It is a grave error to see Bosnia's tragedy as primarily a conflict between religions. Forty years of Communism left most Yugoslavs with little or no knowledge of their various faiths. Moreover, the Bosnian government, which Mr Welch would no doubt label the 'Muslim side', is in fact determinedly multi-ethnic: eight cabinet ministers are Muslim, six are Serbs and six Croats, a fact that makes nonsense of any attempt to portray the war as a purely sectarian dispute.
The war should instead be seen as a conflict between rival national visions, the one (advocated by Radovan Karadzic et al) being mono-ethnic, expansionist and chauvinistic, and the other (the elected government) committed to pluralism and a unitary Bosnian state in which all citizens, irrespective of ethnic affiliation, are free to live where they choose. Mr Welch is perhaps unaware that Mr Karadzic and his genocidal policies were bitterly denounced by Serbian Patriarch Pavel in his Easter message. It is not just the Muslims who are aware that this is a war between civilisation and barbarity. Mr Welch should beware his instincts.
19 AprilReuse content