Sunday, April 29, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Belgrade based mufti Muhamed Jusufspahić expressed skepticism regarding Sandžak based mufti Zukorlić’s announcement that he will run for president of Serbia come May 6th. Jusufspahić asked if it was normal for someone who before called on civil disobedience now runs for president. On the other hand, Jusufspahić explained that Zukorlić’s running for Serbia’s presidency shows that Serbia is a free country. Jusufspahić added that Serb and Muslim residents of Serbia share the same problems and joys, regardless what faith or ethnicity they belong to. Muslims, says Jusufspahić, get all the rights Serbians get adding that no one cane take those rights away, except they themselves.
In related news, president of the Assembly of the Islamic Community of Bosnia i Herzegovina (BiH) Safet Softić explained that there exists a decision regarding the noninvolvement of religious authorities may not promote political parties or in any way participate in elections. Softić recalled that a case in which a mufti was dismissed for involvement in politics adding that technically, the Islamic Community of Sandžak belongs to BiH. Zukorlić, so Softić, is thus under the jurisdiction of BiH’s Islamic Community.
According to the agency Factor Plus, Tomislav Nikolić, leader of the Serbia’s Progressive Party (SNS) leads the polls with 35.8 percent. Current president Boris Tadić came in close second in the polls with 35.7 percent. The research survey that filled out by 1160 adults between April 2nd and 8th showed that Ivica Daćić, leader of Serbia’s Socialist Party (SPS) came in 11.2 percent; Čedomir Jovanović, leader of the movement Preokret and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), came in fourth with 5.6 percent; Vojislav Koštunica, leader of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) came in with 5 percent; and Zoran Stanković, leader of the United Regions of Serbia (URS) came in with one percent. A spokesperson at Factor Plus explained that the research did not include Muamer Zukorlić and Jadranka Šešelj as both announced their bid for presidency too late. Regarding the parliamentary elections, SNS would receive 33.4 percent while DS were to came in second with 29.4 percent. In third place came the coalition of the Socialist Party of Serbia, United Pensioners of Serbia and United Serbia with 11. 6 percent. Preokret too made it above the five percent benchmark with 6.3 percent, as did the SRS with 5.7 percent and the DSS with 5.5 percent. According to the research, 51 percent confirmed their intention to vote while 41 percent said they knew for whom to vote on election day. 60 percent of Serbia’s rural and urban population expressed their doubt whether or not anything will change after election day and nearly 70 percent consider the party for which they will vote untrustworthy.
“Faktor Plus: Tadić i Nikolić skoro izjednačeni”. Polika. Accessed April 9, 2012.http://www.politika.rs/rubrike/Politika/Faktor-plus-Tadic-i-Nikolic-skoro-izjednaceni.lt.html
“Jusufspahić: Srbija slobodna zemlja”. B92. Accessed April 9, 2012. http://www.b92.net/info/izbori2012/vesti.php?yyyy=2012&mm=04&dd=09&nav_id=598728
Bosnia i Herzegovinan (BiH)
During the past weeks in BiH, dissatisfaction has grown louder which has experts wondering if BiH is ready for a large-scale revolt that could grow into an avalanche of social discontent. The number of workers and pensioners on the street is growing, unemployment has long surpassed half a million and BiH’s credit rating is nearly as low as Greece’s. Former members of the armed forces are protesting in front of Sarajevo’s institutions, and operating firms all across the country work barely at a minimum. Agricultural workers too announced their intent to demonstrate. Is the time ripe for a Balkan Spring as citizens no longer have anything to lose? Meanwhile, are large scale demonstrations even feasible in a country in which trade unions have a less than doubtful partnership with the government? Professor Ivan Šajković explains that citizens of BiH no longer have faith in their unions. Sociology professor Srđan Puhalo added that in Bih, citizens no longer now what it means to lead a normal life, what it means to live off of ones work. The only question is how far down we can go, said Puhalo, adding that he believes citizens of BiH reached the bottom from which one cannot fall any further. Professor of philosophy Enver Kazaz, however, does not believe there will be large civic disobedience. Should it happen nonetheless, Kazaz adds, the rebellion will be chaotic. The unions should then the be held accountable. Yet, what if, hypothetically, large scale rebellions transpire and topple the current government? What could replace the current chaotic situation of BiH too is a question asked by professor Šijaković. Meritocracy, he explained, would have to be prevalent method of selecting people for leadership positions.
According to independent news outlets, new Wahhabi basis are allegedly forming in the village of Ovše by Maglaja. Initial information about the suspected training center surfaced one and a half years ago while journalists acquired images with which to proof the existence. The State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) stated it has information according to which followers of the Wahhabi movement settled in Ovše. Individuals were found cleaning debris and weeds around their acquired property and property intended for purchase. The operation is said to have been organized by Izet Hadžić who is supposedly a fevoted follower of Nusret Imamović. To prevent further media exposure of “their Vienna Headquarters”, Hadžić is said to have been directed to Luxembourg which known for its numerous followers of the Wahhabi movement.
