This is a part of the message sent by the professor of the Islamic Sciences College in Sarajevo Dzemaludin Latic and Mostar mufti Seid Smajkic to young Bosnian Muslims on behalf of the Foundation Talas Vakufa ["wave of Islamic charity"]. According to the official press material, Talas Vakufa was "founded with the goal of reawakening forgotten social values and bringing hidden truths back to life."
Both Latic and Smajkic in their activities follow ideas and goals of the movement Young Muslims, founded many years before either of them was born, in 1939. Although members of the Young Muslims movement were at the same time founders of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), they formally kept their earlier organization mode. Namely, Latic's and Smajkic's Talas Vakufa is only one mode of organized activities against "atheism, un-Islamic media, westernized missionaries, deism,..." which, according to some of Islamic intellectuals and religious scholars who agreed to talk for our magazine, are actually put in place through the Civic association Young Muslims. According to the same sources, one of the founders of the Young Muslims movement and the SDA in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Omer Behmen continues to informally coordinate activities of Muslim youth organizations that "carry out religious instruction, explaining what is correct and what is banned in Islam."
Some five to six years ago Omer Behmen was denied accreditation of the Turkish authorities for an ambassadorial post in that country due to his radical religious views. Deputy presidents of the Young Muslims movement are Mustafa Cengic, Edhem Baksic and Emir Mehmedovic, while Ismet Kasumagic is the president of the Main Board. Representatives of Young Muslims refused to talk with Slobodna Bosna.
A young imam from one of Sarajevo mosques claims that the mesjid was reconstructed by a group of "dedicated Muslim students" in 1998. Our collocutor also refers to this group as "the third generation of Young Muslims". Although Sulejman Bugari is the chief mualim for religious instruction, informal "guardians" of the mesjid are Omer Behmen and Nezim Halilovic Muderis, wartime commander of the Fourth Muslim Brigade in Konjic and hatib (person who delivers sermons, hutbas, on Fridays) of the Saudi King Fahd mosque in Alipasino Polje.
In his lectures, Halilovic repeats Latic's and Smajkic's exortations.
"Some four days ago a father and mother of four shehids were thrown out of an apartment in Sarajevo, so that an aggressor on Bosnia-Hercegovina could return to the apartment and annex 7 of the Dayton agreement be implemented! You could not see anything about this on any TV channel, while homosexuals and fornicators of the worst sort have their TV spots in primetime. Such editorial policy is justified by imitation of western trends that suit our youth! I am not convinced that such actions will take us to Europe, but I do know that they are definitely taking us to jehenem [hell], while Allah dz.s. knows best and He will make the final decision..."
Tabacki Mesjid also includes a mekteb (primary religious school), while religious instruction is organized separately, and includes lectures about Islam, as well as the political situation in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
The chief lecturer at the Tabacki Mesjid, also active in the King Fahd Mosque, is a Saudi physician Nahed Eneim, coordinator of the assistance arriving from the Islamic countries. Doctor Nahed Eneim instructs the youth coming to his lectures about appropriate behavior, Islamic customs, attitude towards politics, man, woman...
Most of lectures at Tabacki Mesjid were delivered by Nezim Halilovic, Dzemaludin Latic, director of Gazi Husrev-Beg madrasa Zijad Ljevakovic (first cousin of Irfan Ljevakovic, one of defendants in the Pogorelica terrorist camp case and the owner of Jutarnje Novine), professor at the Sarajevo Law School Enes Durmisevic, former legal issues advisor at the Rijaset of the Islamic Community and currently an ambassador Dr. Mehmedalija Hadzic, hafiz Fadil Fazlic, Dzenan Suljevic, Ismet Busatlic, Zuhdija Hasanovic...
Most of lectures dealing with the political situation call for struggle against secularism, communism, and Semitism, and for unification and brotherhood of all Muslims, regardless of their ethnicity or citizenship.
The so-called "official views" of the Young Muslims very vividly describe "Muslim traitors" and "Communist infidels".
"We need not analyze Communists, we know who they are, what they are, and what they want. But, if ‘Haris' party' [Haris Silajdzic's party, the Party for Bosnia-Hercegovina] did not participate in the ‘Alliance' [for changes], Communists would not again be in power. The Party for Bosnia-Hercegovina (SBiH), led by Haris Silajdzic, aspires to represent the Bosniak identity, while their representatives are supposed to defend Bosniak interests. If Silajdzic were perceived as a true defector from the SDA, he would have ended up as many others (Abdic, Zulfikarpasic, [Muhamed Filipovic] Tunjo...), with only a couple of hundred of votes. But no! He was declared Alija's heir, which created among our people the impression that everything was a ruse agreed by Silajdzic and Alija Izetbegovic. And the day of the vote on the constitutional reform came. Reforms that turned Serbs in Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina into a constituent nation, while Bosniaks in the Republic of Srpska did not receive an equal status. And the representatives of the SBiH in the parliament voted as instructed, so that here in the Federation everyone is equal, while over there (Srpska) Serbs are more equal than others," Omer Behmen explained to young Muslim intellectuals on the eve of general elections last October.
