Dr. Dafer-beg Kulenović
(1891 - 1956) was the Vice President of the Independent State of Croatia during World War II. He also became President of Yugoslav Moslem Organization
, the largest Bosniak
political party at the time, following the death of Dr. Mehmed Spaho
Kulenović was born in Rajnovići on February 17, 1891. He served as president of the Yugoslav Moslem Organization
and was a minister in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
's government before the Second World War.
He became the vice-president of the Independent State of Croatia
(NDH) on November 7, 1941 and held the position to war's end. He had actually succeeded his older brother Osman Kulenović
in this position.
After the fall of the NDH, Kulenović immigrated to Syria
. He lived there until his death on October 3, 1956 in Damascus
. While in Syria, the Croats in Argentina published a collection of his journalistic writings. In 1950, the Bosniak
Community in Chicago published a speech he wrote for the Muslim Congress following World War Two in Lahore, Pakistan. This twenty-two page pamphlet entitled "A Message of Croat Moslems to Their Religious Brethren in the World" detailed Serb aggression against Croatians of Islamic faith and promoted the idea of Croat unity. Only a few months before his death, the Croatian Liberation Movement
was formed, with Dr. Kulenović being one of the founders and signatories. His son Nahid Kulenović
continued working with this Movement, but was assassinated by the Yugoslavia
secret police, UDBA
, in Munich
Dr. Kulenović was one of the highest ranking Muslims in the NDH. His grandson also named Dafer, is now one of the main Bosniak
leaders in North America having served as the Vice President of the Congress of North American Bosniaks (2002-2009) the largest Bosniak
organization in the USA, President of the Islamic Cultural Center in Northbrook, Illinois
(2004-2009) (the oldest Bosniak
mosque in North America), and as a member of the Governing Board of the Democratic Action Party (SDA) in Sarajevo
(2001-2009). He currently serves as President and CEO of Crescent Bancshares, a new bank venture being developed in the Chicago area catering to the Southeastern European and South Asian communities with a specialty in Islamic Banking.