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BOSNIAN MUSLIMS 1

Patricia Fisher

Yugoslavia Assignment / Geography 1101

Dr. Engstrom

30 November 2010

PART 1: THE BOSNIAN MUSLIMS

Benjamin von Kallay. As for their religion. The language spoken by Bosniaks is the Bosnian language. and the Bosnian Croats embrace the Roman Catholic religious traditions. Bosnian Croats and Muslims favored independence. wanted to create a specifically Bosniak national awareness in the region’s political makeup. only sixty-three percent of the electorate favored independence for the nations. During the mid 15th century. Unfortunately.BOSNIAN MUSLIMS 2 Bosnian Muslims formed their identity in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the reign of the Ottoman Empire in areas of the former Yugoslavia. Although separate from Serbia and . When the break-up of Yugoslavia began in the early 1990’s. and the majority of the population voted for independence. Bosniaks identify as Muslims (Bosniaks are also known as Bosnian Muslims). The nation voted. and this brought about many religious changes. however. Therefore. the Ottoman Empire acquired Bosnia. Croat. Bosnia-Herzegovina was officially recognized as an independent state between December 1991 and April 1992 by both the EU and the United States. who was the joint Finance Minister from 1882-1903 in Croatia. However. This difference in beliefs is a primary reason for the “ethnic cleansing” that took place in the early 1990’s. those that remained in Yugoslavia were outsiders in their own country. Majority voted. and Muslim political parties each identified and contended from 1906-1908. The amount of population that converted to Islam was tremendous. however. Bosnian Serbs preferred to remain one united Yugoslavia. but the Bosnian Serbs in the region are Eastern Orthodox. causing his plans to unravel. because most Ottoman Muslims fled to Turkey. Bosniaks found themselves in a situation where they would meet opposition whether Yugoslavia remained united or chose to separate. Bosnia’s Muslims were left to fend for themselves in Yugoslavia. On the other hand. others in the region speak what is known as Serbo-Croatian or either Serbian or Croatian. the Serb. After the Ottoman Empire retreated from the region.

as Serbs intended for them to eventually die. Because these countries allowed Bosniak refugees. 1995 where Bosnian Serbs killed approximately 8. As for the current political condition. Finally. and Serb troops soon shut them down. Germany. and others live in areas of Europe where they fled during the Bosnian war of 1992. and then force the women and children to leave their homes. Bosnian Serbs took Sarajevo under siege and thousands of Muslims were held in prison camps where they were brutalized and held against their will. The prison camps that held the Bosnian Muslims were institutions for much inhumane treatment. the violence continued. The highest recorded massacre was in Srebrenica in July. They would kill all fighting aged men. Croatia. the majority of Bosniaks live in Bosnia-Herzegovina. the presidency in Bosnia-Herzegovina rotates every eight . The “ethnic cleansing” waged by the Serbs forced many Bosnian Muslims to leave their homes. This way. the prison camps built by the Serbs were no longer needed. During this war. Italy. Many were not given food or water. and Great Britain accepted many Bosniak refugees who fled from their native land. Therefore. women were often raped by Serb troops to break down the morale of any Muslim opposition. Bosnian Serbs declared war on the Bosnian Muslims in April of 1992. France. there were still many Bosnian Muslims living in the same regions as Bosnian Serbs. many Bosnian Serbs remained in the country of Bosnia-Herzegovina and continued to have conflicts with the Bosnian Muslims in the country.000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys. Such brutality forced many Muslim refugees to flee to other European countries. Today. However. they could easily overtake the cities they attacked. In addition. in 1995. some live in Serbia and Montenegro. and Bosnian Serbs took over all Muslim territory in Sarajevo during the war. the policies implemented through the Dayton Agreements ended the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.BOSNIAN MUSLIMS 3 Croatia. Such was the case of Sarajevo.

the region is merely validating what the war in 1992 was all about: separating the Bosniaks. Although the ethnic groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina have experienced a considerable amount of conflict. the EU has still not allowed them to do such. economic. and since the Dayton Accords. they have functioned simultaneously with the Serb and the Croat government officials. In addition. Some argue that there is a fear of Islamic fundamentalism and global terrorism if the EU were to allow visa-free travel to the Bosniaks. In addition. For example. who are each elected for a 4-year term. Bosniaks are still struggling to maintain their identity in their own country as well as in Serbia and Montenegro.BOSNIAN MUSLIMS 4 months between Bosniaks. and cultural conditions. the Bosniaks hold equal roles in legislature and judiciary branches of government. Tolerance might . and Croats. recent polls show that these groups now carry increased tolerance towards each other. They believe that through their current political. although Bosnia-Herzegovina has met all 167 requirements to become a visa-free travel zone. Serbs. the Bosniak’s economy suffers due to the instability of their infrastructure.