Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kosovo i Metohija (KiM) and Serbia

Head of Priština’s delegation for dialogue with Belgrade Edita Tahiri announced that Kosovo will not accept stipulations of cooperation between Serbia and Kosovo under the heading of UN Resolution 1244. Tahiri criticized Serbia regarding the standstill in dialogue between the two states due to Belgrade’s continued insistence on the resolution. Tahiri contended that regional cooperation can-not develop along the stipulation of the resolution and the guidance of UNMIK adding that Serbia no longer has any legal nor political basis on which to continue its Kosovo policy. Kosovo, said Tahiri, is an independent state. However, Tahiri assured that Priština seeks to continue its dialogue with Belgrade and hopes to do so this month.

“Priština: 1244 blokade na Kosovu”. RTS. January 20, 2012.ština%3A+1244+blokade+na+Kosovu.html

Republika Srpska (RS)

As the news-outlet B29 reported, the president of RS allegedly received threats from the Wahhabi community. The threat, according to the article, was posted on the internet website of stating that “we will come for your head too, you liar”. According to reports released by Politika, Snews and Danas etc., the threat was issued by Hatab Hajrulah and came as a reaction to Dodik’s statement that the decision to discontinue the investigation regarding the Dobrovoljačka Ulica (volunteer street) crime of Sarajevo was simply a political one. The incident goes back to 1992 and concerns an encounter between the Yugoslav Army, the Green Berets and a Bosnian Army Unit by which fatalities occurred on both sides. According to B92, Hajrulah is a member of the Wahhabi movement and has regular appearances on the internet under the rubric “The Corner for the Hatab Moment” (Kutak za Hatabov trenutak) while also uploading movies about terrorism to the internet. Police director of RS Gojko Vasić meanwhile assured that that his department is doing their utmost to ensure Dodik’ safety adding that the comments are supposed to instill fear, and do not indicate an actual plan for the execution of a terrorist plot.

“Vehabija preti Dodiku”. B92. Accessed January 20, 2012.

“Dobrovoljačka – planirani zločin”. POLITIKA. Accessed January 20, 2012.

Bosna i Herzegovina (BiH)

President for the organization “Mothers of Srebrenica” (Srebreničke Majke) Hatidža Mehmedović does not wish for the presence of Turkish movie directors at the film festival Emir Kusturica “Kustendorf”. The reason for Hatidža’s decision, according to the Turkish newspaper Hurijet, was the likely attendance of Nuri Bilge Džejlan who co-produced the film “Once upon a time in Anatolia” (Bilo Jednom u Anadoliji) and explained her opposition to Džejlan’s profiteering on the basis of so many lives lost. In Mehmetović’s words, “I do not know how Kusturica feels when he hears about how many of our kids have died, but he lost value to us when he collaborated with the muruders”. The paper recalls Kusturica’s function as a member of the jury at the Golden Orange film festival and his subsequent withdrawal from the position due to criticism he received in Turkey regarding the war in Bosnia.

Between April 6th 1992 and January 1st 2006, 26 people were stripped of their Bosnian nationality which was done in accordance with the department of revision and naturalization of foreign nationals. The ministry for civil affairs, however, was unable to publicize the reasons as to the nature of the incidents that lead up to the ministries decision. In addition, there are 20,000 cases that need to be reviewed by the 1st of March this year. Because of the sheer volume of cases, however, it is unlikely that the ministry will complete them in time. Reviews regarding the naturalization process of foreign individuals started on the 1st of December of 2009 while 24,507 pending cases were transferred for review on the 29th of March 2010. Focus reported that under the leadership of Vjekoslav Vuković individuals from “Afroasian” states were most often stripped of citizenship in addition to those that had proven links to terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda.

