Bosniak political and religious leaders signed a joint statement condemning terrorism and violent extremism and calling on Muslims to distance themselves from radical ideas.
The statement was signed on Friday in Sarajevo at a meeting between Islamic leaders and the Bosnian reis-ul-ulema or chief mufti, Husein Kavazovic.
“We wish to confirm that the Islamic community in Bosnia and Herzegovina has adopted all declarations as far back as 2007 in which it said that the religion in our country must be in line with the teachings of our ancestors in this region,” Kavazovic said.
“We condemn every call for hatred and violence,” he added.
In the past two years Bosnia and Herzegovina has suffered attacks on a police station and against members of its armed forces, with more than 200 individuals have also gone to fight in Syria. Around 43 have died there and around 50 have returned to Bosnia.
This year, the security ministry also adopted an anti-terrorism strategy in a bid to improve investigations, which are hampered by the fragmented nature of the Bosnian security, police and prosecutorial system.
Friday’s statement, signed by politicians and religious leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that extremism must be fought institutionally, intellectually as well as morally and politically.
“We expect Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Islamic communities across Europe to remain dedicated to the traditional, universal, moral and civilizational values of Islam and to distance themselves from all forms of radicalism and to fiercely fight against violence and injustice,” the statement says.
All security, police and prosecution institutions were called upon in the statement to use all means to fight against radicalism and extremism.
The statement was signed by 37 Bosniak leaders, among them the Bosniak member of the country’s presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, renowned professors, human rights activists and representatives of wartime victims.
The statement also said that the threat of radicalism was not recognized on time and that wartime sufferings, injustice, unemployment and the setting up of Muslim communities not in the “official system of the Bosnian Islamic community” have created a dangerous combination which leads to violent extremism.
Source: Balkan Insight