Islamophobia is more present in Bosnia and Herzegovina than some European countries we often refer to when speaking about this problem, head of Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina Husein Kavazovic said, noting that islamophobia is even present in the areas where Muslims are majority.
“Islamophobia is sort of a racism. Although we live with each other, we often live next to each other too. We don't understand Islam, we have no sufficient knowledge about what a scarf means for a Muslim woman,” Kavazovic said in an interview with Anadou Agency.
He noted that, when it comes to Bosnian society, Islamophobic words often comes equally from the Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs as well.
“We can combat it only if we advocate human rights in public space, where everyone will enjoy their right to live their lives in accordance with their beliefs,” added Kavazovic.
Commenting on the politicians’ statements about possibility of war emerging in the country and the fear it causes among citizens, he said that everyone should be warned by what we witness in Ukraine nowadays. He does not think the horrors of the 1990s could happen again in Bosnia.
“We are a small country and we experienced a horrible war and aggression in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I don't think there are forces within BiH that could repeat what had happened in the 1990s,” he stressed, adding that all those calling for secession and such things are doing so to make the lives harder for people.
As for the status of Islamic Community in BiH, Kavazovic recalled that this community has no contract signed with the state authorities, which negatively impacts the achievement of the religious rights.
“We deem that Muslims, as the largest religious community group in BiH, are discriminated,” he said.