Though it may have appeared that way, Friday's post was not actually a response to Asma Ishak. I just used her invective as an illustration of projection, prejudice and name-calling that passes for internet debate these days. I've learned long since not to get into arguments with trolls; unlike them, I have better things to do with my time.
One of the commenters, however, was curious about the intermarriage of "Serbs and Bosnians" (sic - she meant Muslims, obviously) that Ishak had mentioned. There is this myth that Bosnia was a harmonious, perfectly integrated multi-cultural paradise that evil Serb nationalists brutally destroyed, forcing the Muslims to rediscover their identity. Those who believe this have it precisely backwards, as the subtitle of Alija Izetbegovic's "Islamic Declaration" (PDF) was "A Programme for the Islamization of Muslims." What better way to become the undisputed leader of Bosnia's Muslims and implement an Islamic agenda than to claim they were all in danger of perishing from "Serb aggressors" and their alleged "genocide"?
It is true enough that there were many mixed marriages in Bosnia. Previously, intermarriage required one of the spouses to convert to the other's faith, so they could be married in a church or a mosque. After 1945, however, the couple simply had to take two witnesses to a court clerk. With Communists actively discouraging religious practice (though not banning it outright, except for Party members), the faith of the children was a non-issue.
Few people in the countryside intermarried, though; it remained a characteristic of urban centers. The collapse of Communism and the rise of ethnic parties put mixed-marriage families under a lot of pressure. People found themselves sidelined because they had the "wrong" spouse. Children were pressured to "choose a side." Some did. Others packed up and left. Many found refuge in Serbia, where people were comparatively less obsessed with ethnic purity than in either Bosnia or Croatia. In fact, Serbia remains the most ethnically heterogeneous Balkans state even now - while in other republics, from Slovenia to Macedonia, the trend has been homogenization.
Official Truth has it that the Serbs engaged in "ethnic cleansing" while the Muslims were multi-ethnic and tolerant (Croats are somehow not mentioned at all). While the "Bosnian Army" did start out with a number of non-Muslims in its ranks (Serbs, Croats and those of mixed heritage who believed Izetbegovic's propaganda), that number dwindled down to nearly none by late 1993. From the army to the state, everything was becoming Islamized. When the reis-ul-ulema (head of the Islamic religious community) Mustafa Ceric called the children of mixed parentage "genetic garbage," there was no longer room for doubt.
Even though Annex VII of the Dayton peace treaty contained the "right of return" of refugees to their homes, and in 2000 a set of quotas was imposed to ensure representation of Muslims and Croats in the Serb Republic (RS) and Serbs in the Muslim-Croat Federation, both entities remain overwhelmingly ethnically homogeneous. People would return, reclaim their property, then sell it or exchange it and move back to areas where their own were the majority. While the RS has meticulously observed the quota system, the Federation never bothered, and somehow the "international community" never cared, either.
After the war, there were several immigration programs (notably in the U.S. and Canada) favoring mixed-marriage families. Not surprisingly, most people seized the opportunity. There is still some intermarriage in Bosnia. By and large, however, for those who found a mate in a different community it was much more bearable to become Americans, Canadians, or Australians than to be strangers in their own land.