The news agency Radio Televizija Srbije (RTS) reported that special forces for the state investigation and protection agency arrested Nusret Imamović who is allegedly leading the Wahhabi community of Gornja Maoča. Following the news agency Sarajevo X, his brother, Eldin, as well as Jasmin Mustajbašić were also arrested. Nusret Imamović was long known to lead the Salafists of Gornja Maoča and beyond. Imamovič, according to the article, lived for some time in Austria where he reportedly became one of the closest collaborators of Muhamed Porča. RTS further reports that the group resident in Gornja Maoča is among the most radical of BiH. In the past ten years, the group has been under investigation for alleged acts of terrorism including the planting of explosive devises on the route were former president Clinton’s was planned to pass. The Croatian and Italian police, further, thwarted an alleged attempt by the group to plant a bomb during the funeral of John Paul II. After Imamović’s capturing, the police searched the location for evidence relating to the organized crime and corruption cases. As confirmed by the authorities, the searches were conducted so as to gather evidence in the pending case against Mevlid Jašarević. Darko Trifunović, in an analysis of the case, stated that Imamović’s capturing was not only tied to Jašarević’s case, but allegedly also points to “reliable evidence” according to which the Wahhabi movement is planning attacks on Europe. Trifunović stated that the Wahhabi group of Gornja Maoča has long been involved in the production of materials by which young Islamic extremists are recruited of which some have participated in the attack on U.S. troops in Frankfurt, Germany. Trifunović further stressed that the Jašarević incident must not be viewed as an individual incident. For evidence, Trifunović points toward attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan that occurred on the same day as Jašarevič’s shooting transpired in Sarajevo, BiH.

As Vesti Online reported, four Wahhabis arriving in a green Volkswagen with Swiss license plates sought to buy property near the residence of RS’s president Dodik near Bakinci by Laktaš. Individuals belonging to a Wahhabi group reportedly sought to buy property form Croat as well as Serb returnees and offered up to 300,000 Bosnian KM for properties of which the value is thought to be substantially less. Wahhabi’s arrived in the area starting last July offering money or gold to those who agreed to sell their property. Mirko Agatić, a Croat owner of property in the area reported that these individuals came and introduced themselves simply as Muslims upon asking if he was willing to sell his property. Agatić, in an effort to render an offer impossible, said he would sell his property for no less than 200,000 Euros. Afterward, employees working on a highway near Banja Luka reportedly found a bag with documents in Arabic, a Qur’an and two camouflage uniforms while later a box with ammunition and mines was found near Dodik’s house.

“Vehabije: Dajemo 300,000 KM za bazu blizu Dodika”. Vesti Online. accessed January 27, 2012.

“Uhapšen vođa vehabija, planirao terorističke napade širom Evrope”. Press Online. Accessed January 26, 2012.šen+vođa+vehabija%2C+planirao+terorističke+napade+širom+Evrope.html

“Uhapšen Nusret Imamović”. RTS. Accessed January 25, 2012.šen+Nusret+Imamović.html

“U protekle dvje godine u BiH 26 slučajeva oduzimanje državljanstva”. Mostarlife. Accessed January 25, 2012.čajeva-oduzimanja-državljanstva

“Majke Srebrenice zovu na bojkot Kustendorfa”. Mondo. Accessed January 20, 2012.


A team of experts composed from various fields from Novi Pazar, are expected to present a plan that is to render the city of Novi Pazar and surrounding areas attractive for foreign investors as well as for tourists. There are several proposals around which the new and improved image of Novi Pazar is to revolve including the promotion of historical and cultural monuments, traditional culinary specialties from the area as well as the surrounding mountains of Golije. However, member of the tourist organization of Novi Pazar Husein Memić stated that jeans also should be promoted when talking about a new “brand” for the city. Many people, sais Husein, associate Novi Pazar with high quality jeans and Novi Pazar should return to promote its true and positive value instead of the constant political infighting the area has seen lately through. According to Husein, the constant political disagreements had a negative effect on the interest tourist show for the region and left a noticeable mark on the industry. Tigrin Kačar, while agreeing with Memić, adds that monuments and their upkeep should be central to the new “brand” of Novi Pazar. Monuments, says Kučar are a tourist attraction in other states while here, they are just a pale reminder of the past. Marko Vujačić who represents “Progres” also believes that Novi Pazar needs to overhaul its image adding that the city should become the greatest city in this region of Serbia. Kučar explains that Novi Pazar is home to the youngest population of Europe as well as to a great wealth of cultural and historical heritage in addition to distinct local products. Together, these factors create a strong basis for a positive rebranding of our city on which Novi Pazar is expected to spend around € 300,000. Remaking the image of Novi Pazar will contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic situation in addition to improving the living standard of Novi Pazar’s citizens.

Around 150 businessmen from Turkey in addition to professionals from BiH, Serbia and Montenegro were expected to visit the “Balkan Textile Fair” between January 26th and January 28th in Novi Pazar. Overall, there are 54 companies out if which 40 are from Turkey, while the other 14 are from Novi Pazar.

