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Rožaje (Sanjak - Montenegro), New York (USA)
BOSNIAKS POSITION IN TODAY’S MONTENEGRO IN CONRINUATION OF THE POLICY "TURKISH CONVERTS INVESTIGATION"
BOSNIAN / BOSANSKI
In this letter we will try to point out discriminations of Bosniaks in todays Monetenegro. We are writing as citizens of Montenegro and as representatives of organizations operating in the territory of the same state, the region of former Yogoslavia, the United States and several Western European countries. This document will try to describe relations from the officials of Montenegrin governmant and it’s non-Montenegrin citizens and it’s non-orthodox citizens. We have to say that the statements of some politicians from international community and European institutions do not reflect the real situation on the ground in Montenegro. Just recently, statement was iussued that, "Montenegro is an example of success", without sufficient knowledge of the actual situation in Montenegro. Among the signatories of this letter are significant number of organizations whose members were targeted and left this country, and are now in more countries around the world as victims of war and post-war government policy of Montenegro, (and Serbia).
Our intention is to draw your attention that there is a big difference between the situation as it is officialy presented by the policy of Montenegrin government and the actual position of Bosniaks in Montenegro.
Numerous organizations and Bosniak associations in the world, but also many of the domestic organizations in Montenegro, southern Sanjak (Sandzak) region and abroad, worried about the deteriorating position of Bosniaks, their individual and collective rights to their home living space, together we analyze the causes and effects of certain historical events, current processes and perspectives. Events that occurred in the area of present day Montenegro, which are in an objective science labeled as genocide against Bosniaks and their influence on the present state and prospects of the people, undertake today's generation, wherever they live, to take a responsible attitude towards it’s past, the present, and thus their future.
As a result of research activities of the organizations from the country and from diaspora, we will remind everyone with a brief overview of the major historical events and circumstances that have created conditions and position of Bosniaks in today’s Montenegro. The result of this brief review of the past, insight into today's reality, and the anticipated future events, these organizations, at the end of the agreed text, are quick conclusions they wish to draw the attention of organizations and institutions, both domestically and internationally, in order to repair and improve the position of this nation in a spirit of positive European experience and thus contribute to the avoidance of nipping consequences of individual and collective rights and freedoms of indigenous peoples as Bosniaks in this nascent Balkan country.
Bosniaks in Montenegro, as evidenced under numerous historical facts, in the past, today, but also in the future, the political elites, the people, whose very existence disrupts their imaginary state stability, and for this reason it attempts to reduce the number Bosniaks to a minimum of the total population. Montenegrin political establishment in all true consequences of state policy pursued by members of the Bosniaks people for a long time, apparently believes that the territory of Montenegro is reserved exclusively for one type of people, Orthodox people and all the resources to do is point the ethnically and religiously monolithic uniform. The problem that now appears as a problem with the Serbian people in Montenegro, is really just cleverly designed to mask the real goals of "ethnic cleansing" of the remaining number of Bosniaks, who in the recent and distant past, common in this area, were the victims of numerous crimes and genocide, and for political elites, yet the only people remaining at the expense of whose existential interest in this region may secure nation, the Serbian-Montenegrin, and Orthodox religious homogenization of the territory and the people.
In recent times Bosniaks, after the national referendum on Montenegro's independence in 2006 have been assigned the role of "guardians" of Montenegro and through well-designed traps of political servility, with an apparent threat to the constant danger of a Greater Serbia, which for Bosniaks have a direct association to the genocide. This is the distance from the people "threatening" Greater Serbia, skilfully forced forgiveness or at least not pay attention to criminal participation and the role of the Montenegrin political elite and institutions in the crimes committed against Bosniaks during the war of the nineties. The real cost of sacrificing the strategic interests of the nation is the new Montenegro-Sanjak relations invested their time and territory, even if only on that account, obtained the right to co-ownership in it. Bosniaks, to recall a referendum on independence was held in 2006 for the first time since the 1912 annexation of Sanjak, accept and legalize the status gave voice to sovereign Montenegro. Support for sovereign Montenegro by Bosniaks certainly was inspired by a vision that Montenegro one day will be "cleaned" of all of the Bosniaks.
