Destruction of Zlijeb Mosque

Žlijeb is a village in Visegrad Municipality. According to the 1991 census, it had a population of 179 out of which 142 were Bosnian Muslims. The entire Muslim population was either driven out, murdered or sent to concentration camps in the Visegrad Municipality. All Bosniak property was destroyed and the village  mosque was burnt down and the minaret dynamited. Until now only Boban Simsic has been on trial for crimes committed in this village.

Visegrad-Zlijeb-enterijer srusene dzamije

Image: The interior of the Zlijeb mosque built in 1550.

Visegrad-Zlijeb-enterijer srusene dzamije-1

Image: A tree has grown in the middle of the mosque. In the rear is the mihrab.

Visegrad-Zlijeb-minirana i zapaljena dzamija

Image: The mosque burnt down and the minaret dynamited.

Visegrad-Zlijeb-srusena dzamija

Image: The mosque burnt down and the minaret dynamited.

Visegrad-Zlijeb-srusena dzamija-1

Image: The mosque burnt down and the minaret dynamited. Notice the top of the minaret stuck in the ground due to explosion.

Visegrad-Zlijeb-srusena dzamija-2

Image: The top of the minaret stuck in the ground due to explosion when the minaret was dynamited.

12 Responses to “Destruction of Zlijeb Mosque”

  1. Abdul Majid Says:

    Images like that give me the notion that whoever did that must be drawn and quartered and his ashes scattered. After all the inhumanity that almost all Bosniaks of Podrinje experienced it would be only too right that the werewolves who did that suffered teh inhumanity they inflicted themselves. And especially when I think of teh Orthodox church built on Granny Fata’s front yard. The Serbsd should be forced to tear it down WITH THEIR BARE HANDS! But the stones should be used to rebuild the Zlijeb mosque. And the bells should be made into its chandeliers. I have never subscribed to religious hate. But after knowing what happened in Bosnia, some years back when I traveled to Morocco, I visited the Qaraouine Mosque in Fes, and I happened to notice that a lot of the lamps in it were actually old church bells captured either in Spain in the 11th and 12th century by the Almoravids and Almohads, or brought by Moulay Ismail from the conquered Portuguese and Spanish settlements on the Moroccan coast in the 18th century. And, believe me, I drew some comfort from this.

  2. Abdul Majid, do you really think one barbarity makes good another?

  3. Abdul Majid Says:

    Sorry, but that illegally built Orthodox church must be torn down, as must be the one illegaly built on the site of the mosque of Divic. These are not just churches, they are signs of conquest, of the Serbs claiming land that is not theirs. And signs of humiliation for the Bosniaks. Before I learned of such things happening I did not care too much about that, but now every time I see an Orthodox church I have a feeling of revulsion, and nobody will persuade me to enter one, even though I do agree that those of historical and great artistic value like Gracanica and others in Kosovo must be respected, protected and preserved (also in their intended function); and that the Orthodox churches in Sarajevo, Tuzla and most other places under Bosniak control were not intentionally damaged or destroyed is a good thing. The Orthodox cathedral in Mostar was destroyed by the HVO, not the Bosniaks, and of course it must be rebuilt. But then all historic mosques destroyed must be rebuilt too, and faithfully, and this is not being done, it is intentionally delayed or prevented. The RS court just overturned a ruling in favor of their rebuilding. Of course the Bosniaks could offer to rebuild the cathedral in Mostar if RS authorities agree to the rebuilding of the Aladza Dzamija and the other mosques in Foca, and the Arnaudija in Banja Luka. But they won’t agree to that. They want anything Muslim out. They still wish to destroy Bosnia and the Bosniaks. The war just goes on, with other means. Dodik and his cronies are no better than Karadzic. The enemy is still the enemy.
    And about the church bells brought to the Qaraouine Mosque in Fes, Morocco, there can be no question of the Moroccan government returning them to Spain. After all, that was in the Middle Ages, they have been where they are for maybe 300, maybe 800 yeears, and then, after 1492 Spain was ethnically cleansed of Muslims in much the same way the Serbs do it today. But the descendants of Spanish Muslims in North Africa have until today not forgotten where their ancestors came from and why. Many still keep the keys of their ancestors’ houses, and have documents to prove their origins, and if in northern Morocco Spanish is still understood it is not just because it was a Spanish colony from 1912 to 1956. For them, knowing that their enemies in olden times were not invincible is a redress and a comfort. I have nothing against Christians as such, or any other people, but I do not have any sympathies for those with a crusader mentality, and unfortunately there are too many of them around. I’m fortunate not (yet) to have suffered humiliation or violence at their hands. But the Bosniaks of Podrinje weren’t.
    And I am convinced that people who represent all that is negative and destructive about Mankind such as Milan Lukic and the thousands of others who committed similar crimes and who would commit them again if given the chance should be made to suffer exactly the same degree of inhumanity they have inflicted on others and be removed from the scene as to no longer represent a danger for others. That in Serb society and among the Serb nation such behavior is justified and obviously socially acceptable does not speak for Serbia. Only if Serbia recognized a unified and sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina and when Serb President Tadic comes to kneel befopre the Potocari Memorial as German Chancellor Willy Brandt did befoe the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial will there be peace in the region, but I don’t see that coming. On the contrary, I see a renewed effort by Serb authorities in “RS” and in Serbia proper to complete Karadzic’s nightmarish project. That must not come to pass. If it does, the Islamist terrorists the world over will feel justified and vindicated. This would really put me in a predicament, for I would feel rejected by the West; and at the same rime I abhor such ideas as the “jihadists” have, for they are exactly as primitive, wrong and evil as the Serbofascists’. They too deem a human life of no value and no account. Sometimes I think some Western leaders are wishing exactly that to happen: the “clash of civilizations”

