Nevertheless a war broke out which defined itself upon the differences between the inhabitants of this country. Thus Huntington seems to be correct when assuming that religion consequently has to be the main cause for conflict. Huntington subsumes nationalism under the greater category of civilization and sees it as a more specific component of the larger concept.
By completely ignoring nationalism as a cause of the war in Bosnia, Huntington seems oblivious to the development of nation states and nationalism in this region of Europe in the past years. While at the beginning of the 19 th century the prime identifying characteristic of the different populations in Bosnia and the Balkans was religion, it has since been replaced by nationality.
Nationalism and nations in general contain religious components, and more specifically in the case of Serbs, Croats and Muslims, the prime difference besides a partially different historical development was religion. Nevertheless, it would be false to claim religion to be the main dividing element between Croats, Muslims and Serbs. The difference between the three groups is the sense of belonging to three different nations.
Religion is an important component in such a differentiation from the other, especially in cases where other criteria, such as language or ethnic origins, are identical.demo-new.nplan.io/heroes-redondo-rigidodiseno.php
Dagmar Reichardt , PhiN 38/ 32–
In this light one has to bear in mind that while Serbian nationalism differs from Croatian nationalism primarily by religion and different perceived historical experience, the difference with Bulgarian or for that matter Macedonian nationalism is not based on religion, but on language. And, needless to mention, Serbia and Bulgaria have had numerous national conflicts in the past.
To single out the recent war in Bosnia and Croatia as being a new phenomena and expression of civilizational conflict means ignoring the history of national conflicts in the region and ignores the proper context of the war 7. While this component played an important role in the demonization of the opponent during the war, it was merely one element.
Furthermore Huntington does not draw a clear line between the perception of civilizational difference and the real content of the presupposed opposition. Along these lines, if one where to take the rhetoric of most communist regimes during the cold war, conflicts e. Vietnam were usually the expression of class struggle, either internally or on the global scale of conflict between the socialist and capitalist countries.
Despite this given explanation, few serious academics would maintain that these wars were truly such class struggles, even if perceived as such by one side. Other explanations for such conflicts, such as economic factors, receive at best secondary attention of the author. He does not deny the possibility of intra-civilizational conflicts, but grants them less importance as they are less likely to lead to broader conflict: The allies of the conflicting parties in their civilization can also help restrain their warring kin and negotiate with the other civilizational group.
In this light one can analyse the supposed kin-relationship between Muslims, Serbs and Croats and their kins. While some might share the same anti-Western policy, it would be difficult to claim that Libya is a Islamist country, bearing in mind that its leader Ghaddafi seeks to promote Arab socialism and suppresses Islamists in his own country. Their support for Bosnia, if granted, was thus more driven by national interests than any civilizational affinity. The only country granting military aid on a significant scale was Iran with the tacit consent of the United States. Although Iran is a Muslim state, the difference between the Shia regime in Tehran and the secular Sunni Muslims of Bosnia is so obvious and stark that the primary intention even of Iran was more likely to be the expansion of its sphere of influence than the establishment of a Muslim state Turkey, the only country with close historical connections to Bosnia, limited its support mostly to the spectacular visit of prime minister Tansu Ciller to Sarajevo in and lobbying for Bosnia in international organizations.
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Huntington clearly overestimates the role of the Muslim world and is fooled by the rhetoric of many Muslim countries Besides the dubious quality of such a dominant power, it would also mean that only a Muslim core country could assume a supporting role for the Muslims of Bosnia, which would not only be divisive for Bosnia, but also utterly inadequate for the Muslims of Bosnia, who have sought and maintained cultural ties with Europe and not with the Muslim world for an extended period of time While Germany and Austria did support Croatia and Slovenia during the early stages of the war later to be largely replaced by the United States , one could ask why the equally Catholic and Western country France or Great Britain for that matter had little inclination to support the independence of either republic.
Furthermore, among Orthodox countries there was no unified support for Serbia. In key matters, such as sanctions, both supported the general Western position Other non-civilizational consideration weighed much more. Their own minorities, and their real or possible quest for secession, limited the support for independence among some countries e. France , while the support of others is due to economic interest, large diaspora groups or historical ties These loyalties were defined primarily along national lines, not only in former Yugoslavia.
