First, note this recent piece by Serbianna’s Mickey Bozinovich:
At the Tenth Islamic Summit Conference Putrajaya, Malaysia on October 16, 2003 the host President, Mohammed Mahathir called on the world’s Islam to seize on opportunities and develop a doctrine that can allege persecution of Islam under fictitious pretexts…“There may be windows of opportunity for us now and in the future. We must seize these opportunities.”
That window of opportunity was the Bosnian Muslim suit against Christian Serbia alleging genocide. Regrettably for the Islamic Uma, the World Court ruling [last month] failed to anoint Islam with its desperately [sought] Holocaust… committed against Muslims somewhere and, please! by anybody.
As a calculated idea, the desperately seeking Islamic need to have its own Holocaust is derived from a belief that Jews are running the world by proxy and are able to sustain that rule by, what Islam subtly alleges, Jewish moral superiority derived from Hitler’s genocide of them during the WWII.
By seeking a legal fiat, sanctioned by the World, Muslims sought, along with the occurring circumstance, a reduction in the number of victims required to define a genocide and thus acquire, in addition to moral, also political power to convert a murder of any Muslim into a genocide of one!
As a court with no sovereign people to give it legislative power but a grant of appointed diplomats, the World Court did have, this time, enough wisdom to avoid setting a self annihilating precedent.
Well now they’ll really be pissed. The Muslims have worked so hard to be someone’s genocide victims. First in Israel, but the Jews were useless (Muslims started out with 400,000 Palestinians in the disputed areas, screamed genocide and became four million; this is what happens when you leave genocide up to Jews). So Muslims everywhere set their sights on Bosnia, and that was the closest they ever came to success. But just in case, they claimed genocide in Kosovo, except a similar thing happened in Kosovo as happened in the Palestinian territories: during the genocide against it, the Muslim population grew exponentially, while the number of non-Muslims became almost negligible.
Although the Hague did find that genocide took place in Srebrenica, as Mickey points out, the court had to actually redefine the very word in order to make it fit the crime:
According to the 1948 Geneva Convention, genocide is defined as “acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”.
The [Hague’s] ruling expands the legal definition to cover the killing of men only — rather than including women and children…the definition may now be applied to conflict in a small community, where local atrocities can be labelled as genocide.
Anyway, now that their biggest success story in acquiring a genocide is tainted, expect the Muslims to be more pissed off and jealous of Jews than ever. And Jews should be on alert. Because the more that Muslims want to seem persecuted, the more persecution status they bestow on the folks who already have it — which in turn makes them all the more desperate to be the “new Jews.”
Just look here:
Jewish people are four times more likely to be attacked because of their religion than Muslims, according to figures compiled by the police. One in 400 Jews compared to one in 1,700 Muslims are likely to be victims of “faith hate” attacks every year. The figure is based on data collected over three months in police areas accounting for half the Muslim and Jewish populations of England and Wales. The crimes range from assault and verbal abuse to criminal damage at places of worship.
Note that British officials only started tracking this in order to chronicle Muslim victimhood, which is only natural given the public posture of Muslim groups in Britain:
The CPS report revealed that not a single person accused of an anti-Semitic crime had been prosecuted on a charge of religiously aggravated offending. It said: “The police statistics include incidents where no defendant has been identified or where there is insufficient evidence for a prosecution.”
A report by MPs in September said British Jews were more vulnerable to attack and abuse now than for a generation. Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader, who sat on the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism, said it was “perverse” that not all police forces recorded anti-Semitic incidents and said that some forces “verge on the complacent”…
This is precisely what Mickey was talking about when he wrote, “Muslims sought…to convert a murder of any Muslim into a genocide of one!” It would explain why Muslims wanted to bring attention to statistics that show four times as many anti-Jewish hate crimes as anti-Muslim ones — and a good chunk of them committed by Muslims. It’s irrelevant that they have to kill a lot more non-Muslims to get even a single Muslim killed — as long as their own numbers are pumped up. The strategy also involves spurring the holocaust that no one is giving them by killing everyone else — in the hopes that there will be a reaction, which they can then use to prove anti-Muslim discrimination. It worked beautifully in Bosnia and Kosovo. It was a little more problematic with Israel’s tender-handed reactions to Palestinian terror, so they figured they’d kill 3,000 Americans to see if Americans would start killing every Muslim in sight. Again, no dice. So they gave it a go in France and well, if it didn’t work in America, it wasn’t going to work in France.
