Saturday, February 23, 2008

Troubling Sign of Sectarianism

On February 12 of this year, the OSCE Mission to Bosnia released what, in a liberal secular society, should be a thoroughly uncontroversial press statement:

Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina Should Be Inclusive, Not Exclusive

Anyone familiar with the multi-confessional composition of Bosnian society and of the need to nurture a shared civic culture, regardless of his or her own beliefs or affiliation.

Unfortunately, the The Cabinet of Reisu-l-ulema in Sarajevo opted to respond with shrill, disingenuous hysteria:

We Are Sorry the OSCE Has Joined General Anti-Islamic Histeria

This is both frustrating--because it is so patently false, a rather severe mischaracterization of the actual text of the original statement designed to muddy the waters of discourse--and dangerous, because the last thing Bosnia needs is any prominent representatives of any of the three main ethnorelgious groups reverting to tactics of outraged victimhood.

Fortunately, the OSCE is sticking to their guns:

DANI Barometer - Religious Classes in Kindergartens

I'm glad to see that the OSCE didn't allow any undue "sensitivity" to distract from the central issue--the introduction of explicitly religious instruction into public schools.



Anonymous said...

I agree that ethnic divisions should stop. Human beings should be guided by human rights. It is a 'hate crime' to separate children into different classes based on their ethnicities. Ethnic divisions suck and I am totally against them. But, this problem seems to be plaguing only some parts of the country... but nevertheless, more has to be done to make educational system in Bosnia "inclusive", not "exlusive."

When I was in Bosnia, I attended both Islamic and Christian religious classes out of curiosity. Why? It's because I wanted to get a taste of both cakes. Why have a taste of one cake when you can have a taste of the two?

Anonymous said...

Northern Ireland should be warning enough of the dangers of the separation of religious groups within the education system.

Anonymous said...

Off Topic, but equally important:

US Intelligence Chief Says Belgrade Allowed Terrorist Attack on US Embassy