In evaluating the role of the Franciscan order in medieval Bosnia, the fact that the western church had an earlier presence in Bosnia, a long time before the arrival of the Franciscans, shouldn\'t be ignored. As was pointed out earlier, the heretical "Bosnian church" itself grew out of the Bosnian Catholic diocese.
Croats (and Serbs) remember many cruel and demeaning acts perpetrated by the Muslims, who acted as the protected privileged caste. These include many pogroms and murders of Franciscans, as well as the sale of Croats into slavery. As the decline of the Ottoman Empire set in, at the end of the 16th century, the Orthodox population came under increased attacks, and Sinan-Pasha in 1594. burned the bones of the Serbian Saint Sava. Acts like these gave impetus to collective revenge, or externalization of the aggression. The weakening of the Ottomans brought great fear and uncertainty to the Muslim population of Bosnia. In Christian offensives, the Bosnian Muslims were to pay for the sins of the Ottomans. The Christian armies acted brutally in showdowns with Islam. Sarajevo was razed to the ground in 1697.
Medieval Bosnia shared many characteristics with other South-Slavic states of the period. That political domain (not a state!) was established as a military commonwealth and functioned as a patriarchal family. Historian Nada Klaic makes a connection between the creation of the Bosnian political domain and the dominion of the Avars where the term "Ban" (used by Croatian and Bosnian leaders) originated. The Bosnian lands, having been politically organized along the same lines as the other South Slav countries, from the outset enjoyed independence which was to last for another 400 years.
In the first stage of the Croatian nation-state and the Croatian policy formation, there was a 100% possessiveness towards Bosnia: Bosnia was ours completely. The possessiveness was based on ethnogenesis: Muslims are Croats of Islamic religion, because they are of Croatian origin, and Serbs are either Croatian members of the Orthodox Church, or unwanted newcomers whom the possessiveness does not recognize as a participating factor... At the same time, even the Serbs have the analogous policy towards Bosnia, also based on ethnogenesis: only one nation lives in Bosnia, the Serbs, consisting of 3 different denominations... The third solution, which appears already in this first stage, is the Slavs or Yugoslavs "resolution", which purportedly annuls the conflict between the two antagonistic entities, uniting the three ethnicities into a single stream. All this happens while Bosnia is still under the suzerainty of the Turkish Empire.
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