THE ROLE OF ALIJA IZETBEGOVIĆ IN THE INDEPENDENCE OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (1)

the role of alija izetbegović in the independence of bosnia and herzegovina (1)

He served as an advisor to the first President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegović. He held important political, state and economic posts. Adamir Jerković is the Secretary General of the Bosniak Academy of Sciences and Arts. He is the author of numerous books, essays, and articles.

The state known to millions of people around the world as Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia – does not exist anymore. Yugoslavia burned out in a terrible fire which no one could have extinguished. On its ground, at the ashes of common state, seven new countries emerged. Among them is Bosnia and Herzegovina which revived its statehood. I am coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina and I will tell you today about difficult faith of my people who survived an exterminating war.

the role of alija izetbegović in the independence of bosnia and herzegovina (1)
THE ROLE OF ALIJA IZETBEGOVIĆ IN THE INDEPENDENCE OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (1)

CHARISMA OF JOSIP BROZ TITO WAS IMMENSE: Bosnia and Herzegovina encompasses a central part of former Yugoslavia. In many ways it was the most Yugoslavian republic. In all former republics, one party system was ruling and so it was in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The country was lead by League of Communists which had a leading role in all spheres of society. Yugoslavian Communist regime was Marksist – Leninist in it nature, founded on the principles of party discipline. All that was agreed in Belgrade had to be implemented, according to this principle, in the entire country.[1]

As long as the world was divided in blocks, during the cold war, Yugoslavia, as a leading non aligned country occupied a high place at the ladder of world politics. Under the rule of the president Josip Broz Tito[2] , a founder of non-aligned movement, the country was strongly advancing. The work enthusiasm, especially in the first years after the Second World War, was at its peak. All the crises which accompanied its development were overcome by calling upon Communist Party and Tito’s name who often talked to the citizens in big public gatherings. Charisma of Josip Broz Tito was immense and it originated from the times of liberation war and after-war construction. Tito was a hero of Yugoslavian people who worked together on building a socialist country. Tito was a Croat but with Yugoslavian inclinations. And due to that fact he had support from Serbs but also other Yugoslavian people who supported Yugoslavian idea as good, because especially small nations achieved their affirmation in the socialist Yugoslavia. From the seventies of previous century, Muslims could, for the first time in history, say that they are Muslims. They did not declare themselves like Serbs or Croats of Islamic religions anymore, or simply as non-declared. [3] During the mature years of socialism, Yugoslavia introduced socialist self-governance, where the government was given over to the hands of working class. Many believe this was a political experiment where everything was ownership of everyone and no one. There was no clear title of ownership, and this concept, although nicely envisaged, was destroyed with breakdown of Yugoslavian community.

During the rule of Josip Broz Tito, triple hero and lifelong president of SFRY, Yugoslavian community was firm and coherent, a community of Yugoslavian people built on the parole of brotherhood and unity and equality. One – year mandate and changes of personnel were introduced. Representatives of all people took their turns at managerial positions in the LCY (the League of Communists of Yugoslavia), Presidency of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) and presidencies of republics, all the way to the Socialist Youth League of Yugoslavia. All government structures were subjected to this principle. Only Yugoslavian People’s Army kept dominantly Serbian overbalance, among soldiers and officers, which could have been interpreted by a high number of Serbs among Yugoslavian nations.

When Tito died, Yugoslavia and the world were eight years away from the ending of the cold war which started by tearing down the Berlin wall. But, everything was pointing to the world collapse of socialism, which had as its consequence disintegration of many socialist countries, some of which burned out in the fire of a great war. Yugoslavia was among them.

FOOT NOTE:

1]The League of Communists of Yugoslavia, known until 1952 as the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, was the founding and ruling party of SFR Yugoslavia. It was formed in 1919 as the main communist opposition party in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and after its initial successes in the elections, it was proscribed by the royal government and was at times harshly and violently suppressed. It remained an illegal underground group until World War II when, after the invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, the military arm of the party, the Yugoslav Partisans, became embroiled in a bloody civil war and defeated the Axis powers and their local auxiliaries. After the liberation from foreign occupation in 1945, the party consolidated its power and established a one-party state, which existed until 1990, two years prior to the breakup of Yugoslavia.

The party, which was led by Josip Broz Tito from 1937 to 1980, was the first communist party in power in the history of the Eastern Bloc that openly opposed the Soviet Union and thus was expelled from the Cominform in 1948 in what is known as the TitoStalin split. After internal purges of pro-Soviet members, the party renamed itself the League of Communists in 1952 and adopted the politics of workers’ self-management and an independent path to communism, known as Titoism.

2] Josip Broz Tito Josip Broz Tito, original name Josip Broz, (born May 7, 1892, Kumrovec, near Zagreb, Croatia, Austria-Hungary [now in Croatia]—died May 4, 1980, Ljubljana, Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman. He was secretary-general (later president) of the Communist Party (League of Communists) of Yugoslavia (193980), supreme commander of the Yugoslav Partisans (194145) and the Yugoslav People’s Army (194580), and marshal (194380), premier (194553), and president (195380) of Yugoslavia. Tito was the chief architect of the “second Yugoslavia,” a socialist federation that lasted from World War II until 1991. He was the first Communist leader in power to defy Soviet hegemony, a backer of independent roads to socialism (sometimes referred to as “national communism”), and a promoter of the policy of nonalignment between the two hostile blocs in the Cold War.

In World War II, Tito (a pseudonym he adopted about 1935) proved an effective leader of Yugoslav Partisans. As marshal from 1943, he strengthened communist control of Yugoslavia. As premier and president, he developed an independent form of socialist rule in defiance of the Soviet Union, pursued a policy of nonalignment, built ties with other nonaligned states, and improved relations with the Western powers. Within Yugoslavia, he established a system of “symmetrical federalism” (1974) that created equality among the six republics and Serbia’s autonomous provinces (including Kosovo), while maintaining tight control to prevent separatist movements. After his death, resentment of Serbian domination led gradually to a dissolution of the federal system.

3] Islam is the most widespread religion in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Muslims comprise the single largest religious community in Bosnia and Herzegovina (51%) (the other two large groups being Eastern Orthodox Christians (31%), almost all of whom identify as Serbs, and Roman Catholics (15%), almost all of whom identify as Croats. Another estimate states that 52% of the population is Muslim, 35% Orthodox and only 8% Catholic. Almost all of Bosnian Muslims identify as Bosniaks; until 1993, Bosnians of Muslim culture or origin (regardless of religious practice) were defined by Yugoslav authorities as Muslimani (Muslims) in an ethno-national sense (hence the capital M), though some people of Bosniak or Muslim backgrounds identified their nationality (in an ethnic sense rather than strictly in terms of citizenship) as “Yugoslav” prior to the early 1990s. The Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina guarantees freedom of religion, which is generally upheld throughout the country.Many Islamic religious buildings were damaged or destroyed in the Bosnian War during the 90s, with up to 80% of well-over 4000 different buildings, and several mosques were rebuilt with the aid of funds from Saudi Arabia and other countries from the Middle and far East. Historically, Bosnian Muslims had always practiced a form of Islam that is strongly influenced by Sufism. In the 2013 census the declared religious affiliation of the population was: Islam (1,790,454 people) and Muslim (22,068 people). Islam has 1.8 million adherents, making up about 51% of the population in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Survey says that there are 52% Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina.The municipalities of Bužim (99.7%) and Teočak (99.7%) have the highest share of Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In a 1998 public opinion poll, 78.3% of Bosniaks in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared themselves to be religious.

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