Indeed, it’s possible that most of the anti-Muslim hate crimes eeked out in the above-referenced statistics are incidents in which a Muslim gets hurt while attacking a Jew. And to a Muslim, this alone is a hate crime, for it is insolence by second-class citizens toward their masters. Especially in Great Britain.
To sum up, what galls the Muslim world is the excrutiatingly slow pace of the genocide against them. This would explain why they help the numbers along by killing themselves during their missions.
The agenda outlined in this post also accounts for the parallel Muslim efforts toward a reverse approach: Holocaust denial. The mentality is: “If I can’t have a holocaust, NOBODY can!”
They can’t stand it that there are actually some people who don’t have to lie about being exterminated. For they see the persecutions of the Jews during the Holocaust merely as a masterful PR strategy that won the Jews the internationally sanctioned state of Israel — and they want the same PR campaign to win them a state stretching from Spain to Indonesia.
Several websites, including DebbieSchlussel.com, JawaReport and PipelineNews, have picked up on a connection that investigator Bill Warner made last month between the aunt of Salt Lake jihadist Sulejman Talovic — Ajka Omerovic — and an Amir Omerovic, a naturalized citizen from Bosnia, who a few years ago was convicted of sending what he threatened were anthrax-laced letters to then Connecticut Governor John C. Rowland, as well as to the U.S. Coast Guard and Marines in CT. Part of the letter, according to the NY Times, read: “This is only the beginning. Americans will die. Death to America and Israel.”
The assumption is that Omerovic is some kind of cousin of Talovic and that therefore the Talovic-Omerovic family is no stranger to jihadist activities. As of yet, it is unclear what, if any, relationship exists between Omerovic and Talovic, but there isn’t any need to look for blood relations across the country when there are plenty of jihadist activities happening much closer to home. Talovic and Omerovic need never have met for each to have independently taken up jihad.
Rather than look for distant relations, we can be reasonably sure that there’s a common denominator inside both Talovic and Omerovic — that universal Muslim sense of aggrievement and the thirst to kill which Islam satisfies.
What explains the common last name is the fact that the primitives of Bosnia arrange themselves in the same way that the primitives of Kosovo do: by clan. And not all in the clan know one another. To illustrate the loose way in which this works, let us look at the Krasniqi clan of Kosovo/Albania (the ‘q’ is pronounced ‘ch’). The most famous Krasniqi is Florin Krasniqi, a member of the Kosovo Liberation Army, who resides in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and who until recently was smuggling planeloads of weapons from the U.S. to Kosovo, to arm the Albanians for war against Serbia, NATO and the UN in the event that the Albanian land grab from Serbia isn’t made official by the middle of this year. Krasniqi raised $30 million from the Albanian-American community for the KLA to wage domestic terror in Yugoslavia. He was the subject of a Dutch documentary that aired on PBS in 2005, in which he admitted to having worked with bin Laden’s people.
Richard C. Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on the left, joking around with weapons smuggler Florin Krasniqi and Wesley Clark at a John Kerry fundraiser. (Source: Serbianna, where the video can be accessed from the front page.)
Demonstrating just how loose the clan connection can be is the fact that Florin Krasniqi continues his KLA activities despite the murder by the KLA of an Ahmet Krasniqi (specifically, by America’s man in Kosovo — Hashim “the Snake” Thaci). From a New York Times article by Christopher Hedges:
As tensions rose, Thaci and the Albanian authorities decided to eliminate Krasniqi, according to former rebel commanders and two former Albanian officials interviewed in Tirana…On Sept. 21 at 11 P.M. on the way back from a restaurant in Tirana, Krasniqi ran into a police checkpoint about 300 yards from his office on Dibra Street, according to a former rebel commander who was with Krasniqi…
When Krasniqi and his two companions got out of their gray Opal jeep they saw three men emerge from the shadows with black hoods over their faces. The men, speaking with an Albanian accent that distinguished them from Kosovo Albanians, ordered the two men with Krasniqi to get down on the ground.
