Opasni bosanski tango: Islam i nacionalizam
Opasni bosanski tango: Islam i nacionalizam
Table of Contents
  1. Overview
Changing Dynamics in the Western Balkans
Changing Dynamics in the Western Balkans
Briefing 70 / Europe & Central Asia

Opasni bosanski tango: Islam i nacionalizam

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Pregled

Bošnjačka zajednica u Bosni i Hercegovini (BiH) je duboko frustrirana zbog dis­funk­­cionalnosti državne uprave, nedostatnog ustava i ekonomske stagnacije BiH, kao i ponovnim dovođenjem u pitanje teritorijalnog integriteta zemlje od strane Hrvata i Srba. Islamska zajednica je preuzela vodeću ulogu u kanalisanju bijesa naroda, popunjavajući vakum koji su napravile bošnjačke političke partije, čije je rukovodstvo izgubljeno. Politički Islam je u BiH novost a njegova pojava se smatra prijetnjom za sekularne partije i nemuslimane. Na marginama društva se pojavilo obilje nepozna­tih salafijskih i drugih Islamističkih grupa dovodeći do porasta straha od terorizma. One su male, podijeljene i uglavnom nennasilne, no međutim, i država i Islamska zajednica bi trebale poraditi na njihovoj daljoj integraciji u društvo. Stvarna nesta­bilnost i nasilje će vjerovatnije proizaći iz sukobljenih nacionali­zama. Najveći doprinos Islamske zajednice bi bio u podršci stvaranju vizije Bosne i Herce­govine sa kojom bi se složili i Hrvati i Srbi.

Islamska zajednica (IZ) u BiH je narasla od religijske organizacije u važnog poli­ti­čkog igrača koji je oblikovao bošnjački nacionalni identitet. Međutim u zadnje vrijeme je postala podijeljena i dezorganizovana. Njen još uvijek utjecajni i kariz­matični bivši vođa, Mustafa ef. Cerić, je osigurao da Islam postane snažan element u poslijeratnom bošnjačkom nacionalizmu čiji je on bio glavni autor i promoter. On je isto tako povezao bošnjačku ideju sa BiH, koja bi, iako multi­etnička, po njegovom mišljenju trebala biti nacionalna država Bošnjaka, pošto i Srbi i Hrvati već imaju svoje države.

Prijetnja fundamentalističkog Islama se opetovano pojavljivala u BiH od kako su tu stigli mudžahedini početkom 1990tih, koliko god to bilo strano većini muslimanske populacije. Posebno nakon 11. septembra 2001., kad su krenule u globalni rat protiv terorizma, SAD su posebno izvršile pritisak na BiH vlasti da uhapse ili deportiraju pojedince za koje se pretpostavljalo das u povezani sa Al-Qaedom i drugim terorističkim grupama. Nedavno, u decembru 2012., samopro­glašeni Islamski pobunjenik je osuđen na osamnaest godina zatvora zbog pucanja na ambasadu SADa u Sarajevu predhodne godine. Mjesec dana ranije, Bosanac sa državljanstvom SADa je osuđen na doživotnu robiju zbog planiranja napada u Njujorku 2009.

Ovi slučajevi podržavaju percepciju da radikalne Islamske grupe predstavljaju ozbiljnu i ujedinjenu prijetnju stabilnosti. Ustvari činjenica je da su nekoliko pos­to­jećih grupa male i podijeljene. Neke su integrisane u IZ; druge odbacuju njen autoritet i povlače se u izolovane zajednice. Doslovno niti jedan domaći radikal nije bio uključen u nasilje; velika većina napada su bili djelo emigranata ili osoba sa postojećim krimi­nal­nim ili psihijatrijskim dosijeima. Postoji rizik od sličnih, manjih napada u budućno­­­sti, ali nema naznaka da postoji organizacija sposobna ili zainteresirana za masovno nasilje ili terror. Međutim da bi se zaštitili od budućih incidenata:

  • Islamska zajednica i država BiH bi trebali surađivati na uključivanju nenasilnih salafija u dijalog, posebno onih koji se vraćaju iz dijaspore, da bi se podržala njihova integracija.

