An article from another Bosnian Muslim confirms that "Wahhbism is the problem":
FORMER WAHHABI WARNS AGAINST WAHHABISM AS LATENT THREAT IN BOSNIA
BBC Monitoring International Reports - November 29, 2006 Wednesday
Text of report by Davud Muminovic: "Wahhabis latent threat" by Bosnian Serb
newspaper Nezavisne novine on 26 November
Asked if they considered themselves to be supporters of the so-called
Wahhabi interpretation and practice of Islam in Bosnia-Hercegovina [B-H],
that is, if they practiced this kind of approach to Islam, 3.3 per cent of
respondents in B-H gave a positive answer.
This is only one of several questions from a poll conducted five months ago
by a Sarajevo Prism Research Agency; a poll that went almost unnoticed by
the public. The poll was based on the face-to-face method, going to
respondents' homes. The Prism Research representatives say that the margin
of error for this survey is plus or minus 7 per cent.
The poll was carried out on a random sample of 431 adult B-H citizens of
Muslim religion, and its subject was the so-called Wahhabi interpretation
and practice of Islam in B-H. It showed that 3 per cent of the Bosniak
population declared themselves as Wahhabis, and that less educated people
were more sympathetic to this category.
The B-H citizens who declared themselves as Muslims were asked three
questions, which enabled them to express their opinion on the Wahhabi
interpretation and practice of Islam in B-H.
The results of this research showed that the two-thirds of the Muslim
respondents in B-H had heard or knew something about the Wahhabi
interpretation and practice of Islam in B-H. The respondents with higher
education were better informed about this type of Islam.
The majority of respondents (69 per cent) were against the presence of the
Wahhabi interpretation and practice of Islam in B-H. Nevertheless, every
ninth citizen expressed a certain level of support to the presence of this
form of Islam (12.9 per cent).
The respondents' view on the Wahhabi interpretation and practice of Islam in
B-H largely depended on their level of education.
Namely, those with higher education, in contrast to the respondents with a
low level of education, opposed the presence of this interpretation of Islam
Arrival of Wahhabis in Bosnia
The arrival of the Wahhabis in B-H is linked with the war, 13 years ago,
when various humanitarian workers and Mujahidins began to spread this
interpretation of Islam, which had previously not been significantly present
in B-H. Except for the research conducted by certain private research
agencies, there is no real data on the Wahhabis. The people wearing long
beards and short trousers that we can see in the streets and small towns are
a big mystery to the majority of people in B-H, including the majority of
Bosnian Muslims. There are many people who are even afraid of them because
of their attitude and often aggressive preaching and propagation of
The Riaset [highest religious and executive body] of the B-H Islamic
Community recently reacted in connection with Wahhabis over "inappropriate
aggressiveness of individuals and groups in the interpretation of Islam," by
issuing a resolution on the interpretation of Islam.
The B-H Islamic Community reacted after a physical attack and shooting in a
mosque in Sandzak [Serbia] between traditional believers and more radical
ones, whose appearance and manner of practicing Islam stands out from the
long Bosniak tradition in this region (Wahhabis). This reaction came also as
a result of the media statements of certain Wahhabis, who severely attacked
traditional Islam in B-H and the religious leaders and imams. The resolution
calls on the Muslims to demonstrate unity, and it condemns and regards as
undesirable in B-H those who create any kind of disturbance in mosques under
the pretext of preaching a "true faith."
Even though the official religious institutions believe that the Wahhabis do
not represent a threat for the Bosniaks or other B-H citizens, some other
institutions think differently.
