But nothing mattered when the Orthodox Christians - the Serbians - refused to accept the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They went on the offensive killing their Muslim neighbors. It was the worst form of savagery witnessed in the post-World War II era.
As an immigrant to the USA, as a minority, it was a shocking demonstration of what could go wrong, and how savage people could become. Girls and women were raped (even by the next door neighbor) simply because they were Muslims. Boys and grown up adults were slaughtered, shot at and killed simply because they were Muslims.
Genocide always has some causes that are used by the mass killers to justify their crimes against humanity. The Serbian Christian killers tried to justify their savagery on the basis of religion saying that how such an act of brutality was necessary to purify the Christian Europe from the threat of Muslims. And the way the leaders of the NATO, European states and the UN behaved once again showed the utter hypocrisy of those major players in the global scene. They let the slaughter of unarmed Bosnians continue until it came to a boiling point when Muslim Bosnians started fighting back and reclaiming their territories from those brutal savages. And only when the tide of the war had shifted did the NATO and UN intervene to stop Muslim-takeover of the entire territory from the Serbian savages.
BBC recently posted an account of an exiled Bosnian, Kenan Trebincevic, who had to seek asylum in the USA. You can read about his return to Bosnia to find answers to the Bosnian crisis by clicking here.
Bosnian exile returns after two decades in search of answers
Growing up in the Bosnian town of Brcko in the 1980s, Kenan Trebincevic never noticed any ethnic divisions between himself and his neighbours.
That all changed in 1992 when Trebincevic's Serb karate coach arrived at his door armed with an AK 47 and ordered his Muslim family to leave or be killed. Trebincevic was 12 years old.
After two decades in the US, Trebincevic returned to his homeland for the first time, bearing a list of unanswered questions about his past and hoping to confront the people who had betrayed his family.
Trebincevic's memoir The Bosnia List chronicles his experience as a child during the Bosnian War, his family's exile, and his trip back accompanied by his father and brother, looking for answers.
Produced by the BBC's Ashley Semler and Bill McKenna