Embrace Meaningful Values, Abandon Nationalism, Mufti Says in Eid Sermon

The Eid al-Adha festival, observed by Muslims around the world, started Friday morning in Bosnia with prayers and sermons in mosques. Bosnian Islamic Community leader, mufti Husein Kavazović, gave his sermon in Sarajevo’s main mosque.

In a lengthy message to the congregation, mufti Kavazović touched upon the meaning of human existence and the festival observed, but also criticized Bosnian politicians and condemned terrorism, urging Muslims everywhere to stand up to wrongdoers.

The nationalist rhetoric and meaningless political bickering can’t meet the people’s needs

“(A competition in doing good) is a chance for our society and our homeland. It is time that we embraced the values that fulfill us and give a meaning to life, such as love, care, charity, fairness and opposition to evil and injustice. People should have one main goal in life – to live in peace, the way Quran teaches.” said Kavazović.

He told the congregation that they are free people and citizens whose obligation is to demand that the politicians do their only job, which is to serve the community.

“The nationalist rhetoric and meaningless political bickering can’t meet the people’s needs. Public affairs, such as safety, healthcare, immunization and education, the state of public services, military and police, social welfare etc. are what makes life. Nationalist or expansionist policies will not make the people of Bosnia happy. We all must exercise our individual and collective rights, feel human, live with human dignity, free and without fear.”

The mufti called on Muslims to respect the followers of other religions while practicing their own, and to stand up for their rights as they would do for themselves.

“We reject and condemn (…) the crimes of members of terrorist organizations, committed in the name of state projects and justified with Islam. We urge all responsible people in the Muslim world to unite for the only right cause – the fight against those who terrorize the world. To us, this is the most important religious commitment: promoting good and preventing evil,” said Kavazović.

Violence can’t be fought with more hate and violence

He also touched upon the anti-Muslim sentiments in the western world: “Hate never produced anything good. Violence can’t be fought with more hate and violence; (it) can be fought with understanding and firm opposition. Hate is like poison – nobody will poison another person by taking it themselves.”

The mufti criticized recent statements of European politicians about radicalization of Bosnian Muslims: “We reject the malicious statements about Muslims in Sarajevo and in Bosnia. Also, I urge (Bosnian Muslims) to safeguard our Bosnian tradition, our ethnic and moral based on Quran, and our freedom from attacks, no matter where they came from. (Bosnians) were always considered to be heretics, by Istanbul, by Rome, by Vienna and by Belgrade. However, being a heretic doesn’t mean being an infidel; it means having a choice and the right to a different worldview. Nobody ever broke our Bosnian heresy, and nobody should.”

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