In some cases, as in Bosnia, national identity overlaps with religion. Nevertheless, a Bosnian Muslim will primarily identify himself as a member of the Bosnian Muslim Nation. This identity defines itself not so much in adherence to a transnational umma , but rather as a means of separating oneself from Croat or Serb national identity All three nations of Bosnia have been part of the same historical, cultural and geographical experience of the Balkans.
Despite the linguistic and religious diversity of the region, it can be considered as a viable area The Catholic, western, Croats in Bosnia have not been exposed to substantially more of these elements than the Islamic Bosnian Muslims or the Orthodox Serbs. They share the same history of the past centuries, although not necessarily the perception of history Civilizations are so complex that hardly any direct empirical relationships can be drawn. The dangers of the religious analysis of Huntington shall be seen subsequently in the evaluation of his portrayal of Islam.
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In his analysis of the main sources of conflict in these clashes he singles out the Islamic civilization as the greatest destabilizer. Not only is Clash of Civilizations riddled with sweeping generalizations about Muslims and Islam, his overly enthusiastic usage of these leads to many factual misconceptions. The majority of the Albanians in Kosovo are Muslim, but this does not hold true for the whole Albanian population and does not take into account the thoroughly secularized Albanian society in Kosovo It seems difficult to claim that Bosnia was the Switzerland of the Balkans, but even more demagogic to claim a parallel with Iran.
It does not require profound knowledge of the course of the war and the reasons for its outbreak to spot the clear anti-Islamic bias The fundamental point made is the that the higher birth rate among Muslims has laid the foundations for conflict. This increase in Muslim population also, according to Huntington, created rightful fears of Muslim dominance among their non-Muslim neighbors. With respect to the war in Yugoslavia, he names the Albanians of Kosovo and the Muslims of Bosnia as examples of such a development.
He fails to mention that the relationship between Serbs and Albanians had remained relatively stable between and and only then clearly changed. The high birth rate of Albanians, although a fact, was not the only reason for the increasing discrepancy. Between the two censuses in and the birth rate among Albanians was double of the Serbs in the Province, which obviously accounts for some of the higher proportion of the Albanian population.
The key nevertheless is the emigration of Serbs from the province, which cancelled out the positive growth of the Serbs The explanation given in Clash of Civilizations attributes this to the Albanian growth in population, discrimination and persecution against Serbs. The author in no way attempts to provide evidence for these claims, which were under much dispute in the s. Obviously a great increase of the emigration rate of Serbs coincides with the increase of autonomy for Kosovo granted through the constitutional amendments of and the subsequent new constitution of The consequence of this was a shift away from Serb predominance over the region, to an increased Albanian participation.
Although this also led to instances of discrimination, it would be to simplistic to overestimate this factor.
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A study carried out by the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences in has examined the emigration of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo. These factors ring true for nearly all underdeveloped regions, including Kosovo.
National discrimination and similar reasons account for less than a third of the reasons given in this study Thus even a study sympathetic to the arguments of Huntington cannot verify his claim. Such a simple comparison of figures is completely impermissable in relation to the Muslim population of Bosnia. As their status changed considerably between the end of the world war and the s, each census carried different implications.
This development coincided with a significant change in the relationship between the state and the Muslims. While this increase is still noteworthy, it is by no means as extreme as Huntington presupposes, and cannot justify his statement: This increased political influence, a consequence of the promotion of Muslims in the s to counterbalance the Serb-Croat antagonisms, made other nations worry about their predominance. All these arguments sound scaringly like the arguments put forward by Serb nationalist extremists during the war in Bosnia.
The great capability of the secular Muslims of Bosnia to coexist with non-Muslim populations, the absence of militarism, even after the outbreak of the war and the true victim status of Muslims in Bosnia are lightly ignored by the author Christian Lebanon and Cyprus have fallen already. Bevor die postkolonialen Denker Edward W. Bhabha und Gayatri C. Huntington und seinem Postulat vom 'Kampf der Kulturen' und gerade auch nach dem historischen Bruch durch die Ereignisse des September , als ein Friedenskonzept.
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