Conclusions of the Izetbegovic, Kavazovic, Zvizdic meeting

Source: N1

A meeting between the Chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina's tripartite Presidency Bakir Izetbegovic, members of the executive and legislative authorities and representatives of the Islamic Community in Bosnia headed by Reis-ul-Ulema Husein Kavazovic, was held in Sarajevo.

The meeting was also attended by: Council of Ministers’ Chairman Denis Zvizdic, Bosniak ministers at the state level Adil Osmanovic, Semiha Borovac, First Deputy of Parliamentary Assembly House of Representatives’ Speaker Šefik Džaferovic, First Deputy of Parliamentary Assembly House of Peoples’ Speaker Safet Softic, Vice President of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovnia entity Melika Mahmutbegovic, Republika Sprska entity Vice President Ramiz Salkic and head of the “Domovina” Caucus at Republika Srpska National Assembly Admir Čavka. 

Interlocutors discussed the general situation in Bosina and the region. They paid special attention to relations between the state of BiH and the Islamic Community in Bosnia and its members, the growing Islamophobia and anti-Bosniak propaganda, security threats faced by the country, attempts to revise history, and the denial of aggression and genocide committed in Bosnia, as well as the status of returnees in RS.

 The meeting participants made the following conclusions:

 1. We demand that the agreement between state and the Islamic Community in Bosnia, as one of the traditional religious communities in the country, be concluded without delay.

2. We condemn the baseless claims of radicalisation and growing extremism among Bosiaks. The ultimate aim of such xenophobic and Islamophobic claims is to falsely present Bosnia and especially its Muslim citizens, as a so called security threat and thus take away their political legitimacy.

3. Bosniaks are an indigenous European people who have always upheld the values of tolerance and culture of living together and Bosniaks will never give up on those values. Even though Bosniaks suffered a genocide, they never retaliated with equal force to the evil and the violence they were exposed to on several occasions in the last century. They never resorted to vengeance or extremism, but always insisted on truth and justice.

4. We reject the insulting and utterly baseless allegation of plans for the creation of an Islamic state on the territory of Bosnia. Bosniaks are permanently committed to preservation and strengthening of Bosnia as a democratic, multi-ethnic, European, secular and civic state based on the rule of law, and member of the European Union and NATO. Also, we reject the evident efforts to emphasize the Islamic identity of Bosniaks thus trying to reduce their status to the religious group. Islam has played an important role in the creation of a modern national identity of Bosniaks, but they are, above all, a European nation with all the rights that belong to it.

5. We call on representatives of other peoples to commit to a secular state and to stop implementing and imposing religious features and symbols in public state institutions on all levels of government.

6.We reject any attempt to equalise the defenders with the aggressors thus creating an artificial balance through intensification of mounted criminal proceedings against the defenders of Bosnia. Only truth and justice can be the foundation of genuine reconciliation and the return of trust.

7. We strongly condemn the glorification of joint criminal enterprise to which Bosniaks were exposed in the past war and which were condemned by The Hague tribunal's judgments, as well as glorification of war crimes perpetrators.

8. We demand that RS entity authorities stop the systemic discrimination of returnees to that entity. It is unacceptable that Bosniaks and Croat are treated as second class citizens. We demand that Bosniak children in that entity be allowed to learn Bosnian language in schools.

9. We demand that equal treatment without ethnic discrimination be established during employment in RS entity institutions. We demand that the authorities at all levels provide financial and every other necessary support for reintegration, sustainable return and more effective implementation of Annex VII of the Dayton Peace Agreement through systemic solutions.

10. We demand that constitutional equality of all peoples be established in FBiH entity and all the cantons where this is not the case.