Chapter

The Downhill Path <i>and</i> Defense, Not Surrender

Rusmir Mahmutehaji

in Liberal Islam

Published in print October 1998 | ISBN: 9780195116212
Published online November 2007 |
  The Downhill Path and Defense, Not Surrender

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Rusmir Mahmutehaji (Yugoslavia-Bosnia, born 1948), a professor of electrical engineering, served in several cabinet posts in the first years of Bosnia-Herzegovinas independence from Yugoslavia, 19911993. During this period, Bosnias Serb and Croat minorities supported by the neighboring countries of Serbia (the dominant remaining segment of Yugoslavia) and Croatiaembarked on secessionist campaigns that involved the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims, who comprise almost 40 percent of the nations population, in areas under Serb and Croat control. The mass eviction, pillage, rape, and murder of Muslims drove the Bosnian government to adopt an increasingly strident Islamic identity. Mahmutehaji and other Bosnian Muslims objected to this response as inconsistent with Bosnias destiny of unity within diversity. 1 As he explains in the second excerpt here, Mahmutehaji protested by resigning from the cabinet in 1993 and has turned to the historical study of Islam in Bosnia, particularly its Sufi traditions. While Mahmutehaji defends multicultural pluralism, he appears to identify democracy with its most virulent, xenophobic expressions, as exemplified for Mahmutehaji by contemporary Serbia and Croatia.

Chapter.  3835 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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