Bosniaks in Montenegro, which today, despite the concealment of the actual state make up nearly one-fifth of the population, are the marginalized people in all areas and at all levels of social life. It's a little-known historical fact that the Bosniaks in most of today's cities of Montenegro before the arrival of the Ottomans in the Balkans until they are withdrawn, were the majority. In fact, Bosniaks as an old Balkan countries included most of the territory that is now part of Montenegro and Serbia, and a significant part, but the subsequent redrawing of boundaries due to different historical circumstances, the public and the Bosniak territory decreased as its people remained outside the space that was conquested belonged to the two countries. After the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire in the region, the number of Bosniaks began to decline drastically. Below we explain the process of challenging the national distinctiveness and long expulsion and ethnic cleansing of Bosniaks from the area which is now a national territory of Montenegro.
During the Ottoman presence in the Balkans, Bosniaks were largely converted to Islam. Christian Orthodox population later formed the process of national formation as Serbs, and a small part, much later, as Montenegrins, for them that was a betrayal, and the Bosniaks therefore were up untill this day are called Turks by Monenegrins and the Serbs, because Islam was among the Balkan nations at the time of the Ottoman conquest of space, viewed as "Turkish faith." In order to better understand the process of Islamization of Bosniaks, we should stress the fact that Bosniaks in religious terms, as a "Bosnian Christians," not even associate it with the eastern and western orthodoxy or Catholics, but they represented a particular religious group, which has undergone a long history of Bosnia and survived defensively from the constant attacks from both Eastern and Western Christian and the Christian "brothers". Confronted with Islam, which in Bosnia started coming by sea, from Arabic, Spanish and Sicilian Muslims, but only after the arrival of predominantly Turkish, Bosnian Christians were largely converted to Islam, and a small number remained in the old religion, which later converted to Eastern christianity or Western Catholicism. Much later, after the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, Bosniaks who remained in Christianity under assault assimilation from Serbia and Croatia were starting to declare themselves as Serbs or Croats, and much later, small number declered themselves as Montenegrins.
As we have said, for accepting Islam, Bosniaks by the Christian population were marked as "Turks," which is why, after the Ottoman retreat from the Balkans came under a terrible, bloody and previously unseen terror, carried out by the newly formed Christian states of Serbia and Montenegro. On the territory of Montenegro the birth of a model or standard, as with the skillful combinations of diplomacy and terror carried out the ethnic cleansing of indigenous and predominantly urban Muslim population, which was applied through a long history in the period before and after the occupation and division of Sandzak, which with the certain modifications continues today. Bosniaks are marked as "strongly-worded" and the struggle against them is "legalized" as an "investigation" testament Serbdom spiritual leader, and later Montenegro from, Petar Petrovic Njegos (1813-1851), who was its "investigation converts" packaged in form of writing an epic poem called "The Mountain Wreath" which is even today, required reading in school curricula throughout the area inhabited by Serbs and Montenegrins, and basic, almost biblical source of spiritual power Serbs and Montenegrins.
Official historiography of Montenegro, despite the most obvious disagreement with the historical facts, showing it as an undeniable historical truth, the history of the Montenegrin state formation, presented as liberation, by the Montenegrins that today's cities and villages liberated from the Turks. The truth is quite the opposite, that the winning cities, and through ethnic cleansing, genocide and crimes cast out the resident Muslim population, and that population town of Niksic, Herceg Novi, Bar, Podgorica, Kolasin, Mojkovac, later the Sanjak and its cities of Pljevlja, Bijelo Polje, Plav, Gusinja, Berane, Petnjica and Rozaje. In all these cities before Montenegro's "liberation" majority were Bosniaks and Muslim population is largely descended from the tribe of old Bogumils, "good Bosnians." Today Bosniak majority or at least a significant number is only in some of the cities and municipalities in Sanjak who were "liberated" in the past, before the final withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, such cities as Niksic, Herceg Novi, Kolasin, Mojkovac, had a wast majority of Muslim population. Genocide against Bosniaks in Montenegro started in 1711 , when on the eve of Christmas Eve a so-called "investigation of converts," started in which some 1000 Bosniaks were killed, many of them, according to the relevant evidence, then lived in the old Montenegro, which consisted of only four district based in Cetinje . Undeniable remaining Muslim population fled to the village of Niksic and Tuđemili.
City of Niksic until 1879 was populated (98%) by Bosniaks to 1879 the city was left without it’s people, because its inhabitants by the new Montenegrin authorities were forced to emigrate to Turkey, Sanjak, Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia.
