Originally Posted by @Sweet Cleopatra
From what I understand Izetbegovic didn't have support within Bosnians till nationalist ideas from the other side appeared. He was a no body in 70s that didn't find support for his Islamic nationalist ideas.
The waves of nationalism were as follows:
1.) Croatian spring in the 1970s.
2.) Albanians in Kosovo in the mid 1980s (when they had autonomy, they wanted a republic).
3.) Serbs in Kosovo and more generally in the late 1980s.
4.) Bosnian Muslims in the early 1990s.
It is true that Izetbegovic was not supported initially by Muslims as much as a much better option. This man was called Fikret Abdic, who was the legally elected head of the Muslims. Izetbegovic did a political maneuver to sideline Abdic and take his place.
Abdic was a tolerant man who dealt well with both Serbs and Croats and ruled a small enclave in Velika Kladusa during the war. He was allied with the Serbs and Croats and an enemy of the Izetbegovic Muslims during the war.