At a lower socioeconomic level, most new converts to Islam were able to turn their holdings into freehold farms. The fundamental reason for the growth of such a large Muslim population in Bosnia may lie in the earlier religious history of the Bosnian state. In Ottoman times, the population was administratively grouped according to the millet system, whereby their rights were determined by their religious identity. The focus here is on the ethnonationalization of Bosnian Muslims that may be explained as a reaction to the infiltration of national ideologies designed in Serbia and Croatia. Although they continued living side by side, the formation of their identity took separate turns, forecasting political and ideological tensions. Antun Starcevic, a vehement opponent of Vuk Karadzic, promoted Croat identity that geopolitically included Bosnia. A testimony to the existence of "another" national group does not automatically propel assault on its historical identity. A number of Christian nobles, however, were able to retain their estates early on in the Ottoman rule by fighting on behalf of the Empire, suggesting that holding on to their property was not a major incentive for early conversions to Islam. But the grand vizier stirred up a rivalry between Husein and the leading kapetan of Herzegovina, Ali-aga Rizvanbegovi, and in the following year Huseins support melted away when a large Ottoman army entered Bosnia. In addition, only Muslims could hold positions in the Ottoman state apparatus, which conferred special privileges and a much higher standard of living. The congress decided that Bosnia and Herzegovina, while remaining notionally under Turkish sovereignty, would be occupied and governed by Austria-Hungary. Generally, ones religiosity is not very obvious initially. Three avenues of its articulation can be identified. Gaining autonomy from the Ottomans in the early 19th century had been repeatedly thematized in Serbian popular narratives as a symbolic victory of Christianity over Islam. In 1580 a broad area covering modern Bosnia and some surrounding areas of Croatia and Serbia was given the full status of an eyalet, or constituent province of the empire. , According to scholar Fine, the reason why conversion to Islam was more prevalent in Bosnia (and Albania) as opposed to other areas under Ottoman rule is because these areas had multiple competing churches, none of which were dominant. Get a downloadable, printable version that you can read later. It took over one hundred years for Islam to become the majority religion. Bosnian-ness, as envisioned by Austro-Hungarian exclusivism, targeted only the Muslims, with the intention of directing them ideologically away from Serbia towards their Ottoman past. Such doomed political circumstances surrounding Bosnia in the 19th century created much bitterness among the Bosnian intelligentsia, leaving it vulnerable to external influences. A synchretic history on one and the continuous foreign rulership on the other ensured the resistance of Bosnia to both succumbing completely to the wooing ideologies of neighboring Croatia and Serbia and articulating an indigenous ideological agenda. Most of the cultural heritage of Bosnian Muslims has been destroyed, not as a side-product of fighting, but as a result of a systematic targeting of architectural, cultural, and religious symbols of Bosnian Muslim identity. The agrarian reforms envisioned by Austro-Hungarians threatened to jeopardize Muslim landownership and deepen the ideologically motivated split between the Muslim and Christian populations of Bosnia. Instead, "Bosnian-ness" has remained a statement of regionalism, and within it, "Serb-ness," "Croat-ness," "Jewish-ness," and "Muslim-ness" as the declaration of national belonging. War necessitated increased taxation, causing tax revolts. During these final decades of Ottoman rule, the rise of Serbia as a quasi-autonomous Christian province, from which Muslims were violently expelled, made Bosnian Muslims feel more isolated and vulnerable. Such political inequality, however, did not necessarily imply social segregation: numerous popular narratives bear witness to a continuous interaction among these religious communities, as well as a shared sense of regional patriotism. With national awakenings in Croatia and Serbia, the pendulum swings were determined by more immediate ideological and political concerns of southern Slavs. Paradoxically, all three categories were transnational. Language determines culture. In 1831 a charismatic young kapetan called Husein seized power in Bosnia, imprisoning the vizier in Travnik. In the Habsburg-Ottoman war of 168399, Austria reconquered Ottoman Hungary and Slavonia, sending a flood of Muslim refugees (mainly converted Slavs) into Bosnia. This is slightly changing with the influence of wahhabism (an ultra-conservative Islamic doctrine and movement), which has been introduced along with Saudi aid to help rebuild Bosnia after the war. Bosnian Muslims, who are the most indigenous population of Bosnia-Herzegovina, lost possession over it by being essentialized as a Muslim nation. Generally speaking, many older Serbs see the church as an important part of their religious, social and cultural life. Pro-Ottoman sentiments were still a unifying factor for Bosnian Muslim masses, and they were mainly articulated in religion-political and socio-economic terms. In certain respects, it was a supra-regional national movement, somewhat similar to Yugoslavism that would be advocated by Tito in post-World War II Yugoslavia. Sleyman I the Magnificent, detail of an engraving of a panel by Pieter Coecke van Aelst showing a procession through Istanbul, 1533. It is thus an atomistic construct composed of several communities that have, due to their confessional differences, become ideologically alienated from each other. How Nationalism Enveloped Bosnian Muslims. This left most people religiously unengaged and receptive to the appeal of Islams institutions. While they still are closely affiliated with Islam culturally, not all Bosniaks are practising Muslims.
