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Bosnian Refugees

March 11, 1993

Dismayed and disillusioned by strife where formerly authoritarian regimes had limited inter-community violence, we can ill-afford to overlook means by which previously it has been reduced if not eliminated. Dr. Rogers' resort to the divide-and-rule cliche--that the Ottomans "sowed distrust to serve their political ends"--disregards the role of the millet system which aided peace with justice in that empire. Instituted by Mehmet the Conqueror (1432-1481), each millet was a non-geographic "nation," one for each major religious community, autonomous in such matters as faith, family law and inheritance, education, justice, social security, etc.

Students of the millet system might discover some guidelines for the futures of countries suffering from the virus of fragmentation.

(Prof.) DONALD E. WEBSTER

Claremont

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