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We and the Others

Yearbook:
Summer School of Interethnic, Intercultural
and Interconfessional Dialogue – AID - 2018

2018, Belgrade
We and the Others
Yearbook: Summer School of Interethnic,
Intercultural and Interconfessional
Dialogue – AID - 2018

Publisher
Forum za etničke odnose
Kraljice Natalije 45
11000 Beograd

Editor in chief
Dušan Janjić

Translation
Agencija TOUCH TWO

Prepress
Atelje, Beograd
www.atelje.rs

Printing
Štamparija PEP, Beograd
Contents

PUBLISHER’S NOTE............................................................................................................... 5
PART I: PAPERS WRITTEN BY LECTURERS................................................................. 7
1. Dušan Janjić
Key Determinants of Globalization and Challenges of Preserving Diversity........ 9
2. Miloš Bešić
Research and Understanding of Attitudes Toward Others......................................21
3. Jasmina Trajkoska
Interethnic Relations in the European Union and European Identity..................29
4. Miroslav Keveždi
Mapping Interculturalism in Serbia.............................................................................39
5. Amela Lukač-Zoranić
Freedom of Religion or Belief and Globalization......................................................49
6. Mirko Blagojević
Religion and Religiosity in Europe, Serbia, and Russia...........................................61
7. Prepared by: Professor Nevena Petrušić
Legislative and Institutional Framework Governing the Interethnic,
Intercultural and Inter-Confessional Relations in the Republic of Serbia...........71
8. Anna Krasteva
Balkan Migations.............................................................................................................85
PART II: PAPERS WRITTEN BY STUDENTS.......................................................107
1. Slobodan Pejanović
Yugoslav Identity: then and now.................................................................................109
2. Verka Jovanović
The Kosovo’s Knot of Reconciliation..........................................................................119
3. Biljana Marković
Essay Topic: The Impacts of Immigration on the Labor Market..........................127
4. Marija Milenković
Interethnic cooperation through tourism: A Kosovo Case Study........................135
5. Marija Đekić
The Economic Impact of Remittances Inflow (Economic Migration)................143
6. Nikola Aleksić
Migration and Human Rights.....................................................................................153
7. Katarina Antić
Modern Migration and Security in the Republic of Serbia...................................163
8. Mehmed Plojović
The Protection of National Minorities in the Republic of Serbia.........................173
PART III: APPENDIX..............................................................................................185
1. Aleksandra Ålund,
Carl-Ulrik Schierup
Making or unmaking a movement?
Challenges for civic activism in the global governance of migration..................187
PUBLISHER’S NOTE

SID 2018 Yearbook of the Summer School on Intercultural and Inter-Confessional


Dialogue -We and the Others – SID is a collection of papers written by lecturers and
essays written by students of the Academy on Interethnic, Intercultural and Intercon-
fessional Dialogue - AID.
The Summer School on Intercultural and Inter-Confessional Dialogue, SID was
organized by the Forum for Ethnic Relations and the Faculty of Business Economics
and Entrepreneurship (PEP), within the AID Project - Academy on Interethnic, Inter-
cultural and Interconfessional Dialogue, supported by the Embassy of the Republic of
Bulgaria in Serbia.
Part I
Papers written by lecturers

7
Amela Lukač-Zoranić
Internanational University in Novi Pazar

5. FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR
BELIEF AND GLOBALIZATION45

Abstract

In this paper, the author will attempt to present reflections on an extremely complex
subject, summarizing some of the attitudes that support the title and concern the issue
of freedom of religion and belief, and the attitude of religion toward the “other”. The pa-
per also gives relevant data on religious affiliation in RS pointing to the fact that religion
plays an important role in defining national identity. Presenting the theory of cultural
boomerang, the author strives to point out the changes occurring in the Serbian society
after the 1990s and the phenomenon of globalization as an undeniable harbinger of new
cultural patterns, which imposes the necessity to foster multiculturalism. In the end, for
the sake of a better coexistence and preservation of universal human values and rights,
the paper points to the necessity of intercultural education within educational systems,
aimed at acceptance and understanding of differences between people, whether reli-
gious, ethnic, national or racial.
Key words: freedom of religion, globalization, cultural boomerang, multicultural-
ism, interculturalism.