Vjerovatnije je da će do pojačavanja tenzija doći zbog korištenja bošnjačkog nacio­na­li­zma od strane IZ, dijelom kao odgovor na provokacije srpskih i hrvatskih nacionalista. To je danas slučaj u Mostaru, gdje IZ zagovara tvrdu liniju, pokuša­va­jući ujediniti Bošnjake u političkoj borbi sa glavnim hrvatskim partijama oko izabira lokalnih vlasti i formiranja opštine. Iako je to mandat gradske uprave a budžet nije usvojen, Mostar nije uspio održati izbore 2012.; bez pravosnažne gradske uprave, postoji rizik da će usluge biti obustavljene u narednim mjesecima. Bez kompromisa, koliko god težak on bio, svi građani će ispaštati. Da bi se prevazišla ova kriza:

  • Mostarski vjerski lideri bi trebali podržati kompromisnu poziciju prihvatljivu sve trima zajednicama, suzdržati se od retorike podjele i pozvati gradske političke vođe da se slože oko rješenja bez daljeg odgađanja.

Izbor novog Reisa, Huseina Kavazovića, krajem 2012., nudi priliku za restrukturi­ranje i depolitizaciju IZ i fokusiranje na njenu institucionalnu reformu. No biće teško odustati od političkog Islama koji je promovisao Cerić, zasnovanog na afir­ma­ciji snažnog bošnjačkog identiteta, dok god mnogi Bošnjaci imaju osjećaj da je integritet njihove države na udaru. Cerić ostaje aktivan; pokrenuo je Svjetski bošnjački kong­res 29. decembra 2012. koji uključuje jako prisustvo iz Sandžaka, miješovite regije sa većinskim muslimanskim stanovništvom na granici Srbije i Crne Gore. Više nego bilo koja mala salafijska zajednica koja djeluje u BiH, dalja politizacija bošnja­čkog pitanja može doprinijeti nestabilnosti ako se razvije kao opozicija drugim zajednicama u ovoj zemlji. Da bi se izbjegla opasna eskalacija nacionalističkog kon­fli­kta, IZ i ruge religijske zajednice u BiH bi trebale:

  • da se povuku iz zauzimanja jednostranih pozicija u političkoj areni suzdržavajući se od davanja podrške partijama ili kandidatima; i
     
  • da se posvete međureligijskom dijalogu u potrazi za zajedničkom osnovom i oblikuju viziju BiH kao zajedničke imovine sve tri glavne zajednice.

Sarajevo/Brisel 26. februar 2013.

I. Overview

The Bosniak community is deeply frustrated with the dysfunctional government, flawed constitution and economic stagnation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), as well as renewed Croat and Serb challenges to the state’s territorial integrity. The Islamic community has taken a leading role in channelling popular anger, filling a vacuum left by Bosniak political parties, whose leadership seems adrift. Political Islam is a novelty in Bosnia, and its rise is seen as threatening to secular parties and non-Muslims. On the margins of society, a plethora of non-traditional Salafi and other Islamist groups have appeared, raising fears of terrorism. They are small, divided and largely non-violent, however, and the state and the Islamic community should work to integrate them further into society. Real instability and violence are more likely to come from clashing nationalisms. The Islamic community’s best contribution would be to help craft a vision for Bosnia that Croats and Serbs can share.

The Islamic community (Islamska zajednica, IZ) in BiH is a religious organisation as well as an important political actor that has shaped Bosniaks’ national identity, though it has recently become more divided and disorganised. Its still influential and charismatic former leader, Mustafa ef. Cerić, ensured that Islam became a strong element in the post-war Bosniak nationalism of which he was a main author and promoter. He likewise linked the Bosniak cause to BiH, which, though also multi-ethnic, he argued, should be a nation-state for the Bosniaks, since Croats and Serbs already had countries of their own.

