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On The Četnik Atrocities Against Muslims

cetnici

The Balkan Muslims and the Muslims of Eastern Europe have faced many trials and tribulations over the years. Their communities have been targeted for systematic destruction several times.

Recently, I came across the interesting work and writings of Ćamil Jusuf Avdić, a pioneering Muslim scholar in America, in a nice volume called: “A Heritage of East & West: The Writings of Imam Ćamil Jusuf Avdić.”

In the process of reading some of the his writings I encountered a shocking fact that hitherto I have not read before. It relates to the destruction and murder of 200,000 Bosnian Muslims during World War II. I reproduce below selected passages dealing with the crimes perpetrated by the Četniks and their leader, General Draža Mihailović.

“The Četniks were paramilitary, pan-Serbian units, whose duty, in the beginning, was for the struggle against the Turks, and afterwards against all Muslims in the Balkans, as well as against Croats and Bulgars, Hungarians and Germans. They were both national and religious fanatics. Colonel Mihailović was promoted by King Peter to the rank of general and minister of war to the Yugoslav government in exile. This title and post was a reward for his ‘heroic’ exploits against Muslim children, women and old men, as we shall see. The Western Allies also raised him to the rank of a ‘hero’ due to the propaganda of the Yugoslav government-in-exile. We shall prove here through objective argument what the real plans and actions of this man were, and against whom the Četniks were directed. Firstly the order du jour of Draža Mihailović issued on the 20th December 1941, No. 370, wherein he stated the need to, ‘Create a common frontier between Serbia and Montenegro by cleaning the district of the Sandžak of Novi Pazar of its Muslims, and ridding Bosnia-Hercegovina of all Muslims and Catholics.’

(…)

Following this declaration Mihailović let loose his force of Četniks to put into execution his orders. Bosnia-Hercegovina and the Sandžak became a hell for the unarmed and abandoned Muslim masses. More than 200,000 were killed in a most inhuman and horrible manner; villages and hamlets became graveyards; thousands and thousands of refugees fled to Sarajevo and other great cities.” (p.52-55)

