80 Years from the Bosniak Anti-Fascist Resolutions

In October and November of 1941, Bosniaks throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, from cities of Prijedor, Banja Luka, Sarajevo, Zenica, to Mostar, Trebinje and others, stood up against the Ustasha and Nazi crimes against their Serb, Jewish and Roma neighbors.

Bosniaks were the only European people who in 1941 raised their voice against the Ustasha and Nazi tyranny and racial laws. The Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Zenica, Mostar and other anti-fascist resolutions testify to the collective sentiment of Bosniaks in those dark times of fascism. Almost all eminent Bosniak politicians, intellectuals and religious leaders were the signatories of those anti-fascist resolutions. Those are the documents of civilizational value. They represent the true foundation of the later anti-fascist struggle during the aggression and war of 1992 – 1995. They are, actually, the true answer to the question: who are Bosniaks? Bosniaks are an anti-fascist European people who have in the course of centuries endeavored to preserve and advance the pluralistic character and tolerant spirit of their country.

Bosniaks did not allow for the idea of anti-fascism to ever be defeated in Bosnia and Herzegovina, not even in those years of 1941 and 1942. They did not allow the dangerous ideologies of exclusivity to prevail over the progressive ideologies of inclusion, integration and pluralism which seek to free the human potential.

Bosniaks stand firmly on the side of those who believe that the anti-fascism is a precious legacy of humanity. Their experience through history offers a valuable lesson to the European society as a whole. Especially their commitment to advancement of the inter-ethnic dialogue and tolerance as the pillars of the state and society of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Alija Izetbegović often spoke of the anti-fascist tradition of Bosniaks and he affirmed it in his efforts and actions:

„Our goal is a democratic, secular state, in which no one will be persecuted because of their religion, nation or political affiliation.“

„The concept of one-nation, one-religion and one-party parastates – and I say that in plural – we counter with our concept of a free and democratic Bosnia. The hate and intolerance we counter with democracy and tolerance.“ 

A book about the Bosniak resolutions The Muslim Resolutions: Bosniak Responses to World War Two Atrocities in Bosnia and Herzegovina published by the Institute for Islamic Tradition of Bosniaks can be bought at Amazon.