Six goals of the struggle of Young Muslims do not include either Bosnia-Hercegovina or Bosniak national interests. The goals are listed as follows:
Ideological instruction of individuals; Role of the community in our struggle; Creation of Islamic Society and Environment; Political and Economic Liberation and Unification Of the Islamic World; Establishment of the Islamic Order; Establishment of the Islamic Culture and Civilization.
Young Muslims envisage three modes for their future struggle: propaganda war, physical and political struggle. Young Muslims talk about selection in which strong Muslims will survive, while weak Muslims will disappear.
"They will keep telling us that our work is silly, that our goals are nonsense and that it is clear to everyone with even a shred of logic that they can never be achieved. We shall be, both as a group and individuals, ostracized. They will refuse to greet us on the street, they will refuse to talk to us or to hang out with us. They will deny us moral and financial support. They will mock us, point finger at us. They will cause trouble for us, all the time... In the end, they will announce a struggle to the bitter end, until total extermination. Obviously, in such a struggle our ranks will be culled as well, as those who are not dedicated enough and are weak and cannot withstand the propaganda war and physical struggle will leave. And those who persist will know how to return in kind!"
In the part of the document entitled role and significance of Biological Factors in Formation of Personality and System, Young Muslims teach their followers about the ways in which their advantages may be used in their struggle.
"Even if a person does not have a genetic predisposition for struggle, but if nevertheless forced by the circumstances to engage in struggle, because his conscience and upbringing force him to act, he may contribute to the struggle as much as those who are combative by birth. And it is important for us that he fight either because of his genetic or psychological predisposition," the program of Young Muslims explains.
Although it is obvious that Young Muslims are preparing for struggle, the document does not identify either current or future enemies. However, as early as April 2002, young Muslims did something that would be at the same time supported by Nezim Halilovic Muderis in his lecture, and last week repeated by second year philosophy student Amel Bahtijar.
In April2002 Omer Behmen, published a statement on behalf of the Governing board of the Civic Organization Young Muslims under the headline Return of Communism, which essentially sketches the basic platform later used for media promotion of "student" Amel Bahtijar and his followers. Almost a year ago, Behmen writes:
"... Repeated humiliation of Bosniaks and everything done by the Bosniak political and military leadership un the past period, fateful for this people, including the struggle for the survival of Bosniaks in this region, is the constant topic of this TV program (referring to 60 minutes, author's remark). What is the origin of so much self-hated of someone who should perceive himself as a Bosniak...? Finally, one of chief characteristics of the Communist politics was that a Bosniak had to be arrested, prosecuted, questioned, judged and maltreated by another Bosniak, a Serb by another Serb, and Croat by another Croat. Bakir Hadziomerovic has very early learned his lesson and, hoping to impress his superiors and advance his career, he immediately hit at the top, while still working for the OBNTV, shamelessly soiling president Izetbegovic. Of course, that was his reference when he later moved to the Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina TV..."
Student (?) Amel Bahtijar is parrot-like repeating these days almost identical demands, using almost the same rhetoric as Omer Behmen and Muderis Halilovic. The mentioned Bahtijar is also connected with Behmen by his birthplace. Although he falsely claims to be from Mostar, Amel Bahtijar was actually born in Stolac, just like Omer Behmen, as well as the former education minister of Federation BH and his professor at the Sarajevo University department of philosophy Fahrudin Rizvanbegovic. Amel's father escaped during the war in front of the Croatian Defense Council [Bosnian Croat forces] that carried out ethnic cleansing in the Stolac municipality, and came with his family to eastern Mostar, where he became commander of a company in the Fourth Corps. As members of the Fourth Corps testify, he was among the first ones to introduce Islamic rules of conduct in Hercegovina.
The ideological influence of Muslim Brothers arrived in Bosnia-Hercegovina with Bosnian students who studied Islam at the Cairo University Al Azhar. Through ulema (religious intellectual circles), early in the twentieth century, the influence of Muslim Brothers reached the founders of the movement Young Muslims. During the last decade Muslim Brothers had an unofficial representative in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
Namely, humanitarian organization Taibah International, banned last year, was run by Muslim Brothers' members. Omladinska organizacija F.O.O. [Youth organization] works within Taibah International. This youth organization is actually the European youth outpost of Muslim Brotherhood.
In early October 2001, the Ministry for Social Policy, Displaced Persons and Refugees, registered Eltayeb Ali as the official representative of Taibah International. Among the former members of the unit El Mujahid, this person is known as Abu Ali, born in 1960 in Sudan. According to our sources, he is the sheikh of the movement Muslim Brothers in Bosnia-Hercegovina. That function led to his arrest in mid-December 2001. However, Ali was immediately released. In mid-March 1997, Ali became a citizen of Bosnia-Hercegovina and was registered in Sarajevo, in the Center municipality. The citizenship was received based on the document issued in July 1996 by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina that granted him Bosnian citizenship. According to some sources, Eltayeb Ali still lives in Sarajevo and is one of the leaders of Muslim Brotherhood.
