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Fjordman: Oppose an Independent Kosovo

The Euroessayist Fjordman explains why an independent Kosovo will help no one except the global jihadists.

Hans Rustad runs Document.no, the largest independent weblog in my country. A recent post there contained criticism of me, and I have alreadyanswered some of it. However, Mr. Rustad also claimed that I support a revisionist view of the Balkan wars of the 1990s which is "just as factually wrong, immoral and politically dangerous as David Irving's Holocaust revisionism." I consider that statement to be too awful to ignore, and decided to write a reply in English.

I have said repeatedly that I believe the Balkan wars were far more complex than we are led to believe by the political establishment, and I fear that we out of ideological blindness have come to support some pretty dangerous Muslim forces. I respect Mr. Rustad for exposing the bias against Israelis in the mainstream media, and I am sad to see that he accepts uncritically a similar bias against the Serbs. My point is that you cannot understand recent history in the Balkans without taking the previous seven centuries of Islamic oppression into account.

Sir Jadunath Sarkar, the pre-eminent historian of Mughal India, wrote this about dhimmitude, the humiliating apartheid system imposed upon non-Muslims under Islamic rule: "The conversion of the entire population to Islam and the extinction of every form of dissent is the ideal of the Muslim State. If any infidel is suffered to exist in the community, it is as a necessary evil, and for a transitional period only. (…) A non-Muslim therefore cannot be a citizen of the State; he is a member of a depressed class; his status is a modified form of slavery. He lives under a contract (dhimma) with the State. (…) In short, his continued existence in the State after the conquest of his country by the Muslims is conditional upon his person and property made subservient to the cause of Islam."

This "modified form of slavery" is now frequently referred to as the pinnacle of "tolerance." If the semi-slaves rebel against this system and desire equal rights and self-determination, Jihad resumes. This happened with the Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire, who were repressed with massacres, culminating in the genocide by Turkish and Kurdish Muslims against Armenians in the 20th century. This same pattern is now used against the state of Israel. Israelis are not only attacked because they are Jews, but because they do not meekly disarm and accept the status of servitude that they should have according to Islamic law. They are disobedient dhimmis, just as the Armenians were.

According to Dr. Andrew G. Bostom, editor of the excellent book The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, even the Turcophilic 19th century writer Ubicini acknowledged the oppressive burden of dhimmitude in this moving depiction:

"The history of enslaved peoples is the same everywhere, or rather, they have no history. The years, the centuries pass without bringing any change to their situation. Generations come and go in silence. One might think they are afraid to awaken their masters, asleep alongside them. However, if you examine them closely you discover that this immobility is only superficial. A silent and constant agitation grips them. Life has entirely withdrawn into the heart. They resemble those rivers which have disappeared underground; if you put your ear to the earth, you can hear the muffled sound of their waters; then they re—emerge intact a few leagues away. Such is the state of the Christian populations of Turkey under Ottoman rule."

Bostom asks, "Why has the quite brutal Ottoman devshirme-janissary system, which, from the mid to late 14th, through early 18th centuries, enslaved and forcibly converted to Islam an estimated 500,000 to one million non-Muslim (primarily Balkan Christian) adolescent males, been characterized, reductio ad absurdum, as a benign form of social advancement, jealously pined for by 'ineligible' Ottoman Muslim families?"

Writer Vacalopoulos describes how Jihad-imposed dhimmitude under Ottoman rule provided critical motivation for the Greek Revolution:

"The Revolution of 1821 is no more than the last great phase of the resistance of the Greeks to Ottoman domination; it was a relentless, undeclared war, which had begun already in the first years of servitude. The brutality of an autocratic regime, which was characterized by economic spoliation, intellectual decay and cultural retrogression, was sure to provoke opposition. Restrictions of all kinds, unlawful taxation, forced labor, persecutions, violence, imprisonment, death, abductions of girls and boys and their confinement to Turkish harems, and various deeds of wantonness and lust, along with numerous less offensive excesses — all these were a constant challenge to the instinct of survival and they defied every sense of human decency. The Greeks bitterly resented all insults and humiliations, and their anguish and frustration pushed them into the arms of rebellion. There was no exaggeration in the statement made by one of the beys if Arta, when he sought to explain the ferocity of the struggle. He said: 'We have wronged the rayas [dhimmis] (i.e. our Christian subjects) and destroyed both their wealth and honor; they became desperate and took up arms. This is just the beginning and will finally lead to the destruction of our empire.'"

