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Who was Alija Izetbegovic?
George Washington of Bosnia or Islamist nation wrecker?

* "A Coincidence of Obituaries"
y Jared Israel

* Quotations from Alija Izetbegovic's Islamic Declaration
Translated by Petar Makara

* "Bosnian Leader Hails Islam at Election Rallies"
by Chris Hedges
N.Y. Times, 2 September 1996

[Posted 9/10/2006; revised 4/20/2017]


A Coincidence of Obituaries"
by Jared Israel

On 19 October 2003, the Muslim Islamist leader, Alija Izetbegovic, age 78, died of heart failure. During the Bosnian war of the 1990s, European and Muslim governments and the US referred to Izetbegovic as the president of the so-called Bosnian government.

When he died, the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued this statement: [1]

[BBC Monitoring translation of dispatch from IRNA, the Iranian news agency, starts here]

Tehran, 20 October: Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi here on Monday 20 October in a message addressed to the Presidency member of Bosnia-Hercegovina Sulejman Tihic expressed the condolences of Iranian government and nation over the passing away of former President Alija Izetbegovic.

A report released by the Foreign Ministry media department quoting Kharrazi referred to the late president's serious attempts to defend the identity and territorial integrity of his homeland as well as the unity among the residents and various ethnic races of the country and called him a favourite and lasting figure in the turbulent history of Balkan.

Izetbegovic passed away on Sunday from a heart failure at the age of 78.
[My emphasis - J.I.]

[BBC Monitoring translation of dispatch from IRNA, the Iranian news agency, ends here]

The US State Department praised Izetbegovic as well:

"President Izetbegovic's personal courage helped the Bosnian people endure one of Europe's greatest tragedies since World War II. He was a determined leader and was instrumental in Bosnia and Herzegovina remaining a unified, multiethnic country." [2]

The two statements are curiously similar; are they not? They could have been written by the same hand.

This may surprise you if you don't know that the Pentagon coordinated Iranian and other Islamist military intervention in Bosnia, on the side of Izetbegovic, against the Bosnian Serbians and pro-Yugoslav Muslims. This intervention included the importation of Mujahideen cutthroats -- they boasted that "we do everything with the knife" -- to indoctrinate and train Izetbegovic’s army, and lead it in a campaign of terror.[3]

The State Department's reference to "Bosnia and Herzegovina remaining a unified multiethnic country" has two problems.

First, Bosnia (or, more properly, Bosnia and Herzegovina) was never a country. Prior to 1992, it was an administrative unit within the internationally recognized state of Yugoslavia.

Second, rather than protecting multiethnic life -- hallmark of the internationally recognized state of Yugoslavia -- Izetbegovic’s Islamists fought to secede with the aim of creating an Islamist republic on this piece of Yugoslav territory, while targeting the Serbians, the glue of Yugoslavia.

Despite the hype in the Western media, Izetbegovic was not fighting to affirm (let alone reaffirm!) some supposed Bosnian nationhood. Rather, he called for:

"…the implementation of Islam in all aspects of individuals' personal lives, in family and in society, by the renewal of Islamic religious thought, and by creating a uniform Muslim community from Morocco to Indonesia. ..."[4]

In other words, Izetbegovic intended the Islamist takeover of Bosnia to be a step towards the creation of a Muslim world-state.  Quite the opposite of preserving some nonexistent Bosnian nation! And yet the fiction of a Bosnian nation, threatened by supposed Serbian secessionists (the Serbians were in fact overwhelmingly against seceding from multiethnic Yugoslavia) was sold to ordinary people in the West.

The Iranian eulogy refers to Izetbegovic as a unifier among "the various ethnic races". I wonder, what might an "ethnic race" be? Ethnic groups -- people united by language, common culture, religious beliefs and so on -- certainly exist, but the concept of race presupposes (falsely [6]) that humans are divided into sharply delineated, physical groups, which breed true -- like chihuahuas.  Yes, there are dog races, but their existence depends on strictly controlled breeding to stifle the well-known mammalian tendency for tolerance in procreation. The problem with strictly controlled breeding (called 'eugenics,' when applied to humans) is that it tends to produce physical (including mental) degeneration, you know, uncontrolled bleeding, an inability to heal, cruelty, and so on.

