At the very end of the previous year the public was familiarized with the fact that the election meeting of the Assembly and the first meeting of the World Bosniak Congress had been held in Sarajevo.
Declaration on founding, with academicians Ferid Muhic, president of Bosniak Academy of Arts and Sciences (BANU), Mustafa Ceric and Muhamed Filipovic, was presented.
First president of this Congress, academician Ceric, sent us, among other messages, the following one: “Bosniaks from Kosovo who were not able to come, because this country, for which Bosniaks gave their blood, did not let them in, as they have no visas because Dodik will not let them have them. Dodik must be stopped in jeopardizing Bosniak freedom. Here in BiH, and in the whole region, of course, Dodik has to understand that he must stop provoking and that his arrogance and impertinence with respect to Bosniaks’ freedom has to be stopped. And we shall stop it, God willing. If we stopped Karadzic, then we shall also stop Dodik, God willing. Insalah. Everyone who likes Bosnia is welcome to Bosnia. He who does not like it, is not welcome …”
After New Year’s holidays, we are having reactions from intellectual circles in Sarajevo. Thus, besides general stances, according to which this Congress aims to “work on the realization of full freedom of Bosniaks”, criticisms are directed at the “exclusiveness of stances of the Congress through the recollection of sufferings.” Then in the session of “Krug 99” founders are deprecated for establishing para-institution, because through this “para-institution they want to realize political, cultural, spiritual and every other dominance over Bosniaks.” At the end, there is the message that “this is about ghettoization of one nation, which has as its consequence anti-bosnian, anti-state and anti-bosniak act with unforeseeable consequences.”
I will endeavour to present this event from another, provisionally speaking, Banja Luka perspective. I believe it to be good that the civil sector is developing and differentiating in BiH. It is true that BiH does not have experience in this social format, because in the previous federative community, the civil sector with its advantages – first of all in communication and solution offering – did not exist as such.
For this reason every new civil or nongovernmental organization should be useful to us, and thereby the very World Bosniak Congress too. The emergence of this Congress could encourage other communities to articulate their interests in this manner, so that we would have, for example, communities with which we could discuss the interests of Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats, unburdened with political decisions and conditional political pragmatism. This would presumably happen, if we were naïve and blind not to see that this Congress has tendencies to usurp the rights of other communities in BiH, dealing, as it is, with problems of Bosniak community.
What we could hear from their representatives shows us clearly that their plans and activities are solely of political nature. Now the problem is not in this, as they said, “para-institution”, since there is nothing questionable in a civil – nongovernmental organization’s having political attitudes. But what is unacceptable is that this Congress has political ambitions that speak about political sovereignty of Bosniaks. What is particularly alarming are the messages of Congress, which has the ambition to impose its attitudes to other communities too, representing, as it is, Bosniaks as the largest community in BiH. Thus the ambition to usurp others’ rights is noticeable in the use of threats and force.
That the World Bosniak Congress does not want to deal with its community is clear from our academician Ceric’s speech, when he uses hate speech, appealing to the stopping of RS management. How is the President of all citizens of Republika Srpska jeopardizing Bosniak freedom? The world recognizes human and civil rights and freedoms, and by no means ethnical freedoms. Is the “stopping” of Karadzic as well as the “stopping” of Dodik – a war? We can see that Ceric’s speech encourages violence and terrorism.
It is obvious that the idea of the Congress does not lie in solving the problems of its, i.e. Bosniak community, but in the attack on those other individuals and communities, beyond their community. Thus the message that the Congress wants to dethrone and stop democratically elected politicians, because they do not agree with their political attitudes, is clear. Is this an introduction to destabilization? Why does the Congress have the ambition to represent its community as the one which is against democracy, elections and institutions?
Congress gives another dimension to its action, namely the ambition to institutionalize its political influence exteritorrially. Thus they deal with Bosniaks in Republika Srpska and on Kosovo although they are a nongovernmental organization registered in Federation of BiH. That they bear the epithet “world” is nice in a cosmetic sense, but in effect their activity pertains to the Federation of BiH. Pursuant to the Law on Associations and Foundations of Republika Srpska from 2001, this organization cannot be recognized in the formal sense as a nongovernmental organization in Republika Srpska.
Why weren’t we warned about this by the participants in the session of “Krug 99”? Is it possible that this remained unfathomable to them? Or they were not brave to point it out? Or they do not have problems with this? Does “Krug 99” recognize any other communities and interests, except Bosnian, state and Bosniak?
Academician Ceric’s message that BiH is bosniak because, in his opinion, they gave blood for it, as well as that only he who is given confirmation by the Congress, on which it says – this man loves Bosnia, is welcome to Bosnia, in effect show that all the masks have fallen as key politicians and political circles in BiH, who once stood for democratic, civil BiH, now want to deal with the interests of Bosniaks and no one else. What is even harder is the fact that it was precisely this doctrine that forced other communities to set on their own ethnic path, unable to find their own place in thus projected BiH. The support of Bosniak Academy of Sciences to this Congress reveals great intolerance of these circles, because by abandoning the story of civil BiH, they are sending us the message that they had never even believed in that idea, but that it was just a screen for such BiH to the standards of the Congress.