession if the Muslims
press for the dissolution of RS. A Serb referendum on secession is something
the Bosniac Islamists have vowed to resist.
As if this does not create enough tension, the Croat representative to the
three-person rotating presidency is allegedly not the Croat choice. (Link 5)
The current Croat President, Ivo Miro Jovic, is believed to be the real
Croat choice. However, he came in second behind Zeljko Komsic, a Croat who
fought with the Bosnian Muslim army against the Bosnian Croat army in 1993
when Bosnian Croats tried to secede from Izetbegovic's independent unified
state of Bosnia. Komsic, like Silajdzic, ran on the platform of a unified
"anti-sectarian" Bosnia. Croats (who are about a 14 percent minority)
believe Komsic was elected with Muslim votes and will not represent Croat
interests. This, along with growing Croat discomfort in the increasingly
Islamised Muslim-Croat federation, has re-ignited Croat calls for a third
autonomous ethnic entity to carved out in Bosnia.
The Roman Catholic Croats and the Muslim Bosniacs were both allied to the
Nazis during World War Two, joining SS Units tasked with exterminating the
"lesser races" - Serbs, Jews and Roma - in the Holocaust in Yugoslavia.
After WWII both groups were allied to the Communist Partisians led by Tito
(a Croat) against the pro-democracy, pro-West Serbs.
However, the post-WWII radicalisation of Bosnia's Muslims, from the 1970s,
but especially through and since the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, has caused this
alliance to become strained over recent years. Many Croats may now feel they
have more in common with their Serb former enemies than their Bosniac former
allies. A little over a year ago, Croats in the northeastern Bosnian town of
Brcko were forced to appeal to local authorities for protection after they
were threatened by an extremist Islamic group from the nearby village of
Gornja Maoca. Wahhabi leaders in Gornja Maoca had been calling Catholic
Croats "the worst kind of crusaders" and saying they should all be
exterminated. (Link 6)
So the 1 October elections have not only polarised the Bosniac and Serb
populations (between unity and autonomy), but also deeply unsettled the
Croats. The majority Bosnian Muslims have voted for non-sectarian unity and
democracy. It sounds heavenly except that Islamists, modern nominal or
liberal or secular pro-European Muslims, and non-Muslim minorities all
interpret that quite differently (as Islamic domination, European-style
equality, and repressive dhimmitude respectively).
Meanwhile non-Muslim minorities who recoil at the idea of living as dhimmis
under Islamic domination are labeled obstructionist, divisive, sectarian and
racist. (Link 7)
DAYTON'S STABILISATION SERIOUSLY THREATENED
We truly are drifting right back into the pre-Dayton and pre-war Bosnia of
1992. And just as in 1992, if Bosnia's Muslim nationalists and Islamists
attempt to turn their rhetoric into reality and impose Muslim rule over the
Bosnian Serb minority, the Serbs will not submit - they will resist. Then
the Islamists will cry foul and deploy their ready Army and jihadist forces
to an aggressive, offensive "defence" of Bosnia against Serb "aggression"
(resistance) and under the banner of "justice". It is all very familiar.
Today, with modern political and religious understanding and post-9/11
knowledge (the links between Bosniac Islamists and 9/11 are now well
documented: link 8), the West surely cannot support the Islamist agenda to
Islamise all of Bosnia and place Bosnian Christians (Orthodox, Catholic and
Protestant) in a state of "democratic" dhimmitude.
Peace, religious liberty and security for all Bosnians of all confessions
and traditions can only be achieved by means of a lengthy and patient
national and international truth and reconciliation process (something the
US would doubtless resist), along with the total rejection and absolute
abandonment of all Islamist rhetoric, politics and goals (something the
Islamists would certainly reject). Without those two things, this
conflicted, forced, sham marriage that is post-Dayton Bosnia, cannot last,
and lasting peace and true religious liberty will never be the reality.
1) Missile hits Bosnia mosque ahead of Ramadan meal
Tue 10 Oct 2006 SARAJEVO, 10 Oct 2006
http://www.serbianna.com/news/2006/02424.shtml (has picture)
2) Bosnia and Herzegovina: Religious tensions rising
By Elizabeth Kendal WEA RLC. 20 September 2006
3) BOSNIA: To legally build a place of worship...
By Drasko Djenovic, Forum 18 News Service
4) BOSNIA: Muslims and Serbs in rift over bridge.
Sarajevo, 2 August 2006 (AKI)
5) Nationalist party rejects result of vote for Bosnian Croat presidency
The Associated Press. 3 October 2006
6) Croats lack protection in Bosnia as Islamists put threats. 29 Sept 2005
7) Serbs block road to Bosnian unity
By Nicholas Walton. BBC News, Sarajevo. 2 October 2006
8) Bosnian Official Links With Terrorism, Including 9/11
International Strategic Studies Association.
Balkan Strategic Studies. 17 September 2003
Analysis by Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS [Global Information Systems],
with input from GIS stations in the Balkans.
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