As scholar Reuben Levy noted: "At Constantinople [Istanbul], the sale of women slaves, both negresses and Circassians [likely for harem slavery and/or concubinage], continued to be openly practiced until...1908."

In 1809, after the battle on Cegar Hill, by order of Turkish pasha Hurshid the skulls of the killed Serbian soldiers were built in a tower on the way to Constantinople. 3 meters high, Skull Tower was built out of 952 skulls as a warning to the Serbs not to challenge their Muslim rulers.

Similar Jihad massacres were committed against the Greeks, the Bulgarians and other non-Muslims who slowly rebelled against the Ottoman Empire throughout the 19th century. Professor Vahakn Dadrian and others have clearly identified Jihad as a critical factor in the Armenian genocide in the early 20th century. As Efraim Karsh, author of the book Islamic Imperialism: A History points out, "The Ottomans embarked on an orgy of bloodletting in response to the nationalist aspirations of their European subjects. The Greek war of independence of the 1820's, the Danubian uprisings of 1848 and the attendant Crimean war, the Balkan explosion of the 1870's, the Greco-Ottoman war of 1897--all were painful reminders of the costs of resisting Islamic imperial rule."

In his book Onward Muslim Soldiers, Robert Spencer quotes a letter from Bosnia, written in 1860 by the acting British Consul in Sarajevo, James Zohrab: "The hatred of the Christians toward the Bosniak Mussulmans is intense. During a period of nearly 300 years they were subjected to much oppression and cruelty. For them no other law but the caprice of their masters existed....Oppression cannot now be carried on as openly as formerly, but it must not be supposed that, because the Government employés do not generally appear as the oppressors, the Christians are well treated and protected."

According to writer Ruth King, "during the bombing of Serbia on behalf of Moslem Albanians in 1999 Saudi Prince Khaled Bin Sultan, commander of the allied Saudi troops during the first Gulf War, called on the US to do the same against Israel on behalf of Palestinians. The fate of Jews and Serbs, which has intersected in the past, is doing so again. The jihadist effort to expunge Jews from Palestine mirrors the Moslem goal of incorporating Kosovo into a 'greater Moslem Albania' while expelling Christian Serbs. When Serbia became independent of Byzantine rule in the 12th century, its economic, cultural, social and religious institutions were among the most advanced in Europe. Serbia functioned as a bridge between Greco-Byzantine civilization and the developing Western Renaissance. The center of the Serbian Orthodox Church was in Kosovo where churches, monasteries and monastic communities were established. A form of census in 1330, the 'Decani Charter,' detailed the list of chartered villages and households, of which only two percent were Albanian. The Ottomans invaded Serbia in 1389 and consolidated their rule in 1459, propelling major parts of the Balkan peninsula and adjacent southeast Europe into a Koran-dictated Dark Ages."

Early in the twentieth century Serbian Christians were roughly two-thirds of the population of Kosovo. After WW2, Communist dictator Tito did not allow Serbs who fled from their homes to return and did not enforce border controls as thousands of Albanians moved into Kosovo.

As King says, "Initially, the media reported the situation in Kosovo fairly. For example, in July 1982 The New York Times noted: 'Serbs have been harassed by Albanians and have packed up and left the region. The Albanian nationalists have a two-point platform, first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then to merge with Albania for a greater Albania. Some 57,000 Serbs have left Kosovo in the last decade.' Five years later, in 1987, the Times was still reporting the persecution of Serbs within Kosovo. 'Slavic Orthodox churches have been attacked, wells poisoned, crops burned, Slavic boys knifed. Young Albanians have been told to rape Serbian girls…. Officials in Belgrade view the ethnic Albanian challenge as imperiling the foundations of the multinational experiment called federal Yugoslavia….Ethnic Albanians already control almost every phase of life in the autonomous province of Kosovo, including the police, judiciary, civil service, schools, and factories.'"

