Since the Yugoslav war of the 1990s, Europe and the United States have openly supported the Bosnian Muslims. The Americans were the first to choose them as their new “our sons of bitches.” The Europeans first focused on the Croatians but later preferred the Bosnians. While western mass media told sad stories about poor Bosnians suffering from Serbia’s “armed aggression,” NATO planes dispatched to their country bloodthirsty hoodlums from North Africa, the Middle East and Iran. The western “peacekeepers” spared no arms for the Bosnian Muslims and no diplomacy to support those “martyrs” when they massacred whole Serbian villages and to pressure their “enemies” with sanctions and bombings when they tried to complain.
And now that after the closure of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Serbs have just one weapon left against the western world order - the obstinacy of Miroslav Dodik, President of Republika Srpska – Europe has suddenly realized what a genie they have let out of the bottle in order to protect the peaceful Bosnian Muslims. All of a sudden, they in the West have expressed their deepest concern that Bosnia and Herzegovina, a state they have liberated from bloody Serbian dominance, has turned into a European enclave of different Islamist organizations – from ISIL to Al Qaeda. Such concern has been expressed by both Federal Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz and President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman. The European newspapers were surprised to know that in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there were over 60 Muslim communities that refused to obey to the central authorities, respected only the Sharia law and practiced polygamy and female circumcision and that in their villages – once mostly Serbian – they had kept hoisted black banners with the shahada and removed them only after a series of scandals in the European press and an urgent request by the Bosnian police. The Europeans were stunned when told that Sarajevo’s Emperor’s Mosque had nearly been captured by Wahhabis, who had beaten the local moderate Imam, Sadrudin Iseric.
And they were really shocked with the news that at least 600 Bosnian Muslims were fighting for Islamic terrorists in Iraq and Syria. But that revelation has changed nothing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where Alija Izetbegovic, the first Bosnian President and the father of the Bosniak member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegovic, once said that there could be no peace between Islam and secular authorities, where the El Mujahid detachment was engaged in torturing and beheading Serbian POWs and civilians, where the worthy son of Alija, Bakir, has allotted the lands taken from runaway Sarajevo Serbs for Saudi-sponsored mosques and has let former El Mijahid fighters to settle down in Sarajevo’s suburbs.
For quite a long time, they in the West kept their eyes closed to all this as the cruel bearded Bosnian men were a good reminder to the Bosnian Serbs who was the boss in Bosnia. But they were forced to open them once Europe and the United States suffered a series of terrorist attacks.
And their look was so severe that Bakir Izetbegovic was called to account. At the recent conference “The Future of Islam and Muslims in Europe on the Axis of Andalusia and Bosnia-Herzegovina”, he was the key speaker – simply because his Muslim Bosnia is a reality unlike once Muslim Andalusia.
Izetbegovic was very eloquent. He made a retrospective journey into the history of “European Islam” and its brightest embodiments, the Golden Horde, the Kazan, Astrakhan and Crimean khanates and the Ottoman Empire. But the greater part of his speech was recommendations for the present-day Europeans. “Islam has lived in Europe for already thirteen centuries and in some areas, it had been dominant long before the arrival of Christianity. Those who regard Europe as a purely Christian civilization are ignorant… None of the great monotheistic religions were born in Europe. Their birthplace is the Middle East. So, instead of closing itself to the Muslim world, Europe should be its close ally as only in alliance, can we crush the deviant ideology of Takfir (when a Muslim (it is practiced among radicals) excommunicates another Muslim calling him an infidel - note by EADaily),” Izetbegovic said.
He noted that after the war, the radical ideology of Islamism was left on the fringes of the Bosnian society and put under the state’s control.
We would love to believe Izetbegovic, were it not for his personal background and the abovementioned 600 Bosnian radicals fighting in Syria and Iraq. Before the 1990s, Yugoslavia’s Muslims were quite secular: you could see them both reading the Quran and drinking beer, both giving their girls Muslim names and letting them wear miniskirts and jeans. And it was exactly the Izetbegovic clan that used Radical Islam as an ideology for mobilizing those people. As a result, today the Bosnians identify themselves basically as Muslims, unlike the Kosovo Albanians, whose self-identification is based on ethnicity.
Well aware that his western partners are angry with him, Izetbegovic tried to sound very peaceful when speaking about Islam in Europe. But the true symbol of the present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina is the recent photo from Zenica picturing a mother and a little boy, who has something in his hand. No, not a toy. But a flag of ISIL.