Is Valter dead?

perhaps my words may seem strong…but fuck it….

Fascism is alive and well and Sarajevo.  For a place that celebrates its partizan liberators, claims to be a multi-culti European city, and has just survived one of the most brutal and fascistic sieges in modern history…..we just showed the world, and indeed ourselves….that fascism is not an import nor a foreign concept to many Bosnjaks here. 

I feel ashamed.  Ashamed that people who claim to dedicate their lives to living the word of ‘God’ can brutally attack people in the same way they were attacked (and for very similar reasons) just 15 years ago.  I am disgusted that a group of teenagers acted like English football hooligans and stalked the ‘opposing’ team. 

They hunted people down like they were hunted.  Randomly practiced extreme violence against people they had no right to judge.  The ultra right vehabi's and idiot football hooligans have now stained not only their name but the name of all Bosnjaks.  They have shamed our city….as we sat by passively and let innocent people fall victim to the unfortunately long, long tradition of Balkan fascism. 

We should all hang our heads and do a bit of soul searching after the cancellation of Queer Fest.   We literally sat by as an innocent minority was targeted by so-called ‘god fearers’ ….does any of this sound familiar?  Or did we forget already? 

How short our memories can be.  How did we feel when the world abandoned us is 1992?  You may try to tell yourself it was ‘different’ then.  But we all know its not. 

What happened to our Sarajevo…a Sarajevo that has never allowed fascism to penetrate its heart and soul.  Did someone kill Valter?

16 komentara

  1. i think “public” morality should not oppose the individual.

    Besides religion is NOT “public morality” a strange phrase, indeed…

    who determines what this “public morality” is?

    what is “public morality” anyway?



    It's the religious people who need to take a chill pill and mind their own business, just as GLBT are trying to do.

    the religious people are stirring things up beating gays up in the name of what? the god they insist is “loving” &”forgiving”….

    that shows to go ya.

    all the while they're claiming the people being brutalised are to blame for their own pathetic, violent cro-magnon behaviour.

    ain't that delicious?

    & Tim, it's a terrible battle here in the states.



  2. While I broadly agree with your sentiments here Tim, I'm still surprised by how shocked you are by this week's events, which, incidentally, were highly predictable. Unfortunately this is due to the fact that they are actually nothing new in the recent, post-war history of Sarajevo.

    If anything we should take heart from the fact that this week's outpouring of hatred and intolerance has at least been exposed on a national, regional and even international level. Previous incidents, of which there have been many, have received scant attention and have been routinely dismissed through denial and ignorance.

    The new, improved Sarajevo, which was only last month declared ‘Officially cleansed’ by the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, is clearly not a city of tolerance and clearly no metropolis at this point in time. The past 13 years has seen destruction of gravestones; attacks on churches; attacks on priests; a street attack on Father Christmas (there were two of them, one red and one green, and thankfully the latter was spared); an attack on a Hari Krishna group outside Begova Džamija, routine outpourings of ethnic hatred at sporting events (even KK Bosna fans have been known to sing popular standards such as the charming ‘Gazi Ustaše’); daylight beatings in the čaršija of people revisiting their own properties; hateful graffiti and the sale of a number of anti-Semitic books and DVDs, many of which are illegal in countless countries.

    Moreover our new, improved Sarajevo is largely run by authorities who take no responsibility for the city's safety, environment or image; it is home to a number of ‘state’ companies that were largely purged a decade ago; it has successfully replaced what was left of its urban population after the war with, and I am certainly not generalising here, often intolerant elements from other places who have no love for Sarajevo nor its tradition of tolerance; it is home to Avaz and Hayat and Aqua who ‘care not to come up any higher but rather get you down in the hole that they're in’ (to paraphrase Dylan); it is home to an endless assortment of war and peace profiteers who have never and will never be held to account for their thievery; it is also home to an international community that tolerates most of the criminality ‘because, hey, at least they stopped shooting each other’; hell, even its largest annual cultural event was built on power, corruption and lies.

    So what's to be expected of Sarajevo at this moment in its long history? Not much my dear Tim. I for one find more tolerance, culture and forward thinking in many of the provincial towns I visit with my organisation than I find at any given time in Sarajevo.

    This week Sarajevo merely added another symptom to a long term illness. It won't last forever but it's pretty sad to watch while it thrives.

