This is the number one takeaway from my month long education touring Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of a Fulbright Hays faculty development program this past June. I was one of 16 high school and community college educators from Arizona taking part in a program designed to increase our awareness of European Muslim culture and art so that we may incorporate that understanding in our course curricula.
Islam is a religion that came to Bosnia in the 13th century by the Ottomans, also known as Turks. Bosnians embraced Islam pledging allegiance to the ruler in Constantinople, later Istanbul. The Bosnians were so agreeable to the embrace of Islam that the Ottoman leader decided not to occupy the country. That is why Bosnians look the same as the Croats and Serbs and other Slavic peoples in the region. However, Bosnian Muslims do observe the same customs as every other Muslim, as we found during our visit which fell during Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims may not eat or drink during daylight hours.