Subsequent events after the Berlin Congress (1878) for the Bosnian people all over Yugoslav territory have epilogue tragic, because the Bosniaks in the Greater Chetnik ideology were treated like the rest of the Ottoman Empire, and as such was marked for total destruction. Montenegrin authorities have never given up such an ideology, and even in times when there was no war, when they were established legal forms of government on several occasions and in different places committed terrible crimes to Muslim population of Montenegro and the Sanjak and instigated mass emigration. The crimes of genocide against defenseless population that occurred in the Plav and Gusinje in 1912, 1913. and 1919., as well as in Sahovici 1924, show only a continuity of purpose Montenegrin state authorities that Bosniaks are undesirable population of Montenegro. The slaughter of nearly ten thousand mostly infirm, elderly, women and children, that took place in 1943 in the Lima valley, at the hands of the Montenegrin-Serbian fascists, was never marked by any marble or even a single letter be treated in the official history books, or other official documents of Montenegro and Serbia. All these crimes are hidden and re-proposed in order to achieve the objectives of the sinister fascist ethnic cleansing and genocide provide a "stable state" in which it will be one people and one religion. The latest developments in the aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina where Serbia and Montenegro and its state-space, where officially there was no war, killing civilians, Bukovica, the arrests that have bin made in the police action known as "Lim" (1994), Štrpci we have seen expellees deported from Bosnia and handing them into the hands of the Serbian-Montenegrin butchers who were operating in eastern Bosnia, further stimulated by the emigration of Bosniaks from their original habitat.
Discriminations of Bosniaks in Montenegro are visible at every step. Despite this easily demonstrable fact, the government promptly taken care to provide a sufficient number of organizations, institutions, politicians, speaking on behalf of the Bosniak people and accurately determine the rule, they do not see discrimination nowhere, evaluating modern Montenegro and its government it is not different from what we have already seen in the past, giving it high marks on all criteria. What economic blackmail, and the whole spectrum of more refined methods of intimidation, a combination of "carrot and stick" power is put under the control of civil society, whose leaders and spokesmen in the first sentence of any notice or recourse to underline the distinction of power and authority from the war years of the nineties, are quiet on the fact that these were the same people.
It is interesting that today Montenegrin intellectual and political elite of the Bosniak population managed to introduce discontinuities in light of the policies of the past, and in that sense, Europe has successfully "sold" as an example of inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony, and is essentially an inch not moved from policy, "Investigation of Turkish converts." Towns and villages with predominantly Muslim population have been almost completely dead. The economy has been destroyed, villages displaced, with deserted homes, and as a result of this gloomy picture of our reality, we have a case to which we are accustomed, and that is to have children, fields, and when they grow up, we have to farewell with them because of their place of birth they can not be employed and have families, they have to go "search for bread."
Political manipulation of the important issues of regionalization and balanced regional development in Montenegro, when they thwarted a legal obligation on the establishment of the Ministry of Regional Development, is just more proof that the political elite in Montenegro are not thinking about the agreements to implement the formation of such cross-border region of Sanjak. On the contrary, it appears that the area of Sanjak economic ruin and thus rendered completely unattractive for any economic investment and new investment. And on this project Bosniaks give unequivocal support to the authorities participating in the government without the statutory ministry of regional development, thereby accepting pre-engineered failure, and then it will be clearly identified as the culprit for the failed regionalization and uneven regional development.
The main reason for this belief, "the wolf" who is there, in full view of all, dressed up in a lamb skin, is hoping that the imminent enslaved man, that Europe, as a "promised land" already there at your fingertips, and hope that once they get there, stop all the crimes against innocent people over the neck, in peace and war. It is believed that the era of "investigation of Turkish converts" finally ends with joining the European family of nations. They forget, however, the fact that Bosniaks, and other Yugoslav nations that did not solve the national question, freezing it, and passing into a higher state, becomes expensive cost, which was one of the main reasons for the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia and in the worst possible way. Transfer of unresolved ethnic issues in European family of nations without a fair cross-border regionalization and regional integration, which is the European reference model for the European and national issues, an attempt to introduce seeds of evil entering the large system will not disappear, but would like a rotten apple that is found the healthy apples, start the decay process larger national levels.
Bearing in mind the above assessment of the situation and the position of Bosniaks in Montenegro, by requiring that all of you will get a document that will be involved in resolving the status and human rights of Bosniaks in Montenegro, the undersigned makes the following conclusion.