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  • Friend of Bosnia

    Dear Amie, you’re so right that people should be Bosnian above all. After having watched them for so long, I can see that they all have things in common. But right now the climate is so poisoned. Some people might think, “They will attack me because I am what I am, not because of anything I have or haven’t done.”
    Also, yestarday I came across a statement by the Austrian rightist politician Gerhard Kurzmann whose father was in the Waffen SS. He said something like that he doesn’t accept collective guilt, only individual guilt, because he doesnt’t want his father’s generation to be demonized, as they just “did their duty.” It’s remarkable that many Bosnian Serb politicians, leaders, war criminals or plain ordinary people say exactly the same thing when they talk about war crimes which Serbs committed against Bosniaks. Ah, but they had no problems to collectively blame the Bosniaks of today for all and any wrongs that were done to the Serbs 75, 100 or 300 years ago. Of course any pretext is good when it’s about land grab, robbery, rape and plunder.
    Under those circumstances, how can the country be got back together? but even if I, or you, knew, they wouldn’t listen.
    Maybe it’s not all dark and hopeless, however. Did you hear about the high school in Travnik? I saw a report on it, and at first I was outraged. It looks like what it must have ben in South Africa under Apartheid or in the Southern states under segregation. The building is divided in two, the Croat side is freshly renovated (at least on the outside) and the Bosniak side looks completely dilapidated. There is a fence bertween both parts. Ah, but the youngsters of both sides, they talk quite freely and on quite friendly terms to each other. They get together.
    And there’s Gornja and Donja Baljvina. One village is Serb, the other Bosniak. Even though both communities do not intermarry and do their own thing, they refused to make war on each other and helped each other out during the war.
    I can only hope this example will go on, and that it will spread.
    But how to think about the future in BiH when its situation is so similar to that of the Emirate of Granada, and for Bosniaks it’s like it was for the Spanish Muslims of the Middle Ages? As I have said so often before, people should educate themselves about that precedent, and draw the appropriate conclusions, also on Putin crushing the opposition in Syria, so that now only radical forces remain. Which is just another pretext for Assad to destroy all and any that oppose him. Yet he too will not be able be able to rule through oppression and fear forever. What is really tragic is the loss of so many innocent lives and of valuable assets, not least the priceless and irreplaceable cultural heritage. But in our glorious post-truth time nobody gives any value or consideration to either. People have become more beastly than ever before.
    Ah well, then I will stick to my own truth too, no matter what. As one Russian general put it, “who tells the truth will lose.”
    But I’m sick and tired of sparring with greater serbo fascist ior Putinist trolls all the time, especially as some, or most of them are probably social bots anyway, not real people, and those who are real people are really the worst kind. Of course, the half-truths or plain untruths tehy tell are sometimes so gross and disgusting that I HAVE to try and refute them. But it’s tiring. Also, while the propaganda front is important, real gains can only be achieved on the ground, with weapons in our hand, be they diplomatic or real. The only thing I know is that, as you said, the Bosnian side never become the aggressor. Let the enemy fire the first shot. But then – crush him. The only way to do it is as Sefer Halilovic tried to put it, through a lightning campaign. But he should have kept silent about it. It just won’t do to disclose one’s ideas to the enemy. Also, is such a lightning campaign possible? I know the Bosnians (those who love BiH, I mean) have more than enough people and motivation, they don’t need any foreigners who come to pursue their own agendas anyway (except for me, but then I’m an idealist) like last time. But do they have the hardware? It’s not sufficient to have a higher moral ground to win a war. Just small arms aren’t sufficient either. But advanced and complex weapon systems require specialized personnel to operate them. Were I among the Bosnian leadership, I would see to it rather today than tomorrow that such weapon systems are not only procured, but that the people who will operate them get the appropriate training, and if this can’t be done, to hire such specialists as required. In that case, the presence of foreigners, and that they be paid, would be justified. Needless to say, the greatest secrecy must be observed.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    People, you are disgressing. I’m not challenging your standpoints here, but do they really belong in this context?

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Of course when I referred to the history of Al Andalus last time I meant that all people who love Bosnia-Herzegovina should learn from it (and also most importantly, from how Putin is crushing the resistance in Aleppo) and come to the right conclusions. And not only that, make the appropriate preparations so they won’t get caught flat footed again like last time. I know they need no foreign volunteers, as they have more than enough people and (I hope) with good motivation, but it’s not sufficient if they have just small arms (and sometimes not even that) to defend themselves, as last time.

    Of course they don’t need to attack
    anybody. The attack will come from the other side, sooner or later, that’s a foregone conclusion. In the virulently islamophobic climate of today no help from the outside can be expected. For that reason, all people in BiH who love it must be prepared, from age 16 up. Let every single citizen be a soldier. The people must be the army and the army the people. The country must become a fortress. There is no other way. Surrender is not an option. It would only lead to another Srebrenica, this time on a huge scale. Because the plan for a forced rechristianization of BiH, as it was done in Spain from 1492 to 1614, is still very much alive. “They” have never given up their dream of “Greater Ser(you know the rest). Of course I’m aware that “they” will
    not go away and that both sides must over time learn to coexist, but how can you shake hands with someone who refuses to unclench his fist? They must ask for forgiveness first, and publicy renounce all and any claims they have on BiH, her territory and her populations. And I wouldn’t trust them even then.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Couldn’t agree with you more.
    Thank you so very much for your insight and your kind words. I feel a lot better now.
    I wish all the best to all good-willing Bosnians, in BiH and abroad, no matter what they believe (and also if they don’t).
    It’s very i8mportant now that in the post-truth times we’re experiencing right now the truth prevaila and is not overwhelmed by war propaganda which is as bad as it ever was, courtesy of Putin’s Propaganda Division. Of course when I referred to teh history of Al Andalus last time I meant that all people who love Bosnia-Herzegovina shopuöld learn from it (and most importantly, from how Putin is crushing the resistance in Aleppo now).

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