Friday, 8 June 2012
Bosnia-Herzegovina is on the way to becoming an Islamic centre based on the template of the Iranian capital Tehran. Under the eyes of the Wahhabist-oriented religious leader, the senior mufti Reis Ulema Mustafa Ceric, who has long been considered a pioneer of a European, moderate Islam, believers in other faiths and even moderate Muslims are persecuted, discriminated and threatened. After civil war, genocide and then peace, the city of many peoples is threatened with falling into the hands of militant Muslims and also missing out on the link-up to Europe.

Sarajevo’s moderate education minister, Emir Suljagic, has already announced his resignation after he received a death threat accompanied by a 7.23 calibre bullet, because he wanted to keep education secular. Since then, he has been in fear for his life.

The re-islamisation trend is documented most strikingly by new street signs. In Sarajevo alone, within one day 500 place and street names were changed, removing all references to non-Islamic luminaries. Ceric wants Bosnia to be placed completely under the rule of sharia. With the demand he has already made for a European imamate, he points to his future political objectives.

With its 300,000 inhabitants, the city Sarajevo is already 98% populated by followers of the prophet. In total, more than two million Muslims live in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The total population size if around 4.6 million. With ever greater self-confidence, the Muslims are putting believers in other faiths under pressure and attempting to drive out Catholic and Orthodox Serbs and Croats: Christian nuns are no longer served by Muslim bakers in Sarajevo, churches are attacked (the Catholic St. Luke’s church just on 22 May).

It is now an open secret that this renaissance of orthodox Islam is promoted by millions of dollar from the Arabian Gulf states, above all from Saudi Arabia. Already, there are 70 mosques in Sarajevo. Mostar is ever more breaking up into a Muslim eastern district and a western district where the Catholic Croats live. But even the Muslim community itself is ever more sharply split into liberals and radical “orthodox thinkers”. There have already been mass battles.

The advance of the radical holy warriors began in the 1990s thanks to the arrival of 2000 fighters from the Arab lands, including the founder of the radical terror group Abu Sayyaf on the Philippinen. After they had married local women, several hundred of the fighters remained in the country despite a withdrawal authorised after the peace agreement. Today they form the core of the Wahhabist influence, build mosques with Saudi support (like the imposing King Fahd mosque in Sarajevo), and are bringing about a radicalisation of the other Muslims. The movement’s strongpoints are in east Bosnia and the capital Sarajevo. An illegal sharia police persecutes couples kissing in public or in parks.

“They are now firmly anchored in our media, our religious administration and in the academic authorities, our mosques, our Koran schools, our scholarship, just everywhere,” the theologian Resid Hafizovic complained a few years back and pointed out that the Wahhabists wanted to operate the so-called Devshirme. This custom originating in the Ottoman empire institutionalises the forced recruitment and islamisation of non-believers, male youths and children, in order to train them into elite warriors.

The Bosnian Interior Minister Maria Fekter is fighting against these undercurrents. She wants to promote a “European Islam”, establish equality between man and woman and refers constantly to the symbolic bridge of Mostar. It links Christendom and Islam, Catholic and Orthodox. Only intercultural dialogue can stabilise the young state, she postulated recently. It remains to be seen when she, too, will receive a letter with a bullet enclosed.

Joachim Feyerabend
Source: Preußischen Allgemeinen Zeitung Via: EuropeNews

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

European Islam is not going to happen because the center of gravity of Islam can never be Europe, it was always the Islamic World, with its Sunni and Shia holy cities and more than one billion muslims. The second problem that will prevent muslim integration is numbers. There are plenty of muslims who dream of Islamic Europe. Why? Because muslims ask themselves - "why should we accept the ways of Europe, since Islam is the fastest growing religion in Europe?" When people see a strong horse (Islam) and a weak horse (Europe), people naturally like the strong horse.
The Third problem is that Islam already has a history of trying to conquer Europe, arabs never forgot about Al Andalus and turks never forgot the Ottoman Empire, plus there is a Hadith that says that muslims will first conquer Constantinople, and then they will conquer Rome as well. You cannot have European Islam. What you can have is Islamic Europe.

Anonymous said...

I thought Maria Fekter is the Austrian finance minister....getting basics like this wrong, discredits your whole article

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

It's not my article. It's from the Preußischen Allgemeinen Zeitung and I have translated it correctly. But that is a mistake in the original article. In fact, the journalist acknowledges it in the comments. And, no, it doesn't discredit the whole article. Maria Fekter did say those things in a meeting with a Bosnian minister.

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