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Alija Izetbegovic

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Bosnia should be a secular state. A non-secular Bosnia would be terror.
Interview in "Start BiH Magazine", questions 28 and 29.)

Alija Izetbegovic

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We talk about a secular state in India. It is perhaps not very easy even to find a good word in Hindi for "secular". Some people think it means something opposed to religion. That obviously is not correct. What it means is that it is state which honours all faiths equally and gives them equal opportunities; that, as a state, it does not allow itself to be attached to one faith or religion, which then becomes the state religion.

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When we went to Bosnia the people in Bosnia welcomed us with open arms, and I would go down the street and people would come up and say, "Admiral, thank you for bringing peace to Bosnia." And my standard answer was this, "I cannot bring peace to this country. Only you can bring peace to this country. I can bring the conditions in which peace can be established, but I cannot bring peace to this country." So the mistake we have made in our country, if we have made a mistake, is that we believe that we can influence or that we can enforce a peace, and we cannot. You can stop the fighting, and we did. And you can put money into a country and you can try to build it up so that the momentum you get from a visible economic engine creates a condition where peace will take hold. But that requires a political will that is not today evident in Bosnia. It was certainly not evident when I was there.
I think we are doing the right thing to put our military into these kinds of operations. No one is better able to do it. Peacekeeping is not a soldier function, but only soldiers can do it, because we've got the organization. We can make things happen in a hurry.

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This, what you are doing, is not good. This is the path that you want to take Bosnia and Herzegovina on, the same highway of hell and death that Slovenia and Croatia went on. Don't think that you won't take Bosnia and Herzegovina into hell, and the Muslim people maybe into extinction. Because the Muslim people cannot defend themselves if there is war here.

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