Extremism negates moderation
At the beginning of this year, Jasmin Merdan [former Wahhabi member] and
Adnan Mesanovic, graduate Islamic theologians, translated a piece of work
called "Wahhabism - Salafism" by renowned author Hasan Ali Sekkaf. This work
gives a scientific interpretation of the meaning and the doctrine of
Merdan claims that the Wahhabis represent a latent threat in B-H
"There is no doubt that the Muslims demonstrated their tolerance,
moderation, and fairness in the past war, for the umpteenth time. These
three attributes, along with God's will, are the three main factors for the
survival of Islam in this region. If we considered the Wahhabis in the
context of these three factors or virtues, the conclusion would undoubtedly
be that none of these virtues describes them. Their extremism negates their
moderation; their hatred towards others, even towards the Muslims that think
differently, negates their tolerance," Merdan said. He is a 26-year-old man
from Sarajevo, who obtained his degree in the Arabic language and literature
in Jordan, and he is also a hafiz (knows the Koran by heart.)
Merdan and Mesanovic claim that ever since this book was published, for
which no B-H Islamic scholar [expressed interest] except for Resid
Hafizovic, who was often under criticism because of his warnings about the
Wahhabi movement, they have been targeted by the Wahhabis and have been
under constant pressure.
"Wahhabism is a dimension of the literal interpretation of certain texts
from the Koran and the Hadis regarding God's entity, which emerged already
in the early stages of Islam. The essence of this ideology is that it is a
sect and the biggest newfangled thing that has ever emerged in the Islamic
world," Merdan said, adding that terrorism was only one of the "loose ends
Something to be done urgently
Merdan is one of the few people to draw attention to the alarming situation
in connection with the Wahhabis in B-H. He says that when the Wahhabis
arrived in B-H, 13 years ago, the people disapproved of them, considering
them a foreign element. However, over the years, they managed to establish a
"brand" so that the Bosniaks have in a way "legalized" their existence in
The main reason why this movement managed to achieve success in our country
in such a short time is an aggressive and radical campaign, generously
helped with money from the Arab world made available to the members of this
movement. This enabled them to print numberless brochures and booklets
containing several pages of their explanations of the essence of Islam, in
which they reject all the religious authorities.
Merdan says that the Wahhabis will soon take primacy in B-H unless something
is done now.
"In other countries it took them around 30 years to take over power, to put
it like this, which would be fatal for us if it happened here. It is enough
only to look at what the Wahhabis are doing in Iraq these days, where they
plant explosives in mosques and around other buildings of their brothers in
Islam, Shi'is, which is a sufficient example to us. The situation has been
alarming for quite some time. Senad effendi Agic (chief imam in the United
States) and Resid Hafizovic (Faculty of Islamic Sciences) had warned about
this even before, but we as a nation usually do not identify troubles until
they hit us hard."
In one part of the book, Merdan and Mesanovic warn not only against the
danger to traditional Islam, but also against aggressiveness that can lead
to terrorism, which, fortunately, has not yet happened to us.
"We should not wait for someone to blow up the US or British Embassy to
realize how serious this problem is. Ideological terrorism, which includes
the Wahhabis' intimidation of those who think differently, is a platform for
practical terrorism. Everything that is happening today in the Muslim world
and what we can see on the media every day proves our point. No Muslim,
Shi'i or Sufi, or the followers of mezheb (four recognized schools of law in
Islam), stands behind the unrest and commits crimes except for the Wahhabis!
This also indicates that terrorism cannot be associated with Islam but with
only one group of Muslims who have gone astray and whose elements are
presented in this book," Merdan says categorically.
Solution is in education
In order to prevent such teaching, Merdan founded the first NGO Centre for
Prevention of Terrorism "Zapret," the purpose of which is to explain what
this is all about.
Merdan says that the organization does not intend to fight terrorism, as
that is the job of the police.
"We have done this in the spirit of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him,
when he says: "Help your brother, whether he commits violence or is a victim
of violence." The question was then asked: "It is fine to help the victim of
violence, but why should we help the one who commits violence?" The Prophet
answered: "Prevent him from doing it!" Wahhabism is a typical form of
indoctrination, and the only way to prevent it is proper education and
doctrine. I think this is the only and the best way to resolve this global
problem, primarily the problem of the Muslims but of others, as well,"
Source: Nezavisne novine, Banja Luka, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 26 Nov 06