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The Resolution of Sarajevo Muslims or Muslim Resolution of 1941[1] (Serbo-Croatian: Sarajevska rezolucija/Сарајевска резолуција) was one of the Resolutions of Muslims from Bosnia and Herzegovina (then parts of the Independent State of Croatia) declared by 108 notable Muslim citizens of Sarajevo during the Second World War in Sarajevo on October 12, 1941.

The resolution was provoked by the persecution of Serbs organized by Ustaše wearing "the fez as a Muslim symbol" and by the consequent response of Serb Chetniks who persecuted Muslims believing they were responsible for the crimes of Ustaše. The text of this resolution was based on the resolution of the assembly of El-Hidaje (an association of ulama from Bosnia and Herzegovina) held on August 14, 1941.

By signing the text of the resolution notable Muslims from Sarajevo condemned the persecutions of the Serbs, distanced from the Muslims who participated in such persecutions and protested against the attempts to blame a whole Muslim population for the crimes of Ustaša. The text of the resolution contained their request to government of the Independent State of Croatia to provide a security for the all citizens of country regardless of their identity, to punish those who were responsible for the committed atrocities and to help people who suffered during disorder. Authors of the text of the resolution were Mehmed Handžić and Kasim Dobrača.



In the Second World War, the territory of modern Bosnia and Herzegovina became part of the Independent State of Croatia. An organized persecution of Serbs, Jews and Romani people took place on the whole territory of Independent State of Croatia (including Bosnia and Herzegovina) soon after it was established. Ustaše wanted to cause conflicts between Muslims and Orthodox Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Therefore, they recruited some members of Muslim population of Bosnia and Herzegovina to participate in the persecution of Serbs. They wore Muslim clothes and shouted Muslim names when they organized attacks on Serb population. Such activities resulted with armed conflicts between Serbs and Muslims. That was the reason why Muslims from many towns of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared their resolutions. Most notable are the resolutions of Muslims from Prijedor (September 23, 1941), Sarajevo (October 12, 1941), Mostar (October 21, 1941), Banja Luka (November 12, 1941), Bijeljina (December 2, 1941), Tuzla (December 11, 1941) and Zenica (May 26, 1942).[2][3][4]

The resolutionEdit

The basis for the Resolution of Sarajevo Muslims was a resolution declared by El-Hidaje, an association of ulama from Bosnia and Herzegovina on its assembly held on August 14, 1941.[5] It was written by Mehmed Handžić[6] and Kasim Dobrača.[7] All Muslim resolutions of 1941, including the Resolution of Sarajevo Muslims, contain the following elements:[8]

  • public condemning of the persecutions of the Serbs by Ustaše
  • distancing from the Muslims who participated in such persecutions and protesting against the attempts to blame the whole Muslim population for the crimes of Ustaša
  • presenting information about the persecutions of Muslims

The conclusion of the Resolution of Sarajevo Muslims included request for providing the security for all citizens of the country, regardless of their identity, punishing the individuals responsible for the committed atrocities and helping the people who suffered during disorder.[9]

The resolution was officially delivered to Jozo Dumandžić when he visited Sarajevo as minister in the government of Independent State of Croatia.[10] By the order of Ante Pavelić, Dumandžić unsuccessfully attempted to force the signatories of the resolution to recall their signatures.[11] Džafer Kulenović has also been ordered by Pavelić to force the signatories of the resolution to recall their signatures, but he failed too.[12]


Muslims who signed the resolution were exposed to explicit threats of the Ustaša regime. Jure Francetić, a World War II Ustaše Commissioner of Bosnia and Herzegovina, threatened to send all signatories to the Nazi concentration camps.[13]

After the Resolution of Sarajevo Muslims had been signed, Muslims from many other towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina signed similar resolutions in following months. On December 1, 1941, Muslims from Sarajevo submitted another protest against actions of Ustaše "under the fez as a Muslim symbol".[14] Some conservative Muslims realized that their resolutions did not have any effect on Ustasha regime, so they gave up hopes that such regime would protect interest of the Muslims.[15] In August 1942 they established the Committee for National Salvation and sent a petition to Hitler asking for "a region of Bosnia" under direct German patronage, supporting their request with the racial arguments.[16] They also asked Hitler to provide weapons for a Bosnian guard as nucleus of the army of "region of Bosnia" and that request pleased Heinrich Himmler and group of SS officers who already had plans to establish separate SS-Division composed of Muslims.[17] That plan was implemented in 1943 when the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian) was established.


