Religion


Comments from the original video poster

EL MUDJAHIDIN contains original video footage of persons belonging to this squad and fighting on the side of the so called Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. An army which Muslims (Another-words Bosnian politicians) introduce to the world as the ONLY army fighting for the unity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the good of all ethnic backgrounds residing there, and presenting their people (Bosnian Muslims) as the ONLY constitutional people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, judge for yourselves how true these claims are……..

You are also able to view a huge presence of Mudjahedins from Islamic countries belonging to Al’ Qaide who, as is well known, committed atrocious war crimes against Serbs and other non Islamic people in BiH. Keep in mind that those Mudjahedins were and STILL are protected by the Bosnian (Muslim) political leaders.

When I watch or post a video, I always make sure that I know who is the original poster: Bosniak, Serb, Bosnian-Serb, Croat or Bosnian-Croat. This make a huge difference. These people tend to inteprete the war differently.

While watching this video, keep in mind the following:

1. The city are not flooded with the new wave of fundamental Muslims (as a friend of mine joked, “we are the only fundamentalists in our family,” to explain why they wore head scarves and others did not). Bosnia is not a Muslim country despite Muslims occupy slightly less than half the population.

The opposite can not be more true. When I was there during my first few months, I could not help for being confused seeing Caucasian European in colorful and fashionable dresses, women in thick make-up, revealing clothing and neat hair-cut, clean-shaven men flooded many pubs, bars, and coffee bars within downtown area. There are no street signs praising Allah or Muhammad. Zealous Bosniaks did not flood the street to shout “Allah is great” (*) either and staged violent protests over the Danish cartoons and burned down buildings and threatens to kill either. The only obvious signs signaling that I was now in a Muslim-dominated part were mosques dotting everywhere in the city.

I worked in, probably, one of the the most religious (Muslim) secondary school (*) in the country. However, there are only four teachers who wore the scarves and less than 5% students wearing the scarves.

2. The video’ commentator mentioned that only after the war there were signs of women wearing scarves. But he should also add that prior to the war, Yugoslavia was united as one country under Socialism-Communism. Tito was known and referred by both terms: Socialist and Communist, mostly by the latter. In pure communist countries, religion is deemed as poison. Communist governments do everything in their powers to destroy religious practices. Though Tito tolerated religions–to what extent, I don’t know–since he was not strictly a Communist, he did not encourage them either, since he was also a Communist who was in an alliance with Stalin. When I asked a colleague why her mother did not wear a scarf, I was told that her mother lived during Tito’s Communism and was not allowed to wear one.

So the more correct and less biased version is not Mudjahedins bring radical Islam to Bosnia , thus encouraging women to wear the scarves, it can be that they wanted to wear head scarves but were not allowed before. Now, being independent from central, iron-fist rule, they run the country whichever way they see fit.

3. But the deeper reason lies on the struggle for bruise identities. There are two ways to explain why some one is a nationalist.

  • He/she is a naturally nationalist.
  • He/she becomes a nationalist or turns to nationalisms because of rage, sadness, anger, joy, etc.

The last bulleted item applies in Bosnia. One of my roommate, a total liberal European with mixed Serb-Muslim blood, defines herself as a Muslim because she was raised by her mom who is a Muslim. She wishes to practice more of the Muslim traditions when she gets older: fast during the Ramadan month, pray five times a day, stop drinking. I asked and was surprised by answers not expected from a non-religious, party girl who resembled Barbie: “What should I do? They killed us just because we believe in Allah. Now we have to believe in him.”

 

The return of radical Islam might not be exclusively an external factor brought from abroad by the “terrorist” Mudjahedins , rather it is an internal factor.

4. Given the much media coverage of those terrorist groups from the Middle East, radical right-wing Islam extremists who send volunteers to fight for Islamic causes, this video might present to the world Bosnia and its Bosniak/Muslims in a negative way for their association with the claimed terrorists.

Ethic is something got thrown out the windows during war time. Sarajevo was under siege by Serbian forces for almost four years with little help from the EU and NATO. Needless to say, it was under EU and NATO’s protection that the massacre happened in Srebrenica. So should the Bosniaks carry the scarlet “E” for Ethics on their heads and wait to get slaughtered away or seek and accept whichever help they can get, abeit it was from “terrorist” groups.

