While at Naval drill this weekend, one of the men in my unit expressed confusion over the relationship of a Muslim to Islam. I explained that it was the same as that of a Christian to Christianity. Evidently, he had thought that a Muslim was an racial/ethnic group whose membership was predominantly Islamic.
This morning, the radio (KPBS 89.9 FM) had a report from the BBC on some Bosnian Croats surrendering to the War Crime Tribunal. While listening, I realized that many American's probably had this confusion for Muslim was utilized as an ethnic descriptor in the Bosnian conflict, where they talk of Croats, Serbs & "Muslims". What is the ethnicity of the Bosnian Muslims? Are they Albanians, or another Muslim group? Why is Muslim utilized in teh same context as an ethnic identifier? Is this normal, do we normally talk of Vietneamese, Samoans and Christians? The lack of identifier makes me wonder who they are & where they came from. We knwo where the Serbs came from, & the Croats. Who are these "Muslims" (& when are they going to be charged as well)?