It was this situation that led to the rise of Serb nationalist leader Slobodan Milosevic. However, instead of reporting about the advancing Jihad to make some sense of the situation, Western media, according to Ruth King, "went into a frenzy of accusations against the Serbs, much as it has against Israel and with similar distortions. The media depicted the armed, violent and jihadist Moslem Albanians as 'unarmed civilians' despite the fact they called themselves an army and perpetrated assaults, bombings, murder of civilians and targeted assassinations of Albanians loyal to Serbia. President Clinton outrageously referred to a 'holocaust' perpetrated by Serbia and compared the Moslems of Kosovo to the Jews—this, even though the Serbs had behaved well toward the Jews during the real Holocaust and Clinton himself was pressing Israel's Jews to accept the 'peace partnership' of Arafat, a brutal terrorist far worse than Milosevic, admittedly a dictator and a Communist thug."

Moreover, "While the brutality of the Milosevic regime was indeed a complicating factor, he is long gone, but the KLA [Kosovo Liberation Army] continues its assault on Serbs, on their churches, priests, homes, even on civilians sitting in cafes, this under the nose of the U.S. and UN troops."

Bosnia's wartime president Alija Izetbegovic died in 2003, hailed as a moderate Muslim leader. Little was said in Western media about his 1970 Islamic Declaration, where he advocated "a struggle for creating a great Islamic federation from Morocco to Indonesia, from the tropical Africa to the Central Asia," and that "The Islamic movement should and must start taking over the power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough to not only overthrow the existing non-Islamic, but also to build up a new Islamic authority."

As Hugh Fitzgerald says, "One must keep in mind both the way in which some atrocities ascribed to Serbs were exaggerated, while the atrocities inflicted on them were minimized or ignored altogether. But what was most disturbing was that there was no context to anything: nothing about the centuries of Muslim rule. Had such a history been discussed early on, Western governments might have understood and attempted to assuage the deep fears evoked by the Bosnian Muslim leader, Izetbegovic, when he wrote that he intended to create a Muslim state in Bosnia and impose the Sharia not merely there, but everywhere that Muslims had once ruled in the Balkans. Had the Western world shown the slightest intelligent sympathy or understanding of what that set off in the imagination of many Serbs (and elsewhere, among the Christians in the Balkans and in Greece), there might never have been such a violent Serbian reaction, and someone like Milosevic might never have obtained power." Yet, "In all of Europe, only a few French journalists and the Austrian writer Peter Handke tried to explain Serbian fears and Serbian history."

Alija Izetbegovic received money from a Saudi businessman, Yassin al-Kadi, who has been designated as a financier of al-Qaeda terrorists. Evan F. Kohlmann, author of Al-Qaeda's Jihad in Europe: The Afghan-Bosnian Network, argues that the "key to understanding Al Qaida's European cells lies in the Bosnian war of the 1990s." In 1992, the government of Izetbegovic issued a passport to Osama bin Laden. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2001 that "for the past 10 years, the most senior leaders of al Qaeda have visited the Balkans: The Egyptian surgeon turned terrorist leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia."

Yosef Bodansky, director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Conventional Warfare in Washington, has stated that the Balkans was a "springboard for Islamic extremism" in Europe and that Iran was the main driving force behind it. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia supplied funding, weapons and men to the Bosnians during the war. Saudi Arabia has invested more than $1 billion in the Sarajevo region alone, for projects that include the construction of 158 mosques. Terrorist organization Al-Qaeda gained a strong foothold in the Balkans during the 1990s.

Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland and later Chief United Nations negotiator for Kosovo, caused anger when he stated that "Serbs are guilty as people," implying that they would have to pay for it, possibly by losing Kosovo. I disagree. It is one thing to criticize the brutality of the Milosevic regime. It is quite another thing to claim that "Serbs are guilty as a people." If anybody in the Balkans is guilty as a people, it is the Turks, not the Serbs.

