Deputy human rights minister stresses the need of inter-ethnic, inter-religious dialogue across Bosnia

NEWS 19.12.202311:06 0 komentara
Duška Jurišić (N1)

Duska Jurisic, Deputy Minister for Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina, spoke about the need of intensifying inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue in certain parts of the country, emphasising the southern towns of Mostar and Stolac as examples. Pročitaj više

Speaking to N1, Jurisic said that she was taken aback by offensive graffiti that was written on the Tucakovica mosque, near Neum and Stolac, in the summer of 2022. Considering such examples, she noted that the dialogue should also include religious leaders.

“Mostar has its problems and these problems can be solved, but I would like to point out the situation that I tried to mediate about: for me it was unbelievable that on July 10, 2022, someone wrote offensive graffiti with the inscription ‘U’ on the Tucakovica mosque in Rabrane near Neum,” she said, referring to the sign used by the Ustasha movement, Croatian fascist and ultranationalist group active between 1929 and 1945.

According to her, the faithful reacted “calmly” to this incident. She also pointed out that the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina requested consent for the expansion of the mosque on three occasions, but that the municipal authorities “did not understand it.”

To explain the necessity for this religious facility in the area, Jurisic noted that a large number of residents of central and northern Bosnia and Herzegovina come to the country's coastal town of Neum, which is why the need is even greater.

“I am glad that the representatives of the international community recognised this as a possible focal point”, she told N1's Nikola Vucic.

“The promise we have at this moment is that neither the minaret nor the mosque will be demolished. The consequences would be much greater for those who would encourage or carry out such an action than for those who would oppose it,” she stressed, adding that such events would certainly lead to tensions.

“I'm not going to say anything stronger. We are talking about an area where people still remember 1993, where the wounds of war have not healed. We worked a little with people, but not enough,” according to her.

After it was destroyed in the 1992-95 war, the Tucakovica mosque was rebuilt in 2000. Three years ago, according to the locals, the necessary reconstruction and expansion of the facility, which every mosque must have, began. The significance of this mosque for them is immeasurable, so they worked on its renovation with their own donations and funds.

The works were stopped on several occasions, and the mosque was sealed three times, but even that did not prevent the faithful from entering the mosque and praying.

The opening ceremony of the mosque this year was attended by Head of Islamic Community Husein Kavazovic and Mostar mufti Salem Dedovic as well as a large number of officials from religious, social, political and public life in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as diplomatic missions and international community.

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