Showing posts tagged as "salafis"

Showing posts tagged salafis

28 Feb
"The Islamic community and Bosnian state officials should cooperate to engage non-violent Salafis, especially those returning from the diaspora, in dialogue so as to encourage integration."

—from Crisis Group’s recent report, Bosnia’s Dangerous Tango: Islam and Nationalism

27 Feb
"The Islamic community has taken a leading role in channelling popular anger, filling a vacuum left by Bosniak political parties, whose leadership seems adrift."

—from Crisis Group’s recent report, Bosnia’s Dangerous Tango: Islam and Nationalism

26 Feb
Bosnia’s Dangerous Tango: Islam and Nationalism
Sarajevo/Istanbul/Brussels  |   26 Feb 2013
Occasional violence notwithstanding, Islamism poses little danger in Bosnia, whose real risk stems from clashing national ideologies, especially as Islamic religious leaders increasingly reply with Bosniak nationalism to renewed Croat and Serb challenges to the state’s territorial integrity.
Bosnia’s Dangerous Tango: Islam and Nationalism, the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, examines a growing fusion between Bosniak nationalism (which can be Islamic or secular) and Bosnian state identity. Political Islam is a novelty in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and its rise is seen as threatening to secular parties and non-Muslims. A dozen or so attacks attributed to Bosniaks in the past decade have raised fears of terrorism. However, the plethora of non-traditional Salafi and other Islamist groups that have appeared on the margins of society remain small and isolated.
“Virtually every act of violence inspired by Islamism has come from places where Islamic institutions – džemat (congregation), mosque, madrasa and family – are weak or absent, and many perpetrators have a troubled past”, says Marko Prelec, Crisis Group’s Balkans Project Director. “There is a lot of anger and frustration among Bosniaks, and leading figures in the Islamic establishment have sought to harness it to advance their political aims”.
The Islamic community (Islamska zajednica, IZ) in BiH has grown from a religious organisation into an important political actor that has helped shape Bosniak identity. Its influential and charismatic former leader, Mustafa ef. Cerić, painted a BiH which, though multi-ethnic, should be a Bosniak nation-state, since, he argued, Croats and Serbs already had countries of their own. That vision is appealing to many Bosniaks, including some who are thoroughly secular, but it repels most Croats and Serbs. If this becomes the dominant Bosniak view, it is hard to see how it could be reconciled with the viewpoints of Bosnia’s other communities; persistent conflict and instability would then be likely. Instead, the IZ should foster a view of the state as a shared enterprise in which all groups feel equally at home and focus on renewing its own institutions.
Bosnia’s Salafis are divided over loyalty to the state and the IZ. Most of those who accept these institutions are fiercely patriotic, and some fought as mujahidin in the war of the 1990s. Those who reject them as un-Islamic tend to withdraw to isolated settlements to practice their faith and are more interested in the global umma (Islamic community) than the fate of Bosnia. Neither group has shown a tendency to violence; most attacks have been the work of émigrés or persons with documented criminal or psychological records. The IZ and Bosnian state officials should cooperate to engage non-violent Salafis, especially those returning from the diaspora, in dialogue to encourage their integration.
“The Islamic community has been promoting a patriotic embrace of the state. Stability depends on whether it succeeds in framing a vision of Bosnia that can be shared by Croats and Serbs”, says Sabine Freizer, Crisis Group’s Europe Program Director. “Having stepped into the political arena, the Islamic community has a responsibility to re-commit to interfaith dialogue and advance compromise solutions that can avoid the country’s further fragmentation”.
FULL REPORT

Bosnia’s Dangerous Tango: Islam and Nationalism

Sarajevo/Istanbul/Brussels  |   26 Feb 2013

Occasional violence notwithstanding, Islamism poses little danger in Bosnia, whose real risk stems from clashing national ideologies, especially as Islamic religious leaders increasingly reply with Bosniak nationalism to renewed Croat and Serb challenges to the state’s territorial integrity.

Bosnia’s Dangerous Tango: Islam and Nationalism, the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, examines a growing fusion between Bosniak nationalism (which can be Islamic or secular) and Bosnian state identity. Political Islam is a novelty in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and its rise is seen as threatening to secular parties and non-Muslims. A dozen or so attacks attributed to Bosniaks in the past decade have raised fears of terrorism. However, the plethora of non-traditional Salafi and other Islamist groups that have appeared on the margins of society remain small and isolated.

“Virtually every act of violence inspired by Islamism has come from places where Islamic institutions – džemat (congregation), mosque, madrasa and family – are weak or absent, and many perpetrators have a troubled past”, says Marko Prelec, Crisis Group’s Balkans Project Director. “There is a lot of anger and frustration among Bosniaks, and leading figures in the Islamic establishment have sought to harness it to advance their political aims”.

