I wouldn’t get too involved, but I can’t see why any priest or hodja would get involved. According to my human morality, it is not up to them to interfere in things that could make life miserable for any party, regardless of religion and nation.”
This is what Fikret Alic, a former detainee of one of the camps for the non-Serb population in northwestern BiH, is saying to Radio Free Europe (RSE), commenting on the last speech of the chief imam in Kozarac near Prijedor.
Amir Mahic, the main imam in this settlement, located a few kilometers from Prijedor, was summoned by the police for questioning after the khutbah (sermon) he gave on January 27thin the mosque in Kozarac.
Addressing the faithful on January 27th, Mahic spoke about the Serbian Orthodox Church and Saint Sava.
“This is a man on whose ideology a sect was conceived, which we know well here, that is the Serbian Orthodox sect,” said, among others, an imam from Kozarac, a town on the territory of the entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) – Republika Srpska(RS).
Mahic confirmed that he will respond to the police summons for questioning, stressing that he cannot discuss this case and his statement at the moment. He is accused of publicly provoking and inciting violence and hatred.
Prijedor is the city where, at the beginning of the war in BiH, in 1992, some of the biggest crimes took place, mostly against Bosniak and Croat residents.
Rhetoric that affects returnees
Fikret Alic from Kozarac was imprisoned in the Keraterm and Trnopolje camps in the summer of 1992.
This former war camp prisoner tells that any negative rhetoric affects the life of Bosniak returnees to the RS, who have often faced provocations over the past 20 years.
Although he emphasizes that the former war camp prisonershave suffered years of belittling of their suffering, Alic believes that the statement of the imam from Kozarac does not favor the returnees either.
After the sermon of the imam from Kozarac, the Interreligious Council in BiH, an organization consisting of the Islamic Community of BiH, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church and the Jewish Community in BiH, reacted.
The Council condemned “unacceptable speech directed against the Serbian Orthodox Church and its believers”, with the message that it is very important to condemn all insults against believers, religious communities, and churches in BiH, Radio Slobodna Evropa reports.