Global Politician 03 September 2009
The following essay is an amalgam of my previous online essays, among them Who Are We, Who Are Our Enemies — The Cost of Historical Amnesia, Why We Should Oppose an Independent Kosovo, Refuting God’s Crucible and The Truth About Islam in Europe.
“The Jihad, the Islamic so-called Holy War, has been a fact of life in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East for more than 1300 years, but this is the first history of the Muslim wars in Europe ever to be published. Hundreds of books, however, have appeared on its Christian counterpart, the Crusades, to which the Jihad is often compared, although they lasted less than two hundred years and unlike the Jihad, which is universal, were largely but not completely confined to the Holy Land. Moreover, the Crusades have been over for more than 700 years, while a Jihad is still going on in the world. The Jihad has been the most unrecorded and disregarded major event of history. It has, in fact, been largely ignored. For instance, the Encyclopaedia Britannica gives the Crusades eighty times more space than the Jihad.”
The above quote is from Paul Fregosi’s book Jihad in the West from 1998. Mr. Fregosi found that his book about the history of Islamic Holy War in Europe from the 7th to the 20th centuries was difficult to get published in the mid-1990s, when publishers had the Salman Rushdie case in fresh memory.
Jihad continues to this day in the Balkans, a region which was for centuries under brutal Turkish rule. According to writer Ruth King, “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 comprised 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. This later led to escalating violence against Christian Serbs.
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, according to Ruth King, “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.”
According to Hugh Fitzgerald, “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.”
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, Skull Tower, on the way to Constantinople. 3 meters high, Skull Tower was built out of 952 skulls as a warning to the Serbian people not to oppose their Muslim rulers. Some years later, a chapel was built over the skulls.
Similar Jihad massacres were committed not only against the Serbs, but 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 notes, “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 employ�s do not generally appear as the oppressors, the Christians are well treated and protected.
The Islamic world is now using the Balkans as a launching pad for Jihad against the rest of Europe. “There are religious centres in Bulgaria that belong to Islamic groups financed mostly by Saudi Arabian groups,” the head of Bulgarian military intelligence has warned. According to him, the centres were in southern and southeastern Bulgaria, where the country’s Muslims, mainly of Turkish origin, are concentrated, and “had links with similar organisations in Kosovo, Bosnia and Macedonia. For them Bulgaria seems to be a transit point to Western Europe.” He said the steps were taken to prevent terrorist groups gaining a foothold in Bulgaria, which shares a border with Turkey. Bulgaria’s Muslim minority accounts for more than 10 percent of the country’s population.
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia passed a law allowing ethnic Albanians to display the Albanian national flag in areas where they form the majority. The decision came as a result of seven months of heavy fighting in 2001 involving Albanian separatists, and following pressure from the European Union, always ready to please Muslims.
Ethnic Albanians make up about 25 per cent of Macedonia’s population. If the demographic trends are anything like in Kosovo, where the predominantly Muslim Albanians have been out-breeding their non-Muslim neighbors, Macedonians could be facing serious trouble in the future. In Kosovo, dozens of churches and monasteries have been destroyed or damaged following ethnic cleansing of Christian Serbs, all under the auspices of NATO soldiers.
Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland and later Chief United Nations negotiator for Kosovo, caused anger in Serbia when he stated that “Serbs are guilty as a people,” implying that they would have to pay for it, possibly by losing the province of Kosovo. I disagree with Mr. Ahtisaari. 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 can be called guilty as a people, it is the Turks, not the Serbs. The Turks have left a trail of blood across much of Europe and the Mediterranean for centuries, culminating in the Armenian genocide in the 20th century, which Turkey still refuses to acknowledge, let alone apologize for.
Dimitar Angelov elucidates the impact of the Ottoman Jihad on the vanquished Balkan populations:
…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.
This Ottoman Jihad tradition is still continued by “secular” Turkey to this day. Michael J. Totten visited Varosha, the Ghost City of Cyprus, in 2005. The city was deserted during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and is now fenced off and patrolled by the Turkish occupiers. The Turks carved up the island. Greek Cypriot citizens in Varosha expected to return to their homes within days. Instead, the Turks seized the empty city and wrapped it in fencing and wire.