Dimitar Angelov elucidates the impact of the Ottoman Jihad on the region:

"…the conquest of the Balkan Peninsula accomplished by the Turks over the course of about two centuries caused the incalculable ruin of material goods, countless massacres, the enslavement and exile of a great part of the population – in a word, a general and protracted decline of productivity, as was the case with Asia Minor after it was occupied by the same invaders. This decline in productivity is all the more striking when one recalls that in the mid-fourteenth century, as the Ottomans were gaining a foothold on the peninsula, the States that existed there – Byzantium, Bulgaria and Serbia – had already reached a rather high level of economic and cultural development….The campaigns of Mourad II (1421-1451) and especially those of his successor, Mahomet II (1451-1481) in Serbia, Bosnia, Albania and in the Byzantine princedom of the Peloponnesus, were of a particularly devastating character."

Author William Dorich states that "The Serbs lost 52% of their adult male population fighting in the First World War as American allies. Twenty-four years later the Serbs were the only people in the Balkans to declare war on Nazi Germany. Hitler bombed the 'open city' of Belgrade on Palm Sunday in 1942, killing 17,000 Serbs in one day. Surrender followed ten days later as the Nazis invaded. The Serbs lost another one-third of their population in the Holocaust again fighting as American allies, especially against their own Croat, Bosnian Muslim and Albanian Nazis."

Serge Trifkovic, author of the books The Sword of the Prophet and Defeating Jihad, documents how Yasser Arafat's uncle Mohammad Amin al-Husayni cooperated closely with Nazi Germany in recruiting Bosnian and Albanian Muslims for Waffen SS units. Serbs had to wear blue armbands, Jews yellow armbands. For Muslims, this was a Jihad against disobedient dhimmis, and thus a continuation of the genocide against Armenians a few years earlier, which was one of the inspirations for the Holocaust. More than a quarter of a million Serbs, Jews and Romani people (Gypsies) were killed by Muslim troops in Nazi service.

Trifkovic cites James Jatras as claiming that Washington's irrational Balkan policy is to a significant extent the product of the ignorant and misguided notion that the U.S. can curry favor in the Islamic world by sacrificing Kosovo's Christians to the violent Jihad-terror elements that dominate Kosovo's Albanian leadership: "Such an unfounded notion shows a breathtaking incomprehension of the worldwide jihadist threat. International opposition and the Bush Administration's failing domestic credibility put a weight on the policy, however, which can be dealt a fatal blow if enough Americans raise their voices against it."

Miroljub Jevtic, professor at the Belgrade University and author of a number of books on the topic of Islam and politics, believes the Western world is in favor of detaching Kosovo from Christian Serbia by fiat and making it into an independent (Muslim) state. The main argument of those supporting this scenario, notably in the United States, is to improve their image in the eyes of the Islamic world and "co-opt the influence of Islamic 'extremists.'"

However, Jevtic notes that "the fact that since the arrival of NATO to Kosovo over 150 Christian churches have been destroyed and some 400 mosques have been built, or are under construction, is for the Muslims a proof that if there is a faith which is supported by true God -- it is Islam! Because, why would the Christian God, why would Jesus, permit the destruction of churches, where He, Jesus, is glorified? Why would He, at the same time, permit the construction of mosques, where His existence as God is denied? Why would He permit it, moreover, in the presence of men who bear arms and who claim to be Christians?"

Miroljub Jevtic warns that the European Union support for Albanian Muslim demands could backfire badly: "Granting the independence to Kosovo will be taken as proof of Europe's own wish to cease to exist, as it not only allows the expansion of Islam but is actively promoting it by aiding those who are destroying churches, raping nuns, spitting on crosses and daubing with excrement holy images of Christ."

