Bosnia – the EU’s first Moslem country?

The so-called Imperial Mosque at Miljacka in Sarajevo. - Photo: Julian Nitzsche / Wikimedia CC 3.0

Für unsere eng­lisch­spra­chi­gen Leser brin­gen wir eine Übersetzung eines unse­rer meist­ge­le­se­nen Artikel der letz­ten Zeit zum Thema Balkankonflikt und Auswirkungen auf die Gegenwart – ver­bun­den mit der Bitte um wei­tere Verbreitung im eng­lisch­spra­chi­gen Ausland:

The EU recently gave the green light to assess a mem­bership app­li­ca­tion from Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Negotiation does not mean mem­bership howe­ver and now is the time to assess the basic requi­re­ments for a suc­cess­ful inte­gra­tion of dif­fe­rent cul­tures. Here is where the first pro­blems begin.

Two areas cause con­tro­versy here, that of free­dom of move­ment and demo­cracy its­elf as we under­stand it in Europe. This is because requi­re­ments for adopting Europe’s sha­red values in these areas are sim­ply mis­sing. Bosnia-Herzegovina is more than 50% Moslem. Sarajevo is the basis for the increa­sing European influ­ence of Salafistic-influ­en­ced Islam.

Dr Peter Hammond has pro­ven in a long-term study that as the num­ber of Moslems in a non-Moslem coun­try grows, the influ­ence of their ideo­logy goals grows in a far grea­ter pro­por­tion. The result: civil war.

When loo­king at how the Bosnian-Herzegovinian society has deve­lo­ped, it can quickly be seen that a basic pro­blem of con­flic­ting values has resul­ted.

Bosnians place the poli­ti­cal-ideo­lo­gi­cal as the cen­tral fac­tor in their sha­red values: „Bosnia-Herzegovina is making no pro­gress into deve­lo­ping into an EU coun­try – this vacuum is being fil­led by aut­ho­ri­ta­rian and radi­cal-mili­tant ideo­lo­gies. Much con­flict, much natio­na­lism but no per­spec­tive.”

Rosy per­spec­tives of the local media (eg. SarajevoTimes​.com) seem to sim­ply push parts of this pro­blem away in favour of a “vic­tim” depic­tion. Raymond Ibrahim (direc­tor, Middle East Forum) makes a key state­ment here when he says: “Whoever wis­hes to under­stand Islam and Moslems must first under­stand Taqiyya.”

Bosnia’s vague poli­tics

Bosnia’s pre­si­dency is split in three parts and the chair­man of its state pre­si­dium chan­ges every eight mon­ths.

  • Bakir Izetbegović (Bosnian-Moslem)

  • Mladen Ivanić (Serbian-Orthodox)

  • Dragan Čović (Croatian-Catholic)

Bosnia appears the­re­fore as a poli­ti­cal union (simi­lar to the EU) where each cul­ture takes turns at the pre­si­dency without a com­mon party-based poli­ti­cal sys­tem.

It is the various reli­gious-ideo­lo­gi­cal groups who deter­mine which majo­rity governs a region and not poli­ti­cal par­ties.

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The majo­rity of the popu­la­tion is clas­si­fied into three reli­gi­ons.

Following the 2013 cen­sus:
Moslems (Bosniacs) 50 ‚7 %, (1991 42,8 %);
Serbian-Orthodox Christians 30,7 %, (1991 30,1 %);
Croatian-Catholic Christians 15,2 %, (1991 17,6 %);
Agnostics 0,3 %; Atheists 0,8 %.
2,3 % belong to other groups (Protestant etc.) or pro­fes­sed no alle­gi­ance or refu­sed to ans­wer.

Latent Conflicts

Peace is an inner state and not the absence of war. Bosnia’s latent con­flicts on the other hand, are caught up in its reli­gious struc­ture and the coun­try appears poli­ti­cally inho­mo­ge­neous.

While Bosnia puts great hopes in EU money to assuage its inner dis­quiets, it is not impro­bable that these inner con­flicts will carry over into other EU coun­tries fol­lo­wing its entry into the union. 

