Commentary on Balkans For Dummies, Part I
All of this is backed up with facts…
A lot of people think that Albanian Muslims have a less religious character than the rest of the Islamic world. Which is, of course, not true. The real question is why the Islamic character of Albanian terrorism is concealed. (And I will call it terrorism, because actions where one group of people are trying to seclude a part of tne country in a illegal way is terrorism.) Maybe the answer is that there is a fear that the public will recognize that, in the heart of Europe, a new Islamic state has been formed by taxpaying citizens of the “West”.
Nothing new about the push to Islamize the Balkans
However, the Islamization of the territory around Albania – especially the effort to force Islamization upon Kosovo and Metohia – isn’t a recent process. It has been active for centuries and has gone through a number of phases. In certain phases, Islamization was interlaced with solving a national territorial question; that is, joining all territories with Islamic populations in one state.
At this point, I would like to point out that Kosovo and Metohia (the full name of the region) was Serbian before the first Albanian tribe came down from the mountains and set up there. In 1389 there was a famous Battle of Kosovo, of Serbs and their allies against the Ottoman Turkish empire. The Turks conquered Serbia and stayed there for 500 years before they were forced out, and Serbia was declared an independent state once more. When Turks came and brought Islam on Balkan soil, the Serbs and other people had a choice to join Islam or to become a form of slave to the newly-established and mighty Ottoman Empire.
Icon of Nemanjic Dynasty, medieval rulers of Serbia
An unthinkable surrender for the Serbs
Now we are talking about proud people who had a holy lineage of rulers during the previous couple of centuries, and such thing was unthinkable. When I say holy, I mean holy like saints – they were acknowledged to be saints and they are celebrated even today. It is even said that one of the descendants could perform miracles… so I hope this will shed a little light on what was going through people’s minds.
Oh, and I said a form of slaves – well, the main difference is that Ottomans took the Serbs’ firstborn male children 7-14 years old, and trained them to be an elite army for the empire, never to return home.
Well, unlike Serbs, Albanians were a group of mountain tribes without a significant heritage, so they didn’t have any problem with accepting Islam. Under the Ottoman Empire, this gave them an advantage over other people in this region. They also participated in violence against the Christian people. In spite of this, a great number of Serbs survived to see the fall of Ottoman Empire in this region, and, after the Balkan Wars, the rejoining of Kosovo and Metohia to Serbia. Albanians, of course, were not satisfied with such a solution. They also participated in the liberation from the Turks, but with different ambitions. They wanted to create a “Greater Albania” that would include all territories where Albanians lived, either as a majority or a minority, it didn’t matter.
WWI poster – “Kossovo Day” June 28, 1916
Solidarity with our Serb allies
That was a great source of frustration for a great number of Albanians and their ideology. In the newly created state of Serbia, they were a considerable minority, even in Kosovo (according to the records, in the late 19th century, there were 415.000 residents of Serbia who were Christians, 236.420 who were Muslim, and only 106.270 Albanians). By the end of WWI they became an even smaller minority, but that didn’t stop them from harassing the Serbs of Kosovo, who were beaten up, humiliated and forced out from their homes. Many foreign authorities wrote about it, so that you can be pretty sure that Serbs didn’t imagine it.
The most important phase in Islamization of Kosovo and Metohia occurred during WWII. Because of specific relations between Albania and their own interests, Italian occupiers allowed mass persecution of Serbs from these parts, and at the same time allowed a large number of Albanians from Albania to move there. In this way, a significant artificial demographic upheaval was made, which went unpunished and uncorrected. This also was to have a deciding role in the growth of terrorism and separatist ambitions in the region.
In this period around 10.000 Serbs were killed, 70.000 were banished, and 30.000 houses and other structures were demolished and destroyed. At the same time, 300.000 Albanians came from Albania to the territories of Kosovo and western Macedonia.
In battle against Christian Serbs (and later I will return to this, because there are other Christians in these parts beside Serbs), the Albanian leaders mobilized all Albanians – Muslim and Christian. To Christian Albanians, the struggle against Serbs was portrayed as a fight against Serbian oppression, and for the creation of “Great Albania.” But within the inner circles, among the Muslims themselves, they spoke freely of their real goal of creating an Islamic country – a goal that is entirely consistent with Islam as a religion. As an expression of their ambition for creating such a country, along with other things, a Skenderbeg Division was created.
Skenderbeg Albanian Muslim Waffen SS Division
The Skenderbeg Division had in its assembly military imams who worked to promote ideology among the fighters. Of course, the pan-Islamic and jihadist basis for doing battle against unbelievers was constantly highlighted. Among the unbelievers were Partizans, a Slavic (Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Bosnian and Slovenian) guerrilla anti-German military in Balkan parts. [In other articles on this blog, we have discussed the Chetniks, led by Draza Mihailovic, a Serbian Orthodox anti-German force loyal to the Kingdom. - 1389] The first action of the Skenderbeg Division, which confirmed their Nazi orientation, was the arrest and execution of 281 of Pristina’s Jews in May of 1944. Pristina is a city in Kosovo.
