Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

The Bosnian Muslims in the Second World War. A History

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

The Bosnian Muslims in the Second World War. A History

Article excerpt

The Bosnian Muslims in the Second World War. A History. By Marko Attila Hoare. Oxford, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2013. 478 pp. $120.

Hoare, a reader in history at Kingston University in London, has produced a history that draws on the archives of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia. Regrettably, though, he has omitted works in German or English on the main Islamist leaders who, like the Jerusalem mufti Hajj Amin Husseini, aided Hitler and used Islamism as a key recruiting instrument, mobilizing Muslims into the murderous Khanjar Division. As a result, the work is lopsided with a focus on the Muslim part in the eventual communist takeover of the country but neglecting the role of those who were the Nazis' willing accomplices.

Thus, the author takes us through the Nazi and Italian fascist occupation of Yugoslavia in 1941, through the years of the first Yugoslav civil war between Tito's Partisans, Serbian royalist Chetniks, Croatian nationalist Ustase, and others, up to the communist victory. The Yugoslav communists, the author writes, were able to harness part of the Muslim population in their bid for power. Muslims helped shape the revolution but were soon curtailed as a religiously-based ethnicity when the victorious communists took control of the state. …

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