Alija Izetbegović

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About Alija Izetbegović Alija Izetbegović (Bosnian pronunciation: alija izɛtbɛɡɔʋitɕ) (8 August 1925 – 19 October 2003) was a Bosniak activist, lawyer, author, philosopher and politician, who, in 1990, became the first president of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He served in this role until 1996, when he became a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, serving until 2000. He was also the author of several books, most notably Islam Between East and West and the Islamic Declaration.Early life Izetbegović was born in the town of Bosanski Šamac, situated in the north of Bosnia; he was one of five children born to a distinguished but impoverished family descended from former Ottoman aristocrats from Belgrade who fled to Bosnia after Serbia gained independence from the Ottoman Empire. His grandfather, Alija, was the mayor of Bosanski Šamac. While grandfather Alija was a soldier in Üsküdar, he married a Turkish woman called 'Sıdıka Hanım'. After marriage they moved to Šamac and had 5 children. Grandson Alija's father, an accountant, declared bankruptcy in 1927 and the family moved to Sarajevo. Izetbegović became closely involved in Bosniak society as he grew up during the 1930s and 1940s. With a devoted family and Muslim upbringing, he received a secular education, eventually graduating from law school in Sarajevo. At this time he also joined the Mladi Muslimani (Young Muslims), a partly collaborationist "party of Islamic renewal" and youth group that aided refugees during the Second World War. For most of World War II he did not participate in any armed forces, except half a year at the beginning of WWII in Tito's anti-fascist partisans. After the war Izetbegović was arrested in 1946 and sentenced to 3 years in prison on charges of anti-communist activities. Once free, he earned a law degree at Sarajevo University and remained engaged in politics. Dissident and activist See also: Islamic Declaration In 1970, Izetbegović published a manifesto entitled the Islamic Declaration, expressing his views on relationships between Islam, state and society. The authorities interpreted the declaration as a call for introduction of Sharia law in Bosnia, and banned the publication. The declaration remains a source of controversy. It was used by Serb nationalists as one of excuses for the war, often quoting the declaration as an intent to create an Iranian style Muslim republic in Bosnia. Passages from the declaration were frequently quoted by Izetbegović's opponents during the 1990s, portraying it as an open statement of Islamic fundamentalism. The opinion is shared by some Western authors such as John Schindler. Izetbegović vigorously denied such accusations. British author Noel Malcolm asserted that the Serb nationalist interpretation of the Declaration was false propaganda and offered a more benevolent reading of the declaration. Explaining that it was "a general treatise on politics and Islam, directed towards the entire Muslim world; it is not about Bosnia and does not even mention Bosnia" and that "none of these points can be described as fundamentalist." Malcolm argues that Izetbegović's views were much more thoroughly expressed in his later book, Islam between East and West, where he "tried to present Islam as a kind of spiritual and intellectual synthesis which included the values of West Europe." Izetbegović wrote what is however regarded as his central work, the book Islam between East and West, in 1980. It explores the

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Bosnia and Herzegovina Leaders & Politicians Ranking

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Rank Name Total
1. Alija Izetbegović 701
2. Husein Gradascevic 60
3. Milorad Dodik 0
4. Zeljko Komsic 0

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310. Alija Izetbegović 701
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