“Just like an individual, a people that has accepted Islam is thereafter incapable of living and dying for any other ideal. It is unthinkable that a Muslim should sacrifice himself for any other ruler, no matter who he might be, or for the glory of any nation or party, because the strongest Islamic instinct recognizes in this a kind of paganism or idolatry. A Muslim can only die in the name of Allah and for the glory of Islam, or flee the battlefield.” (Page 6)
This should lay waste to claims that were made by many during the war that Izetbegović was fighting for a multi-ethnical state.
“The alternative is stark: either a move towards Islamic re-newal, or passivity and stagnation. For the Muslim peoples, there is no third possibility.” (Page 7)
This was the view of Izetbegović, but the fact is that this sort of thinking was far from shared by the majority of his people. Most Bosnian Muslims were secular and not particularly faithful. It only after the fall of Yugoslavia and almost four years of massacring of each other that his vision could be made possible.
“The Islamic order can only be established in countries where Muslims represent the majority of the population.If this is not the case, the Islamic order is reduced to mere power (as the other element – the Islamic society – is missing) and may turn to violence.” (Page 49-50)
Though it is true that Bosnia isn’t mentioned in the book, Izetbegovć of course didn’t plan to Islamize some other people than his own. He knew and many times emphasized that Bosnian Muslims were the biggest group in the country, and hence they were 7 per cent away from being in the majority and this close to establishing an Islamic order.
“The choice of this movement is always a tangible one and depends on a series of factors. There is, though, a general rule: the Islamic movement should and can start to take over power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong to be able to overturn the existing non-Islamic government, but also to build up a new Islamic one.” (Page 56-57)
This was why it was inevitable that, if Bosnia was to be independent, it would have to be as a federation. This was something which was agreed by everyone before the outbreak of the war, but Izetbegović revoked his signature from the agreement that was made in Lisbon. This happened under the influence of the United States, who encouraged him to declare the independence of a country where he still only represented a minority.