In March 2006, Italian Luigi Geninazzi made a report from the same area. 180,000 persons live in the northern part of the island, 100,000 of whom are colonists originally from mainland Turkey. According to Geninazzi, the Islamization of the north of Cyprus has been concretized in the destruction of all that was Christian. Yannis Eliades, director of the Byzantine Museum of Nicosia, calculates that 25,000 icons have disappeared from the churches in the zone occupied by the Turks. Stupendous Byzantine and Romanesque churches, imposing monasteries, mosaics and frescoes have been sacked, violated, and destroyed. Many have been turned into restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Geninazzi confronted Huseyn Ozel, a government spokesman for the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, with this. Most of the mosques in Greek Cypriot territory have been restored. So why are churches still today being turned into mosques? The Turkish Cypriot functionary spreads his arms wide: “It is an Ottoman custom…”
Yosef Bodansky, director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Conventional Warfare in Washington in the USA, has stated that the Balkans was a “springboard for Islamic extremism” in Europe, with the Islamic Republic of Iran as the main driving force behind it. Iran and Saudi Arabia supplied funding, weapons and men to the Bosnians during the war in the 1990s, and terrorist organization Al-Qaeda gained a foothold in the Balkans. Saudi Arabia has invested more than $1 billion in the Sarajevo region alone, for projects that include the construction of 158 mosques. Sarajevo has by now become an almost entirely Muslim city.
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.’“
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’s 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. Yet in 2007, four Albanians from Kosovo along with other Muslims were arrested for conspiring to attack Fort Dix, a military base in New Jersey, the USA, in order “to kill as many soldiers as possible.”
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 allegedly also 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 S�ddeutsche 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. George W. Bush risks being remembered as one of the worst presidents in American history.
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.”
I once listened to a speech by Patrick Sookhdeo, a brave former Muslim who has published books such as 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 formed a breakaway Islamic Republic. This official then replied that they would probably have to quietly accept that. When witnessing Muslim riots in France and elsewhere, 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” in the 1990s.
Granting Jihadist Muslims independence in Kosovo after they conducted ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims has established 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 prior to 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, and don’t need to be stabbed in the back by the West as well.
Janos (John) Hunyadi, Hungarian warrior and captain-general, is today virtually unknown outside Hungary and the Balkans, but he probably did more than any other individual in stemming the Turkish invasion in the fifteenth century. His actions spanned all the countries of south-eastern Europe, leading international armies, negotiating with kings and popes. He died of plague after having destroyed an Ottoman fleet outside Belgrade in1456. His work slowed the Muslim advance, and may thus have saved Western Europe from falling to Islam. By extension, he may have helped save Western civilization in North America and Australia, too. Yet hardly anybody in West knows who he is. Our children don’t learn his name, they are only taught about the evils of Western colonialism and the dangers of Islamophobia.
Western Europe today is a strange and very dangerous mix of arrogance and self-loathing. Muslims are creating havoc and attacking their non-Muslim neighbors from Thailand to India. It is extremely arrogant to believe that the result will be any different in the Netherlands, Britain or Italy, or for that matter in the United States or Canada, than it has been everywhere else. It won’t. If we had the humility to listen to the advice of the Hindus of India or even our Christian cousins in south-eastern Europe, we wouldn’t be in as much trouble as we are now.
On the other hand, if we didn’t have such a culture of self-loathing, where our own cultural traditions are ridiculed in favor of a meaningless Multicultural cocktail, we probably wouldn’t have allowed massive Muslim immigration, either. There doesn’t have to be a contradiction between being proud of your own cultural heritage and knowing that there may still be lessons you can learn from others. A wise man can do both. Westerners of our age do neither.
Sun Tzu, a contemporary of the great Chinese thinker Confucius, wrote The Art of War, the extremely influential book on military strategy, 2500 years ago. It is a book that deserves to be read in full, but one of the most famous quotations is this one: “So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”
The West has forgotten who our enemies are, but worse, we have also forgotten who we are. We are going to pay a heavy price for this historical amnesia.