Islamic Headscarf's Comeback Reveals Bosnian Divisions

May 17, 2007

Source: Turkish Press

SARAJEVO - After being banned for decades by Yugoslav communist rulers, the Islamic headscarf is making a comeback to the streets of post-war Bosnia, exposing deep ethnic divisions.

Although still a minority in Bosnian society, women choosing to don the headscarf have become a common sight on the streets of the capital Sarajevo, unlike before the 1992-1995 war when it was a rarity.

Headscarves in the former communist Yugoslavia, of which Bosnia was a part, were worn almost exclusively by elderly women in rural areas, more out of respect for tradition than as a sign of religious feeling.

However, today in regions mainly populated by Christian Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats, the wearing of headscarves is still frowned upon as it was in the communist era when displays of religious symbols were unwelcome.