Yugoslav socialist-era historians emphasized that Muslim signatories criticized atrocities without attacking Ustaša's intention to exterminate groups of people.[18]


  1. ^ Redžić 2005, p. 193

    Resolution of Sarajevo Muslims, 12 October 1941. [Rezolucija sarajevskih Muslimana] Muhamed Hadzijahic, 'Muslim Resolution of 1941' [Muslimanske rezolucije iz 1941], in 1941 in the history of the Peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina

  2. ^ Rijaset 2007

    Poslije Sarajevske rezolucije,... uslijedile su nove rezolucije koje su pisane po ...Prijedoru, Mostaru, Banja Luci, Bijeljini i Tuzli. [Sarajevo resolution was followed with new resolutions written in.. Prijedor, Mostar, Banja Luka, Bijeljina and Tuzla]

  3. ^ Cetin 2010, pp. 78, 79
  4. ^ Rijaset IZ 2007

    Revoltirani ovim postupkom, Muslimani u Zenici izdali su 26. maja 1942. svoju rezoluciju, koju je potpisalo 27 uglednih zeničkih Muslimana.[Being revolted with this action Muslims from Zenica issued their own resolution on May 26, 1942, signed by 27 notable Muslims from Zenica]

  5. ^ Hadžijahić 1973

    Začetak svim ovim rezolucijama, a prije svega sarajevskoj, može se smatrati skupštinski zaključak organizacije ilmije (svećenstva) "El-Hidaje" od 14. avgusta 1941 [Basis of all those resolutions, and especially of Sarajevo resolution, was conclusion of the ulama association "El-Hitaje" of August 14, 1941.]

  6. ^ Cetin 2010, p. 78

    Mehmed Handžić,... was the principal initiator of the adoption of El-Hidaje`s Resolution during its assembly on 18 August 1941

  7. ^ Rijaset 2007

    Mehmed ef. Handžić, ... i Kasim ef. Dobrača su bili idejni tvorci i inicijatori sastavljanja rezolucije.. [Mehmed ef. Handžić... and Kasim ef. Dobrača were initiators and creators of the resolution.]

  8. ^ Hadžijahić 1973, p. 277
  9. ^ Cetin 2010, p. 80

    The Resolution was concluded by calls... for (1) virtual security of life, honor, property and faith for all citizens in the country irrespective of identity,...(4) criminal elements to be detained by issuing legal responsibility and given the strictest punishment according to the law for all criminals and those who commended or provided opportunity for such crimes, irrespective of the faith they belong to,... material help to be provided for the innocent people who suffered in this disorder."

  10. ^ Hadžijahić 1973, p. 276
  11. ^ Hadžijahić 1973, p. 281

    Dr Joso Dumandzic, kojemu je predata rezolucija, nastojao je, po Pavelicevim direktivama, da prijetnjama i zastrasivanjima privoli potpisnike da opozovu potpise, ali mu to ni u jednom slucaju nije uspjelo.

  12. ^ Hadžijahić 1973, p. 281

    U istoj misiji Pavelic je bio poslao u Sarajevo i Dzafera Kulenovica, koji je na sastanku sa oko petnaestak potpisnika iznio prijetnje hapsenjima, ali je i taj pokusaj propao..

  13. ^ Cetin 2010, p. 80

    Jure Francetić threatened all the signatories would be taken into concentration camps

  14. ^ J. Donia 2006, p. 187

    Sarajevo Muslims submitted another protest on December 1, 1941 in which they sharply condemned Ustasha atrocities committed "under the fez as a Muslim symbol"

  15. ^ J. Donia 2006, p. 187

    ... others gave up hopes that Ustasha will protect Muslim interests.

  16. ^ J. Donia 2006, p. 188

    In August 1942 a group of Sarajevo's conservative Muslims formed the Committee for National Salvation... on racial grounds... asked Hitler to form a "region of Bosnia" under German patronage and to ban the Ustasha within its borders.

  17. ^ J. Donia 2006, p. 188

    ...the petitioners proposed that the Germans organize and provide arms for a Bosnian guard, which they envisioned... as an embryonic army for the "region of Bosnia". Heinrich Himmler and group of SS officers were pleased to find that their proposal corresponded with their own idea of creating a separate SS division for Muslims

  18. ^ J. Donia 2006, p. 187

    As socialist-era historians have pointed out, the Muslim signatories criticized atrocities as aberrant excess rather than attacking Ustasha's core program to eliminate certain groups by force.


  • Hadžijahić, Muhamed (1973), "Muslimanske rezolucije iz 1941 godine [Muslim resolutions of 1941]", Istorija Naroda Bosne i Hercegovine (in Serbo-Croatian), Sarajevo: Institut za istoriju radničkog pokreta, pp. 274–282
  • Redžić, Enver (2005), "Bosnian Muslim Policies", Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Second World War, London ; New York: Frank Cass, ISBN 978-0-7146-5625-0, retrieved 20 October 2011, Resolution of Sarajevo Muslims', 12 October 1941. [Rezolucija sarajevskih Muslimana] Muhamed Hadzijahic, 'Muslim Resolution of 1941' [Muslimanske rezolucije iz 1941], in 1941 in the history of the Peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • *Donia, Robert J. (2006). Sarajevo: A Biography. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-11557-0.
  • Rijaset, Islamska Zajednica (2007), Ulema u odbrani života i čovjeka (in Serbo-Croatian), Rijaset Islamske Zajednice u Bosni i Hercegovini, archived from the original on October 21, 2011, retrieved 21 October 2011
  • Rijaset IZ, Islamska Zajednica (2007), Rezolucija Zeničkih Muslimana za zaštitu Roma (in Serbo-Croatian), Rijaset Islamske Zajednice u Bosni i Hercegovini, archived from the original on October 26, 2011, retrieved 21 October 2011
  • Cetin, Onder (2010), 1941 Resolutions of El-Hidaje in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a Case of Traditional Conflict Transformation (PDF), 3, European Journal of Economic and Political Studies, retrieved 20 October 2011

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