Objavljeno u kategoriji English na 08.02.2018 10:09:27

Niksic to Covic: Civil state that EU want is not the problem, the racist state that you want is

Nermin Niksic

The president of SDB BiH Nermin Niksic sent an open letter to the president of HDZ BiH Dragan Covic, following Covic's statement in Zagreb that BiH as a civil state would in practice mean an Islamic state.

- I respect those who want a civil state. Only, as far as today's BiH is concerned, a civil state would mean classic unitarism in some form, in theory, which essentially means an Islamic state, said Covic to the press after his visit to Zagreb.

Open letter by SDP BiH president Nermin Niksic:

'You have gone too far with your statement that pursuing a civil state in today's Bosnia and Herzegovina is equal to pursuing an Islamic state.

Unfortunately, such statement only confirms that you have gone too far from 1993 when, as the director of ‘Soko’, you were bringing war prisoners from the concentration camps for forced labor.

Back then, the worst crimes were justified in identical manner used now to justify the racist model of the election law that your HDZ advocates, which, unfortunately, is also campaigned for by the government of Republic of Croatia, thus undermining the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina almost daily.

In 1990's you were allegedly defending yourselves from mujahedeens, while today, you are allegedly defending yourself from ISIL.

Therefore, Mr. Covic, the problem is not in the civil state that large majority of people in BiH want, which the European Court of Human Rights expects, the problem is in the racist state that you, your followers and sponsors want.  

I am utterly sad because in the 21st century, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are politicians like you, who still live in the past and not the recent one but in the times of crusaders.

The statement in which you equalize a civil state BiH with an Islamic state is inappropriate and offending to all those citizens of BiH who want a state in which all people will be equal in all of its parts.

It is offending to the Croats who are used by nationalists to hide behind them their greed and crime, same as other peoples are used.

This statement is not only unacceptable, it is entirely opposite to the European values of which you claim to be the biggest bearer.

I'm asking you to name at least one modern European democratic state that is not a civil state. I'm asking you to name one such country in which all of its citizens do not have guaranteed all their rights, regardless of their identity. You will not find any such example because exercising one's rights on the basis of identity is called racism and not democracy.

I'm certain that, as a former communist, you are well aware that a civil state and unitarism are not related. The former is the matter of basic democratic principle and the latter is the matter of administrative organization of the state. A state can be civil and quite decentralized and vice versa.

Let's say that the cantons in which HDZ has held sovereign power for 3 decades are the most unitary administrative units, not only in BiH but in Europe as well. It has nothing to do with the civil order but the politics of HDZ which keeps all the rights, without sharing with others or allowing others to enjoy those.

Stubborn rejection on HDZ's part to recognize the Bosniak's right to name their language Bosnian in the said cantons, and equally stubborn rejection of Serbs' right to appear as a constituent in the constitution in these cantons – only proves my point. You discriminate even the Croats who live there, as is the case with violation of basic rights of the teachers and police in Western Herzegovina. They have bitterly protested for your years for the discrimination – not by Sarajevo unitarists or ISIL, but absolute HDZ's power which has deprived them of their right to health insurance, retirement etc.

Therefore, today's biggest unitarists in BiH are actually your HDZ and you, who run such politics in places where you have absolute power. That's where one can see the real face of such politics.  

It's a pity that you have not read the new Strategy of the European Union for the Western Balkans which, among other things, says that the accession to the EU is a matter of choice and not obligation, and that those who want to join the EU mustn't view the process as a mere technical matter, but as a decision about accepting the European values.

One of the basic values of modern Europe is the equality of all its citizens, regardless of their ethnic or religious affiliation, and place of residence.

A Croat from Sarajevo cannot have less of rights than a Croat from Mostar, just like a Bosniak from Tuzla cannot have more rights than a Bosniak from Livno; a Serb from FBiH cannot have less rights than a Serb in the RS. Clearly, that is what you want but that will not pass regardless of wrapping you use for your racist politics. Such politics was charged guilty before the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg, which identified it as racist.

BiH will be the state of all its citizens, equal everywhere and on every basis, and only a civil state is a guarantee for such concept.

Considering your statement, one can conclude that you, with or without the ruling coalition, have abandoned the EU path or else, that you have shown your true colors i.e. that you have never supported that concept, which is probably much closer to the truth.

Racism is not a European value and there's no place for its advocates in Europe. That's why I should like to invite you to work together with us on finding solutions for basic problems of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina instead of pursuing your nationalist politics. That is the only way to show we care about progress of all citizens and nations.'

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