BELGRADE, Serbia (AA): Islamophobic graffiti and murals painted in Capljina in Bosnia and Herzegovina [BiH] triggered a backlash from residents Saturday.
Threatening articles such as “Kill Balija (an expression used to insult Bosnian Muslims)” and “We will slaughter Muslim women and children,” were written on the Franje Tudjman Bridge in Capljina, where the Croat population is concentrated.
“The murals were written by irresponsible people who aim to humiliate the Bosniak [Bosnian Muslim] population and spread hatred, intolerance and division among the residents of Capljina. We hope that the perpetrators are found and the different institutions react.” said City Administration spokesperson Danijela Nogolica.
She urged residents to be responsible to themselves and others and added the city government condemned the action and the graffiti was painted over.
Capljina police said an investigation was launched to find and punish the perpetrators.
“This act horrified all the Muslims who live in this area, but it is not the first time that it has happened. We are talking about some of the consequences that are happening, that graffiti is partly a consequence of the relationship of city structures towards the Ministry of the Interior of Capljina, with which we have no correspondence. I hope that this incident represents the hatred of an individual towards Muslims and not any organized group of people. We were comforted by the condemnation of the City Administration of Capljina, but condemning something that was drawn under the bridge, and not condemning a mural of a convicted war criminal and supporting it, is contradictory”, the chief Imam of the Capljina Islamic Community, Adem Suta, told N1.
Vandals attack a mosque last weekend in northeastern Bosnia Herzegovina that sparked backlash and widespread criticism.
The Dasnica Mosque in Bijeljina had its walls urinated on by unknown persons, according to the Islamic Union Assembly.
Capljina is not alone when it comes to such incidents. Offensive graffiti have been recorded in many cities across Herzegovina, In recent months. In Neum, the letter “U” standing for Ustasha, the WW2 Nazi aligned Croatian units, was written on the Islamic religious school, while graffiti with swastikas appeared in Mostar.