The Islamic community (Islamska zajednica, IZ) in BiH has grown from a religious organisation into an important political actor that has helped shape Bosniak identity. Its influential and charismatic former leader, Mustafa ef. Cerić, painted a BiH which, though multi-ethnic, should be a Bosniak nation-state, since, he argued, Croats and Serbs already had countries of their own. That vision is appealing to many Bosniaks, including some who are thoroughly secular, but it repels most Croats and Serbs. If this becomes the dominant Bosniak view, it is hard to see how it could be reconciled with the viewpoints of Bosnia’s other communities; persistent conflict and instability would then be likely. Instead, the IZ should foster a view of the state as a shared enterprise in which all groups feel equally at home and focus on renewing its own institutions.

Bosnia’s Salafis are divided over loyalty to the state and the IZ. Most of those who accept these institutions are fiercely patriotic, and some fought as mujahidin in the war of the 1990s. Those who reject them as un-Islamic tend to withdraw to isolated settlements to practice their faith and are more interested in the global umma (Islamic community) than the fate of Bosnia. Neither group has shown a tendency to violence; most attacks have been the work of émigrés or persons with documented criminal or psychological records. The IZ and Bosnian state officials should cooperate to engage non-violent Salafis, especially those returning from the diaspora, in dialogue to encourage their integration.

“The Islamic community has been promoting a patriotic embrace of the state. Stability depends on whether it succeeds in framing a vision of Bosnia that can be shared by Croats and Serbs”, says Sabine Freizer, Crisis Group’s Europe Program Director. “Having stepped into the political arena, the Islamic community has a responsibility to re-commit to interfaith dialogue and advance compromise solutions that can avoid the country’s further fragmentation”.

FULL REPORT

20 Oct
This is Not a Revolution | The New York Review of Books 
Hussein Agha and Robert Malley 
Darkness descends upon the Arab world. Waste, death, and destruction attend a fight for a better life. Outsiders compete for influence and settle accounts. The peaceful demonstrations with which this began, the lofty values that inspired them, become distant memories. Elections are festive occasions where political visions are an afterthought. The only consistent program is religious and is stirred by the past. A scramble for power is unleashed, without clear rules, values, or endpoint. It will not stop with regime change or survival. History does not move forward. It slips sideways.
Games occur within games: battles against autocratic regimes, a Sunni–Shiite confessional clash, a regional power struggle, a newly minted cold war. Nations divide, minorities awaken, sensing a chance to step out of the state’s confining restrictions. The picture is blurred. These are but fleeting fragments of a landscape still coming into its own, with only scrappy hints of an ultimate destination. The changes that are now believed to be essential are liable to be disregarded as mere anecdotes on an extended journey.
FULL ARTICLE (The New York Review of Books)(paywall)
Photo: Jonathan Rashad/Flickr

This is Not a Revolution | The New York Review of Books 

Hussein Agha and Robert Malley 

Darkness descends upon the Arab world. Waste, death, and destruction attend a fight for a better life. Outsiders compete for influence and settle accounts. The peaceful demonstrations with which this began, the lofty values that inspired them, become distant memories. Elections are festive occasions where political visions are an afterthought. The only consistent program is religious and is stirred by the past. A scramble for power is unleashed, without clear rules, values, or endpoint. It will not stop with regime change or survival. History does not move forward. It slips sideways.

Games occur within games: battles against autocratic regimes, a Sunni–Shiite confessional clash, a regional power struggle, a newly minted cold war. Nations divide, minorities awaken, sensing a chance to step out of the state’s confining restrictions. The picture is blurred. These are but fleeting fragments of a landscape still coming into its own, with only scrappy hints of an ultimate destination. The changes that are now believed to be essential are liable to be disregarded as mere anecdotes on an extended journey.

FULL ARTICLE (The New York Review of Books)(paywall)

Photo: Jonathan Rashad/Flickr

30 Jul
Tunisia: Hardline Islam threatens democracy gains  |  Boston.com
By Paul Schemm/Associated Press
TUNIS, Tunisia—Thousands of hardcore Muslims chant against Jews. Youths rampage through cities at night in protest of “blasphemous” art. A sit-in by religious students degenerates into fist fights and the desecration of Tunisia’s flag.
FULL ARTICLE (Boston.com)
Photo: BRQ Network/Flickr

Tunisia: Hardline Islam threatens democracy gains  |  Boston.com

By Paul Schemm/Associated Press

TUNIS, Tunisia—Thousands of hardcore Muslims chant against Jews. Youths rampage through cities at night in protest of “blasphemous” art. A sit-in by religious students degenerates into fist fights and the desecration of Tunisia’s flag.

FULL ARTICLE (Boston.com)

Photo: BRQ Network/Flickr