“Otkrivena nova baza vehabija kod Maglaja”. Mondo. Accessed April 10, 2012.http://www.mondo.rs/s240461/Info/ex-YU/Otkrivena_nova_baza_vehabija_kod_Maglaja.html
“Balkansko proleće sad ili nikad.” DW.DE. accessed April 9, 2012.http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15867176,00.html
Sunday, April 8, 2012
During his trip through Sjenica, Novi Varoš and Prijepolje, leader of Serbia’s Progressive Party (SNS) Tomislav Nikolić announced that he wishes for Serbia to join the EU adding that, however, there might be some difficulty should the Union demand too much from Serbia. Nikolić explained that Serbia should seek out friends anywhere so as to avoid that Serbia be influenced by one-sided ideas. Nikolić stated that much effort must be devoted to said area because many people are unemployed and thus are prone to leave the villages. The government, said Nikolić, must render life in Serbia’s villages reasonable and acceptable adding that life in the villages is in fact better than struggling in the city adding that, however, it is obvious that state services are lacking in this area (Southern Serbia). The next government, explained Nikolić, will have to restore agricultural production because it presents the easiest and fastest way of restoring previous investments.
Mufti Muamer Zukorlić has announced that he will run for president in the upcoming presidential elections. Zukorlić explained that Serbia is on the brink of collapse adding that he could present a genuine rescue program that will be acceptable to all citizens of Serbia. Presidential elections will be held on the 6th of May together with the parliamentary, provincial and local elections. Zukorlić expects to secure a serious number of votes adding that he will not disappoint those that voted for him. Mufti Zukorlić intends to give up his leading function in the religious community “when he wins the presidential election”. Thus far, contenders for Serbia’s presidential election were Ivica Dačić from Serbia’s Socialist Party, Boris Tadić from the Democratic Party and Tomislav Nikolić from Serbia’s Progressive Party, Čedomir Jovanović from the Liberal-Democratic Party, Vojislav Koštunica from the Democratic Party of Serbia, the candidate from the United Regions of Serbia party Zoran Stanković, the leader of the Vojvodinian Hungarian Alliance Istvan Pastor, leader of the Dveri Movement Vladan Glisić and Jadranka Šešelj, the spouse of Vojislav Šešelj will go in with Serbia’s Radical Party.
“I Muftija Zukorlić se kandiduje za predsednika Srbije”. Press Online. Accessed April 7, 2012. http://www.pressonline.rs/sr/glasaj2012/Najnovije_vesti/story/213436/I+muftija+Zukorlić+se+kandiduje+za+predsednika+Srbije.html
“Nikolić: EU ako ne traže previse”. B92. Accessed April 1, 2012. http://www.b92.net/info/izbori2012/vesti.php?yyyy=2012&mm=03&dd=31&nav_id=596145
The city administration of Novi Pazar and the German organization Help signed a contract that will finance small business projects. The value of the project is €135,000. The local government will provide €48,000, the rest will be provided by foreign donors. Jelena Jelenković who is part of the organization in Kraljevo explained that beneficiaries for this project will receave €2,500 with which they can buy equipment and supplies, as well as conduct professional training for small businesses. Help has provided €1.75 to support small business in 15 municipalities of Serbia. The German donor organization has been present in Serbia for the past 12 years during which it has helped launch four thousand business ideas. In Novi Pazar, the organization has supported 80 such projects. The last project was carried out last year during which 32 farmers received €1,500 for greenhouses and other equipment.
Members of the police department in Prijepolje found nine illegal immigrants from Algeria and referred them to the office for asylum in Belgrade. The Algerian nationals entered Serbia illegally without possession of any valid documentation. The government has now appealed to its citizens to take note of people who’s appearance and behavior suggests that they are foreigners. This appeal is justified on the basis of the recent phenomenon by which many illegal foreigners entered Serbia frequently.
The association of public prosecutors and their deputies implemented a judicial project in southern Serbia to address the fight against inefficiency and discrimination. The project is aimed at reducing discrimination on the ground of ethnic and religious differences and will present the basis for a national model of judicial protection for victims of discrimination. Focus groups have been created so as to learn about discrimination and the results have shown that in Novi Pazar, people with disabilities and Roma most often experienced discrimination. The most common form of discrimination is found in the employment sector. Research also showed that there is no real distinction when it comes to intolerance related to race and religion.