Yet, even without achieving far reaching goals, these diffusive ideologies left a powerful and lasting impact on the consciousness of the Bosnian population. The two communities that had for centuries shared the actual space were now separated by the imagined space, primarily by virtue of their confession. In 1697 a small Austrian army under Prince Eugene of Savoy marched into the heart of Bosnia, put Sarajevo to the torch, and hurried back to Austrian territory, taking thousands of Roman Catholic Bosnians with it. It is under these circumstances that the political consciousness of Bosnian Muslims began to emerge. In 1878 Austro-Hungarian troops took control of Bosnia, overcoming vigorous resistance from local Bosnian forces. Most important was that Christianity had relatively shallow roots in Bosnia prior to the Ottoman domination. Austria seized more territory after invading Bosnia again in 1788, but it yielded up its gains at the peace settlement in 1791. There was fighting on Bosnias borders during his final Hungarian campaign of 1566. Finally, the third articulation was the historical leap back into pre-Ottoman Bosnia whereby the link was established with Bogomil ancestors. 1618; Malcolm (1994) pp. Major wars affecting Bosnia took place almost every two generations throughout the Ottoman period.
The revolt aroused enormous popular sympathy in Serbia, which, along with Montenegro, declared war on the Ottoman Empire in 1876. Since the breakup of former Yugoslavia, the church has again seen a strong revival. (In the present war, the religious hatred propagated by The Mountain Wreath has been the main ideological fuel for Serbian nationalists. This settlement formed the basis of the northern border of modern Bosnia. 5253, Islamization and Turkification of Xinjiang, "Porezi u islamskom svijetu i u Otomanskom Carstvu", Reception of Islam in Early Modern Europe, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Islamization_of_Bosnia_and_Herzegovina&oldid=1087518336, Ottoman period in the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Religion in Bosnia and Herzegovina during Ottoman period, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, This page was last edited on 12 May 2022, at 23:21. There is no definite evidence of any Orthodox church buildings in central, northern, or western Bosnia before 1463. The existence of these powerful local institutions meant that Bosnia was well equipped to resist the reforming measures that the Ottoman sultans began to issue in the early 19th century. (Many of these buildings were systematically demolished by Serb forces in 199293.) Since much of Serbian identity is linked to religious history, an attack on a church building is often interpreted as an attack on an individual Serbian or the collective. It guaranteed the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, even though it did not end the divisionist plans of Serbia and Croatia for ideological domination over Bosnia. , Another way in which Bosnia was Islamized was through immigration. Bogomilism was regarded as a major dualistic heresy by the Catholic Church and against whom Pope John XXII even launched a Crusade in 1325. Their religious belonging, constructed in the early 20th century as a separate ethnonational identity, has failed short of providing a convincing mythological discourse, that would spatially and temporally preserve this identity as a nation state. A triangle of contending forces, each pulling in a different direction, was formed around Bosnia, exerting more and more pressure on Bosnian Muslims to make up their national mind. It was a reactive consciousness, embedded mainly in an apophatic discourse. Russia came into the war on their behalf in the following year. However, today, the more popular term for this ethnicity is Bosniak. For example, it is now becoming more common for Muslim women to follow the Islamic dress code. This was a gradual development; it took more than a hundred years for Muslims to become an absolute majority. On the other hand, in Ottoman times, arable land had been distributed along confessional lines. Wherever Serbian is spoken, Karadzic argued, there is Serbia. Consequently, the Muslim peoples have never had `aptitude' for nationalism. More specifically, its attempt was to revive the assumed unity of the Balkan peoples before the 9th century arrival of Catholicism and Orthodoxy that caused religious and political split in the region. There may be some residual sensitivity surrounding that. Shortly thereafter, in 1836, the leading Serbian intellectual and language reformer, Vuk Karadzic, initiated a form of linguistic centrism with his article "Serbs All and Everywhere" ("Srbi svi i