President Esad Džudžević of Sandžak’s Bosniak National Council (BNV) extended his efforts regarding the draft for the declaration on the status and implementation of Sandžak Bosniaks of Serbia. The document refers to Bosniaks of Sandžak, Serbia, as a minority group that is denied a national identity as well as individual and collective human rights. Džudžević reportedly sent a draft of the document to the head of the OSCE mission of Serbia Dimitrios Kypreos, head of the European parliament (EP) delegation to Serbia Eduard Kukan, vice chair of the EP delegation to South East Europe Jelko Kacin, OSCE high commissioner on national minorities Knut Vollebaek, secretary general for the council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland, head of the EU delegation Vincent Degert and director of office of South and Central Europe at the U.S. department Jennifer Brush as well as to every embassy present in Serbia. The document is divided into ten points including that: The BNV demands for the authorities’ prosecution for human rights violations and crimes committed against Bosniaks of Sandžak during the 1990’s; the immediate termination of court proceedings against 20 Bosniaks that advanced the program for the return of refugees and exiled Bosniaks – especially those from the boarder regions; the reorganization of the police, judiciary and other public services of Sandžak, that the six municipalities of Tutin, Novi Pazar, Nova Varoš, Sjenica, Prijepolje and Priboj be acknowledged as separate regional governments and that the economic and infrastructural development in the region be intensified while greater investments ought to be apportioned to Sandžak. Also, the BNV seeks the merger of the Islamic community of Serbia wile the seat thereof should be placed in Sandžak and proposes an inter-religious dialogue. Further, the BNV vigorously opposes the rehabilitation of Draža Mihailović and četnik movements. These stipulations, according the document, must be fulfilled in order for Bosniaks of Sandžak to accept Serbia as their homeland. Džudžević is reported to believe that the above systemic changes will solve the problems in the area.

“Bošnjacima se osporava pravo na nacionalni identitet”. Dnevni List Danas. Accessed January 24, 2012.

“Najviše gostiju iz Turske”. Blic Online. Accessed January 25, 2012.

“Džins kao brend Novog Pazara”. Blic. Online. Accessed January 23, 2012.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bosna i Herzegovina

For the first time in 16 years, agencies that supervise the work of government agencies, will be appointed by party cadres. Consequently, the central election commission, the anti corruption agency and the audit and procurement review body of BiH will, in addition to other agencies, under the “paw of the ruling party”. The general auditor of BiH, Milenko Šego noted that no other state in the world allows for their party to appoint their own staff of auditors. All states, assured Šego, abide by the laws of the audit by which no auditors should be members of the party. According to an article published by Radio Slobodna Evropa, after having won the election based on the promise to put the people front and center, the Socialdemokratska Partija Bosne i Herzegovine (SDP) rendered the people secondary. When asked about the recent developments, SDP vice president Damir Hadžić stated that “now, people that are very qualified and have clear perspectives for their future will have the chance to compete for jobs adding that political leanings are equally important”.

Amendments to the constitution of the Islamic Community of BiH discussed by the Constitutional Commission prevent the current reis ul ulema Mustafa Cerić to stand for reelection. In the past months, rumors held that Ceirić was to serve in his post for live. With the Commission’s decision, however, these rumors were dispelled. Jusuf Zahiragić, president of the Constitutional Commission, confirmed the above statement by which “a large number” of amendments have been adopted. However, Zahiragić did not specify the exact nature of the amendments adopted. As reported in the Sarajevo newspaper Dnevni avaza, Zahiragić rejected claims by which one amendment stipulated that the reis ul ulema who was not reelected would continue his service in “specific offices” – to be decided upon by the Islamic community – until the persons retirement. The amendments that were made public stipulate, among other things, that the person standing for office must not be younger than 40, and no older than 60 years of age. Mustafa Cerić will celebrate his 60th birthday this year. A possible candidate for the post is Muamer Zukorlić who is said to enjoy full support of Mustafa Zerić.

The World Bank’s executive committee approved a new strategy regarding BiH’s and the Banks partnership for the coming four years. According to Slobodna Evropa, a number of projects are to be realized with financial support coming from the World Bank. However, BiH did not yet take advantage of funds it was hitherto given while nevertheless paying penalty interests on the loans. At any rate, says head of the World Bank for Bosnia Anabela Abreu, BiH might be more receptive with plans for new projects in the picture. Abreu who is originally form Portugal warned BiH’s government and its citizens that the coming year would bare many challenges while reforms must be undertaken. She cited the example of her home-country Portugal that might be hit by the financial crisis comparing it to that of Greece’s ongoing crisis. Planned are, among others, irrigation projects, land registration, overhauling the navigation system of the Sava while additional funds are planned to help with Small and Medium Business (SME’s) enterprises – an important aggregator for job creation.

