Keynote address by Professor Emir Ramic at the roundtable “Bosniaks and Bosnia” in Toronto, Canada on Nov. 25, 2010.
The Bosnian identity is a cultural and historical factor of Bosnian customs. It’s a model of existence for the Bosnian being, of which core values consist of respect, acceptance, recognition and toleration of a different other. The destruction of genocide and the world’s misunderstandings for the value of the Bosnian identity lead to the destruction of the Bosnian being. In the conditions of the powerful Croatian and Serbian detachments from Bosnia and anything Bosnian, in the conditions of the depressive Bosniak’s misplacement in the internal and external conspiracies, the Bosnian identity is disappearing more and more. This inevitably leads to the disappearance of a Bosnian’s belonging, or the belonging of a special culture of unity. The Bosnian mind is controlled by others: those who have occupied the Bosnian identity.
The conditions of a Bosnian’s detachment from the Bosnian mind create an unnatural gulf between the sense of what’s “Bosniak” and “Bosnian”, which should be connected. Being Bosniak doesn’t deny being Bosnian, and without being Bosnian there can be no Bosniak. The traumatized Bosniak mind believes that, worries over the issue of being Bosniak would endanger Bosnians, because Serbian and Croatian particularities would strengthen. Incorrect! Serbian and Croatian particularities exist, independent from how much Bosniaks are close to their particularities- which wouldn’t exist without being Bosnian.
The unnatural gulf in between the terms Bosniak and Bosnian produces a Bosniak self-hate, which has two sources. The first, systematically tries to impose upon Bosniaks the imagined guilt, and with that justify the committed genocide. The second is in the unwillingness of a Bosniak to understand how their surroundings don’t understand tolerance and nobleness; instead they consider Bosniak civility as a weakness. Bosniaks can’t understand why they are being killed, punished, and humiliated, even though they don’t wish or do evil on anyone. This confusion, under the pressures of criminal propaganda, has over time transformed into feelings of self-contempt and self-hate, of which worried Bosniaks see their religious and national belonging as the cause of all problems. Someone needs to explain to the Bosniak people that the mistake isn’t within us Bosniaks, but rather in them. That is why we need Bosniak national institutions, which would point out on all of the national goals and which would mobilize Bosniaks to act for the common good. Many Bosniaks abandon their identity so they can profit in the new system of values. Serbians will stay Serbian, Croatians will stay Croatian, but Bosniaks will lose their Muslim and Bosniak identities.
Bosniaks will become a people without a home, if they don’t become serious and understand that the aggression committed on them and their country didn’t end in 1995, but rather it’s been continuing unabated. The only difference today is that our lives aren’t the victims; our souls are. Bosnia and Bosniaks throughout history have lived outside of their sovereign and national attributes more often than in their own. Bosnia and Bosniaks today find themselves in the lowest point of existence, which is further complicated by the lack of awareness of the state of its people, and lack of visions for its perspectives.
Bosniaks don’t have a home on which they could be interested for their present and future, which means that the Bosniaks are a decapitated people who live without a system, plan, or awareness of time and place. The logical consequence of this is decay and disappearance.
It’s urgent for Bosniaks to finally receive a national institute, which would collect and collocate Bosniak energy, as all European people do for themselves, and which will establish the virtue of giving to its people, and not taking from the people.
In the Dayton’s wanderings, the most important values defended in the war are lost, and the first one of them is patriotic conscience, of which the youngest generations don’t know anything about because they don’t have a place to learn about our army, about our victims, and about love for our homeland. Today there are more Serbian and Croatian patriotism in Bosnia than there is a sense of Bosnian among Bosniaks, and the cause of this is the bosniaphobic Dayton system, which is burdened by ghettoized and satanized Bosniaks as well as connecting Bosnia’s Serbs with Serbia and Croatians with Croatia. Bosniaks are forced into a narrow space, obsessed with doubt in ourselves, in Bosnia, and in our victims. The Bosnia that we remember is disappearing even in areas where Bosniaks are a majority. The final goal of the Dayton genocide project is for Bosnia, with its civilized attributes of tolerance and unity, to throw out from its area on which currently reside ghettoized Bosniaks, who will with time assimilate into a non-Muslim and non-Bosniak group, which will in a couple of decades disappear altogether.
This is the Bosnia without Bosniaks, but it is also Bosniaks without Bosnia who are pushing themselves away from their country under genocidal pressures, while they quietly accept their end and their disappearance. Our duty is to fight against evil just like civilization in the twentieth century fought against Hitler’s fascism. We might not be able to bring back what we lost, but at least we can keep ourselves clean from sin.