Don't we have enough problems?

For the Iranian Mullahs, the man of tomorrow: bites on command; never demands democracy.

Was Izetbegovic really aiming for unity, as the U.S. State Department and the Islamic Republic news agency contended?  And if so, what kind of unity?

To answer that question, read the excerpts from Izetbegovic's guiding work, Islamska deklaracija, or Islamic Declaration, below. Translated by Petar Makara, they make Izetbegovic's goals perfectly clear. 

-- Jared Israel
Emperor's Clothes


Quotations from Islamic Declaration
by Alija Izetbegovic
Translated by Petar Makara



"Do we want the Muslim nations to cease moving in circles, to stop being dependent, backward and poverty-stricken;

do we want them to once again with a sure step climb the road of dignity and enlightment and to become masters of their own fate;

do we want the springs of courage, genius and virtue to come forth strongly once again;

then we must show the way which leads to that objective:

The implementation of Islam in all aspects of individuals' personal lives, [both] in the family and in society, by the renewal of Islamic religious thought, and by creating a uniform Muslim community from Morocco to Indonesia."

page 3

"A nation, and an individual, who has accepted Islam is incapable of living and dying for another ideal after that fact. It is unthinkable for a Muslim to sacrifice himself for any tzar or ruler, no matter what his name may be, or for the glory of any nation, or party or some such, because acting on the strongest Muslim instinct he recognizes in this a certain type of godlessness and idolatry. A Muslim can die only with the name of Allah on his lips and for the glory of Islam, or he may run away from the battlefield."

page 4

"The Muslim nations will never accept anything that is explicitly against Islam, because Islam here is not merely a faith and the law, Islam has become love and compassion. He who rises against Islam will reap nothing but hate and resistance."

page 17

"The shortest definition of the Islamic order defines it as a unity of faith and law, upbringing and force, ideals and interests, spiritual community and state, free will and force.

As a synthesis of these components, the Islamic order has two fundamental premises: an Islamic society and Islamic authority. The former is the essence, and the latter the form of the Islamic order. An Islamic society without Islamic power is incomplete and weak; Islamic power without an Islamic society is either a utopia or violence.

A Muslim generally [speaking] does not exist as an individual. If he wishes to live and survive as a Muslim, he must create an environment, a community, an order. He must change the world or be changed himself. History knows of no true Islamic movement which was not at the same time a political movement as well. This is because Islam is a faith, but also a philosophy, a set of moral codes, an order of things, a style, an atmosphere - in a nutshell, an integral way of life."

page 19

"The first and foremost of such conclusions is surely the one on the incompatibility of Islam and non-Islamic systems. There can be neither peace nor coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic societies and political institutions. [...] By claiming the right to order its own world by itself, Islam clearly excludes the right and possibility of activity of any strange ideology on its own turf. Therefore, there is no question of any laicistic principles, and the state should be an expression of  and should support the moral concepts of the religion."

page 22

"The upbringing of the nation, and especially the mass media - the press, TV and film - should be in the hands of people whose Islamic moral and intellectual authority is undisputed. [...]

The Islamic rebirth cannot be initiated without a religious revolution, and cannot be successfully continued and concluded without a political revolution. Our road does not begin by winning power, but [by winning] people."

page 32

"We must therefore be first preachers and then soldiers. Our weapons are: personal example, the book, the word. When is force to be added to these?

The choice of this moment is always a specific one and depends on a series of factors. There is however a general rule: the Islamic movement should and must start to take over the power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough not only to overthrow the existing non-Islamic, but also to build up a new Islamic authority."

page 43

"In one of the thesis for an Islamic order of today we have stated that it is a natural function of the Islamic order to gather all Muslims and Muslim communities throughout the world into one. Under the present conditions, this desire means a struggle for creating a great Islamic federation from Morocco to Indonesia, from tropical Africa to Central Asia."

page 46

"We would like to distinguish between Jews and Zionists, but only if the Jews themselves find the strength to make the distinction. We hope that the military victories, which they had against quarrelling Arab regimes, (not against Arabs or against Muslims) will not cloud their minds. We hope that they will eliminate the confrontation which they themselves made, so that the new road is open to a life on the common ground of Palestine. If they [the Jews], though, continue on the road of arrogance, which is more likely, then for the whole Islam movement and for all Muslims there is but one solution: to continue to fight, to strengthen and broaden the struggle, from day to day, from year to year, no matter how many victims and no matter the time it may last, until they are forced to return every inch of the occupied land. Every negotiation and every compromise on this fundamental issue for our brothers in Palestine will be a treason which may destroy the very core of the moral system of our world.

These are not new laws of our new Islam policy toward Christians and Jews, not new laws dictated by the new political situation. They are just the practical conclusions taken from the Islamic recognition of Christians and Jews which come right from the Qu'ran (Qu'ran, 29/45, 2/136, 5/47-49)

pages 53-54


"Bosnian Leader Hails Islam at Election Rallies"
by Chris Hedges
N.Y. Times, 2 September 1996

Source: Bosnian Leader Hails Islam at Election Rallies, The New York Times, September 2, 1996, Monday, Late Edition - Final, Section 1; Page 7; Column 1; Foreign Desk , 958 words, By Chris Hedges, Grebak, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sept.


Campaign rallies by Bosnia's President, Alijia Izetbegovic, are not intended to alleviate the fears of those who believe he wants to set up a Muslim state.

Before a rally on Saturday at this remote mountain pass about 40 miles south of Sarajevo, a crowd of some 10,000 people was treated to lilting religious music filled with Koranic verses. The event opened with prayers by an Imam. The white-clad soldiers of the Bosnian Army's 7th Brigade, many wearing green headbands with Koranic slogans that signaled their readiness to die for their faith, chanted "God is Great!" -- drowning out the speeches by military commanders.

And Mr. Izetbegovic himself issued a call to arms filled with promises never to forget the sacrifice of the "martyrs" who died here or to forgive "the criminals who tried to wipe our country off the map."

"Many of our homes are still in the hands of the enemy," the President, dressed in a green military jacket, told the crowd at the event, held on a patch of scrub land that was fiercely fought over during the war.

"This is not peace," he said. "but the absence of war. When the Serbs signed the Dayton agreement they were required to let our people go home, and if they do not abide by this agreement I will make sure that their Republic of Srpska is abolished." He was speaking of the republic declared by the Bosnian Serbs in the parts of the country under their control.

When Bosnia's 2.9 million eligible voters go to the polls on Sept. 14 -- in an election intended by the Dayton accord to create a unified country after 3 1/2 years of ethnic warfare -- the numbers seem to indicate that Mr. Izetbegovic will become the new federal Bosnia's first President.

On the ballot will be candidates for a federal Parliament with Serb, Muslim and Croat deputies; for regional Serb and Muslim-Croat parliaments; and for a three-person presidency with one member drawn from each ethnic group. Of those three members, the one with the most votes will carry the title of President.

American officials argue that the joint Presidency will overcome the country's ethnic divisions. But many Western diplomats and United Nations officials fear that the new Government could disintegrate at its inception. They argue that its distribution of duties and power remains undefined. And they say that the Muslim-Croat Federation, a hollow shell that in theory currently governs about half of Bosnia, but whose factions' leaders barely communicate, is a portent of things to come when leaders of all three groups try to work together.

"I don't see how these joint institutions will be physically constituted or installed," said a senior United Nations official. "The whole thing is schizophrenic and absurd, like everything else here. The Serbs say they want their own independent state, and on the other hand they are supposed to be part of this unified state. After the elections there will be a huge temptation on the part of the Serbs to secede, especially with their newly acquired legitimacy. This could lead to a lot of unexpected events, such as the Muslims going after them."