45 The English translation of a Yearbook contains a short version of the text by dr Amela Lukač – Zoranić.
The integral version of the text was presented at the Academy and published in the collection of texts in
Serbian language.

49
50 We and the Others • Yearbook: AID - 2018

Monotheism today is widespread throughout the world and its religious foundations
are manifested through Christianity, Islam and Judaism..
According to the results of the official population census in the Republic of Serbia
in 2011, the population is mostly Christian Orthodox Christian, or 84,6 % of the total
population; 5 % are Catholics, 3 % practice Islam, and the rest are members of the Prot-
estant and Jewish communities, and atheists. 46
It is evident that “religiosity in Serbia, which was explicitly or implicitly denied, is
increasing in the post-socialist period.” Analyzing religiosity in the Republic of Serbia,
Zorica Kuburić and Danijela Gavrilović pointed out that:
The last twenty years are a revitalization period. Measurement and analysis of data
may point to certain trends in the form and type of religiosity occurring in Serbia:
1. Domination of religiosity in the transition period is an important homogenizati-
on and integration factor.
2. Citizens’ attitudes on religion are becoming clearer.
3. The number of adherents is growing in most forms of religiosity.
4. The number of pseudo-adherents is reduced.
5. The number of people practicing personal religiosity, not belonging to any reli-
gious community, remains the same and is relatively low.
6. The number of atheists with a “scientific view of the world” is declining in favor
of those embracing theistic and pantheistic view of the world. 47

The increase in religiosity is not a coincidence. After decades-long ban and unpopu-
larity, religiosity became a manifestation of freedom, of returning to traditional values,
and a collective sense of respect for religious belief.
Focusing on legislation, we note that the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia recognizes
the freedom of religion as an essential element of the constitutionality of the state and the rule
of law based on inalienable human rights, that is, that there is no state or mandatory religion
(as was the practice from which a Latin phrase was coined “Whose realm, his religion”), and
Article 4348 especially concerns freedom of thought, conscience, beliefs and religion.
The Republic of Serbia goes even further in that sense by strictly forbidding any incite-
ment and encouragement of racial, national, religious or other inequality49, pointing to the
importance and the obligation of the state to promote understanding, recognition, and
respect of diversity arising from specific ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity of
its citizens, through measures applied in education, culture and public information50, as
well as the obligation of the state to promote the spirit of tolerance and multicultural dia-
logue and to foster cooperation among all people living on its territory irrespective of their
ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity, adding that freedom of thought, conscience

46 http://www.srbija.gov.rs/pages/article.php?id=37
47 Zorica Kuburić,Danijela Gavrilović, op.cit., p. 9.
48 Constitution of RS, special session II, 2006., http://www.ius.bg.ac.rs/prof/materijali/martan/Ustav_Srbije.pdf
49 Ibidem, Art. 47.
50 Ibidem, Art. 48.
Part I: Papers written by lecturers 51

and religion is a fundamental human right defined by international law.51 These statements
go in favor of the fact that the Republic of Serbia has recognized the importance of interna-
tional declarations concerning human rights and freedoms of religion and beliefs and has
demonstrated the readiness to accept the values stated in international declarations and
weave them into the underlying values of the constitutionality of the state.

5.1. International Declarations and Freedom of Religion or Belief

International declarations and documents dealing with the subject of human rights
and freedom of religion are based on the principle that freedom of religion is actually
a fundamental human right. The first significant document to address this issue is the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by Resolution 217 of
the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. Namely, hoping to put a spotlight on the
horrors of World War II, world leaders wanted to focus the issue of human rights on
the interests of preventing future conflicts caused by diversity, as well as to ensure safe
way for human rights and implementation, guaranteeing rights to everyone and every-
where. Hernan Santa Cruz from Chile, a member of the subcommittee for drafting the
draft version of the Declaration, noted on that occasion:
I perceived clearly that I was participating in a truly significant historic event in
which a consensus had been reached as to the supreme value of the human person, a
value that did not originate in the decision of a worldly power, but rather in the fact
of existing — which gave rise to the inalienable right to live free from want and op-
pression and to fully develop one’s personality. In the Great Hall ... the atmosphere
was filled with sincere solidarity and fraternity between men and women from all
latitudes, the like of which I have not seen again in any international setting.52

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion is defined in article 1853, which, inter
alia, states that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,

51 Ibidem, Art. 81.


52 Hernán Santa Cruz of Chile: “I perceived clearly that I was participating in a truly significant historic
event in which a consensus had been reached as to the supreme value of the human person, a value that
did not originate in the decision of a worldly power, but rather in the fact of existing—which gave rise
to the inalienable right to live free from want and oppression and to fully develop one’s personality. In
the Great Hall…there was an atmosphere of genuine solidarity and brotherhood among men and wo-
men from all latitudes, the like of which I have not seen again in any international setting.”http://www.
un.org/en/sections/universal-declaration/history-document/index.html
53 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, cons-
cience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone
or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practi-
ce, worship and observance. http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html
52 We and the Others • Yearbook: AID - 2018

as well as the right to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and
observance. The issue of freedom of belief was again on the agenda of the United Na-
tions in 1981. Starting from the UN Charter’s basic principle that dignity and equality
are inherent to all human beings and that all member states have committed themselves
to support and ensure the implementation of human rights and to work to suppress all
forms of discrimination, the UN adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of All
Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. The Decla-
ration seeks to emphasize that any violation or failure to observe human rights and
fundamental freedoms, especially the right to free opinion, consciousness, religion or
belief, can directly or indirectly lead to conflicts and great suffering for humans, which
is why it is necessary to promote understanding, tolerance and respect for religious
affiliation or belief, and that “the Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought,
conscience and religion is guaranteed to everyone”54, as well as that “no one shall be
subject discrimination”.55 The Declaration insists that “states take effective measures to
prevent and eliminate discrimination based on religion or belief”.56
The normative core of the freedom of religion or belief consists of eight components,
namely:
1. Internal freedom,
2. External freedom,
3. Non-coercion,
4. Rights of parents and guardians,
5. Corporate freedom and legal status,
6. Limits of permissible restrictions on external freedom,
7. Non-derogability.57

Given that certain elements overlap with values protected by other human rights, it
is necessary to develop additional active mechanisms and by-laws that can guarantee
and protect the freedom of religion and belief with a special focus on raising human
awareness about the existence of all forms of diversity.
Attempt to raise awareness on the freedom of religion and belief and the search
for mechanisms to provide support and protect or facilitate religious freedoms, once
again brought together scientists and political leaders to adopt The Oslo Declaration

54 Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or
Belief Article 1.: Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion … http://
www.un.org/documents/ga/res/36/a36r055.htm
55 Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or
Belief, Article 2.: No one shall be subject to discrimination by any State, institution, group of persons, or
person on grounds of religion or other beliefs. http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/36/a36r055.htm
56 Ibidem, Article 4.:All States shall take effective measures to prevent and eliminate discrimination on the
grounds of religion or belief . http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/36/a36r055.htm
57 N. Ghanea, T. Lindholm, W.C. Durham Jr., B. G. Tahzib-Lie, Sloboda vjere ili uvjerenja: Priručnik “Re-
ligija i slobode religije ili uvjerenja ponovo u fokusu”, u prijevodu N. Begović i A. Mulović, CNS, Sara-
jevo 2015., str: 20-22.
Part I: Papers written by lecturers 53

for Freedom of Religion or Belief. Approximately 150 representatives from political,


academic and religious circles worldwide attended the conference. They adopted the
position on the recognition of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
together with other instruments, and recognized that religions and beliefs teach peace
and good will58, and that religions and beliefs were “abused to provoke intolerance,
discrimination and prejudice”59. The Oslo Conference resulted in the formation of the
Coalition for Freedom of Religion or Belief that has taken on a significant role in the
achievement of international relations and broad perspectives by committing to practi-
cal actions that may have an impact on international initiatives with a view to promot-
ing freedom of religion or belief as part of an original international framework.
Largest monotheistic religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, or “people of the
book” propagate justice, love, striving for society / world without conflicts and wars,
for peace and tolerance. All of them base their fundamental teachings on love and re-
spect for one another, as well as love and subordination to one God. Nevertheless, his-
tory testifies that members of different religions have had difficulty in tolerating other,
different beliefs. Such intolerance had produced the worst inter-religious conflicts and
persecutions, and most recently the genocide in Srebrenica during the war in Bosnia
and Herzegovina and the Holocaust during World War II.
Conflicts based on belief, religion, and ideology still exist between these commu-
nities, despite actually representing an outright abuse of faith aimed to implement an
ideology and establish political power. Namely, if religion is based on practicing God’s
laws and humility, how is it possible for religious believers to enter into conflicts with
one another? Isn’t it contradictory to religious revelations which state that one should
distinguish between good and evil and strive to do well.
The Old Testament, in the First Book of Moses called Genesis, 4.7, states: “If you do
well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door.
Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”60
The Old Testament, Book of Deuteronomy, 10:18, clearly states how to treat a strang-
er, and the stranger does not have to be of Christian faith, i.e. it speaks of tolerance and
empathy: “He executes justice for the orphan and the widows, loves the foreigner, and
gives them food and clothing. So you also must love the foreigner, since you yourselves
were foreigners in the land of Egypt.”61
The New Testament, Mark 12:28: 31, testifies to the importance of love or charity,
stating that there are no greater commandments than these: “One of the teachers of the
law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer,
he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most

58 The Oslo Declaration on Freedom of Religion or Belief, “Recognize that religions and beliefs teach peace and
good will”.https://www.jus.uio.no/smr/english/about/programmes/oslocoalition/docs/oc-declaration.pdf
59 Ibidem, “Recognize that religions and beliefs may be misused to cause intolerance, discrimination and
prejudice, and have all too often been used to deny the rights and freedoms of others”.
60 Holy Scripture or Bible,Institut za hebrejski jezik, Metafizika, Beograd, 2010.
61 Ibidem
54 We and the Others • Yearbook: AID - 2018

important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is
one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
mind and with all your strength. The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no commandment greater than these.”62
Mark Twain, famous American author, pointed out, “Kindness is the language which
the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” With his testimony he only confirmed the power of
kindness that we all appreciate in humans and which we would like to practice more often.
Šušnjić noted that: “Those who hate in the name of faith are committing a crime
against faith. Therefore, intolerance does not come from theology but from ideology.
Hostility is incompatible with the original messages of these religions”,63 which is con-
firmed by the words from the other Holy Book, Qur’an, Surah al-Baqarah, verse 148:
“For each [religious following] is a direction toward which it faces. So race to [all that is]
good.”64 Or the Surah Ali-Imran, verse 104: “And let there be [arising] from you a nation
inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong.”65
Oliver Oliver Potežica, referring to the fundamental sources of Islam, the Qur’an
and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, claims that members of the monotheis-
tic religions called Ahl al Kitab “people of the book”, “should be treated in their own
faith”,66 but there is no tolerance for pagans Susnjic agreed, adding:
The essence of the Islamic faith is a little understood outside Islam, but we all
feel the consequences of this lack of understanding. A responsible thing to do is to
say straight-out: “Islam has a long tradition of tolerance and considers all “people
of the book” as their brothers and sisters and is very tolerant toward them.67

In Islam, members of one of the religions (officially recognized monotheistic reli-


gions) were allowed to perform their religious rituals and to practice other rights (mar-
ital and family law) but, as Potežica points out, “in return, they paid a special tax (jizja),
as well as a special land tax (kharaj)”68 meaning that there was no forced or violent
conversion to Islam, as evidenced from a number of different sources. In support of
this statement, we will cite the Qur’an, Surah al-Baqarah, verse 256: “There shall be no
compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion”, which unambiguously reveals that a person
has the right to choose whom to worship and how. Of course, the Qur’an also cites clear
consequences depending on the choice.
Accordingly, religions teach and guide toward the good, propagate undisputed toler-
ance that allows us to live with each other irrespective of the differences that separate or

62 Ibidem
63 Đuro Šušnjić, op.cit., p. 202.
64 The Noble Qur’an,translated by mr. Muhamed Mehanović, Lies Stiftung, 2013.
65 Ibidem
66 Oliver Potežica, Odnos Islama prema drugim religijama, http://starisajt.nspm.rs/Debate/2006_CP_po-
teyica1.htm,
67 Đuro Šušnjić, op.cit. p. 205.
68 Oliver Potežica, op.cit.
Part I: Papers written by lecturers 55

connect us. A person must not be limited to him/herself because familiarity with another
person, the exchange of experience and knowledge actually makes a person think, feel and
understand. Despite the fact that collective communities are deeply traditional and related
by common history and experience, they must face and accept the necessity of introducing
high, universal values which imply understanding and accepting diversity, not in the sense
that they should endure and tolerate others, but to accept and learn from others.
As human beings we are well aware in understanding that any form of violence and
intolerance is damaging to the human community. Although violence is uncivilized
and primitive manifestation, prof. Šušnjić claims that the number of those who encour-
age and commit violence in modern society is increasing. “Violence means denying
value of a human being. Consumers of violence are spreading. Our time is a time of
intolerance, which is clearly witnessed by the graffiti in our cities, although the city
should, by definition, be a place of tolerance of diversity.”69
If freedom of religion is recognized by legal acts (Edict of Milan) in the 4th century,
how is it that 17 centuries later we are again talking about the necessity of these free-
doms? In the 4th century, in 313, the freedom of belief became a part of reality. Namely,
that year by virtue of the Edict of Milan70∗ religious equality and the end of the perse-
cution of Christians was declared. The Edict allowed Christians to publicly practice
their faith. It is interesting to note that this legislative act enabled freedom of belief for
everyone, and “everyone believes his heart prefers.”71

5.2. National ideologies and religion

If humans have advocated for freedom of religion or belief since ancient times, why
are national ideologies opposed to it?
Public opinion survey conducted by the Pew Research Center72∗ has shown that:
in many countries of Central and Eastern Europe, religion and national iden-
tity are closely related. This also applies to former communist states, such as the
Russian Federation and Poland, where most say that being Orthodox is important

69 Đuro Šušnjić, op.cit. p. 203.


70 A legal act adopted on April 30, 313 by the Emperors Constantine and Licinius in Mediolanum, todays Milan.
71 The „Edict of Milan“ (313 A.D.), “When I, Constantine Augustus, as well as I Licinius Augustus d for-
tunately met near Mediolanurn (Milan), and were considering everything that pertained to the public
welfare and security, we thought -, among other things which we saw would be for the good of many,
those regulations pertaining to the reverence of the Divinity oughtcertainly to be made first, so that we
might grant to the Christians and others full authority to observe that religion which each preferred;”,
https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/edict-milan.asp
72 Pew The Pew Research Center is an independent research tank for collecting facts that informs the public
about the issues, attitudes and trends that shape the world. It is engaged in research of public opinion,
demographic research, content analysis and other sociological research. http://www.pewresearch.org
56 We and the Others • Yearbook: AID - 2018

for being a “true Russian” or “only true Poles are Catholics”. This is also the case in
Greece, where church played an important role in the successful struggle for Greece
independence from the Ottoman Empire and where three quarters of the popula-
tion (76%) claim that Orthodoxy is important for someone to be a “true” Greek.73

