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Questions for Mustafa Ceric [Bosnia]--Judeocentrism, A New Slur? [Annapolis faculty member signs]
Family Security Matters ^ | 5-21-07 | Stephen Schwartz

Posted on 05/21/2007 7:45:15 AM PDT by SJackson

Six Questions for Mustafa Ceric
Stephen Schwartz
Author: Stephen Schwartz
Source: The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
Date: May 21, 2007


Mustafa Ceric, Bosnian Muslims’ chief religious authority, has changed his message of tolerance for Europe’s Muslims to an Arab-influenced message, even referring to critics as “Judeocentric”. FSM Contributing Editor Stephen Schwartz presents six questions Mustafa Ceric should answer for the use of this new slur in his trip to Washington this week.
Six Questions for Mustafa Ceric
By Stephen Schwartz
Mustafa Ceric is the chief religious authority for the Bosnian Muslims, with jurisdiction for all of his co-ethnics of Islamic faith, in communities around the world.   His historical title is reis ul-ulema, or “chief scholar,” but in recent times he has taken to calling himself “grand mufti,” indicating status as an arbiter of Islamic jurisprudence. Islamic law, however, does not function as a common standard in Bosnia-Hercegovina, and the assumption of his new title has an air of self-aggrandizement.
Mustafa Ceric has changed otherwise in recent times. He long advocated for a specifically Bosnian Islam, meaning an indigenous variant of European Islam that would cooperate productively with Christians and Jews.   He issued a detailed argument for this praise-worthy stand last year, titled “A Declaration to European Muslims”. The document quoted the American political philosopher John Rawls to define the context in which, according to Ceric, Bosnian and other European Muslims wished to live: “the principles that free and rational persons concerned to further their own interests would accept in an initial position of equality as defining the fundamental terms of their association.”  
Ceric stated, at that time, “Muslims who live in Europe should realize that freedom is not a gift given by anyone.  Muslim freedom in Europe must be earned… It is in the West that many Muslims discover Islam in a totally different way from how it exists in their homeland, because here they meet their fellow Muslims from other parts of the Muslim world and thus begin to appreciate the diversity of Islamic experience and culture… Muslims who live in Europe have the right, nay the duty to develop their own European culture of Islam.”
The organization I helped found, the Center for Islamic Pluralism (CIP), supported Ceric’s initiatives, in events that even drew the involvement of American diplomats in the Balkans. Ceric continues to employ a mellifluous rhetoric in his many visits to the West, including his visit to the U.S. Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 22, when he is scheduled to deliver a talk at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, titled “The Art of Tolerance.” Bosnia’s top political leaders will also come to the U.S. capital this week.
I must admit an affection for Mustafa Ceric. He gained a doctoral degree at the University of Chicago, producing an excellent dissertation, Roots of Synthetic Theology in Islam, dealing with the work of the Muslim author Abu Mansur Al-Maturidi, who died in the 10th century C.E. I am an adherent of Al-Maturidi’s Islamic outlook, and partly thanks to the inspiration of Ceric’s work, I paid homage at the small and elegant tomb of Al-Maturidi in the ancient Central Asian city of Samarkand in 2003. 
But in the year since Ceric published his comments addressed to European Muslims, a new counter-offensive by the Saudi-financed radical Wahhabi cult, which inspires al-Qaida, has swept through the Balkans. Ceric, who previously pressed for an Islam rooted in local traditions and legitimate in Europe, has suddenly become attentive to the demands of the Arab powers. His changed attitude is expressed in statements about the future of extremist foreign “mujahidin” now living in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
Before the end of the Bosnian war 12 years ago, Saudi and other Arab “mujahidin” had gone to Bosnia to try to turn the local struggle for self-defense into a terrorist campaign, and to Wahhabize the Balkan Muslims. With the war over, several hundred of these interlopers remained in Bosnia-Hercegovina, but kept a low profile. They knew that the majority of Bosnian Muslims did not like the rigid style of religion the foreigners represented, and, more significantly, nobody believed the “mujahidin” had made a serious contribution to the Bosnian army’s military objectives. Finally, the Arabs and their allied invaders were accused of atrocities, by the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia at The Hague.