Mr. Izetbegovic's governing Party of Democratic Action, or S.D.A., has exhibited little tolerance toward dissenters during the campaign. Bosnia's former Prime Minister, Haris Silajdzic, says the party has threatened, harassed and beaten his supporters, making it impossible for him to compete. A few weeks ago, Mr. Silajdzic was assaulted by a mob of Democratic Action supporters who he believes "wanted to kill me."

When asked if he thought the attacks were sanctioned by the 71-year-old President, for whom he once worked, Mr. Silajdzic paused.

"These attacks are known to him," he said, choosing his words carefully. "These are his party members who are carrying these attacks out."

Critics say Mr. Izetbegovic's Serbian and Croatian opponents can expect even less cordial treatment.

The President told his supporters here he would demand that all Serbs and Croats in the new federal Government swear allegiance to the Bosnian Constitution. He promised to send soldiers from the Muslim-dominated army to take control of external borders. And he vowed repeatedly to abolish the Bosnian Serb-declared Republic of Srpska, unless Muslims are allowed to return to the homes they were expelled from during the war, something the Serbs have not allowed.

Those demands alone, Western diplomats say, could scuttle the joint federal institutions, especially given the hostility between Muslim and ethnic Serb and Croat leaders.

"The idea of the joint Presidency was not thought out particularly well," said a European diplomat, "and we are having a series of meetings now to try and determine how it will actually function."

Perhaps the most telling detail of the campaign rally on Saturday was the presence of the Iranian Ambassador and his Bosnian and Iranian bodyguards, who sat in the shadow of the huge birchwood platform, mounted with two stacks of powerful speakers, from which the President addressed the crowd.

As the only foreign diplomat here, indeed the only foreigner traveling in the President's heavily guarded motorcade of bulky four-wheel drive jeeps, he lent a silent Islamic imprimatur to the event, one that many American and European supporters of the Bosnian Government are trying hard to ignore or dismiss.

"If you read President Izetbegovic's writings, as I have, there is no doubt that he is an Islamic fundamentalist," said a senior Western diplomat with long experience in the region. "He is a very nice fundamentalist, but he is still a fundamentalist. This has not changed. His goal is to establish a Muslim state in Bosnia, and the Serbs and the Croats understand this better than the rest of us."

Copyright 1996 NY Times * Posted for Fair Use only.


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Footnotes and Further Reading


[1] "Iranian minister sends condolences over death of Bosnia's Izetbegovic," Copyright 2003 British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Monitoring Middle East - Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, October 20, 2003, Monday, 131 words, IRNA news agency, Tehran, in English 1129 gmt 20 Oct 03

[2] Transcript: State Department Noon Briefing, October 20, 2003 (Sudan, Powell's travel to Kenya, Cyprus, Russia, Azerbaijan, Middle East, reporters without borders/human rights, Iraq, Israel/Palestinians, Bosnia-Hercegovina/death of former President Itzetbegovic, terrorism, China, Iran) (6520) "Deputy State Department Spokesman J. Adam Ereli briefed the media October 20. "

[3] The quote is from the London Telegraph, 29 December 1993; "Albanians and Afghans fight for the heirs to Bosnia's SS past," by Robert Fox, Dateline: Fojnica, Bosnia-Herzegovina. For a longer excerpt, go to

[4] Alija Izetbegovic, Islamska Deklaracija [Islamic Declaration](Bosna, Sarajevo, 1990), p. 3. Translated by Petar Makara.

[5] All page citations refer to Alija Izetbegovic, Islamska Deklaracija [Islamic Declaration] (Bosna, Sarajevo, 1990).
Translated by Petar Makara.

[6] "There Is No Such Thing as Race,"
by Robert Wald Sussman, Newsweek, 11/8/14 http://www.newsweek.com/there-no-such-thing-race-283123


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