  4. Abdul Majid, I don’t disagree with you in the slightest about the need to remove buildings, even churches, that have been erected as part of a campaign of religious/ethnic domination and intolerance. A church is not a sacred place if its construction was an unholy act of aggression.

    And RS is still the offspring of genocide and as long as we allow its leaders to continue pursuing their goals of exclusion and secession we have not made amends for what took place between 1992 and 1995.

    My doubt is about “drawing and quartering” and I’m afraid that applies to even the most monstrous of brutes like Milan Lukic. Civilisation means not killing in cold blood.

  5. Abdul Majid Says:

    Yes, of course, of course. When one gets enraged about the crimes the Serbs, and particularly Milan Lukic, was allowed to commit, it’s easy to get carried away. And there are maybe hundreds of thousands out and about. I don’t know what I would do if confronted with one of those. I certainly would not like to find myself in a war-like situation with people like that. If there was a chance that I’d fall into the hands of such, er, people, they would certainly do worse to me than drawing and quartering. I have always thought that had I gone there as a volunteer in the war I’d kept one bullet (or a cyanide capsule or a hand grenade) in case they’d capture me. It’s the only situation where it would be justifued to blow oneself up. After all, it was not Muslims who did that first, it was the Japanese in WWII. But, if it had been the other way round what would I do with a person like that?
    For me, any male Serb of military age who was in or around Srebrenica at that time IS guilty. They deserve death, and a very hideous and painful death at that. But I do not relish in torture and sadism. I am not a Milan Lukic. The only thing that would be important is that such a dangerous man is rendered harmless, and if that can only be achieved by killing him then so be it. Through his inhumanity he has forfeited any human dignity. I would therefore allow the people to beat and spit on his corpse, and hang it in the town square for that purpose. Then I’d have it burned and the ashes scattered so nobody can build a monument to his evil memory.
    I’m sorry, I’m getting carried away again. But it is hard to stay calm in view of that maybe soon “republika srpska” will become independent and that someone recommends that when it happens the Bosniaks must be restrained, that is, forever be trodden upon. And in view that those Serbs represent all that is negative and destructive about Mankind (okay, so do the Taliban too) it becomes for me more and more difficult to see them as human beings. They tried to deny the Bosniaks their humanity and in so doing have thrown away their own humanity. And official Serbia carries on with the same, so I fear that for me, all Serbs except those who expressly and unequivocally distance themselves from Greater Serbia, from genocide and Bosniakophobia are for me no longer human, but werewolves. I’m sorry, but that ‘s how it is. I have the intention of forbidding my daughter to marry a Serb and most particularly if she should have to become Orthodox to do so. And if Serbia and an independent “Republika Srpska” are accepted in Europe then I do not wish to be part of that Europe any longer. In fact I don’t think that such a world would be good to live in.

