Wednesday, February 3, 2010

From Bosnian Muslim religious leader, Mustafa Ceric

"The truth is that Muslims in this country do not understand Islam...They do not practice Islam, they have only their names which are Muslim, and that is a tradition. Some of them do not even know they are Muslim. And yet, as Muslims in this country, we live in a paradox all the time. On the one hand we are European, on the other we don't know what to do about Europe. We cannot at the moment love it, we cannot trust it, we cannot hate it, we cannot deny it, for we are part of it. We are in the similiar position in relation to the Serbs and the Croats, with whom we share this country, and who disagree between themselves over everything except one thing: their relationship to the Muslims, and their common need to destroy us. We simply do not know what to do, or where to place our faith.

We are "Muslims" now, because they did not allow us to be Bosnians. And now that we are Muslims, they all say "that is a religious category, not a nationality, it doesn't count." And so we say then can we please be Bosnians after all, and they, Europe included say no, because there is no Bosnia any more. I feel like screaming to the Serbs and Croats: Why are you so scared of us? Whey are you so obsessed by us? Why are you incapable of leaving us along? Why do you need to exterminate us and our culture? Why does our culture offend you so much that you need to do these things to us"?

Dear Friends,
I feel excited to learn about the history, culture and moral traditions of Bosnia and the Balkans region. In particular, I think aspects of the Muslim story should be shared with you back home so that their can be mutual understanding of Islam in the european and global arena. This excerpt is a passionate appeal from an Islamic teacher, resonating with me as I live life within this Muslim community. Feel free to ask questions or relay comments. Thank ya

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