svuda"). However, faith was used as a divisive tool for inciting violence during the war. Historically, Bosnia has escaped the transformation into a nation-state. It is to be noted that "Turks" here are not people of Turkish origin but South Slavic converts to Islam who, as the argument goes, betrayed the Serbian race. Descriptions of Sarajevo by visiting travelers portray it as one of the wonders of the Balkans, with fountains, bridges, schools, libraries, and mosques. As Ignatieff put it, "Before the experience of genocide, a people may not believe they belong to a nation. , Several factors appear to have been behind this process. For example, many Bosniaks drink alcohol. The result was the crystallization of Yugoslavia as the federation of six Republics (Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia-Herzegovina) in which only one of them-Bosnia-Herzegovina - was not a national construct. In Herzegovina a third church, the Serbian Orthodox, had competed. Real local power passed increasingly into the hands of a type of hereditary official (unique to the Bosnian eyalet) known as a kapetan. Historically, it is the shared property of ethnic Jews, Muslims, Serbs, and Croats, who all rightfully call it their home. Though ineffective in the larger context and exclusive of the autochthonous though non-Slavic Balkan peoples (e.g. Bosnian Catholic and Orthodox population were readily absorbed by the expansionist nationalist tendencies of Croatia and Serbia, respectively. The motives that inclined Bosnians to adopt Islam were partly economic: the prosperous cities of Sarajevo and Mostar were also mainly Muslim, and it was not possible to lead a full civic life there without converting to Islam. Merchants found it advantageous to convert to Islam because they gained greater freedom of movement and state protection for their goods as Muslims. I shall not recount all the murders, robberies, and persecution of Muslims. Why is this pluralism now in jeopardy? Consequently, while the Bosnian Church remained confined to the heartland, it was the Francuscans who carried out more widespread missionary activities that lasted until the arrival of the Ottomans in the mid-15th century. A Venetian-Ottoman war, beginning in the 1640s and lasting until 1669, involved heavy fighting and destruction in parts of western Bosnia. Under the feudal system imposed by the Ottomans, only those who converted to Islam could acquire and inherit land and property, which accorded them political rights, a status usually denied to non-Muslims. Be the champion for inclusion in your workplace with exceptional tools and resources. At the same time, some Muslim families preferred to have their sons conscripted (e.g. Islam is more important than nationality." The majority of Muslims are Bosniaks, most Orthodox Christians are Bosnian Serb and Catholic Christians are generally Bosnian Croat. The confusing signals from Croat and Serb nationalisms were particularly accentuated as the Serbian fears of the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia were realized in 1978.
Cultural Survival envisions a future that respects and honors Indigenous Peoples' inherent rights and dynamic cultures, deeply and richly interwoven in lands, languages, spiritual traditions, and artistic expression, rooted in self-determination and self-governance. , The various advantages and privileges that were reserved for Muslims and the large number of conversions they encouraged among the native population led to the emergence over time of a largely local Muslim ruling class that dominated political and economic power in Bosnia and Herzegovina. What it has not escaped, however, is an "internal nationalization," which subjected its population to partition along ethnonational lines.
More moderate articulations of such victorious sentiments looked for a tacit acceptance of the Muslim community with the hope that through adequate educational policies the Muslims would reconvert. In the later Ottoman period, Bosnia attracted Muslim refugees from lands that were reconquered by Christian powers (mainly Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia). Also introduced was the notorious system called devirme, under which Christian boys aged 10 and above were taken off for training in the imperial administration and the Janissary corps, an elite army division. Numerous works of poetry, philosophy, and theology were written. Thus many adherents of the Bosnian Church were more receptive to conversion to Islam. Bosnian Muslims traditionally follow the Sunni variation of Islam and the Hanafi school of thought. Another handicap of this church in spreading its influence was its being labeled as heretical by the Pope.
