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Bijeljina

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There are though, signs of a batted community continuing to build a fragile peace. Just 10 miles from the border with Serbia is the town of Bijeljina. This community was one of the first to be targeted when the Serbs began their campaign. All six mosques in this town were obliterated, the work is now under way to restore them. The decision to go ahead and rebuild had a strange twist over the further test relations between the 2 sides. Initial preparations on the site, hit the nerve with the discovery of the remains of the grave stones from the 14th century orthodox church which had disappeared from trace after the Ottoman occupation. The find meant that some Serbs now wanted the new mosque stopped in its tracks. We knew about being of an church here, but we didn't know about the stones under the grounds of the mosque. We cannot understand why some people in the west say that this is nothing. Maybe if someone built a mosque or place of worship on your grandfathers grave, you'd care about it. It's not civilized. The most precious of the stones are now housed in a local museum, barely a 100 meters from the mosque. After their discovery, the building works were put on hold, while a special commission was appointed to decide the mosque's faith. What did the commission, what did they decide in the end? They agreed about the authenticity of the monuments, they agreed that they are old orthodox Serbian inscriptions of Serbian orthodox church but the conclusion was, there is no, you know obstacles for the rebuilding of the mosque. It's quite an irony isn't it that after the recent conflict with, there are the Muslims wanting to build the new house to god and because of that you've now found all these treasures, which you'd never found without them. Yeah, that's right, I mean that could be some poetic justice or something but... Do you think somebody out there is trying to say something? No, I wouldn't go that far, you know, that's political question. Maybe, who knows. This is a story in which both sides emerged with something Since the war, local Serbs have had the new church built. It's sighted within an stones throw of the steadily emerging new mosque. It's an image of a fragile but precious co-existence.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 34 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Views: 118
Posted by: ezdell on Oct 6, 2009

Bijeljina

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