We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Bosnia - Oxford Islamic Studies Online
Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
Chapter: verse lookup What is This? Select one or both translations, then enter a chapter and verse number in the boxes, and click "Go."
:
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Next Result

Bosnia

Source:
The Islamic World: Past and Present What is This? Accessible coverage of Islam from the seventh century to the twenty-first century

    Related Content

    Bosnia

    Bosnia, officially known as the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, lies on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. The country's population includes Muslims and ethnic Serbs and Croats. The largest population group, about 45 percent, is Muslim. Traditionally, Croats are Roman Catholic and Serbs are Eastern Orthodox Christian. Bosnia is a country with a rich past. Its capital, Sarajevo, is one of the cultural centers of the region. Its history has been marked by both warfare and communal coexistence. Recent years have added a new chapter to the region's troubled history.

    A Brief History.

    The land of Bosnia has, over the centuries, been a battleground for foreign powers. The Romans conquered the territory over 2,000 years ago and were driven out by the Goths, who were themselves replaced by the Byzantine Empire in the 500s. Soon afterward, Slavic peoples began to settle the area—including Serbs and Croats, two groups who would have a deep impact in the centuries ahead. Bosnia also enjoyed some periods of independence from the 1100s to 1300s. In the 1300s, Bosnia joined with Herzegovina, a duchy to its south, to form Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    Ottomans and the Arrival of Islam.

    The Ottomans—Muslims who came from Turkey—invaded Bosnia in the late 1300s. Completing the conquest in 1463 , Bosnia became part of the vast Ottoman Empire. A major effect of the Ottoman conquest was the conversion of much of Bosnia's population to Islam. Conversions happened gradually and mostly in large cities, such as Sarajevo and Mostar. The Ottoman era was marked by costly and exhausting wars, during which Bosnia was often called on to supply soldiers for the empire. Some battles occurred on Bosnian soil, and the Ottomans levied heavy taxes on the people to pay the costs of the fighting. Despite these burdens, however, the city of Sarajevo flourished.

    By the 1800s, the power of the Ottoman Empire was fading, and the Bosnians had become restless under Ottoman rule. In 1875 peasants staged a revolt against Ottoman tax collectors. The revolt spread, eventually touching off a war in which several European powers took part. By 1878 the Ottoman Empire had lost control of Bosnia. A new power, Austria-Hungary, took over the country.

    Bosnia Under Austria-Hungary.

    In the years following Austria-Hungary's occupation, Muslims, Serbs, and Croats in Bosnia continued to develop a strong sense of their religious and national identities. As part of their growing desire for independence, these groups wanted Austria-Hungary out of Bosnia. In 1914 a Serbian nationalist murdered Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the Austria-Hungarian throne, and his wife while they were visiting Sarajevo. The murder set in motion a series of events that led to the outbreak of World War I. The war broke Austria-Hungary's grip on Bosnia. In its aftermath, Bosnian Serb, Croat, and Muslim leaders joined other peoples in the region to create a new state of Yugoslavia. Bosnia ceased to exist as an independent political unit.

    Bosnia in World War II and After.

    In 1939 World War II erupted in Europe. Germany and its allies invaded Yugoslavia in 1941 and quickly subdued the nation. The Germans established a puppet Croatian state that included Bosnia. A period of terrible brutality followed. Serbs were massacred by the new regime. In response, Serbs organized a movement which often targeted Muslims. Some Muslims, in turn, cooperated with Germany in attacks against Serbian populations. In all, some 300,000 Yugoslavs perished. When the fighting ended, a communist force led by Josip Broz Tito won control of Yugoslavia. Tito formed a new communist state—the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, which included Bosnia. The new government discouraged the practice of all religions, including Islam. Muslim schools, mosques, and other institutions were closed. In the 1960s, however, Tito softened his position somewhat and allowed Muslims to identify themselves as Muslims. This was viewed, however, as an ethnic rather than a religious identity.

    The End of Communism.

    By the late 1980s, the communist system practiced in Yugoslavia and many other Eastern European nations had produced wide public dissatisfaction. By 1990 communism in Yugoslavia had collapsed. The separate republics of the Yugoslavian federation began to establish themselves as independent countries. The Serbs in the new Bosnia were not happy. They declared the creation of their own Serbian republic within Bosnia. Supported by the government and troops of the former Yugoslavia, which by then was basically a Serbian state, they went to war against the Bosnian Muslims, using terror tactics to drive them away. Serbs also targeted mosques and other symbols of the Muslim presence in Bosnia. In 1992 Serbs besieged Sarajevo. By 1994 they controlled 70 percent of Bosnia. Some 200,000 people were dead and two million had been forced from their homes.

    The crisis abated somewhat in 1994 , when forces sent by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) struck Serb targets. Bosnia's Muslims and Croats joined forces to force Serbian withdrawal. In 1995 the United States helped to bring about a peace agreement in which Bosnia was divided into two parts—the Bosnian Serb Republic and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although the agreement ended the bloodiest fighting, Bosnia still faces many challenges as a result of the war. These include the relocation of people forced from their homes by Serb forces. Another effect of the war has been the growing Muslim identity among the Bosnian Muslims. This has in part resulted from the response of Muslims worldwide to the suffering of the Bosnian Muslims. See also Ottoman Empire.

    • Previous Result
    • Results
    • Highlight On / Off
    • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
    • Next Result
    Oxford University Press

    © 2022. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice