Multiculturalism

By:  Selwyn Duke
08/25/2011
       
Multiculturalism

It is 1991, and Yugoslavia, born of the ashes of WWI, is starting to break up. It is a violent affair that will be long, painful, bloody, and complex. Numerous wars in the multi-ethnic region will be fought, with Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia declaring independence from Serb-dominated Yugoslavia and, in turn, Serb minorities seeking independence from the last two regions. Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians (virtually all Muslim), and Albanians (largely Muslim) will battle Serbs. Croats and Bosnians will unite to battle them — then fight each other as well — then unite again; and Albanians will take up the sword against Macedonians. Muslims will burn churches, and minority populations will be purged from many of these regions. They are the first conflicts since WWII to be formerly deemed genocidal, and these wars will introduce English-speakers to a new term: ethnic cleansing.

None of this was any surprise. Ethnic and cultural ties ultimately trump citizenship status just as family ties do. This is why East and West Germany were reunited two decades ago:

It is 1991, and Yugoslavia, born of the ashes of WWI, is starting to break up. It is a violent affair that will be long, painful, bloody, and complex. Numerous wars in the multi-ethnic region will be fought, with Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia declaring independence from Serb-dominated Yugoslavia and, in turn, Serb minorities seeking independence from the last two regions. Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians (virtually all Muslim), and Albanians (largely Muslim) will battle Serbs. Croats and Bosnians will unite to battle them — then fight each other as well — then unite again; and Albanians will take up the sword against Macedonians. Muslims will burn churches, and minority populations will be purged from many of these regions. They are the first conflicts since WWII to be formerly deemed genocidal, and these wars will introduce English-speakers to a new term: ethnic cleansing.

None of this was any surprise. Ethnic and cultural ties ultimately trump citizenship status just as family ties do. This is why East and West Germany were reunited two decades ago:

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