Bosnia the Good

Tolerance and Tradition
ISBN: 
978-963-9116-86-3
cloth
$27.95 / €24.95 / £22.99
ISBN: 
978-963-9116-87-0
paperback
$21.95 / €18.95 / £15.99
Publication date: 
2000
260 pages

Bosnia the Good is an indictment of the partition of Bosnia, formalized in 1995 by the Dayton Accord. This unequalled volume is a plea from one of Bosnia-Herzegovina's most prominent dissidents appealing for Bosnia's communities to reject ethnic segregation and restore mutual trust.

The author argues for the history and reality of a Bosnia-Herzegovina based upon a model of 'unity in diversity'. He shows that ethnic and religious cultures co-existed in Bosnia for centuries and that Croatian and Serbian leaders determined to enact their own nationalist programs are to be blamed for the conflicts that devastated a nation. He points out the decisive moment when the international community accepted the Serb/ Croat argument that ancient ethnic hatreds were endemic to Bosnia and that ethnic segregation became not only acceptable but desirable. He examines the reasons why Western liberal democracies have regarded with sympathy the struggles of Serbia and Croatia for national recognition, while viewing Bosnia's multicultural society with suspicion.

Bosnia the Good confronts the religious dimension of the Bosnian dilemmas from the perspective of a Bosniak committed to inter-religious dialogue. The author argues that the only way Bosnia will reclaim its unique civilization is more than simple tolerance among Serbs, Croats and Bosnians. They have to recognize that Judaism, Christianity and Islam all share the same deity and it is this common transcendent perspective that should open the door to the acceptance and celebration of religious diversity.

Bosnia is at present divided and shaken to its foundations, but the author argues it could become a model for European progress. The greatest danger is for Bosnia to be declared just another ethnoreligious entity, in this case a 'Muslim State' ghettoized inside Europe. If protected and allowed to develop however, the author explains how Bosnia could find a place in a new European order.

PREFACE

 

Introduction

THE BOSNIAN PARADIGM

 

Chapter One

ARHIPELAGO SUPERANUS

 

Introduction

Sovereignty

Christianity

Islam

Serbhood

Croathood

Bosniac Identity

Political Downslide

Modernity and Beyond

Tolerance and Tradition

 

Chapter Two

KERNEL AND SHELL

 

Introduction

The Diversity of Religions

Tradition

Corruption

Islam through Phenomenology

The Science of Symbols

Speech Into Script

 

Chapter Three

DUALISM RESOLVED

 

Introduction

The Five Signs of Duality

  The Word and the Apple

  The Rose and the Vine

   The Staff and the Moon

   Sword and Web

   The Temple and Tomb

The Face: Five Stages

  The Face

  Heaven and Earth

  Sun and Moon

  Stars and Mountains

  Trees and Animals

  Submission and Freedom

 

Chapter Four

THE CYCLE OF SLAUGHTER

 

Introduction

The Secret Letter

Christ and Christology

Parakletos

The Transition

Verticality and Horizontality

‘Heresy’

Opposition

Splitting

Changes

Without an Answer

The Hand

Disappearance and Renewal

Conditions

 

Chapter Five

THE MASDJID 

 

Introduction

High in Low

Building and Razing

The Stations of Wisdom

Fear: Flight and Attack

Love: Patience and Passion

Knowledge: I and I

Humanity and Perfection

 

Chapter Six

GENOCIDE

 

Introduction

‘The End of History’

‘The Clash of Civilizations’

Elites

Ideologies

Organisations

Perpetrators

Toxic Reaction

Crime and the Future

 

EPILOGUE

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEX OF NAMES

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

"Bosnia the Good is an appeal both for the survival of Bosnia and for a historic opening of religions to one another. The book combines the symbolic retrieval of heritage with a vision of an Islam that would open onto and embrace (while not absorbing) the religious other. It exposes the depth of the difficulties facing Bosnia because of its diversity, even as it argues for seeing this apparent curse as Bosnia's deepest promise. It is a book of interest not only for the study of Bosnia but for the engagement of similar issues of religion, society, and violence now facing much of the world."
"a tour de force of intellectual depth and philosophical articulation... The author's mastery of the traditional point of view on the transcendent of sacred forms enables him to develop a mode of analysis completely different from the ordinary political and socio-economic explanations... What Mahmutcehajic has to say about the Bosnian conflict and the framework within which he proposes to analyze it have tremendous implications for the present state and future of Bosnia and the Balkans."