The latter item, and the revival of Wahhabi blandishments in the Balkans, made the continued presence of the “mujahidin” a serious issue.   Bosnian state authorities are now examining the probability that most of the itinerant combatants abused the hospitality extended to them, and they now face deportation to their home countries, including Algeria and Syria. But suddenly and aggressively, Mustafa Ceric has leapt to their defense.   According to BBC World News, he blames the investigation of the “mujahidin” on discrimination, saying “They are being expelled because they’re Arabs, because they’re Muslims, and they came here to help us.”
By these comments, we can assume Mustafa Ceric has decided that “the art of tolerance” in Bosnia-Hercegovina must first be applied to the benefit of foreign Islamic radicals.   But how does Ceric now propose to fulfill his affirmation, early in 2006, that for Bosnians and other Muslims “Jews and Christians are People of the Book and so all Jews, Christians, and Muslims should learn how to share their common spiritual roots and their common future hopes without prejudice”?
Unfortunately, Ceric has also shown a regrettable “tolerance” toward Arab-financed extremism in his relations with a questionable body called the European Council for Fatwas and Research. This organization is headquartered in Dublin, even though Ireland has a very small Muslim population. It claims to guide all Muslims in Europe, but it is headed by a Qatar-based fundamentalist, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, who, among other nefarious things, defends suicide terrorism. Of its 33 members, 12 are based in Arab and African countries, including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, while the rest represent immigrant communities, mainly Arab, in Western Europe. Ceric happens to be its only indigenous European Muslim member. It makes little sense to have Saudi clerics – of whom there are four on the council – participating in a body which is to lead European Muslims. I had seen Ceric as a token moderate on this council, but must now ask if he has not completely surrendered to its absurd, fundamentalist orientation.
Ceric’s commitment to “tolerance” and mutual respect as he previously enunciated these principles is in further question, mainly because of articles published in the Preporod (Revival), the official Islamic religious weekly produced under his control in Sarajevo. As I indicated in my FSM column last week, “Judeocentrism”, Preporod published an attack on me and CIP employing “Judeocentrism” as a hateful and insulting term. Earlier, the paper published, as a series, the disreputable pamphlet of two American professors, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt against the pro-Israel and Jewish organizations in America. So now we know that the “tolerance” of Mustafa Ceric extends to those who campaign against Jews.
Use of “Judeocentrism” as a slur suggests six essential questions that should be presented to Mustafa Ceric during his visit to Washington this week:
·         Does Ceric maintain his commitment to cooperation between Muslims, Jews, and Christians?
·         During the second world war, the Bosnian Muslim clerics issued a series of protests against the crimes of the Nazi occupiers and their local collaborators, which included forced conversion of Serb Orthodox Christians to Catholicism as well as atrocities against the Bosnian Jews, who had lived in the country for 450 years. Were those declarations of the Bosnian Muslim clerics “Judeocentric?” 
·         Today the foreign minister of Bosnia-Hercegovina is Sven Alkalaj, a Sephardic Jew who a month ago addressed the annual conference of the American Jewish Committee, the main Jewish organization in the U.S., and expressed the thanks of Bosnians of all faiths for the solidarity extended by the American Jewish leadership to the Bosnian Muslims during the 1992-95 war. Was it “Judeocentric” for the Sarajevo government to permit minister Alkalaj to do such a thing?
·         As an example of the help extended during the Bosnian war, Israel established three free pharmacies as well as a free soup kitchen in Sarajevo, and distinguished Bosnian Jews defended their Muslim neighbors. Were these actions “Judeocentric”?
·         Does Mustafa Ceric, who comes to Washington to preach tolerance, agree with Yusuf Al-Qaradawi in the latter’s defense of suicide terrorism?
·         Will Ceric heed the rising protests of ordinary Muslims in Bosnia-Hercegovina against Wahhabi infiltration (as documented by CIP) or will he repeat, in reply to such complaints, “they’re Arabs, they’re Muslims, and they came here to help us”?
These questions must be answered if Mustafa Ceric is to retain any credibility with those who have supported him in the past, Muslim and non-Muslim, and finally including many Bosnians as well as Americans.
#  # Contributing Editor Stephen Schwartz is Executive Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism.
© 2003-2007 All Rights Reserved
If you are a reporter or producer who is interested in receiving more information about this writer or this article, please email your request to