It is also helpful to note that Bosnia has three main religious/nationality groups. Unlike in other countries, religion and nationality tightly group: Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats, and Muslim Bosniaks. As we walked to the Tunnel museum near Butmir airport –the only safe place where Bosniaks can get aid from the outside–one of the students said, “what if fighting happens again, of course Serbia will protect the Serbs (Bosnian-Serbs), Croatia protects the Croats (Bosnian-Croats), then who will protect us (Bosnian Muslims)?”

“Turkey, perhaps.” I mused, “or Iran.”

Here is what the Bosniaks should do:

a. Make an alliance with one of the other ethnic groups, Serb or Croat. But they’d been there, done that ad later betrayed by the Croats who sided with Bosnian Serbs and Serbia hoping to get a slice of Bosnia.

b. Seek help from Western Europe. Well, they did, but then there was the massacre while being protected by EU and NATO.

c. Wait for help from the US. It did happen although a little bit late. However, USA is world-wide known and blamed for their meddling in other people’s affairs, for their arrogant role as the world’s police. American might hesitate the next time around. Given that Bosnia has no oil, USA might be even more hesitant. I read one article from “The Economist” which rumored the possibility of USA’s return to isolationism.

d. Seek and accept help from those who are more than willing to help, that is the zealous, radical, right-wing “Muslim brothers” from the Middle-East. Everybody knows these guys/gals do anything for Islamic causes. So even the war in Bosnia might not be a religious war, helping the Muslims was all they care or know about.

So many options.

(*) I saw a wall graffiti “Allah je jeden …”. But that was about it.

(*) The secondary school system is secular. I just happened to work in a non-secular one.

A Muslim singer who lives in England. He is very popular here in Sarajevo, at least among the more religious Bosniaks. I really liked the song “Supplication” when I first heard it. I’ve always had a thing for music exotic Middle Eastern and Arabic elements. As a non-Muslim, I care little about the lyrics, however, the melody is absolutely beautiful with the weaving of the chants, the drums, and the vocals. He performed once where I worked, but I only knew about it the day after and at the time knew little of who he was.

Some fundamental Islamic leaders complain that his music is not Islamic enough and too much pop. Well, if it is not too much pop, who else would want to hear it beside the Muslim circle. Let face it, in order to influence, inspire, and introduce Islam to young people, his music has to be youth-oriented somewhat.

I’m not a Muslim, but his music really gets to me. For that, I say he’s a really successful singer-song writer.

Supplication

Mother

My Ummah

Built in 1530/1 modeled after early Istanbul style. Is the most significant Islamic building in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The architect was a Persian, Adzem Esir Sli, the main architect of the Ottoman Empire at the time. This mosque was destroyed and restored a few times in the past. It includes the fountain (ssadravan), Moslem primary school (mekteb), the room for ritual washing (abdesthana), domed burial sites (turbeti), Gazi Husrev-beg’s and Murad-beg Tardic’s harem, abode for the prayer caller (muvekithana), minaret 45 m high and tower clock, dominating the surrounding street and wards (mahala).

There are three main groups who inhabit this country: Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs. The Bosniaks are mainly Muslims, the Croats are Catholic and the Serbs, exclusively Orthodox. There is a small fraction of the Bosnians who are not affiliated with any religious group, which is inordinary. A Bosniak friend of mine has an uncle who is neither Bosniak, Croat, nor Serb; he is simply a Bosnian.

“It’s really strange!” Responded another Bosniak.

Though having different religious and ethnic background, these three groups share the same language, traditions and culture. Their root traced back to the early southern Slavic tribes who settled the land between the 6-7th centuries and later intertwined with the indigenous Illyrian tribes.

The ethnic composition today remains similar to the pre-war ratio: Bosniaks (Muslims) 44%, Serbs (Christian Orthodox) 32%, and Croats (Catholics) 17%. The remaining 7% of the population is composed of Yugoslavs, Albanians, Roma, Jews, and several other minority groups.

Standing on the Centar region, the Austrian part, of Sarajevo. A good meeting place for its easy-to-recognize sign. Whenever I had an appointment with my friends, I always told them to meet me at the center, in front of the Cathedral. One of my roommate performed her with her choir during Bašc’aršija Nights, an annual festival in Sarajevo.

I will upload one of the clip later.