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Few events in the recent past have so shaken the conscience of the world as the carnage and blood bath that took place in Bosnia Herzegovina during the years 1991-1995 Here in this profile the author brings out a swift recapitulation of the Balkan crisis together with an account of one of the most remarkable lives of the twentieth century - that of Alija Ali Izzetbegovic the former president of the war torn republic who passed away in October 2003 I shall die when I lose the reason to live - Izzetbegovic In the foreword to the Malayalam translation of the book Islam between east and west the publishers had written about the author thus The ruling class never quite managed to extinguish the great intensity of his yearning for light notwithstanding the torturous incarceration within darkened prison cells to which he was subject in what should have been the most resplendent days of his life Indeed his life represents in all its nobility the ultimate triumph of the human spirit An year earlier in 1989 when the author was still believed to be in prison - in fact in what was to be the last phase of imprisonment in a remarkable saga of endurance under pressure - the publishers of the revised English edition of the same classic work had commented that the author had predicted the fall of Communism well before the current tide of change in Eastern Europe His assessment of the situation there was based on his thesis that life like Islam is bipolar and any effort to undo its bipolarity will therefore lead to an unstable state of existence What bothers us is the irony in his case the man who strove for this change and predicted it remains incarcerated while his countrymen celebrate life in freedom Few others in the modern history of Europe have gone so unrecognized as the
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