Yugoslavian Inferno: Ethnoreligious Warfare in the Balkans

Yugoslavian Inferno: Ethnoreligious Warfare in the Balkans

Yugoslavian Inferno: Ethnoreligious Warfare in the Balkans

Yugoslavian Inferno: Ethnoreligious Warfare in the Balkans

Excerpt

"Inferno" suggests a situation of real and symbolic conflagration, unrelenting suffering, the prevalence of unmitigated evil, futiliy, and hopelessness. It can be appropriately applied to the former Yugoslavia, where ethnoreligious warfare has consigned millions to hell and where a return from hell is by no means assured.

The question arises as to the purpose of a book about a country's violent demise and the birth of new order on the Balkan peninsula while the warfare still goes on and the outcome is by means certain. The present, fluid situation certainly does not call for firm conclusions about outcomes, but there is a great need for understanding the cause of the present great convulsion, especially the role of the religious communities in it that most other analysts have ignored, and to explore the approaches toward a solution.

There is a universal concern, along with puzzlement, over the situationin former Yugoslavia. Suddenly most of us are confronted by animosities between peoples whom we barely knew existed. Those who have visited Yugoslavia earlier are baffled that people who used to be so friendly toward them and toward one another could turn so viciously against each other. I share both the puzzlement and concern over the developments in the country of my birth despite the fact that I know the situation intimately. I discovered that the same is true with other emigrants from the former Yugoslavia; they are now often alienated form each other and pursuing opposite political aims. Nevertheless, they are all pained and perplexed by the outbreak of a war . . .

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