  3. I agree with Jim here and I'm always surprised at what you are surprised at, all those years living there (and me living here, heh)

    Still, these are tough times. Over here, every other day some poor soul dies trying to stop another person being brutally murdered. It's shockingly frequent now. And it's not isolated to this island, I'm sure.

    It's hard work surfing the top of the wave, the only way is down, and if you are lucky, you don't get crushed during the descent.

  4. I wouldn't quite say that there is such a strong element of ‘surprise’ when it comes to my reactions to things. Am i surprised? Well, no. I'm not surprised by much of anything in this world…but, thankfully, it shocks and disgusts me still. If it didn't….and i just became numb….then i feel i would be like a large majority of people who simply chose to ignore it. Then i become part of the problem. So honestly there is a part of me that wants to be shocked. I need to get angry.

    After seeing and experiencing what many of us did here during the war…a few wahabi's hunting down a few homosexuals and their sympathisers is not horribly surprising.

    Yes, i have been here for a long time. Yes, i do know what ‘things’ are like. No, i do not accept them. No, i will not become indifferent. The greatest form of patriotism is open dissent.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts guys.

  5. I despise muslim extremists and football hooligans, but I advocate right of people NOT to agree with queer festival and gay movement. It is not a problem in what has happened, but WHO has done it and why.

    People have full right to protest against queer festival. If they beat up someone in the process – it is their full adult age right to choose to do so and suffer consequences like paying fine in front of court of law or go into jail. That is democracy and there is a price tag on everything you do in life.

    It is also clear that wahabies and football hooligans (both not so popular among majority of citisents) have instrumentalised this event to TRY to gain public support for their cause like playing PROTECTORS of public interest. That is WRONG.

    As concerning antifashism – that is a big word that means anything and nothing and depends a lot from a point of view. Partisans were founders of JNA that has attacked us and commited genocide acts. On the other hands many german, croatian and bosnian soldiers have died in 2nd WW to protect bosnian civilians from genocide. Partisan behaviour in 2nd WW is highly dubious and often more proserb than acceptable.

    Sarajevo has payed high price of its tolerance in the past as did Bosnia too. Gay people should not neccesarilly be scapegoats of our newly found selfesteem and 0 % tolerance policy against our enemies, but these people should know that majority of our population does not like gay lifestyle and that Sarajevo has limitede capacities for tolerance in their case.

    P.S. Having 17 y.o. girlfriend and being 27 at one point in your life (knock, knock, who is it ? Paedophylia !) brings you in not so favourable position to moralise around here. Comprende ?

  6. tim don't you think you missed the point?
    beating gays=fascism?!
    tolerance means let them do what ever they want and don't react?!
    in one comment on your blog i read that religion is private matter.
    sexual orientation should be treated on the same level.
    but no.
    they have right to poison our kids, by the way during holly month.
    they have right to explain that all of us straight are homophobes?
    i don't need to understand them, i don't want to.
    if they want to be gays let it be, but what kind of “rights” they want?
    actually they're not asking to be equal, because in a matter of sexual right they are, they want some special right.
    and i'm not ready to give it to them.
    if this means i’ intolerant i'll sign it.
    go home and do whatever you want, we have enough of distress to accept another
    i can't remember that i heard many reaction when the same gays were beaten in yagreb and belgrade???
    Why all the time we have to be tolerant???
    i'm bit sick of that

  7. perhaps I'm mistaken oklapina….but i was under the impression that Sarajevo was always a city that prided itself on tolerance – and, in fact, having a cosmopolitan world view.

    thanks for your view and comments…i take no rational comments lightly. That's what this is all about…we don't have to agree on anything accept that discussion things is the best way to solve problems we may have.

    I hope i don't leave the impression that my words are those of Moses and carved in stone. Far from it my friend. I feel just as passionately about what i wrote as you did…and who's right? well, perhaps we both are…and perhaps neither of us are. The point is to talk…so thanks for that.

    think about one thing that you said though….'if they want to be gays'…this is the centerpiece of many discussions. People don't want to be gay any more than a black person wants to be black or a woman wants to be a woman. It is a fact…and indeed a biological one.

    What frightens me is our readiness for violence. I may disagree with wahabi's…some despise them ( i don't particularly)…but i would never wish bodily harm to them because of their belief system – ever.