Reis ul ulama Mustafa Cerić criticized the Zahumsko-Herzegovinian bishop Gregori on the basis of insulting remarks against Cerić. He further criticized the Serbian Orthodox Church due to her interference in the internal affairs of the Islamic religious community. Bishop Grigori had earlier criticized Cerić who compared Croatia’s president Ivo Josipović and Serbian president Boris Tadić to Franjo Tuđman and Slobodan Milošević respectively. Following Cerić’s remarks, bishop Grigori countered that Josipović and Tadić were the most peaceful men that presided over the area in the past 100 years. Grigori stated that Cerić’s remarks exceeded every human, cultural and religious realm while Cerić himself acted as if BiH was his private property. The Islamic Community of BiH (IZ) meanwhile condemned the comments Grigori has brought forward against Cerić and likewise criticized the Serbian Orthodox Church for her meddling in the affairs of the Islamic IZ. The IZ further questioned patriarch Irinej’s arrival to Banja Luka were he consecrated the 9th of January – the date of the establishment of RS – and the date on which genocide against Bosniaks transgressed. What message, questioned the IZ, was sent to Bosniaks with this action, and why is the Serbian Orthodox Church silent regarding the aggression the Serbian state performed against the Islamic community of BiH?

Alžira Nuredin Gaci, originally from Algeria, has been deported from BiH upon having been declared a threat to the national security of BiH. Kurir reports that Gaci has fougt in the war durig the 1990’s before fleeing to Italy following the war. Gaci was also deported from Italy together with Frendi Omar who was also pronounced a threat to the national security of BiH. Later on, the two were once again located in BiH where both of them worked illegally. Omar was sent back to Algeria in January of 2011 while he was forbidden to reenter BiH for three years. Omar nevertheless came back in September of 2011 and was seen in the area of Čajniča. Relevant authorities are once again working on the deportation of Omar. Gaci came back in 2010 and worked in the Immigration Center in the south of Sarajevo. Gaci overstayed his visa and exhausted all possibilities of staying legally in BiH upon which he was deported to Algeria – he was forbidden to return to BiH for the duration of five years.

The diaspora community of BiH sent 1,3 billion Euros to Bosnia in the first nine months of 2011 which is more than was sent during the same period the previous year. However, the amount is much less compared to the “pre-crisis” years. According to the director of the economic institute “Bijeljine” Aleksa Milojević, the trend of reduced remittances is due to the migration of entire families as opposed to the past whereby only a few members of the family migrated to foreign countries. Consequently, these people have nobody from within their close family to send money to. In addition, families who migrate, more often integrate completely into their new homes and no longer buy land and properties in their country of origin. To be sure, remittances almost certainly never went into the realization of projects. Instead, this money was used for the consumption of foreign products. Thus, the money essentially returned to the state from which it was sent. This situation is likely to remain the same should the economy of BiH not be strengthened in the future.

“BiH: Prisušuje pomoć dijaspore”. Vesti Online. accessed January 17, 2012.

“BiH deportovala dvojicu alžirskih mudžahedina”. Kurir. accessed January 17, 2012.

“Cerić: Ko podržava svetosavizaciju pola BiH” Politika Online. accessed January 16, 2012.

“BiH treba učiti na greškama Grčke”. Radio Slobodna Evropa. accessed January 17, 2012.

“Cerić nema pravo na reizbor”. FOCUS. Accessed January 14, 2012.

“Novi presedan: Vlas će nadzirati partijski kadrovi”. Radio Slobodna Evropa. accessed January 13, 2012.


Upon Edhema Čamdžić’s refusal to accept the Medal of Honor by the president of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik, the Mufti of Sandžak Muamer Zukorlić pronounced his enthusiasm regarding Čamdžić’s decision. Zukorlić issued a statement on the Islamic Community of Serbia’s website that his act is the most honorable a mufti could perform under such difficult circumstances and in an area where genocide occurred. Zukorlić explained that Muslim residents of Sandžak understood especially well why this honor was to be given to Čamdžić as it served to disrupt and divide the ulema adding that this was done “according to a Belgrade recipe”. Belgrade, explains, Zukorlić, seeks to divide the ulema among those who allegedly wish to collaborate and those who do not by which Belgrade could have upheld Čamdžić as an example should the Banja Luka Mufti have accepted the medal. Serbia’s aggression that started to be directed toward the Islamic Community four years ago, said Zukorlić, was only the beginning and was aimed at fracturing the Islamic Community of BiH. This is why Zukrolić thanked Čamdžić in the name of the Islamic Community of Sandžak and Serbia and expressed his full support regarding the realization of rights for Muslims in Banja Luka, Republika Srpska.