Members of this organization swear to maintain strict secrecy; they are mutually connected and help each other as much as possible. Regardless of the shutting down of Taibah International, under whose auspices the organization was active, Muslim Brothers continue with their activities in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Namely, according to local religious officials who agreed to speak to our magazine, the arrival of one member of Muslim Brothers in Olovo, the village of Cuniste, confirms that Muslim Brothers continue their activities in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Allegedly, the said member has been living with relatives of his wife for a while now, with the excuse that he needs absolute peace for the type of activities he is engaged in. However, it is still not known what sort of activities those are. According to the same source, Cuniste is the center for production of printed propaganda material distributed to Islamic youth organizations all over the Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina. These organizations, in turn, distribute that material in schools, at the university, and elsewhere.
In these propaganda materials the Muslim youth is urged to ignore Christian holydays, to support the struggle of Palestinians against Israel, to visit mektebs and religious instruction courses.
Between 1999 and mid-2001 Taibah International received over $1.5 million in donations from unidentified sources. Also, there is almost no documentation tracking the way in which the mentioned resources were spent, except that madrasas in Travnik and Visoko were given $7,000 each. The "obligation" of Taibah International, as well as of Kuwaiti IGASA and the High Saudi Committee for assistance to religious institutions in Travnik makes a lot of sense.
Namely, in June 1993 Travnik muftidom was reestablished, and imam from Prusac Nusret Adibegovic became its head. Ahmet Adilovic was the then director of the madrasa in Travnik. He had been educated in Tunisia and is a brother of Zuhdija Adilovic, professor of aqid'ah sciences and now an instructor at the Islamic teachers college in Zenica. They were the first contact for all Islamic missionaries from abroad in central Bosnia, who soon afterwards joined the military unit El Mujahid, and later worked as representatives of humanitarian organizations that will even later be denounced by the USA as financial supporters of global terrorism.
According to financial reports, Taibah also granted unidentified sums of money to "instructors" Kemal Jaganjac, Kasim Asaf, Juso Hodzic, Abdul Muniemu, Elvir Husejnovic, Hamza Pivalic, Jusuf Mehmed Hasan, Malak Hirar, Irfan Selman and others.
"I fear that, if we do not act timely and do not take certain steps to protect our religious identity, we may end up having a lot of problems," distinguished effendi Senad Agic, imam of the [Bosniak] Islamic Community of the USA says for Slobodna Bosna.
"Certain groups already exist, they are becoming strong, publishing their magazines, they have their own radio stations. If that is not monitored and controlled, there is a possibility that traditional Islam in Bosnia-Hercegovina changes its outlook. Above all, that will confuse Muslims in Bosnia-Hercegovina, alienate them from correct practice of Islam, confuse them to the extent that they will not know what correct practice of Islam is. Already, we have different practices in different mosques. Also, I fear a possible appearance of the so-called ‘Algerian peril'. In Algiers, because of extremist Wahhabi teachings, many Algerians are converting to Christianity, which is unprecedented in history," effendi Agic says.
Although none among registered Islamic youth organizations in Bosnia-Hercegovina, including the AIO, admits to any sort of links with any other organizations, those links are nevertheless obvious. Financial documentation according to which Taibah International for a while shared offices with the humanitarian organizations Global Relief Foundation, which later moved to the building used by the civic organization Al Furqan confirms these links. An even more direct connection between Tiabah International, that is the Muslim Brotherhood, and in this specific case the AIO, is revealed by a suspicious payment of close to $48,000 to Almin Foco in 1998 at the time when Foco was the deputy president of the AIO. The financial documentation submitted by the AIO indicates that the AIO was financially assisted by the High Saudi Committee for the Assistance to Bosnia-Hercegovina and Al Haramain Islamic foundation, while they existed.
In the Sana-Una canton, the AIO has most members in Buzim. Members of the opposition political parties frequently complain about threats coming from young men wearing beards, according to them AIO activists. Police has so far managed to identify two persons, one of whom spent time on several occasions in the village of Bocinja, and is also active as a host and guide for AIO members from other territories who are visiting Buzim. The other person was employed at the AIO headquarters while studying in Sarajevo. In Tuzla canton the hotbed of AIO activity is in Tuzla, Donje Maoce, Srebrenik, Brcko District and Lukavac. Namely, AIO members from these regions have established close contacts with Arabs who live and are active in Islamic institutions in Austria and Germany, and especially former members of the El Mujahid military unit. The center for religious instruction in this region is located in the village of Sizja in the Lukavac municipality and the village of Meskovici in the Kalesija municipality, while instructors are usually Arab sheiks (religious leaders).
Although lately there haven't been any terrorist attacks with deadly results in the Central Bosnia canton, graffiti insulting non-Muslims have started appearing with increasing frequency. Such incidents are especially widespread in Bugojno and Travnik, which are otherwise considered to be territories with largest numbers of terrorism suspects. As can be seen in a report issued by the cantonal police in Central Bosnia canton, members of the group Dzemat have especially drawn Police attention. According to police sources, Dzemat is an outpost of the AIO (...).
Although in eastern Mostar the AIO has temporarily been disorganized [sic], its members are very active in Jablanica and Konjic. Unlike in Mostar, AIO activists in Gorazde have been organizing protests against reconstruction of houses and apartments owned by ethnic Serbs.