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Prejudice And Discrimination Essay

1118 words - 4 pages

Prejudice and DiscriminationByJune 23, 2010For the past 6 months I have spent in Bosnia, a country divided by culture, religion and ethnics. Bosnia however is a beautiful country, with several things to see and do. Here is a little on the historyand background of Bosnia. As well as some of the things that were discovered and virtually unknown to the outside world.Although it is smaller than West Virginia, Bosnia-Herzegovina has long been a meeting ground for people of different cultures. The Slavic ancestors of today's inhabitants moved south into the Balkan Peninsula in the sixth and seventh centuries. They intermixed with the people who already lived in this borderland between the Roman and the Byzantine empires. The former Yugoslavia, and in particular Bosnia, can serve as an example of minimal differences magnified and turned murderous by cultural significance attached to them in the context of nationalism. The differences between Serbs, Croats, and the so-called "Bosnian Muslims" are mostly in the imagination. These three groups of southern Slavs belong to the same race and look the same; they speak Serbo-Croatian; their religion, which has been made so much of recently, cannot, in practice, be used to distinguish between them, because overwhelming majorities in each of them are (or were until the eruption of the recent conflict) nonbelievers. These are facts that are often overlooked because the identities of Serbs and Croats have been traditionally defined as ethnic identities; and since these identities reflect the way these groups envision the world, they necessarily define as ethnic the identities of members of the third group, the descendants of Slavic Muslims in Bosnia. So although they are of the same race, they come from an entirely different ethnicity.Bosnia and Herzegovina's declaration of sovereignty in October 1991 was followed by a declaration of independence from the former Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992 after a referendum boycotted by ethnic Serbs. Yugoslavia began breaking apart in 1991. After both Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence, Bosnians faced difficult questions. Should they seek independence from Yugoslavia? Or should they remain a Yugoslav state? In March 1992, a majority of Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks voted for independence, but most Bosnian Serbs refused to vote. The result of this disagreement was war. The Bosnian Serbs - supported by neighboring Serbia and Montenegro - responded with armed resistance aimed at partitioning the republic along ethnic lines and joining Serb-held areas to form a "Greater Serbia." Between April 1992 and December 1995, more than 250,000 people mostly civilians were killed. About two million Bosnians were forced from their homes. In March 1994, Bosniaks (used instead of Muslims not to be confused with the religion) and Croats reduced the number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement creating a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On...

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