The pan-Islamic character of the Skenderbeg division was revealed in the fact that it consisted of, among others, almost 150 Tajiks and Turkmen. Probably under their influence, the division was remembered for countless crimes against the Serbian population, even against women and children.
Communist Yugoslavia ratifies Nazi-era theft of Serbs’ property
After WWII, in spite of expectations, life for Serbs of Kosovo and Metohia in the newly-formed, atheist country of Yugoslavia for began as hard and difficult a period as before. After the war came a law that prohibited Serbs who had been exiled from Kosovo and Metohia from returning there. The direct consequence of this law was that a large number of Albanians who had entered Kosovo and Metohia during the war were given legal status. This made it possible for them to stay on property that they had taken from the Serbs. Albanian terrorists got a clear hint that they could run amok. Instead of being punished for their actions and receiving the same status as all other defeated nations, the Albanians got a total legalization of the demographic imbalance that they had created, and the Serbs got the short end of the stick.
“Godless Communists” favored Muslims over Christians
Confirming that Albanians as Muslims were privileged, unlike the Christians, is the fact that polygamy was tolerated because it was in the Islamic tradition. While in other parts of the country, marriages between nationalities were promoted, in Kosovo and Metohia it was possible only in one direction – an Albanian male could take a Serbian female, but not the other way around, because of reasons given in the Kuran.
There are other examples of Islamization of Albanians and Kosovo and Metohia, and of their preparations for the terrorism that never completely stopped, but more or less escalated over the years. From Enver Hodza’s Albania (that also declared itself as atheist) came a number of sheik dervish privates, that were convicted in Prizren in 1956 for aiding a terrorist gang. President of Central Comity of Communist Alliance Muhmut Bakali, as a communist (and communists were officially declared to be atheists) had a mosque built in Pec and further led to breaking Serbs in those parts. Several of his anti-Serb slip-ups were recorded, where he showed his sympathy for Muslims and Albanians, as a supposed communist and atheist.
The West works hand in glove with al Qaeda
Now we come to the year 1999, a year that NATO dumped its surplus of bombs on Serbia, even cluster or “cassette” bombs that are outlawed by international war rules. At various round tables that were organized to resolve the Kosovo and Metohia problem, various pronouncements often denied or negated the Islamization of this region. Those conclusions often came from abroad, from circles that stood to gain political benefit from denying these facts. Only one counter-argument is needed to prove that this Islamization is real: What about the Catholic Albanians, the famous jewelers from Janjevo? Although they were Albanians, they would have had to be Muslims to live a safe and carefree life in Kosovo. As Catholics, they had to seek refuge in Croatia.
At various times, Al Qaeda has announced terrorist acts and declared fatwas against “infidels”: USA, UK, France, Israel, India, Russia and Serbia. Osama bin Laden himself, during 1995, spent some time in Albania where he met with Hashim Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj.
Osama bin Laden with Ayman al-Zawahiri
The unconcealed connection between Kosovo Albanian separatists and the Islamist factor was confirmed in 1996 in Skopje (capital of Macedonia), at the 118th annual celebration of the Prizren League. It was attended by representatives of Albanians from Kosovo and Metohia, where they again sworn to fight for the league’s expansionist ideals. This is significant, because in the documents of the league, they appear as Muslims and not as Albanians, clearly showing the desire to create an Islamic country.
In 1998, the American administration even found it necessary to put its ally, the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army, consisted of Muslim Albanians who fought against Serbs for, well you guessed, liberation of Kosovo) on a list of terrorist organizations, for the stated reason that they had found records of funds from Islamic countries that were involved in drug trafficking. At that time, they said that one of the financiers was Osama bin Laden. According to Interpol data, one of the elite KLA units was led by Muhammad al Zawahiri, the brother of al Qaeda ideologist Ayman al Zawahiri, who is considered second in command after Osama bin Laden.
Islamic organizations fund Kosovo terrorism
During 1998. the existence of the “Abu Bekir Sidik” unit was confirmed. This unit operated in the Drenica area, and was financed with funds from the “Balkan Islamic Center” and “Active Islamic Youth”. The unit consisted of around 40 foreign citizens, and its commander was Ekrem Avdia. When the unit was disbanded, almost all of its members were arrested, along with its leader Ekrem. But they all were released because of pressure from the “international community” during 2001. Soon after he was released, Ekrem was put in charge of the organization “Kosovo’s Islamic Biro,” which had a great number of outposts across Kosovo and Metohia. After that, Ekrem reactivated his old unit. They operate and contribute to the instability of this region to this day.
A great number of Islamic organizations even now operate on the territory of Kosovo and Metohia. Believe it or not, even under the cover of humanitarian organizations they smuggle weapons, they do other illegal trading, and they finance extremist and terrorist activities.
The bottom line is that there is nothing more frustrating when a small child is beating you up, and when you try to defend yourself, a bigger child slaps you down. Meanwhile, the other children just silently watch the whole thing and shout but won’t help you. It’s a messed-up world we live in.
- The “Balkans For Dummies” Article Series
- Articles by CzechRebel
- Articles about the Balkans
- Articles about Kosovo
- Articles about Orthodox Christianity
- Articles about Serbia