Bosnia: Muslims upset by Wahhabi leaders

world | Nov 13, 2006 | By Adrian Morgan

The problem of Wahhabism, the Salafist doctrine which originated in Saudi Arabia, which makes few compromises with anything other than its own doctrines, has led to conflict with the Muslims of Bosnia. Wahhabism was an alien ideology to the Muslims of former Yugoslavia, though in the Bosnian war of 1992 - 1995, it became imported by radical Muslims. These had been invited to the region by then-president Alija Izetbegovic. Muslim fighters had flocked from various Muslim countries, including Middle Eastern countries such as Syria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Izetbegovic was president of Bosnia-Hercegovina from 1990 onwards. When the civil war began in 1992, he invited Mujahideen fighters to the region, incorporating them into the Bosnian amy. They formed the majority of the 7th Muslim Brigade when it was founded on November 19, 1992, and in August 13, 1993 foreign Mujahideen formed the "El Mujahed" Unit.

Izetbegovic was portrayed by the Clinton administration as a moderate, though it was recently revealed that he was in the pay of a Saudi Al Qaeda operative, Yassin al-Khadi (Yassin al Qadi). Izetbegovic was also in direct communication with Osama bin Laden, according to British journalist Eve-Ann Prentice.

When the Dayton agreement officially ended the civil conflict in 1995, the Mujahideen remained. They have caused conflict with Muslims in Bosnia, and also in neighboring Serbia, as they deem the "liberalism" of the Muslims who lived in Tito's Yugoslavia to be heretical.

Today, states AKI, an unofficial leader of the Bosnian Wahhabis, Imad al-Husin, has resigned. Husin, a Syrian who also goes under the name "Abu Hamza", has said that he is unable to "express himself in the Bosnian language in order to be understood correctly".

Recently, al-Husin's comments, which were made on local television, drew sharp reactions from local Muslims. He said their leaders followed a "communist Islam" which had been introduced by General Tito.

On Friday, November 10, leaders of Bosnia's Muslims read out out a resolution in all of the nation's mosques, according to the newspaper Nezavisne Novine. This resolution "condemns and finds undesirable in Bosnia those who bring unrest into mosques under the excuse of implementing the 'real' faith."

The resolution was drafted by the official Islamic Community. The head of this group, Reiss-ul-Ulema Mustafa Ceric, said: "One who cannot accept and understand it, does not have to stay, and does not have to come." The acceptance refers to Bosnian moderate Islam.

40% of the population of the country is Muslim. Orthodox Christian Serbs comprise 31% and Catholic Croats comprise 10% of the population of 3.8 million. The horrors of the civil war still lie beneath the surface. At the weekend, it was announced that another mass grave, containing 100 bodies of Muslims murdered in the Srebrenica massacre, was uncovered in Snagovo village, about 31 miles north of Srebrenica. About 8,000 Muslims were killed in this atrocity, which took place in July 1995, when Serbs led by Ratko Mladic and Radnan Karadic overran the UN enclave of Srebrenica on July 11.

Many of the Wahhabis settled in Bosnia after the civil war, marrying local women, but also a sizeable number were granted citizenship by Izetbegovic in exchange for their fighting in the Bosnian civil war. In September, 50 of these individuals had their citizenship status revoked. SInce then 100 more individuals have been prevented from claiming citizenship rights. 250 more were under investigation, while the body which is charged to reconsider the citizenship status of these former Mujahideen states that 1,500 cases will eventually be examined.

Reiss-ul-Ulema Mustafa Ceric of Bosnia's Islamic Community has condemned the stripping of 150 people's citizenship, saying that "the state doesn't have the right to discriminate based on religion, appearance, nationality or origin."

The Wahhabis are blamed for setting up terror ca



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Adrian Morgan is a British bas
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.

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