Jan 11, 2014

From Illyrian's and Bogomil's to the Bosnian holocaust

The Bogomil movement is without a doubt one of the phenomena of Middle Age Bosnia and Herzegovina since it testifies about the strength and unity that characterised the Bosnian people of that time. Aware of their uniqueness, especially Illyrian descent, the Bosnian's of that time had the hardest time during the violent transition from paganism to Christianity since the new religion was foreign and completely absurd to them. This is the reason why Bosnian people never gave up their old cults, especially the cult of the snake, which were perfectly in line with coexistence with nature, its gods, especially the Grand Mother and astral deities. In line with that there had to be a resistance, the same one that almost militarily ruined the Roman Empire, which found the Bosnian people in Bogomilism. We can assume that the Bosnian people recognised some similarities between Bogomilism and Illyrian cults, but more important is the fact that through Bogomilism they achieved certain autonomy from the Christian church, in order to continue their ancient practices of worshiping their old cults, with such convenience. Assemblies on high localities where the Illyrians glorified the heavenly deities was one of the practices of the Bogomils.
The wish for preserving tradition and cultural identity resulted in the fact that the Bogomil faith completely affirmed itself in Bosnia and Herzegovina becoming the main religious but also political movement based on the revolutionary idea of resistance towards dictatorship and hegemony which came from two directions - Vatican and Byzantium. Mass conversions in the next period of Bogomils to Islam, without force or threats, are the best proof  of the claims that support that Bogomil's saw in the new faith the best protection and solution to their existence.
From all of the above we can find the root of animosity that the Bosnian people were subject to from Serbs and to some extent Croats. Even though Bosnian people were third in number when it comes to people in the former Yugoslav republic, cultural genocide was practiced over them not just in that Republic but decades earlier, which all culminated in the period from 1992 to 1995 when it assumes an ever harsher shape expressed through ethnical cleansing. At that time of the Bosnian holocaust the most ruthless crimes were undertaken since WWII, when Bosniaks, faced with the possibility of complete annihilation, were killed in numerous Serbian concentration camps, which resulted in mass graves whose number up until today has only been partially discovered.
This all was preceded by a well thought out strategy of destroying the identity of Bosniaks, appropriation of everything that made a people a nation, where Serbian ethnologists and anthropologists played a major role. Namely, all folk beliefs of the Bosniaks were appropriated as being Serbian along with the thesis without valid evidence that Bosniaks themselves were actually Serbs?! But, this is not only the case with Bosnia, but also other neighbouring countries, and through their ethnological literature we can find entire chapters of folk tradition of Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria or Romania under the joint name "Serbian beliefs". A special part is made up of traditional beliefs of Turkey, their customs, cuisine, numerous words, even music, which Serbs today regard as authentic works of their cultural history?!