President of the Bosniak National Council (BNV) Esad Džudžević reminded the Serbian government that the 60-day period, in which Bosniak Muslims of Sandžak should have received full rights, has come to an end. In statement released by the media, the BNV announced that it would hold a special meeting in which was to be decided how to internationalize and find a solution to the problem so as to protect the rights of Bosniaks guaranteed to them under the constitution.

According to Sandžak Live, the city of Novi Pazar is home to the youngest population of Europe. 49% percent of the city’s population is 29 years of age and younger as Džemaludin Paučinac who heads the City Office of the Young in Sandžak announced. The opening up of the Office for the Young as well as the Youth Center are both helping young people of Novi Pazar in gaining a better perspective while the young will provide the city with important creative input, said Paučinac. The centers offer training for the unemployed so as to become more attractive for the job market while other activities, including educational functions for the prevention of aids and excursions to foreign countries are planned.

After initial plans to build a highway from SJenica to Tutin or from Novi Pazar to Sjenica, Serbia’s minister for infrastructure Milutin Mrkonjić of Serbia’s Socialist Party (SP) announced that the project will not be realized. Originally, the construction of the highway was planned to be realized with the financial help from Turkey who allegedly loaned Serbia 30 million Euros for the project. Mrkonjić denied allegations by which Turkey withdrew funds for the project due to delays in the production thereof. Instead, said the minister, there were never any set plans for the construction of the highway and that Turkey was to pay for it. Turkish aid was simply to serve as an aid to the project while experts now estimate that it would be better if Serbia covered all expenses herself. This is contrary to reports released in 2009 according to which Tadić and Turkish president Abdulha Gul planned the realization of constructing highways that were to connect the towns of Tutin, Sjenica, Novi Pazar, Prijepolje, Novi Varoš and Proboj. The day was heralded as historic regarding the cooperation between Turkey and Serbia. Back then, Sandžak Press reports, it was stated that there would be no proper development if Sandžak remained disconnected from the rest of the country. Forwarding back to the future, Mrkonjić argued that the construction of a highway to and through Sandžak was not necessary. However, a couple of days later, minster of labour and social politics Rasim LJajić announced that the project might nevertheless be financed by Turkey. There were initial problems as funds for the first 51 kilometers from Beograd to Ljiga could not be secured while the three (not specified) Turkish construction companies asked for too much money regarding the price for the construction. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan offered another bid upon which Turkey lowered its price. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan will now pay for the first 51 kilometers for the highway due to a favorable 15-year loan at an interest rate of three percent. Meanwhile, so LJajić, it is possible that Turkey will construct the road over Pešter. The minister also recalled the renovation of the railway that will connect Raška to Novi Pazar – a project for which the Czek Republic indicated its interest. Also, there are plans for the implementation of charter flights between Kraljevo and Lađevcim. LJajić believes that without a proper infrastructure, nobody will show interest in investing in Sandžak which is why the realization of infrastructural projects remains important.

Ljajić announced that announced that Novi Pazar was to open free trade zones. The overall economic development will thus be strengthened while the inflow of foreign investment will be more attractive. Opening a free trade zone, said Ljajić, is the first step in aiding with the areas economic recovery.

“Carinski referat u Novom Pazaru postao ispostava”. Beta. accessed January 20, 2012.

“Autoput kroz Sandžak, možda, ipak, grade Turci. Radio Televizija Vojvodine. Accessed January 20, 2012.

“SP Mrkonjić: Sandžaku putevi nisu ni potrebni”. Sandžakpress. Accessed January 20, 2012.

“Novi Pazar namlađi grad u Evropi”. Sandžaklive. Accessed January 20, 2012.

“Džudžević: Internacionalizacija problema Sandžaka”. Radio Televizija Vojvodine. Accessed January 16, 2012.

“Zukorlić ponosan na Čamdžića”. B92. Accessed January 14, 2012.

Republika Srpska

In Banja Luka, Božidar Stanišljević was transferred from the prison in Sarajevo to the detention facility near Banja Luka as was announced by the prison’s director Pero Dunjić. Earlier this week, Stanišljević (69) was suspected to have planned a terrorist attack at the ceremony held in Banja Luka for the 20th year celebration of RS. Allegedly, Stanišljević confessed to have brought a bag to the festivities in which the police found automatic weapons with silencers, three kilos of plastic explosives, four bombs and a shotgun with 330 rounds of ammunition. According to the RS police, the lives of 1,000 people could have been jeopardized with the amount of ammunition carried by Stanišljević. The statement recalled the letter Džudžević had sent to president Boris Tadić, prime minister Mirko Cvetković and the parliamentary speaker Slavica Đukić Dejanović in which he demanded the unblocking of rights for Bosniaks resident in Sandžak.

