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01 Oct 10

Muamer Zukorlic - The Outcast

The unambiguous winner in the elections for the National Minority Council of Bosniaks, Sandzak’s mufti, has raised the hackles of the authorities in Belgrade and upset the cozy apple-cart of regional politics.

Slobodan Georgijev

“Belgrade should be careful because when one room in the house burns the whole house could collapse” said Muamer Zukorlic, 40, speaking to thousands of supporters in Novi Pazar a few weeks ago, following a tremendously successful campaign in elections for a National Council of Bosniaks in Serbia in June, where he took the largest share but not quite enough of the vote for absolute dominance in the council.

Quarrels over the formation of the council, have continued in the media and Belgrade daily Blic published comic strips showing the mufti dressed as an Orthodox Church priest. Zukorlic was furious: and said that he would demand €100 million in compensation for the religious insult.
 
In the past his critics have levelled wild allegations against him allegedly linking him at times with Islamic terrorists and also with the Serbian secret police.

Some in his orbit have accused Belgrade of promoting the “politics of genocide, continuing the work of Hague tribunal fugitive Ratko Mladic”.

The government has offered the parties more time to put together an agreement over the National Council of Bosniaks in Serbia but it looks like the opposing groups are unwilling to support a council led by Zukorlic.

Two Bosniak ministers, Rasim Ljajic and Sulejman Ugljanin, stand united in their opposition to Zukorlic criticising his involvement in both politics and religion.

“In the campaign he promised things to the people of Sandzak that the National Council can not deliver” said Ljajic explaining the weak results of his preferred candidates.

Before he became a thorn in Belgrade’s side, Zukorilic had previously been Ugljanin’s associate, Djindjic’s friend at the beginning of the century, and over the last five or six years, a political outcast.

Zukorlic recently dismissed the arguments over the council saying, “we do not want to talk with ministers about this, only with president Tadic about the permanent discrimination towards Bosniaks in Serbia.”

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