In Kosovo, dozens of churches and monasteries have been destroyed following ethnic cleansing of Christian Serbs by the predominantly Muslim Albanians, all under the auspices of NATO soldiers, and Muslims are not ungrateful. Kosovo Albanians plan to honor their "savior," former US President Bill Clinton, by erecting a statue of him. At the same time, in 2007, four Albanians from Kosovo along with other Muslims were arrested for conspiring to attack Fort Dix, a military base in New Jersey, in order "to kill as many soldiers as possible."

The House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-CA) called upon "jihadists of all color and hue" to see Kosovo as "yet another example that the United States leads the way for the creation of a predominantly Muslim country in the very heart of Europe." But a video of Osama bin Laden meeting with two 9/11 hijackers revealed that the mass murderers were motivated by a desire to avenge Muslims... in Bosnia, where the USA intervened on behalf of Muslims. Meanwhile, no Christian Serbs have staged any terror attacks against the United States or Western European countries in retaliation for the NATO bombings. So who are really the bad guys here?

In a commentary, "We bombed the wrong side?" former Canadian UNPROFOR Commander Lewis MacKenzie wrote, "The Kosovo-Albanians have played us like a Stradivarius. We have subsidized and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure and independent Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early '90s and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today in spite of evidence to the contrary. When they achieve independence with the help of our tax dollars combined with those of bin Laden and al-Qaeda, just consider the message of encouragement this sends to other terrorist-supported independence movements around the world."

Western governments are pushing for independence for a group of Jihadist thugs who recently wanted to create the Osama bin Laden mosque in Kosovo. This name was eventually changed for public relations reasons since the Albanians knew they needed American political support. In June 2007 the visiting US President George W. Bush was hailed as a hero by a group of Albanians, who also apparently stole his watch. "Sooner rather than later you've got to say 'Enough's enough — Kosovo is independent,'" Bush told cheering Albanians. As German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung later commented, "Why should the Albanians settle for autonomy when George W. Bush had already promised them their own state?"

President Bush declared a "war on terror" after the Jihadist attacks on the United States in 2001. Six years later, all he has achieved is bleeding American tax payers financially and American soldiers literally while overseeing the eradication of non-Muslim communities in Iraq. Now his administration supports independence for terrorist-sponsoring Muslims in the Balkans and in the Palestinian territories. Unless he does something very substantial in 2008, George W. Bush risks being remembered as one of the worst presidents in American history.

I listened to a speech by Patrick Sookhdeo, a former Muslim who recently launched his latest book, Global Jihad: The Future in the Face of Militant Islam. Sookhdeo had done a lot of excellent – and frightening – research regarding the Islamization of Western Europe, especially Britain. He recalled having a conversation with a senior Western official regarding what would happen if Muslims in a region of, say, Britain or the Netherlands, should declare that they would no longer accept the laws of the central government and would form a breakaway Islamic Republic. This official then stated that they would probably just have to quietly accept that. When witnessing the Muslim riots in France, which more and more resemble a civil war, this question is no longer just hypothetical.

As writer Julia Gorin has warned, "An independent Kosovo will serve as a nod to secessionists worldwide," and "history will show what no one cares to understand: the current world war began officially in Yugoslavia."

Granting Jihadist Muslims independence in Kosovo after they have conducted ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims will establish an extremely dangerous precedent. Not only is it immoral to sacrifice the freedom or perhaps existence of smaller nations, be that the Serbs or the Israelis, in order to save your own skin. As the example of Czechoslovakia demonstrated during WW2, it is also counterproductive. Supporting independence for Muslim Albanians in Kosovo will not lead to stabilization of the Balkans; it will rather lead to the Balkanization of the West. The new thug state will serve as a launching pad for Jihad activities against non-Muslims, just like an independent Palestinian state would do in the Middle East.

In the case of Kosovo, the Russians are right and Western leaders, both in the European Union and the United States, are wrong. The Serbs have suffered enough. Give them a break!

In a conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims, other infidels should always support the non-Muslim side. That goes for Kosovo as much as it goes for Kashmir or southern Thailand. It's time to end the demonization of the Serb people and support their struggle against the global Jihad. We are all next in line

December 4, 2007