“Osumnjičeni za terorizam pebačen iz sarajevskog u banjalučkui zatvor”. Blic. Accessed January 17, 2012.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bosna i Herzegovina

The online newspaper Vesti Online reported that after the Dayton Agreement of 1995, leaders in the West – specifically those from the U.S., Great Britain and France – thought that BiH would grow to become a stable, multiethnic and democratic state after having lead the state with a “strong hand” toward that goal. However, the West’s attitudes toward the Western Balkans, as Vesti reports, does not differ from other “outside powers” that dominated the region before for centuries. Since then, the West has dictated how governments and people in the Balkans ought to behave if they wish to be seen as a modern, progressive and forward-looking people. If people in the Balkans did not behave the way Westerners saw fit, local leaders were blamed. In the years immediately following the Dayton Agreements, plans unfolded as envisioned by the West while difficulties soon started to stunt significant progress. Leaders in the Balkans were blamed for the halting development as they were seen to reject the “intelligent and profound policies recommended by the U.S., Great Britain and France”. In reality, according to the report published by Vesti, the governmental experiment of BiH never really functioned the way it was envisioned by the West. “The idea” of BiH never received much support neither from the society nor from the politicians who were supposed to lead this new entity. The differences among the ethnicities have become too vast, broken apart and unnatural so as to be united under one governmental umbrella. As a result, BiH’s existence remains to be a fiction that is solely upheld due to the Wests pressure and the inability and/or unwillingness of BiH politicians to dissolve BiH into its constituent parts. As such, BiH consists of perhaps two, or two and one half states. The official, though weak leadership is located in Sarajevo while the true sovereignty lies in BiH’s federation of Republike Srbske and the Croatian community. The two communities’ strength relative to Sarajevo is also the reason why the government could survive for so long without the official existence of a ministerial council. The reality is that the official institution has no significant influence over the lives of BiH’s citizens. On one side there is strong identification of Serbs, political and economical, with Republika Srpska while the Federation of BiH is torn with disputes among “Muslims (Bosniaks) and Croats while it is institutionally weak. Perhaps, Vesti further states, the lesson learned in the Balkans is that the Balkans need not to follow suit to the West. This is a lesson not yet learned by Bosniaks, but neither by Belgrade. However, there is also no need for hostility, to the contrary. Further relations, however, ought to be based on mutual respect and not on weakness and submission. Policies taken in the future must reflect the desires and wishes of the local population as well as the ability to “say no” to the West if need be. In all, there appear to be two options, either; BiH will stay together for the coming years whereby the weak leadership would remain in Sarajevo. Republika Srpska, then, would assume greater responsibility thus further alienating itself from the federation and perhaps the West will grow uninterested with BiH with the coming of new administrations. The other variant is that BiH will disintegrate more formally which depends on the growing strength of the remaining entities should BiH collapse.

Džemaludin Latić, professor of Islamic studies at the University in Sarajevo has, according to Sandžak live, come to the center of attention. The reason for this is the publication of a text in which he talks about Serbia’s aggressive effort of equalizing the role of aggressor and victim in BiH, the late Alija Izetbegović and the need to implement the Sharia in the IZ of BiH. At the outset of the interview, Latić was asked about the current situation of BiH as well as to Republika Srpska’s efforts of increasing the persecution of those involved during the war in Bosnia – especially the “legendary army commander of the Fifth Corps Atif Dudaković”. These are the years, said Latić, that will determine the outcome of BiH as an independent and sovereign state while the long campaign against those who uphold the importance of BiH’s sovereignty serves the purpose of erasing the genocide against Bosniaks and hide the aggression BiH has experienced. The campaign, according to Latić is conducted in silent but has in mind to destroy the legal sovereignty of BiH given that RS as well as the HDZ coalitions seek to establish laws beneficial to them. BiH, should this continue, will seize to exist. The laws in question regard questions of state property and governmental aid the clearest evidence of which, as Latić stated, is the ejection of Bosniaks and Croats from the land registries of RS – a policy conducted by Dodik. Latić further quoted Miro Lazović who in the past stated, “you (the West) intervened when there was a need to introduce and maintain an embargo on defense weaponry then proceeded by creating this Frankenstein-like state. Now it is time to intervene again so as to resolve the current situation based on international law”. Latić also lamented the Democratic Action Party’s (SDA) ineffectiveness and stated that Alija Izetbegović, either under intense pressure or a senile state due to old age, destroyed the party by putting Sulejman Tihić in charge of SDA. Tihić, as Latić stated is a communist prosecutor and most importantly, a man who roots/has rooted for the establishment of a greater Serbia. The interview soon turned to the question about who is responsible for the distribution of the tekfir ideology in BiH. Latić answered to this question that he knows who is not (italics added) responsible for the distribution of the Wahhabi ideology in BiH. Our friend and brother, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a state established upon the values of the Qur’an and the Hadith, who itself is fighting against terrorism and those who call themselves Wahhabis, is not at fault. Asked about the Turkish role and political involvement of the Turkish state in the Balkans, Latić explained that Turkish involvement “is a blessing in disguise and one that must be accepted and used”. Regarding as to how the Sharia law would be implemented as well as if such an endeavor is feasible; Latić explained that Bosniaks never had the chance to elect their religious representatives. This, explains Latić, has always been decided by the regime under which Bosniaks lived at the time. This, however, is not consistent under the Sharia’s electoral law that stipulates “unlimited and active voting rights for all Muslims according to Qur’anic values and procedures”.