Religion has become a fundamental aspect of the Serbian national identity, but na-
tional and ethnic identities are seen as one. A person not of the Orthodox faith cannot
be a Serb. Research has shown that 78% of Serbs believe that Orthodoxy is linked to the
national identity.
Having religious foundations at the core of the national identity brings a number
of misunderstandings and contradictions. Although Serbia is a multicultural, secular
state in which different nationalities and religions are equally represented, intolerance
and hostility are inspired by religious affiliation. Nationality and religious affiliation
of indigenous peoples who have always lived in the areas of today’s Serbia is often dis-
puted, as evident from media headlines. Some articles state that Bosnian Muslims are
actually Islamized Orthodox Serbs74, which, of course, is a violation of fundamental
human rights. Such outbursts are remnants of the devastating events from 1980s and
1990s. After the death of Josip Broz Tito (1980), nationalist narratives filled the territory
of the former Yugoslavia with intolerance and hatred towards all who did not share
the same national and religious ideology. Nationalistic narratives became increasingly
fascist. The Oxford Handbook of Fascism, edited by Professor Richard Bosworth, in the
chapter dedicated to Yugoslavia, provides the following reference:
In Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina in the late 1980s and early 1990s,
former authoritarian Communists seeking new bases for their power and legitima-
cy came together with dissident nationalist opponents of the Titoist order to produce
regimes that were arguably, to a greater or lesser degree, fascist or semi-fascist.75

The legacy of the nineties is still palpable today, and after so many years we are again
seeking mechanisms that will allow us to live a peaceful coexistence and with respect
for one another.
A result undoubtedly produced by the nineties and still very much felt in the present
is the “Cultural Boomerang”. The Cultural boomerang theory is actually reminiscent of
a violent usurpation of national identities of the peoples of the former Yugoslavia after
the Second World War, when they were replaced by communist ideology. Communist

73 http://demostat.rs/sr/vesti/istrazivanja/religije-i-nacionalna-pripadnost-u-centralnoj-i-istocnoj-evropi/205
74 https://www.srbijadanas.net/o-srbima-muslimanske-veroispovesti/
75 R., Bosworth, Ed. The Oxford Handbook of Fascism,Oxford University Press, 2010. http://www.helsin-
ki.org.rs/npyug_t01.html
„In Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina in the late 1980s and early 1990s, authoritarian former
Communists seeking new bases for their power and legitimacy came together with dissident nationa-
list opponents of the Titoist order to produce regimes that were arguably, to a greater or lesser degree,
fascist or semi-fascist.“
Part I: Papers written by lecturers 57