“Krivično delo koje se još uvek nedovoljno poznaje”. Dnevni list Danas. accessed April 6, 2012. http://www.danas.rs/danasrs/srbija/hronika/krivicno_delo_koje_se_jos_uvek_nedovoljno_poznaje.73.html?news_id=237731
“Prijepolje: Otkriveno 9 ilegalaca”. B92. Accessed April 5, 2012. http://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2012&mm=04&dd=05&nav_category=12&nav_id=597719
“Za mali biznis 135.000 evra”. Dnevni list Danas. accessed April 5, 2012. http://www.danas.rs/danasrs/srbija/hronika/za_mali_biznis_135000_evra.73.html?news_id=237601
Bosnia i Herzegovina (BiH)
According to a document published by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, BIH will disintegrate come 2025. People that now live in the territories of BiH will peacefully part ways with the help of the European Union, so the Foundation. Between 2013 and 2020, so the foundation, BiH’s neighbors will join the EU while BiH will remain isolated due to its unresolved national question. By 2025, the international and BiH’s community will realize that peaceful separation is the only solution as most politicians and citizens of BiH encounter increasing frustration over the continuous failing process to unite the country. Under this scenario, the dissolution is expected to come by way of consensus between the EU, U.S., Russia and Turkey, and consent by the constituent peoples of BiH in 2022 at which point the Dayton 2 conference is to be held. There are four other possible scenarios proposed by the publication; by 2025, the status of BiH will remain unchanged but will be part of the EU; BiH will be a decentralized and functional state; BiH regions will integrate with neighboring states and fourth, BiH will become a functional and integrated state after violent conflict and NATO intervention. However, Paul Pasch who serves as the Foundations director, explained that these scenarios serve as intellectual exercises and are meant to encourage BiH policy makers to undertake reforms regarding their political strategies. Tanja Topić who heads the Friedrich Ebert Fondation in Banja Luka explained that the foundation sought to encourage and open up debate on BiH by way of this provoking document. The document was not created maliciously but instead meant to shake up BiH politicians to improve internal relations.
April fifth marked the 2oth anniversary when two women were killed by Serbian snipers at the peace rally in Sarajevo, marking the beginning of BiH’s war. The 1990’s war in BiH now also serves instructive purposes as we whiteness many characteristics that resemble current occurrences in Syria. Similarities lie in the terrible barbarity, sectarian slaughter, mass movements of people, religions, sects, tribes and clans. Once again we are faced with warnings related to topography, this time coming from Syria’s deserts, mountains and cities; and once again we hear that arming the Syrian opposition could worsen the killing. All those arguments were brought forward during the war in BiH. Robert Kaplan’s Balkan Ghosts – read by former president Bill Clinton - so Radio Slobodna Evropa, laid bare – layer by layer – the intricacies of ethnicity and religion found on the Balkan Peninsula and described a whirl of harmonious intolerance among Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Islam and Judaism. Kaplan portrayed the Balkans as a mysterious, exotic place of blood feuds and incomprehensible politics and sent a clear message – not to enter the Balkans. Clinton followed this advice and did not enter Bosnia until it became necessary upon which NATO ended the killing. Today, the Friends of Syria are slowly coming to the conclusion that something else must be done. A coalition was to be assembled, but this effort failed due to Russian and Chinese opposition. A new attempt is now brought forward, the killings could be ended by means of communication…Many of the same methods were applied in BiH, lots of promises that do little to end the conflict. The Syrian uprising is now a full-fledged civil war. More than 9,000 people have perished, mostly civilians. For Syria’s president Bašar al Assad, there is no coming back. He will never consent to any plan according to which he will have to give up power, as this would indicate the end of him. The stakes get higher and higher, the death toll rises. In the meantime, the Friends of Syria are upset. During the meeting in Istanbul last Sunday, U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton stated that Assad ought to be judged on the basis of his actions, and not on the basis of his promises regarding what he will do. Exactly; what Assad does is killing his fellow citizens: Syrians. What others are doing: NOTHING. Hillery Clinton is the last person in the world that has to remind us about the lessons of BiH. She was in the White House when her husband was “converted”, and approved to the airstrikes that finally ended the war. How is it possible that she is listening to the same arguments on why not to arm the Syrian opposition, and against the bombardment of Bašar’s military. She listens to the same experts that warn her about Shiites, Sunnis and Alavites and how nobody really knows who leads the opposition. There surely is confusion, though there is always confusion. It is the United States that ought to bring back order. It is an art form as to how to address these issues; yet, the U.S. sate department knows how to do it. BiH showed that even in war there exists progress. Syria’s war will become much worse. Many more people will be killed, and then the U.S. will have to show Turkey and Saudi Arabia how to clean up the mess. The bridge on which the two women were killed will surely serve as the place where the 20th commemoration of BiH’s war will be held. The Friends of Syria should attend this event. They would learn a lot there.
“Bosanski rat nudi lekcije za sirijiski sukob”. Slovodna Evropa. accessed April 3, 2012. http://www.slobodnaevropa.org/content/bosanski_rat_nudi_lekcije_za_sirijski_sukob/24536117.html
“Bosna se raspada do 2025”. Brčko.net. accessed April 3, 12. http://ebrcko.net/vijesti-brcko/bosna-se-raspada-do-2025.html