The threat of fundamentalist Islam has been evoked repeatedly in Bosnia since several thousand mujahidin arrived in the early 1990s, though it is foreign to the great majority of the Muslim population. Especially after 11 September 2001, when it embarked on its global war on terrorism, the U.S. in particular has pressed Bosnian authorities to arrest or deport individuals with possible links to al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Most recently, in December 2012, a self-declared Islamic insurgent was sentenced to eighteen years imprisonment for shooting at the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo the previous year. A month earlier, a Bosnian-born naturalised U.S. citizen was sentenced to life in prison for planning attacks in New York in 2009.

These cases nurture the perception that radical Islamic groups form a serious and unified threat to stability. In fact the few existing groups are small and divided. Some are integrated in the IZ; others reject its authority and withdraw to secluded communities. Virtually no home-grown radicals have been involved in violence; the vast majority of attacks have been the work of émigrés or persons with documented criminal or psychological records. There is a risk of similar, small-scale attacks in the future, but no sign of an organisation capable of or interested in mass violence or terror. To guard against future incidents, however:

  • the Islamic community and Bosnian state officials should cooperate to engage non-violent Salafis, especially those returning from the diaspora, in dialogue so as to encourage integration.

It is the IZ’s use of Bosniak nationalism, partly in response to provocations by Croat and Serb nationalists, that is more likely to exacerbate tensions. This is the case today in Mostar, where the IZ advocates a hard line, seeking to unify Bosniaks in their political struggle with the main Croat parties on how to elect local authorities and form the municipality. Though its city administration’s mandate and budget have expired, Mostar failed to hold elections in 2012; with no lawfully constituted city authority, services risk being suspended in the coming months. Without a difficult compromise, all residents will suffer. To overcome this crisis:

  • Mostar religious leaders should be attentive to their constituency, which favours negotiation, and drop their hardline approach, support a compromise position acceptable to all three communities, refrain from divisive rhetoric and call upon the city’s political leaders to reach agreement without delay.

The election of a new grand mufti, Husein Kavazović, at the end of 2012, offers an opportunity to restructure and depoliticise the IZ and focus it on institutional reform. But the political Islam that Cerić promoted, based on the affirmation of a strong Bosniak identity, will be hard to let go as long as many Bosniaks feel that their state’s integrity is being challenged. Cerić remains active; he launched a World Bosniak Congress on 29 December 2012 that includes a strong presence from the Sandžak, a mixed, Muslim-majority region on the Serbia-Montenegro frontier. More than any of the small Salafi groups operating in Bosnia, further politicisation of the Bosniak cause may contribute to instability if it develops in opposition to the country’s other communities. To avoid dangerous escalation in nationalist conflict, the IZ and Bosnia’s other religious communities should:

  • withdraw from the partisan political arena by refraining from endorsement of parties or candidates; and
     
  • commit to interfaith dialogue to seek common ground and shape a vision of the Bosnian state as the shared property of all three major communities.

Sarajevo/Brussels, 26 February 2013

Changing Dynamics in the Western Balkans

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker talks to Crisis Group expert Marko Prelec about the precarious situation in the Western Balkans, as Serb separatism in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the frozen Kosovo-Serbia dispute continue to stoke regional instability.

The Western Balkans, a region defined in part by not being in the European Union, also contains several countries that were devastated by war in the 1990s. Now it faces new troubles, driven in part by the legacies of the old. Bosnia and Herzegovina is confronted with calls for secession in the autonomous Serb-dominated region, Republika Srpska, as well as the ongoing electoral grievances of its Croat minority. Meanwhile, efforts to resolve Kosovo’s dispute with Serbia over its independence have come to a standstill, leaving minority communities on both sides of the border vulnerable.

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker talks to Marko Prelec, Crisis Group’s Consulting Senior Analyst for the Balkans, about why ethnic tensions persist in the region and whether there is any risk of a return to conflict. They discuss the prospects for European integration, asking whether the promise of EU membership remains an effective incentive for resolving these longstanding disputes. They also consider what impact Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had for stability in the Western Balkans, a region where painful memories of war are still very salient today.



Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more of Crisis Group’s analysis, make sure to check out our Balkans regional page and keep an eye out for our upcoming report on the risk of instability in the Western Balkans.

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