Friday, March 17, 2006

Appeal to European Muslims

Mustafa Ceric is the religious head of the Muslim community of Bosnia, and has been so since some time in the midst of the Bosnian war in the early 1990's.

He is certainly a man with firm reigious, social and political beliefs. But as educated at the University of Chicago and with his work in a European nation his outlooks are shaped by an experience somewhat different from many other Muslim leaders.

I kow him as a good and interesting man, although I have not always agreed with everything he has said. I'm certain that he would say the same about me.

At the end of February he issued an appeal to the Muslims of Europe that is actually worth reading.

It was, he said, first and foremost "a personal appeal to the European audience not to make a mistake in generalizing all Muslims and not to spread Islamophobia. "

But "the second message was to the Muslims who live in Europe to take seriously these events and debates that may have great consequences for their stay in Europe and their status in Europe."

"And the third message is to the Muslim world at large to ask them to help us in the West, and especially in Europe, to develop a kind of dialogue that is acceptable to us as Muslims, as well as to our European neighbors

A worthy initiative from Sarajevo.