Conference of Anja ZALTA during the Second International Congress of PLURIEL in ROME.
The syntagma « house of agreement » was coined by former Bosnian reisu-l-ulema Mustafa Ceric in his « Declaration of European Muslims », which was presented in London in 2005. In this declaration, Ceric asserts the devotion of European Muslims to the European values of democracy, tolerance, human rights and the rule of law. Ceric belongs to the Islamic tradition of Bosniaks, which incorporates multicultural, democratic and pluralistic values. The self-understanding of Bosniaks is based on European-ness, the revitalization of ijtihad and the reformation of their socio-cultural and political conditions since the mid-19th century. They are the largest Muslim community in South Eastern Europe, which came into contact with European political, legal and cultural institutions and norms in 1878, when Bosnia and Herzegovina became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The suspension of ties with the Ottoman Empire created conditions for the (relative) autonomy of Muslim institutions and intellectual endeavours.
The presentation will highlight the main characteristics of Islam in Bosnia, its constituent power and its educational (didactic) role in terms of historical memory, which consolidates and brings together diverse views and requirements. It will present the Islamic tradition of Bosniaks not as a theoretical construct, but as a reality of how Islam is understood and lived through the centuries. It will also think about possibilities how and if to apply the “Bosnian model” to the greater “European ummah”.