And the large-scale Habsburg-Ottoman conflict of 15931606 was sparked by fighting in the Biha region of northwestern Bosnia. Unlike the Serbian awakening that came as a result of the Ottoman retreat, Croatian national sentiments reflected opposition to both the ongoing subordination to the Austro-Hungarian rule and, more specifically, the Hungarian assimilationist tendencies. All Rights Reserved. With YMO uncommitted to either, Croatia and Serbia easily incorporated Catholic and Orthodox Bosnians into their national discourses. Some of these settlers were Vlachs, members of a pre-Slav Balkan population that had acquired a Latinate language and specialized in stock breeding, horse raising, long-distance trade, and fighting. It is very rare for a person to change religions. During the 16th century, however, several Orthodox monasteries were built in those parts of Bosnia, apparently to serve the newly settled Orthodox population there.  However, it is not universally accepted among historians that the Bosnian Church was Bogomilist. Nevertheless, most Bosnians are still open-minded. One theory as to why conversion to Islam was more prevalent in Bosnia than other places in the Balkans is the possibility that the Bosnian Church practiced bogomilism. Furthermore, it may be difficult to differentiate between Muslims and Orthodox Christians as women from both religions may wear headscarves. In other words, the question raised is how an essentially religious community became both an ethnic and national community, without changing its appellation. The first is the rejection of nationalism in favor of the supra-national Islamic community. That is true. In 1919, the Muslim resistance to both socio-economic and ideological actions of the Yugoslav government was objectified in the establishment of the Yugoslav Muslim Organization (YMO).  Muslims paid much lower taxes and enjoyed widespread benefits while Christians were second-class citizens. Towards the end of World War I in 1918, he had issued the following statement: "As soon as our troops cross the Drina River, we will give the Turks 24, perhaps 48 hours to convert to the religion of their forefathers, and those who resist we shall slay as we have done in the past.". According to the 2013 census, 50.70% of Bosnians identified as Muslim, 30.75% identified as Orthodox Christians, and 15.19% identified as Roman Catholic Christians. In the next major war (171418), Austria joined forces with Venice, and in the Treaty of Passarowitz (Poarevac, Serbia) in 1718, Venetian-ruled Dalmatia was allowed to extend its territory inland, reaching a line that since then has formed part of the southwestern border of Bosnia. As Noel Malcolm aptly points out, it is questionable whether Bosnia would have ever adopted what is described here as "internal nationalization" had it not been for its neighbors. The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina were thus deprived of any territorial claim, much like the Jews or the Gypsies: a community in time, but not in space. Ernest Gellner proposed that the function of nationalism is endowing a culture with its own political roof. While the Serbian Orthodox Church is important to most Serbs, peoples level of adherence may vary. Many Muslims in these regions fled to other parts of the Balkans, including to Bosnia. This receptiveness was aided by the development among many people of a kind of folk Christianity centered on various practices and ceremonies that was adaptable to a form of folk Islam popular at the time of the invasion.. Both the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires were foreign powers, and their agendas for the future of Bosnia took little account of the indigenous aspirations.  Some converted to Islam as a way to escape the devirme tribute (whereby the son of Christian family would be taken for military service). This paper will attempt to answer these questions by discussing the interplay of different pluralist and exclusivist ideologies pouring into Bosnia in the 19th century from neighboring Serbia and Croatia. Most were members of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Regarding the Croatian stance, it should be noted that Croat nationalism sprouted out of a completely different political framework. Serbian and Croatian nationalisms, arising from their respective political and ideological climates, clearly demonstrate this transformation of consciousness. In all these respects, conditions in Bosnia were similar to those in the other conquered areas of Europe. Important Catholic values that manifest in Croat cultural values include compassion and graciousness. The identity crisis of Bosnian Muslims, already dichotomized through Serbo-Croatian national aspirations, acquired yet a third, more local dimension: Bosnian-ness (Boshnak-ness). During the Great Turkish War of the late 1600s, the Ottoman Empire lost control of most of Hungary and portions of the northwestern Balkans. Why has Serbian (and to an extent Croatian) national ideology singled out Bosnian Muslims in their "cleansing" policies? A further 2.25% identified with some other religious affiliation (including Judaism, atheism and agnosticism). Rizvanbegovis reward was that Herzegovina was separated from the Bosnian eyalet as a distinct territory under his rule. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander custodians past, present and emerging. In an attempt to stem the flow of Serbian ideology into Bosnia, Austro-Hungarians sought to promote a distinct Bosnian identity and targeted Bosnian Muslims as the most liable party. Another way in which Bosnia differed from other parts of the Ottoman Balkans is that, for most of the Ottoman period, Bosnia was a frontier province, facing some of the empires most important enemies Austria, Hungary, and Venice. In one crucial way, however, Bosnia differed from the other Balkan lands (except, later, Albania): a large part of the native population converted to Islam. The raw model was not the Ottoman Sultanate but the Turkish Republic, where the Islamic identity did not preempt nationalization, but, on the contrary, was a part of it. Fine mosques were also built in towns such as Foa and Banja Luka. Whereas neighbouring Serbia had benefited from a strong, territorially organized national church, Bosnia had seen competition in most areas between the Bosnian church and the Roman Catholic Church, both of which operated only out of monastic houses. Ljudevit Gaj (d. 1872) expressed best this need for ideological syncretism: in the 1830s, he founded the so-called Illyrian movement that rooted itself in a linguistic and racial unity of all Balkan Slavs. The key figure in this process was Josef Stadler, who, after having been appointed archbishop for Bosnia, extended the religious component even further by insisting on the conversion of Bosnian Muslims to Catholicism. On the one hand, the head of the Muslim community argued that Islam does not allow for national sentiments, as prime loyalty should be paid to the Sultan as Caliph. It remains common for Muslims to visit Christian neighbours on Christmas, and vice versa during Ramadan. As a branch of Christianity, Catholicism is based on the doctrine of God as the Holy Trinity, consisting of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The first of these, Omer-paa Latas, crushed a major rebellion in 185051 and revoked the separate status of Herzegovina. At the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder were the serfs, who constituted the majority of the population and were predominantly Christians. Bosnia and Herzegovina under Austro-Hungarian rule, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Yugoslav kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina in communist Yugoslavia. Of the five basic pillars of Islam, the salat (ritual prayers five times a day), hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) and sawm (fasting during Ramadan) are not widely followed throughout the culture. But the traditional belief that Bosnian noblemen converted en masse to Islam in order to keep their estates has been largely disproved by modern historians. The increasing role of foreign powers (especially Austria and Russia) as protectors of the interests of Christians in the Balkans also raised Bosnian suspicions. The Bosnian Catholic population readily embraced this element in Croatian nationalism, as it was the most powerful common denominator that rendered them real Croats. With the establishment of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes after World War I in 1918, the new Yugoslav government went ahead with implementing the agrarian reforms.
Bosnia was rapidly absorbed into the Ottoman Empire and was divided into military-administrative districts, or sanjaks (from the Turkish sanck, meaning banner). After genocide, it becomes their faith.". Land was distributed according to the Ottoman feudal system, in which the holder of a timar (estate) had to report for military duty, bringing and supporting other soldiers. With an army of 25,000 men, Husein then marched into Kosovo to negotiate with the Ottoman grand vizier, demanding local autonomy for Bosnia and an end to the reform process there. Interestingly, this statement foresaw much of the spirit of Alija Izetbegovic's "Islamic Declaration" of 1970: "Pan-Islamism has always come from the very heart of the Muslim peoples, nationalism has always been imported. We were the victims of organized religious fanaticism, and were therefore forced to group ourselves on a religious basis too. The cartography of a contemporary of his, Ilija Grasanin, filled in the gap: wherever Serbian is spoken, there is Serbia, ruled by the Serbian monarch. Nation-building, as Anderson points out, necessitates the removal of a people from their historical context of "objective modernity" towards the creation of a myth about their "subjective antiquity." Today, however, after three years of being subjected to genocide, for the Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina the question of self-definition is urgently linked to the very question of survival. But that only proves that the persecution of Muslims was not a result of our non-national circumstances. The subsequent national articulations in Croatia were much more exclusive of Serbia, though not of Bosnia. Even children known about those. With the gradual breakdown of the Empire, Bosnia in 1878 was taken over by yet another imperial power, the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Therefore, they abandoned these reforms, realizing that the political consequences would be against their interest in preserving the unity of Bosnia. The war in Bosnia is a tragic testimony to the political and ideological abuse of religious differences in a society whose historical integrity is embedded in their mutual acculturation. A similar policy was continued by Tito in post-World War II Yugoslavia: the Constitution of 1971 gave Muslims a legitimate national status, essentializing thus the tri-partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Muslims were excluded. However, generally speaking, while many Croats believe in the fundamental teachings of the religion, they may not strictly practise their faith through regular church attendance. For example, one often hears the term Inshallah meaning if God permits. Any content older than 10 years is archival and Cultural Survival does not necessarily agree with the content and word choice today. The Serb ethnic identity and Serbian nationalism are often linked to the Serbian Orthodox Church. Ideologically, it belongs to none of them as far as the one-nation-one-polity paradigm goes.