Date: Thursday 12 October 2006
Subj: Bosnia: Fragile stability threatened by Islamisation.
To: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty News & Analysis
From: WEA RLC Principal Researcher and Writer, Elizabeth Kendal
On Tuesday 10 October 2006 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". (Link 3)
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 Accords.
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 theRepublika 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.