A blog on Bosnia, the Balkans, and other random thoughts.
So much publicity for 300 alleged "mujaheeden". It's like 0.000000000000000000001% of Bosniak population.Ops, Hecimovic claims he has a list of 850, I guess those people brought their families or multiplied by sex.Why hasn't Mr. Hecimovic counted how many Christian extremists we have in Bosnia? I am refering to Christian terrorists who came from Russia and other third world countries to kill muslims and spread orthodox Christianity in the last war.Anyways, thanks to Mr. Hecimovic, left-revisionists and Srebrenica Genocide deniers will now have one more source to use when trying to look credible in pointing out their invented stories and genocide denial.Screw mujahedeens and other garbage, we don't need them. But let's put things into the context, for every damn mujaheeding in Bosnia, we had at least 10 well armed Christian terrorists.
Dan, I think it's fairly well accepted that there were some mujahedin who were responsible for a number of atrocities. Whatever the accuracy of this report it's better to know about their origins, the nature of their involvement and, as you rightly point out, their relative numerical insignificance.On balance I think that issues that pro-Serb apologists use to obscure the balance of responsibility, by arguing that the public has been duped or kept in the dark about the misdeeds of the other side, are better brought into the open.
Great find, Shaina. Fascinating read. I agree with Owen--it's best to get to the bottom of this, rather than dismissing any and all concerns about the presence of mujahideen as being nothing but anti-Bosnian Muslim propaganda. It's clear that this was a real problem, and a real threat to the secular, tolerant nature of Bosnian Islam, at least in the Zenica area.
First of all:Just as it is "wrong" to overexaggerate the influence of the Mujahedin for political purposes and ignore the presence of Christian extremist fighters (on both the Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat side); it is also "wrong" to ignore the presence of the Mujahedin for poltical purposes; and dismiss those Bosnians who are critical of the Mujahedin, like Hecimovic as somehow being tools for Johnstone and company.Secondly:The show was hosted on Bosnian TV, by one of the most respected journalists in Bosnia; and featured reporters from one of the most respected political/investigative magazines in Bosnia (Both the host and the journalist are from BH DANI). That of course does not mean that there can't be any criticism warrented at their report; or that there isn't the possibility of any mistakes with the report. After all, there have been numerous examples of respected American journalists who have inadvertently made errors in their reports and investigations. However, it seems a bit premature to automatically dismiss their report outright; especially given the fact that they are a respected and credible source of information. Third:The mujahadin were a problem. Fully acknowledging the numerical weakness of the Mujahadin; it is proven beyond any doubt that a number of Mujahadin fighters were associated with atrocities against civilians & soliders. Just a cursory look at the war in central Bosnia and can come to the conclusion that a number of atrocities perpetrated against Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Serb civilians, were done by the Mujahadin. All war criminals; regardless of their numbers should be brought to justice-and some of the Mujahadin just that- war criminals.Fourth:the mujahadin are still posing problems for Bosniaks in central Bosnia. There have been numerous reports of Mujahadin in central bosnia, especially in the Zenica area trying to dictate to the locals how they should behave and express themselves religiously. There have been cases of mujahadin who have abused the locals for not following the religion according to the narrow Whabbist principles that the Mujahadin follow. There have also been some Mujahadin fighters who have married Bosnian women, and who have children with these women; and therefore have an even stronger tie with Bosnia than other fighters. The question is how to assimilate them into Bosnian society. Everyone should have the right to pracitice his or her religion as they want to (as long as it doesn't conflict with the human rights of others); how to balance the various confessions and the various degrees of religious commitment/non-commitment (certainly there can be problems of secular minded people abusing more religiously conservative people as well) is a problem that many countries have to face. As a democracy; how Bosnia deals with this problem will be interesting to see.
Because the number seems to garnishing some constroversy: Here is the passage about the numbers from the transcript:"Host] -- The public has different information about the number of mujahidin in B-H. What was the result of your research?[Hecimovic] -- I have a list of 850 names, but it is impossible to determine how many actual people there are behind the 850 identities. There are persons who have been using multiple identities, they registered themselves under different names and got different documentation of the Army of B-H or citizenships on several different bases and identities. "There are also some quotes from Halilovic on the problems with the Mujadeen fighters towards the end-particularly in the Zenica area.
Having served as a Military member of UNPROFOR, in central Bosnia, i can give first hand accounts of how much trouble the mujaheeden had been. Not only in "war crimes", but also in railroading/ blocking civil and medcial aid to those most in need.It maynot matter the exact amount of those actual mujaheeden members, but also the numbers they influenced/commamded and the numbers that followed them.
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