“Judeocentrism” – A New Slur?


By Stephen Schwartz


The narrative that follows may be considered excessively complex, and for that I crave the reader’s mercy. Those of us committed to moderate Islam have not had an easy time of late. 


Anybody who has read my writings, or perused the website of the institution I helped found, the Center for Islamic Pluralism (, knows that I have consistently defended Balkan Muslims – Bosnians and Albanians – as indigenous European followers of the faith of Muhammad, representing an Islam that can contribute loyally and productively to Western society. In The Weekly Standard just ten days ago, I wrote The Wahhabis are up to no good in southern Europe where I described in detail a revived, current attempt at subversion of moderate Islam in the Balkan region, by agents of the Saudi-Wahhabi death cult.


Then, on May 8, came news of the Fort Dix terror conspiracy in which four Albanian adherents of Wahhabism – easily identified as such by their untrimmed beards – were among six men charged with preparation of a jihadist attack on American service personnel.


And a day after that, on May 9, I published a column on FSM entitles CAIR Feels the Heat, which is about the efforts of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to pursue opposition research against me, while they complain about all who criticize them from within Muslim ranks.


What brings these incidents together, aside from temporal proximity? Is there a connection between ideological aggression in faraway countries, homicidal plotting on our soil, and attempts, also inside the U.S., to silence adversaries of the Wahhabi lobby?   Is a unified radical-Islamist counter-offensive underway?  


Radical Muslims claim all Muslims owe their primary loyalty to a single global umma or community. This view is supported by an aggressive minority, since Muslims are as divided by history, culture, and language as Christians and even Jews. But it seems undeniable that within Islam worldwide, especially where the Wahhabis scheme to take control of all Sunnis, money is disbursed and actions are planned in a coordinated manner. Indeed, I have argued for some time that Sunni radicals are engaged in a new campaign, reaching across borders, continents, and oceans, with the aim of exporting the tensions, if not the terror, seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. In those countries, Muslim-on-Muslim bloodshed often appears to overshadow the atrocities perpetrated against the U.S.-led coalition. That said, for all Americans, including American Muslims, the safety of our troops must come first, whether in Fallujah or at Fort Dix.


But the “horns of the devil” represented by Wahhabi machinations have become even more visible in the southeast European front. In FSM last November, I called attention to the alarming news that the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a group that in my experience parallels CAIR in its production of distortions and insults against those who challenge them, had invited Bosnian Muslim cleric Mustafa Ceric to address their annual convention in Southern California.


At that time, Ceric was in the middle of the nascent controversy over Wahhabism in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Prominent Muslim intellectuals came out strongly against the importation of violent extremism into their community, and rural Bosnian Muslims soon began driving the radicals from their village mosques. These events have been documented and posted by the Center for Islamic Pluralism. Ceric never showed up for the MPAC affair in Southern California, but back in Sarajevo, he had begun wavering.   The man who had spoken out for a Bosnian Islam in a European context, I was told, was worried about losing the support of the Saudis. Further, extremists from England, the center of radical Islam in Western Europe, had descended on Bosnia.


Not that the Saudis, or their radical puppets in Britain, ever did much to help the Bosnians, either during the 1992-95 war or afterward, when terrorists used Sarajevo to set up a local office for the charities supporting al-Qaida while trying to convert the Bosnian Muslims to the Wahhabi creed. But in recent months, apparently in response to rising anti-Wahhabi resentment, someone from the Gulf reportedly dropped several million dollars in cash on Sarajevo’s Islamic authorities.


And so, Mustafa Ceric announced not long ago that antagonism toward the Wahhabis is detrimental to all the Muslims of Bosnia-Hercegovina and reflects Islamophobic trends in the rest of Europe. But Ceric seems to have thought he could peddle a pro-Wahhabi message at home, while delivering honeyed speeches abroad. Next Tuesday, May 22, he is scheduled to lecture at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, an official U.S. government forum, on “The Art of Tolerance.”   


There’s more: the same weekend that my reportage appeared in The Weekly Standard, I was brutally attacked in Preporod (Revival), a rather dull weekly that is the personal organ of Mustafa Ceric.   A long diatribe assailed me in the “oppo” idiom I had described in my recent FSM column: mainly, for my leftist past, which ended 23 years ago. But the article also introduced a new and obnoxious element, referring to me as “Judeocentric.”


How clever to invent a new entry in the lexicon of hate! And how entirely and primitively Balkan! But what does “Judeocentric” mean?   I am a Muslim; my father was Jewish, my mother Christian, and I had no religious upbringing. Islam is my first and so far my only religion. I write about Muslim-Jewish dialogue in a manner intended to increase respect between the two communities of believers, as well as toward Christians. I have also written positively about the history of Jewish-Muslim relations in the Balkans, with the enthusiastic approval of Balkan Muslim leaders, since the American Jewish leadership played a major role in saving Bosnia-Hercegovina and Kosovo from aggression.   But in the Preporod article, “Judeocentric” was linked to the new vocabulary of prejudice in America, which seeks to present neoconservatives as a Zionist cabal that has seized control of American foreign policy. In truth, the neoconservatives were prominent among those responsible for preventing the whole Bosnian Muslim community from ending up in a mass grave or as refugees.    But some Bosnian Muslims seem to have short memories, or none.


And here is the real shocker: the screed against me and my “Judeocentrism,” published in a distant land and in a language few Americans can read, was signed by a faculty member at the U.S. Naval Academy (emphasis added) in Annapolis, named Ermin Sinanovic. Sinanovic, a professor of political science, also filled his text with crude allegations against the Bush administration.


These are questions I believe are posed by this contretemps:.

I think the answer to the first question is easy: this is one struggle with many fronts, and those who participate outside the U.S. will be targeted, if only by obloquy, wherever they are found. Nevertheless, the material published by the Bosnian Wahhabis to counter my work has the flavor of an export product from the American Wahhabis, who doubtless hope their stale “oppo” will finally have an impact. 


So far, the effect has been exactly contrary to what the Wahhabis, both American and Bosnian, must have expected. Leading Muslim figures in Sarajevo rushed to assure me of their support; one prominent academic, whose name must be kept private for now, wrote me, “there will always exist a critical mass of reasonable and well-disposed people who will never forget your generous help and support, offered to the offended and crushed people of Bosnia at the most critical moments in our entire history. They will never let you down… don’t let a handful of mercenaries and ignorant folk make you hesitate to finish the blessed job you’ve started.   The game is not even close to ending… May God grant you good health and strength in this fight.”


Professor Sinanovic and his employment by the Naval Academy will be explored in good time. But Ceric stayed in Sarajevo last year, and missed the scandal his appearance at the MPAC convention would have caused; perhaps that humiliation for the MPAC gang produced this counter-blow. I think Ceric should stay in Sarajevo again and forget about the Woodrow Wilson Center as a place to offer ameliorative rhetoric about “tolerance.” Unfortunately, it is probably too late to rescind his invitation, which is what he seems, at this juncture, to merit.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: dhimmitude; islamofascists; jihad; wot
For those not familiar with Stephen Schwartz, he is a vocally anti-terror Muslim.
1 posted on 05/21/2007 7:45:18 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson

And just keep in mind...

Saudi Arabia - Conversion by a Muslim to another religion is punishable by death. Bibles are illegal. Churches are illegal. It is punishable by death for a non-mulsim to enter the “holy” muslim cities of Medina and Mecca.

Yemen - Bans proselytizing by non-Muslims and forbids conversions. The Government does not allow the building of new non-Muslim places of worship.

Kuwait - Registration and licensing of religious groups. Members of religions not sanctioned in the Koran may not build places of worship. Prohibits organized religious education for religions other than Islam.

Egypt - Islam is the official state religion and primary source of legislation. Accordingly, religious practices that conflict with Islamic law are prohibited. Muslims may face legal problems if they convert to another faith. Requires non-Muslims to obtain what is now a presidential decree to build a place of worship.

Algeria - The law prohibits public assembly for purposes of practicing a faith other than Islam. Non-Islamic proselytizing is illegal, and the Government restricts the importation of non-Islamic literature for distribution. The country has passed the “Regulation of Religious Practice” law, which stipulates a punishment of two to five years’ imprisonment and heavy fines for anyone convicted of urging a Muslim to change his religion.

Syria - The constitution requires the president to be a Muslim and specifies that Islamic jurisprudence is a principal source of legislation. Sharing your Christian faith is discouraged as “posing a threat to the relations among religious groups” and carries a penalty of up to life in prison. A Christian is not allowed to proselytize – ever. Churches who want to hold an extra service must get a government permit. Sermons are routinely monitored, as is church fundraising.

Jordan - Has the death penalty for any Muslim selling land to a Jew.

Sudan - Conversion by a Muslim to another religion is punishable by death.

Pakistan - Conversion by a Muslim to another religion is punishable by death. Bans proselytizing by non-Muslims. Christians regularly put in prison for charges of blasphemy. Islam is the state religion, and in a court of law the testimony of a Christian carries less weight than that of a Muslim. Section 295(c) of the Penal Code calls for a death sentence for anyone who defiles the name of the Prophet Muhammad and requires the testimony of four Muslims for a conviction. This fosters an environment in which Muslims can feel free to use intimidation and violence against religious minorities for personal gain.

Qatar - Islamic instruction is compulsory in public schools. The government regulates the publication, importation, and distribution of non-Islamic religious literature. The government continues to prohibit proselytizing of Muslims by non-Muslims.

