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Bosnian Muslims (Bosnia and Herzegovina)


Last modified: 2014-03-08 by ivan sache
Keywords: muslim | bosniak | crescent (white) | star (white) | islam | islamic community of bosnia | mosque |
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Status of Bosnian Muslims

Musliman (plural, Muslimani) was the name of the ethnic community (nation) that is now called Bosniaks, used from the end of the Second World War to the early 1990s. In short, before the Second World War people of Bosnia of Islamic faith were considered either Croats or Serbs (depending who considered them and when, and often in what context), and it seems that they themselves accepted such a "classification" for the most part. During the Second World War, the Independent State of Croatia considered them exclusivly Croats, only differing in religion, but Tito's movement allowed them a separate expression of their national feeling; in 1974 constitutional changes, they were given a separate national name as Muslimani. The coat of arms of Yugoslavia changed from five torches reprsenting five nations to six in 1963, the six torches representing the six republics. The change was not without influence on the formation of this "new" nation.

As the religious determination quite appropriately matched the national determination, in the late 1980s and early 1990s the name was often quoted as "Bosnian Muslims", especially in foreign sources who had trouble understanding the ethnic problems here anyway. Gradually the term Bosniak was introduced and later accepted more or less by the two other Bosnian nations as the name for the third.

Željko Heimer, 18 March 2001

Bosnian Muslim flags


Bosnian Muslim flag - Image by Željko Heimer, 18 March 2001

In the 1990s, Bosnian Muslims used a green flag with a white horizontal stripe charged with a white crescent outlined in white. This flag was seen in use in 1992 by Muslims in the Croat Army in the Karlovac sector.

Željko Heimer & Stuart Notholt, 17 November 1995

Crescent and star that were used by Bosniaks is the so-called Illyrian crescent and star - the silver crescent is turned up, the silver star is eight-pointed - all on red (not green) color.

Amer Sulejmanagić, 13 December 2008

Islamic Community of Bosnia


Flag of Islamic Community of Bosnia - Image by Eugene Ipavec, 18 March 2001

A documentary on the Bosnian war shows in a scene Republika Srpska troops dismantling a roadblock, during which they threw a flag into the road; the flag is green with white crescent and star, but a very large star/small crescent.
This is the flag of the Islamic Community of Bosnia, a religous organization.

Eugene Ipavec & Amer Sulejmanagić, 13 December 2008

Flags on mosques

Green flags, with white or golden crescent and stars (sometimes also without the star, while the stars may be of different number of rays and different orientation) are generically used in mosques and on them or hoisted from the minarets as a religious symbol. It was so in Bosnia during the Socialist period and it is probably still so today.

Željko Heimer, 15 December 2008

Army colors

A photo published in September 1998 in the Sarajevo political magazine Dani shows an SDA electoral meeting. Beside the usual SDA flags is a black ans red flag with the shahada and below the inscription "1. PJESAČKA CETA" (1st Infantry Company) and something else underneath, maybe the name of a person after whom the company was named.
This color belongs to 7th Muslim Brigade from Zenica.