  6. Abdul Majid, please don’t imagine that I want in any way to disrespect the righteousness of your anger. It would not be human not to respond like you do in the face of such terrible atrocities and such equally terrible lack of remorse. But it is still important to rise above the vileness of the perpetrators. And have faith in your daughter’s capacity to distinguish good from evil for herself – she will surely have learned how to recognise which is which from you.

  7. Abdul Majid Says:

    Yes, that’s true; she’s still very small; I think, only when she’s ten I can talk to her about those things. And even though I have the notion that it would be nice for my daughter to marry a Bosniak and thus contribute to their cause I know perfectly well that she has to choose the right one for herself and I can’t impose on her. I have a children’s book by Moroccan author Tahar ben Jelloun on the subject of racism.
    If the Serbs did all what they did out of fear of Muslims, and out of a certain inferiority complex towards the Bosniaks…well, we now understand how it could happen; but does that help in preventing it from happening a second time, or is the only option for the Bosniaks to gain the upper hand by military means? In Rwanda it certainly was the only option. How well Rwanda works now as a society and a nation, well I’d need more background information, but I do have the impression that it is one of the more orderly African states. There is an effort at reconciliation. The new Constitution has established the Rwandan genocide as such and made it a crime to deny or belittle it. Political activities and organisations based on ethnic lines have been forbidden. Could this be done in Bosnia too?

  8. Abdul Majid Says:

    I forgot to add. I do not want to become a Milan Lukic myself, I could not bear to look at myself in the mirror if I did. That someone like Milan Lukic deserves a painful and hideous death is clear, for he has forfeited his human condition; most importantly he must be rendered harmless. If that means executing him, so be it; even though, for such people Devil’s Island would be perfect and it is a pity it can’t be reopened just for them.
    I would not enjoy killing someone, and not do it nor order it if I had the slightest doubt about him being guilty. But sometimes when I read some anti-Bosniak statements by those who defend Greater Serbia or the anti-Bosniak genocide (on RFE/RL, Balkaninsight, not to mention youtube) I wish nothing but death on them. Because if they were left on their own, those people would commit genocide on the Bosniaks again. Their statements are 100% exactly the same of Radovan Karadzic, and as for their disposition, as for meeting one of them on the street, concretely in a dark alley at night…oh my God!

  9. The best punishment for Milan Lukic would be to have the walls of his cell covered by mirrors, so that for the rest of his life he was condemned to contemplate an infinity of reflections of his own self.

    What is essential is that the people who would commit genocide again, given the chance – and I completely agree with you that – are so circumscribed by effective social, legal and other institutions that they will never see that opportunity arise again.

    But they certainly aren’t adequately constrained. They still have their friends in positions of power in Serbia and RS. And Dodik’s increasing boldness is the equivalent of hearing footsteps behind you in that dark alley.

  10. Abdul Majid Says:

    Exactly, but hopefully the Bosniaks will be better prepared next time; and that the Serb military of today is not the JNA.
    And hopefully someday the Bosniak communities of Visegrad and Podrinje will be established anew. Just like in the Middle Ages after the horrible pogroms of the Crusaders the Jewish communities not quite a century passed that new Jewish communities had arisen in the cities along the Rhine, the Bosniask will return to the Drina. As shown in “Snijeg”; or read the article “Framboises pour la paix à Bratunac” on http://www.balkans.courriers.info.
    But Bosniaks must never forget; and the populace in Serbia must be made to see what monstrous evil was committed in the name of Serbdom. But you see how they reacted to Milan Lukic’s sentence. If most Serbs think like that, then I feel they must go through the same catharsis as Germany and Japan had to in and after 1945, and if that means dropping wholesale destruction, fire and death on their heads, then I for one will not grieve for them, because even their children’s minds are poisoned. But what with the current of Islamophobia that is sweeping through the West, I fear they will, as in 1992 stab the Bosniaks in the back once again. That the powers that be, rather than help the victims of genocide and prevent it from happening, turn a blind eye and afterwards pretend nothing wrong ever happened adn thus collude with the perpetrators, is a continuity which one can see from the genocide of the Balkan Muslims in 1878 to the Armenian genocide to the Holocaust to the Khmer Rouge to Bosnia to Rwanda to Darfur. It is hopeless.
    Even though most Bosnias I talked to do not view their future with pessimism and generally have a more positive outlook on life. Maybe that will help to save them.

  11. Omerovic Says:

    My grandmother comes from this village

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