Malaysia - Under Malaysian law, any convert to Christianity must apply to a shariah (Muslim law) court to legally renounce Islam. Many Christians prefer to remain silent converts rather than take their battle to the shariah courts, where apostasy or conversion out of Islam is punishable by whipping, fines, imprisonment and—in the most extreme application—death.

The Maldives - In the island paradise visited by tens of thousands of tourists each year, Christianity is simply not tolerated. While local Christians – said to number around 300 out of a total population of 300,000 – do get together to worship, they do so at the risk of imprisonment or worse if discovered by the Muslim authorities. Bibles are banned, and tourists can be arrested for trying to bring them into the country.

2 posted on 05/21/2007 7:46:39 AM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.

High Volume. Articles on Israel can also be found by clicking on the Topic or Keyword Israel. or WOT [War on Terror]


3 posted on 05/21/2007 7:50:23 AM PDT by SJackson (Be careful -- with quotations, you can damn anything, Andre Malraux)
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To: SJackson

I am a Muslim; my father was Jewish, my mother Christian, and I had no religious upbringing. Islam is my first and so far my only religion.

All you need to know that Schwartz is a dhimmified idiot.

4 posted on 05/21/2007 7:59:03 AM PDT by eleni121 (+ En Touto Nika! By this sign conquer! + Constantine the Great)
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To: SJackson

Bump and bookmark

5 posted on 05/21/2007 8:01:12 AM PDT by Valin (History takes time. It is not an instant thing.)
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To: SJackson
This article is relevant to the topic and I found some parallel points between Dr. Jasser’s work and Dr. Schwartz’ work. Since it was posted late on Sunday night, it may have been missed.

6 posted on 05/21/2007 8:01:57 AM PDT by ishabibble (ALL AMERICAN INFIDEL)
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To: eleni121; All

Allow me to translate this reply.
I live in a simplistic world and anyone who doesn’t is wrong.

7 posted on 05/21/2007 8:02:58 AM PDT by Valin (History takes time. It is not an instant thing.)
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To: Valin; All

The world is only complex to people who don’t know much.

8 posted on 05/21/2007 8:07:15 AM PDT by eleni121 (+ En Touto Nika! By this sign conquer! + Constantine the Great)
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To: ishabibble

Thanks, I hadn’t seen that.

9 posted on 05/21/2007 8:08:35 AM PDT by SJackson (Be careful -- with quotations, you can damn anything, Andre Malraux)
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To: Bokababe; kronos77; joan; Smartass; zagor-te-nej; Lion in Winter; Honorary Serb; jb6; ...


10 posted on 05/21/2007 8:11:08 AM PDT by eleni121 (+ En Touto Nika! By this sign conquer! + Constantine the Great)
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To: nuconvert


11 posted on 05/21/2007 8:40:19 AM PDT by Valin (History takes time. It is not an instant thing.)
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To: eleni121; Bokababe; kronos77; joan; Smartass; zagor-te-nej; Lion in Winter; FormerLib; jb6; ...
Stephen Schwartz/Suleiman Ahmad al Kosovi is NOT a dhimmi. He is a muslim!!!! He is also a major-league Orthodox Christian-basher!!!!

Whether Schwartz/Ahmad wants to admit it or not, islam is for the most part about world domination!!!! That applies, of course, to Bin Laden, Khameini, and Ceku. But it also applies to Mustafa Ceric, the would-be Grand Mufti of EUROPE, even when he is trying to make "nice". That "niceness" is nothing more than taqqia, at which Ceric and the rest of the "Bosnian" islamist excel.

Now that Ceric is showing his true colors, Schwartz/Ahmad is trying to make excuses for him. But surely he knowns better!!!!

12 posted on 05/21/2007 6:55:25 PM PDT by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: Honorary Serb

Stephen Schwartz/Suleiman Ahmad al Kosovi is NOT a dhimmi

No doubt...there is no such dirtbag as a former Jew sufi muslim dhimmi. He has gone over to the dark side and has allied himself with evil.

13 posted on 05/21/2007 7:16:28 PM PDT by eleni121 (+ En Touto Nika! By this sign conquer! + Constantine the Great)
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To: SJackson

Suleyman prefers non-violent Islamic domination, but he can excuses a few hundred beheadings, such as was practiced by the Jihadists around Srebrenica for months while it was a UN “Safe Zone”, as needed.

14 posted on 05/22/2007 5:00:11 AM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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