It was July 1992 when I returned to my assignment in Croatia after a brief vacation in Egypt, only this time Croatia wasn’t the main destination, rather it was Bosnia. By that time, war had ended in Croatia only to break out in Bosnia, yet the aggressor was the same: Serbia. For the following years, Croatia was a major stopover each time I returned to Bosnia since it was under near total siege. By that time, I had become close friends with Ivan Lackovic, one of the world’s most renowned fine artists who insisted I stay with him whenever I traveled through Croatia.
As a child many years ago, I remember my father telling me “never fight with anyone who insults your faith”. However, this “no fighting advice” led me to many arguments with Dad. “Why is it that Muslims are to be so accepting, to always settle with the lower hand?” I would ask. “Because this is what God has commanded us,” my Father would say. “But where and how does God command this?” I asked. “In the Quran,” he responded, and then recited Chapter Al-An’aam, verse 68:
“And when thou seest those who meddle with our revelations, withdraw from them until they meddle with another topic. And if the devil causes thee to forget, sit not with the congregation of wrong doers.”