ideology, which was absolute, denied the existence of God, that is, the Communist Party
was the only religious and national affiliation, and caused alienation from all national,
cultural and religious values in individuals, believing that by suppressing all emotions
of this kind, it will also suppress cultural memory. However, when deepest intimate
feelings are violently torn away, as if throwing a boomerang, it is impossible to know
when and how hard it will hit on its way back. The boomerang returned, like shattered
feelings returning through cultural and religious awakening and national renaissance,
which places special emphasis on the national specificity of the awakened. This opens
the issue of the intensity of the returned feelings and beliefs, as compared to their inten-
sity at the moment of their alienation.
The cultural boomerang brings to the surface hidden national feelings which, under
the passing of time, cultural, economic, political and social changes are stronger and
more pronounced than at the moment of their alienation from the individual or the
social community. High intensity cultural boomerang will result in a conflict or intol-
erance. Conflict can be defined as a real or perceived state of opposing needs, values
and interests or a state of incompatibility between two or more sides and individuals.
Whichever definition we use, we are aware that conflicts bring instability, migration
and displacement of vulnerable peoples, growth of nationalism, religious intolerance,
lack of investments, fear, and no production. With higher levels of nationalism a nation
confides itself within the limits of state borders, where people blindly follow the dogma
and lose the feeling for universal values, as this is considered a “betrayal of homeland
and national consciousness”.76
And while Balkan states are fighting each other in an attempt to preserve the new
and old national identity, ethnic and religious purity, they are failing to notice a new
force that eradicates all boundaries and invades or changes national identities at an in-
credible speed, spreading and changing their reality. That force is globalization.
Manfred Stager, Professor of Global Studies, points out that the term globalization
denotes a set of social initiatives that clearly “transform our present social condition by
changing nationality into globality.”77Steger further explains that globalization actually
changes the form of human contact. He believes that globalization is an uneven pro-
cess, meaning that people living in different parts of the world are differently affected
by this gigantic transformation of social structure and cultural zones. This means that
whatever efforts people of a particular cultural and national space exert to preserve own
characteristics, they are directly affected by the cultural hegemony that comes through
globalization. Diversity has become the dominant feature of the world that nurtures
and turns to supernatural society, ignoring national identity. Globalization largely af-
fects the economy and business, but at the same time imposes Western culture on the
rest of the world, where the Balkan case is no exception, and Serbia is a Balkan state.

76 Đuro Šušnjić, op.cit. p. 204.


77 M., B., Steger,Globalization: A very short introduction, Oxford University Press, New York., 2003, p. 3:11
„Transform our present social condition of weakening nationality into one of globality“.
58 We and the Others • Yearbook: AID - 2018

At the same time, we must be aware that the absolute acceptance of globalization is
impossible without experiencing certain side effects. The more a society and a national
community are aware of the effects of globalization, the more they strive to preserve
local culture, which can produce serious consequences. However, we must also bear in
mind that globalization is not and cannot be followed by multiculturalism - they come
together in the package, hand in hand.
Multiculturalism can be defined as a view that “cultures, races, ethnicities, partic-
ularly those of minority groups, deserve special acknowledgement of their differences
within a dominant political culture”.78Multiculturalism strives to include all cultural
and religious groups that exist in a particular area in a common democratic society that
nurtures and values all the characteristics and differences while contributing to society
as a whole.
Intercultural education can help people to acquire the skills necessary for effective
interaction with those who differ from them; it may show that despite a large number
of differences exist and separate people, there are also great similarities based on com-
mon values. The main goal of intercultural education is to help young people not only
understand the diversity of thoughts, expressions, beliefs and rituals of those who are
different from them, but also focus on their development so that all people can live and
work with one another effectively. Brought up on these values, young people will be en-
couraged to develop knowledge, motivation, and skills to counter and modify systems
that are characterized by discrimination and oppression.
A question is – given the steady increase in religiosity, could religions contribute to
the development and nurturing of such values and societies in which all people can live
freely and enjoy the rights within a system that does not differentiate and is the same
for all. Freedom of religion, dialogue and tolerance should be a way of life that manifests
itself in everyday contact with differences.
We will conclude with the words of a prominent scholar and advocate for tolerance,
prof. Šušnjić, who believes that religions are the key to success, that is, responsibility lies
with them and through them with us, and the freedom of religion or belief will establish
freedom and peace in the world, liberated from fear and destructive weapons that paint
the sky above, instead of stars.
“Universal religions, because of their universal values and norms, could help institu-
tionalize human rights and freedoms across the world.”79

78 “Multiculturalism is defined as “the view that cultures, races, and ethnicities, particularly those of mino-
rity groups, deserve special acknowledgement of their differences within a dominant political culture”.
https://www.britannica.com/topic/multiculturalism
79 Đuro Šušnjić, op.cit, p. 205
Part I: Papers written by lecturers 59

5.3. Literature

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60 We and the Others • Yearbook: AID - 2018

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