Among the proposals to be considered by the new council of ministers of BiH will be the proposal regarding the de-radicalization of groups that pose a security threat as was announced by minister for security Sadik Ahmetović. The document, so the minister, has been in preparation before while the attack on the U.S. embassy sped up the development thereof. Ahmetović stated that he had warned those who sought to use the problem of Wahhabism and Salafism for political purposes following the attack. Doing so, the minister added, would obstruct the identification of those people that pose a potential terrorist threat. The problem is that there is no precedent according to which BiH officials could act to resolve the problem on the ground. His proposal, so Ahmetović, would change these circumstances.

Mevlid Jašarević, while waiting for his indictment, requested better prison conditions. Radio Televizija Srbije (RTS) reported that Jašarević’s lawyer Senad Dupovac, meanwhile, traveled to Gornja Maoča and Austria so as to be better prepared to defend his client. Jašarević is currently held at the central prison in Sarajevo from where he asked to be transferred to the court prison of Sarajevo because of favorable prison conditions. Jašarević, however, stated that he does not recognize the court due to its artificial creation while the court is worth nothing in the eyes of Allah.

“Jašarević traži bolje uslove”. RTS. Accessed January 11, 2012.šarević+traž+bolje+uslove.html

“BiH se sprema za deradikalizaciju vehabija”. Radio Televizija Vojvodine. Accessed January 9, 2012.

“Latić – Novopazaarski mešihat je legalni sastavni dio IZ BiH”. Sandž accessed January 16, 12.

“Možda se BiH razbije na dve tri države”. Vesti Online. accessed January 7, 2011.

Republika Srpska

Mufti Čamdžić declined to receive a medal of honor that was awarded to him by president Milorad Dodik of Republika Srpska (RS). While the Mufti of RS was pleased that his efforts in bringing about peace and reconciliation were to be honored, he could not receive the medal as long as his congregation – Muslim Bosniaks – lived as second-class citizens, jobs in state run institutions were not equally divided among the population and people were free of fear in their houses and mosques while necessary steps would be taken so that people could return, and stay in their homes. With his rejection, the Mufti seeks to send a signal to the authorities of Banja Luka and the international community that Muslim Bosniaks are not satisfied with their situation in regards to their human rights.

Islamic organization across Bosnia i Herzegovina released a statement according to which January 9th should be declared a day of genocide in Bosnia, and not marked as a day on which Republica Srpska was established. Referring to the statutes of the international criminal court of The Hague, Islamic Organizations of BiH believe that the month of January ought to be declared as “days of truth” in remembrance of the genocide that was committed by the state institution of RS. Marking the day with celebrations, as Blic reported, would just reopen wounds. As announced on the official website of BiH’s Islamic Rijaset, the Young Muslims propose to hold nationwide book presentations, exhibitions, roundtables, panel discussions and lectures so as to talk about genocide.

“Islamske organizacije u BiH protiv obeležavanja Dana RS”. Blic Online. accessed January 6, 2011.

“Ljudska prava ispred ordenja”. accessed January 7, 2012.