First: Bosniaks in Montenegro are not a nation of minorities, because Montenegro expanding winning "came" to their land they inherited from their ancestors Bosniaks, "Good Bosnians" and the state of Bosnia, which still exists in the neighborhood, as a sovereign and internationally recognized state.
Second: Montenegro's new government, formed after a referendum on state status, which was held in May 2006. when the Bosniaks supported sovereignty project with clear requirements to recognize the status of cross-border Sandzak region, which the majority of the population of the Sandzak region first officially recognized the annexation of the Sandzak in 1912.
Third: Euro-Atlantic integration of Montenegro should also mean the process of establishing a new European values where a policy of ethnic cleansing, discrimination and assimilation in any forms must be crushed in the bud, which would make Montenegro a real civil society and able to implement the values of democracy.
Fourth: Taking urgent measures to spur the economic development of the areas inhabited by Bosniaks, a necessary condition to stop emigration of people from Montenegro towards all the experiences perceived in their own state.
Fifth: Regionalization, balanced regional development and promotion of the establishment of cross-border region of Sanjak, is one of the basic requirements to Bosniaks so they feel equal with other nations in Montenegro, and through this mechanism is protected from possible new genocide.
Sixth: Actual State symbols of Montenegro exclusively belong to one nation, the Montenegrin Orthodox. Bearing in mind that in the past under those symbols several times the crime of genocide was commited against Bosniaks, these symbols are offensive to religious and national feelings of Bosniaks, thus to all of the victims who have historically suffered under these symbols, and to their descendants today! For these reasons, in order to create optimal conditions for the equality of all peoples who now make Montenegro must change the existing state symbols.
Seventh: For the avoidance of doubt in Montenegro reward criminals rather than punish those responsible for war crimes committed against Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Sanjak during the period 1992 - 1995 must finally be brought to justice and appropriately punished.
Signatories of Documents:
Bosniaks Cultural Community - Montenegro
President Hazbija Kalač - [email protected]
Bosniaks Cultural Community - Sanjak
President Jahja Fehratović - [email protected]
Bosniaks Cultural Community - Kosovo
President Sahit Kandić - [email protected]
Bosniaks advice - Kosovo
President prod. dr. Mehmed Meta – [email protected]
Association of Bosniaks "Oasis" – Kosovo
President Kemal Kandić -
NGO "Number 19" Bar – Montenegro
Executive Director Mirsad Kurgaš - [email protected]
5. United States of America
Bosniaks / Bošnjaci.Net - New York
Editor in Chief Esad Krcić – [email protected]
Representing of Sanjak – New York
Head of Office Smajle Srdanović - [email protected]
Islamic Center of Monticello – New York
Vice President Ago Kolenović - [email protected]
Bosniak-American Community Center - New Jerssey
Vice President Nevzad Kurtagić - [email protected]
Bosniaks Islamic Cultural Center - New York
President Ifet Seferović - [email protected]
Bosniaks Cultural Community - New York, USA
President IO Ismet Pjetrović - [email protected]
Committee for Celebrating the 100th years of genocide against Bosniaks and Albanians in Plav and Gusinje – New York
For Board: Dr. Mersim Ziljkić - [email protected], Muharem Purišić - [email protected], Šefkija Radončić - [email protected] i Ago Redžić - [email protected]
Association of Bosniaks Albany - USA
President Avdo Metjahić - [email protected]
6. Bosnia and Herzegowina:
League of Sanjak – Sarajevo, BiH
Secretary-general Teufik Hadžiahmetović - [email protected]
Union youth activists (UMA)
President Enes Karišik - [email protected]
Bosniaks Cultural Community Luxsembourg (BCCL)
President Faruk Ličina - [email protected]
Bosniak Democratic Fund - Luxembourg
President Enver Korać - [email protected]
Bosniaks Cultural Community Belgium
President Nedžad Ćeman - [email protected]
The Community of Sandzak Diaspora – Switchboard
President Mithat Mujević - [email protected]
The Community of Sandzak Diaspora
President Ramiz Radonjica - [email protected]
The Community of Sandzak Diaspora France
President Šefadil Ličina - [email protected]
The Community of Sandzak Diaspora Germany
Vice President Ahmet Ahmatović – [email protected]
The Community of Sandzak Diaspora Netherland
President Enes Nuhović - [email protected]
Representing of Sanjak for Scandinavia, based in Gothenburg
Head of Office Ferid Šantić prof.
The Community of Sandzak Diaspora Switzerland
President Faik Gegić - [email protected]
Editor in Chief - Izet Osmanović