Yet on the other side, there is a readi­ness to invest in Bosnian society and indus­try. The basis for a com­mer­cial deve­lop­ment, howe­ver, depends on the country’s social peace.

Bosnian issues alre­ady in Austria

Austria is alre­ady being influ­en­ced by Bosnians in its society. The dis­trict of Vöcklabruck in Upper Austria has alre­ady been affec­ted by local Salafistic Moslems. There is alre­ady a Shiite Society in the dis­trict that has split away from them.

The citi­zens’ initia­tive and inte­rest group ekiw​.com has cam­pai­gned for years under the ban­ner „No mos­ques in the Suburbs“ and stri­ves to res­tore the qua­lity of life in many cities. It has laun­ched a move­ment “Objection to accept­ing Bosnia-Herzegovina into the EU”.

Emergence of par­al­lel socie­ties des­troys society

Post-war pos­te­rity in Europe was based on its homo­ge­neous socie­ties. They iden­ti­fied with demo­cracy and values while stri­ving for a bet­ter future for their child­ren. Ironically, the eth­nic clean­sings of both world wars con­tri­bu­ted to this.

This trend howe­ver is being rever­sed in modern Europe.

While Bosnian Croats (catho­lic), Serbs (ortho­dox Christians) and inde­pen­dent Moslem intel­lec­tu­als inte­gra­ted long after the wars of ex-Yugoslavia, Bosnian Moslems in Europe con­ti­nue to create par­al­lel socie­ties. They fol­low old Islamic tra­di­ti­ons and show no desire to adopt the values of modern, Judeo-Christian influ­en­ced Austria.

parallel-societies

Latent Violence

A latent pro­pen­sity for vio­lence has been per­cei­ved in the ideo­logy of orga­nised Islam.

Vöcklabruck has expe­ri­en­ced an example of this through the local „Bosnian-Austrian Cultural Society“. The society has used a buil­ding in a resi­den­tial area, without buil­ding per­mits or pro­per usage infor­ma­tion, for an ille­gal mos­que for years. This has been the sub­ject of several pro­se­cu­ti­ons before the Upper Austrian pro­vin­cial court. The con­tent of these court cases says more than a thousand words. This “Taqiyya” has tied up city resour­ces, inclu­ding the need for police pre­sence, resul­ting in serious costs for society.

Why don’t these Bosniacs return home?

If Bosnia is to be pro­perly pre­pa­red for Europe, one would assume that Bosniacs would be ready to bring and use their expe­ri­ence of Europe back to their home­land.

It would be logi­cal for someone who is not ready to inte­grate into Austria or the EU to return to their home­land and share know-how gai­ned from their stay.

What is signi­fi­cant howe­ver is that hardly anyone of Bosnia’s major eth­ni­ci­ties has retur­ned there after the end of the Yugoslavian wars.

Bosnia-Herzegovina needs people with manage­ment skill and expe­ri­ence from the West to return and take lea­dership if the coun­try is to have any hope of com­mer­cial deve­lop­ment.

On the other side, Bosnia is clo­sely asso­cia­ted with Saudi Arabia which sup­ports its deve­lop­ment with generous invest­ments. Concurrently, it appears that this has an ideo­lo­gi­cal aim – the pro­pa­ga­tion of Islam’s Wahabbit and Salafistic streams in Europe.

Conclusion

Europe has inte­gra­ted many ideo­lo­gies in its long history but giving room to poli­ti­cal Islam is crea­ting new and grea­ter con­flicts. Political Islam’s basis (Bosnian: Džemat) is mili­tant and its vio­lent poten­tial is beco­m­ing clea­rer in cen­tral Europe.

Bosnia-Herzegovina must the­re­fore work to eli­mi­nate Salafism before it can think of living with and inte­gra­ting with the cul­tures of Europe Union.

Translated from: unser​-mit​tel​eu​ropa​.com/​2​0​1​6​/​1​0​/​1​0​/​b​o​s​n​i​e​n​-​d​a​s​-​e​r​s​t​e​-​m​e​h​r​h​e​i​t​l​i​c​h​-​m​u​s​l​i​m​i​s​c​h​e​-​l​a​n​d​-​i​n​-​d​e​r-eu/

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