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In 1830'S: Bosnian Muslims - worse Islam Fundamentalists than the Turkish Sultan himself

One of many episodes of Bosnian Muslim religious fervor is described by the
Encyclopedia (Britannica, Edition 1910, Volume 4, page 284).

(That's true: Edition *1910*, i.e. before WWI, when the memories were fresh!)

      To understand the text:

 Servia = Serbia
 Ottoman = medieval Turkish empire
 Porte = Turkish government of the time
 Janissaries = special Turkish army formed from the local Muslim
 Constantinople = Istanbul, the capital of the empire
 Karageorge = Serbian patriot who liberated portions of Serbia from
              the Turkish occupation.
 [Quote from the above mentioned encyclopedia.
  Entry: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moslem rebellions ]

The reform of the Ottoman government contemplated by the sultan Mahmud II. (1808-1839) was BITTERLY RESENTED in Bosnia, where Turkish prestige had already been weakened by the establishment of Servian autonomy under Karageorge. Many of the janissaries had married and settled on the land, forming a strongly conservative and FANATICAL caste, friendly to the Moslem nobles, who now dreaded the curtailment of their own privileges. Their opportunity came in 1820, when the Porte was striving to repress the insurrection in Moldavia, Albania and Greece. A first Bosnian revolt was crushed in 1821, a second, due principally to the massacres of the jannissaries, was quelled with much bloodshed in 1827. After Russo-Turkish War of 1828-29, a further attempt at reform was initiated by the sultan and his grand vizier, Reshid Pasha. Two years later came a most formidable outbreak: THE SULTAN WAS DENOUNCED AS FALSE TO ISLAM, AND THE BOSNIAN NOBLES GATHERED IN BANJALUKA (Bosnia), DETERMINED TO MARCH TO CONSTANTINOPLE, AND RECONQUER THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE FOR THE TRUE [Islam] FAITH.

A HOLY WAR WAS PREACHED BY THEIR LEADER, HUSSEIN AGA BERBERI, A BRILLIANT SOLDIER AND ORATOR, WHO CALLED HIMSELF "ZMAJ BOSANSKI", AND WAS REGARDED BY HIS FOLLOWERS AS A SAINT. The Moslems of Herzegovina, under Ali Pasha Rizvanbegovic, remained loyal to the Porte, but in Bosnia Hussein Aga encountered little resistance. At Kossovo he was reinforced by 20,000 Albanians, led by Mustapha Pasha, and within a few weeks the united armies occupied the whole of Bulgaria, and large part of Macedonia. Their career was checked by Reshid Pasha, who persuaded the two victorious commanders to intrigue against one another, secured the division of their forces, and then fell upon each in turn.

The rout of the Albanians at Prilipe and the capture of Mustapha at Scutari were followed by an invasion of Bosnia. After a desperate defence, Hussein Aga fled to Esseg in Croatia-Slavonia, his appeal for pardon was rejected, and in 1832 he was banished for life in Tribizond.

The power of the Bosnian nobles, though shaken by their defeat, remained unbroken, and they resisted vigorously when their kapetanates were abolished in 1837, and again when A MEASURE OF EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW was conceded to the Christians in 1839.

In Herzegovina, Ali Pasha Rizvanbegovic reaped the reward of his fidelity. HE WAS LEFT FREE TO TYRANNIZE OVER HIS CHRISTIAN SUBJECTS, a king in all but name.

[end quote]

If you wonder WHO were the "tyrannized Christian subjects", i.e. who was slaughtered by local, Muslim janissaries - here is the clue from the same text.

(Encyclopedia Britannica, Edition 1910, Vol 4, page 282, Entry Bosnia and Herzegovina, Religion. Quote)

In 1895 43% of the population were Orthodox Christians [i.e. Serbs], 35% Moslems and 21% Roman Catholics [i.e. Croats].
( end quote ).

You can only wonder how the local, Bosnian Muslims, who are actually ex (and local) Christian Slavs who converted to Islam, got to be more fundamentalist than their masters. (The collaborators of the Turkish occupiers got to be worse than the occupiers themselves).

There is a Serbian proverb from those times: "Poturica - gori od Turcina" (Made-Turk is much worse than a Turk).

...And they did it for a benefit of being a privileged class. Another Serbian proverb says: "Prodao veru za veceru" (He sold his faith - for supper).


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In the name of Allah!
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Last revised: January 22, 1997