The four-year war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1991-1995) was one of the bloodiest conflicts that occurred in Europe since the Second World War. More than 100,000 people died in the conflict that involved the ethnic communities of Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia, while 2 million more were displaced. When the war ended in 1995, the Bosnians faced the daunting task of post-war reconstruction. Despite the haunting massacres, the Bosnians sought reconciliation with each other and displayed mercy and compassion. This form of restorative justice allowed for a healing process to occur as a new nation, Bosnia-Herzegovina, was forged.
After nearly two decades, what important lessons can we learn from the conflict? What strategies were pursued by the Bosnian leaders and communities in the reconciliation process to unite the different factions? What were the challenges they faced in the peace-building process? What role did religious and civil society play in peace-building initiatives, and what were the challenges they faced? Can lessons from Bosnia be applied to the current inter-ethnic and religious conflict situations occurring in many parts of the world? These are some of the pertinent issues that will be discussed in the lecture by Dr. Mustafa Ceric.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Mustafa Ceric is currently Grand Mufti Emeritus of Bosnia-Herzegovina and serving as President of World Bosniak Congress. He was Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1993 to 2012. He was previously an imam in Northbrook, Illinois and Zagreb.
Dr. Mustafa Ceric is a member of the Interreligious Council of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Foundation of Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial and Cemetery, the Council of 100 Leaders of the World Economic Forum, the European Council for Fatwas and Research, World Conference of Religion & Peace, the executive committee of the European Council of Religious Leaders, the board of trustees of International Islamic University Islamabad, the Sharia’h Board of Bosnia Bank International, the Fiqh Academy in Mecca, Aal Albayt Foundation for Islamic Thought in Jordan, the World Council of Religions for Peace, International Commission for Peace Research, UNESCO, the Executive Council of World Forum of Ulama, Advisory Council of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and Writers Association of Renewal Jordan.
Dr. Mustafa Ceric was the co-recipient of the 2003 UNESCO Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize. In 2007, he received the Theodor-Heuss-Stiftung and was named the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of Muslim Social Scientists UK. In 2008, he received the Eugen Biser Foundation award. In 2010, he received the King Abdullah I Bin Al-Hussein International Award and in 2012, he received the Ducci Foundation Peace Prize.
Organised by the Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies (SRP) Programme.