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Alija Izetbegovic

September 15, 1993

* In response to "Bosnia Chief Satisfied After Clinton Talk" (Sept. 10), I would like to offer some observations regarding the visit by Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic.

After visiting the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington he said "in his nation's tragedy he found echoes of the 'passivity' of the Allies in the face of Nazi Germany's genocide against the Jews of Europe--'including the passivity of the United States' "--a compelling comment coming from one of the perpetrators of the genocide.

It was his Muslim Nazis that exterminated 320,000 Serbs and 30,000 Jews in Sarajevo in that holocaust. Izetbegovic continues to make the claim that the peace settlement and the maps will reward "Serb aggression" and their "ethnic-cleansing policy." As an American of Serbian heritage I take great exception to the continued use of this argument. It was Izetbegovic and his Young Muslim movement that used "aggression," "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide" to obtain these territories just 50 years ago.

Izetbegovic at age 16 founded the religious-political organization Young Muslims, in 1940. In 1949, the Young Muslims staged a revolt in Sarajevo. Four of their members were tried and sentenced to death for their anti-Serb violence. In 1946, Izetbegovic was tried and sentenced to four years for hate crimes against the Serbs in Sarajevo. In 1983, in violent activities with the Young Muslims, he was again tried and was sentenced to 16 years for crimes against the Serbs (he served six years).

In 1990, Izetbegovic created the SDA party, a Muslim political party, strengthening his position. Izetbegovic is willing to sacrifice his own people to achieve his religious goals--to be the first president of an Islamic state in Europe, however small.

WM. DORICH

Los Angeles

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