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(E) Bloodstained Christmas in Bosnia and Herzegovina
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  01/1/2003 | Letters to the Editors | Unrated
(E) Bloodstained Christmas in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Distributed by CroatianWorld




To the American media and all those concerned with peace and stability
in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the world.

January 1, 2003

The slaughter of Andjelko Andjelic (68) and his two daughters, Mara (46)
and Zorica (27) took place in the village of Kostajnica, near the town
of Konjic, in Bosnia and Herzegovina on December 24, 2002. Andjelko’s
son Marinko (30) was seriously injured during the attack. They were
gunned down in their home while making Christmas preparations.

A couple days later, the killer was caught and he admitted to the
massacre without much hesitation. For him this was a heroic spiritual
experience. He was doing the will of Allah. The victims were members of
a Croat Catholic family who returned a few years ago to their home after
living outside the country as war-refugees. The murderer was Muamer
Topalovic (25), a Muslim, from a nearby village. The timing of the
killings was very symbolic.

To the time of peace, joy, and love for all Christians, this young
Muslim responded with hate, fear, and death. The primary message of his
evil act was that Bosnia and Herzegovina, more specifically the
Bosniak-Croat Federation entity, is a land of Islam and not a place for
the Croat Catholics. Stay away from the homes of your ancestors was
the murderer’s blood-written statement to the Croat refugees.

Topalovic, according to his confession, belongs to two Islamic
organizations, Jemiet el Furkan and the Active Islamic Youth. The first
is directly and the other indirectly sponsored by Islamic fundamentalist
forces from Saudi Arabia.

The massacre in Kostajnica is just a culmination of anti-Croat
activities since the Dayton peace treaty was signed at the end of 1995.
Shortly before this last Christmas, a Catholic church in Alipasino Polje
near Sarajevo was vandalized. Among other “symbols” of hate, the
intruders left fecal matters on the altar. A gang of Muslims marched
into a Catholic Church in Novo (New) Sarajevo during the services and
verbally harassed the pastor and the faithful. A young man was beaten
so hard that he ended in a hospital for posting flyers announcing a
traditional Christmas concert at the Catholic Cathedral in Sarajevo. A
Nativity display in Mostar was set ablaze and in the same city
anti-Christian leaflets were distributed calling Muslims, among other
things, not to celebrate the “Christian New Year.”

The latest massacre and other harassments indicate a clear pattern of
violent activities on the part of Muslim fanatics in order to scare
away the Croat war-refugees returning to their homes. A series of
violent attacks in 1997 and 1998 in central Bosnia resulted in the
deaths of seven Croats. Several attacks were made on buildings
belonging to Catholics or Catholic organizations, including a Catholic
school. A car bomb exploded in Mostar. And even the Deputy Minister of
Interior, a Croat, was assassinated on the streets of Sarajevo in 1999.

Quite often these and similar occurrences are dismissed as “incidents”
caused by some mentally deranged individuals and/or fanatics. But there
are certain patterns that point out that the Kostajnica massacre and
other acts of violence against the Croats in the Bosniak-Croat
Federation are only symptoms of much deeper processes that are taking
place in the country.

First, all of such incidents are done in the name of religion and not
nationalism which implies that Bosnia is moving in the direction where
every government and every legal system will be seen as illegitimate if
it is not Islamic in nature.

Second, in every case there is a Middle Eastern, mainly Saudi Arabian,
connection. Under the cover of “humanitarianism” the local Muslims are
being “converted” to the Saudi version of Islam that teaches them that
Bosnia is the land of Islam and for the Muslims only. Obviously, to use
violent means against the “infidels” in order to achieve that goal is
encouraged or at least permitted.

Third, the country’s judicial-cum-political authorities are constantly
“unable” to catch the culprits. Topalovic is the first such offender to
be caught. In the case of the murder of Jozo Leutar, the above
mentioned Deputy Minister, the Sarajevo authorities with the help of the
international representatives jailed and tried six Croats for the
crime. But thanks to the perseverance of a couple of local newspapers
it was recently uncovered that the persecution’s case was knowingly based
on the account of a witness who was well-paid by some high government
officials in Sarajevo.

Fourth, the representatives of the international community, who are the
true rulers in the country, are not undertaking the necessary steps to
protect those who are returning to their homes. On the contrary, they
are tolerating Islamic extremism in Bosnia because the West, more
specifically the United States, is not eager to offend the Saudi rulers
by pushing their “humanitarian” cronies from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Fifth, the Islamic religious leadership in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
although expressing its dissatisfaction with the intrusion of the Saudi
puritanical Wahhabi doctrine and repetitiously proclaiming its adherence
to religious toleration, is not doing enough to promote such toleration
among its faithful. Fanatics such as the Kostajnica murderer or those
desecrating Catholic churches and attacking nuns and people who wear
Christian symbols on the Streets of Sarajevo, did not come from the
moon. Someone made them religious fanatics. Someone has taught them
that Islam permits them to kill innocent Catholic neighbors for a
greater religious cause. Those who teach and/or tolerate such teaching
are the true murderers. The fact is that such indoctrination is taking
place in Bosnia and Herzegovina; otherwise, there would not be killings
and acts of violence against Christians done in the name of Islam.
Thus, the Islamic leadership in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosniak
community as a whole have a grave responsibility in their hands if they
want to be taken seriously as peace partners in making Bosnia and
Herzegovina a multi-religious and multi-ethnic country.

We hope that the so-called fanatics are not simply a visible expression
of a subtle desire and effort of the Bosniaks to squeeze the Croats out
of the country, specifically from the Federation, and claim the land as
their Ottoman inheritance. If the above mentioned and similar events
are a continuation of the struggle for ethnically cleansed territories
then there is no hope for Bosnia and Herzegovina, its inhabitants, or
peace in that land.

Hopefully the Bloody Christmas in Kostajnica will be a wake up call for
all those who hold that every human life is holy and that people
regardless of their faith and ethnicity can live in peace.

Ante Cuvalo, Ph. D. - President Petar Radielovic - Secretary
Alliance of Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina 3734 E. Locksley Dr.
19121 Wildwood Avenue Pasadena, CA 91107
Lansing, IL 60438 Tel. 626-795-3495
Tel/Fax (708) 895-5531 E-Mail: 

The Alliance of Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded in 1994 by
Americans Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Alliance was an
active promoter of the preservation of a Bosnia and Herzegovina in
which the Bosniaks (Muslims), Croats and Serbs would enjoy equal
national rights as the three constituent peoples in an undivided country
in which the equal rights and freedoms of all its citizens, regardless
of race, ethnicity or creed, would be guaranteed.

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