Muamer Zukorlić, chief Mufti of Serbia’s Islamic Community (IZ) seeks to establish an organization to be called the World Congress of Bosniaks (SBK). Zukorlić wishes to unite all Bosniaks under this umbrella organization to be represented with a seat at the United Nations (UN). He bases his proposal on the Jewish Congress and the people of Israel who, after the holocaust, received nation/statehood and subsequently a seat in the General Assembly. The close associate of Zukorlić Samir Tandir stated that BiH is not able to help Bosniaks resident in Sandžak while they are threatened and discriminated against. Therefore, said Tandir, additional measures must be taken – one of which is the creation of the SBK. The idea regarding the establishment of the SBK was received negatively in Belgrade where the question prevails whether a religious community is able to gain a seat at the UN. Sociologist Đorđević stated that only entities such as states – governments – can gain seats at the UN while religious communities can not, adding that while Israel does in fact have a seat at the UN, Jewish communities of Serbia, Albania and France do not. In Đorđević’s view, Zukorlić’s action is carried out in view of autonomy for Sandžak. Autonomy, according to the Sociologist, cannot be based on one faith and/or nationality only as there are other peoples that live in the area. Đorđević believes that the only accomplishment brought about with such measure will be the destabilization of Sandžak and thus the greater region. Rasim Ljajić, minister of labour and social policy, meanwhile found the idea amusing stating that “it would be best if Zukorlić sought to become Secretary General, a proposal that is equivalent to his (Zukorlić’s) own”. Belgrade’s Mufti Muhamed Jusufspahić who is known to be a critique of Zukorlić simply stated that it is a struggle for the national question of Bosniaks while Aida Ćorović, head of the Urban In NGO, stated that the idea was part of the pre-election campaign.

After Adem Zilkić’s recent proposal for Muamer Zukorlić and Zilkić to retire from the IZ and Zukorlić’s refusal to follow suit, Zilkić now states that Zukorlić is involved in criminal activities on the basis of which he could be charged should he leave office. Zilkić stated in an interview with Pravda that Zukorlić’s post protects him from “certain lawsuits related to crime”. Zilkić demented that Serbia’s Islamic community is an artificial creation. Instaed, Zilkić said, the Islamic community of Serbia has existed continuously since 1886 adding that it is Zukorlić’s Islamic community that is the true artificial creation and not based on the legal statues of the Serbian state. Answering the question as to the main problem of the IZ, Zilkić answered that there are two communities, one that was established lawfully and functions within legal boundaries while the other community operates in a grey zone. Zilkić argued that Zukorlić uses the IZ so as to promote his own interests adding that Zukorlić would not be able to “do what he does” where he not operating within this grey zone. Zilkić further assumed that Zukolrić’s main support came from Mustafa Cerić as well as from the former government. This is made evident, so Zilkić, in all of Zukolić’s unlawful actions while nobody seems to persecute him on the basis of those. Zilkić, however, did not specify which actions he was talking about nor did he mention any names associated regarding Zukorlić’s associates that are allegedly tied to Serbia’s former government. Asked if Zukorlić is not being scrutinized by the government on the basis of the governments need to secure votes from the Bosniak community, Zilkić stated that this is not the case as Zukorlić never made any political attempts. Zilkić’s involvement with the Bosniak National Council, Zilkić added, was more due to the indifference of the two other political options Bosniaks faced – the SDA and SDP. Further questions regarded the mediation process in which Turkey holds a diplomatic role – no significant progress, however, has been achieved at the time the interview was conducted while no direct contact with Turkey has been established yet regarding the mediation process. While politicians and religious leaders take active roles regarding the unification process of the IZ – or lack thereof – believers are not part of the bigger picture. According to Zilkić, without the influence of political and national factors, a solution could be found more easily.

The Turkish association “Forum” and the local government of Novi Pazar, Sandžak, are organizing the fair “Balkan Textiles 2012”. The Turkish ministry for economics is sponsoring this event that is held for the first time. There will be about 40 Turkish textile manufacturers at the fair in addition to local producers of textile, footwear and furniture. The local government foresees this fair to be the largest of its kind in the Balkans to which all textile production companies from Serbia and other regions are welcome. The goal of this fair is the establishment of business connections while getting to know one another. The local government of Novi Pazar has signed a five-year contract with Forum, located in Istanbul, according to which the fair will be held in Novi Pazar for the near future.

“Magnet za investore”. Dnevni List Danas. accessed January 10, 2012.

“Adem Zilkić: Zukorlić je umešan u kriminal”. Sandž accessed January 9, 2012.

“Zukrolić traži stolicu u UN”. BalkanexpressRB. Accessed January 7, 2012.