“Which one is it?” asked one of the gunmen, according to one of the commanders who was prone on the asphalt.
“The one in the middle,” said another. The gunmen, who held a pistol a few inches from Krasniqi’s head, fired a shot. He then fired two more shots into Krasniqi’s head once he fell onto the pavement…As NATO bombs fell on Kosovo this April, two more outspoken commanders, Agim Ramadani, a captain in the former Yugoslav Army, and Sali Ceku, were killed, each in an alleged Serbian ambush.
Note the last name Ceku. The assassination of Sali Ceku by the KLA didn’t keep one Agim Ceku from becoming the current, KLA-affiliated prime minister of Kosovo. To the contrary, last August Ceku praised a war criminal named Selim Krasniqi:
The Humanitarian Law Center has issued a press statement condemning Agim Ceku’s behavior in the case of Selim Krasniqi…
“Bearing in mind the fact that, on 10 August 2006, the International Trial Chamber pronounced Selim Krasniqi, Bedri Zymberi and Agron Krasniqi guilty of war crime, illegal detention and kidnapping of Albanians in the village of Drenovac (municipality of Mališevo), the Prime Minister’s visit to the convicted and temporarily released General and his statement that “Kosovo needs men like General Selim Krasniqi” sent a message to the public that certain citizens of Kosovo, such as General Selim Krasniqi, are above the law…”
(Yes, Selim Krasniqi and Agron Krasniqi probably are related.)
The Brooklyn arms smuggler Florin Krasniqi continues his KLA activities also despite the massacre of an entire Krasniqi family by the KLA. From a 2002 Der Spiegel article that’s worth reading in full (it’s not long):
A strange grave lies in the midst of a large meadow in the village of Crni Luk. There are no names on the four gravestones, and the inhabitants of [the] village of 3,000 react with distrust to questions about the dead. “This is where we buried the charred remains of the Krasniqi clan,” says a young Albanian man and adds immediately with a wave of his hand: “But I do not know more than that.”
Twenty-four Albanians were shot, among them 13 children, and their houses were burned down…The four Krasniqi brothers were considered “loyalists to the Serbian regime” and worked in Serbian companies; one of them was even [a] journalist for the Serbian language newspaper “Jedinstvo”. Under the Milosevic regime they enjoyed privileges; afterwards, this was their death sentence.
Those “privileges”, incidentally, are nothing more than the same opportunities that every other, non-secessionist citizen of the former Yugoslavia had regardless of ethnicity.
The next Krasniqi I heard about was this guy:
Detectives who investigated an Albanian couple and found they had committed a catalogue of abhorrent crimes against an 18-year-old woman have revealed the pair came to the UK in 1999 from Kosovo and one jumped the border on the back of a lorry.
Blendi Krasniqi arrived in Victoria, central London, seven years ago and was granted political asylum…D Sgt Eddington said the woman was forced to visit up to 40 clients a day or entertain them at the house let to the couple, in Oliver Road, Sutton. They were believed to have played equal parts in what the judge who sentenced them described as an “evil trade” and would drive the woman to the clients’ homes together, collecting payment in advance and wait to drive her back.
The woman became so desperate to escape her tormentors that she walked into a pub and stole a wallet and a mobile phone from a man in a bid to attract attention from the police. This led her to eventual safety and set court proceedings in motion against Krasniqi and Zeneli…
Then I noticed that I myself had mentioned yet another Krasniqi in a 2005 article:
While Byzantine art exhibits at New York museums were humming last year, 900-year-old Serb churches, cathedrals and monasteries in Kosovo were being systematically bombed, burned, looted, and urinated on in a single week. The pogroms had been set off by a rumor, later confirmed false by NATO, that Serbs had drowned some Albanian youths. By the end of March, 366 homes and 41 churches were destroyed, according to an AP report, which quoted 23 year-old Ruzhdi Krasniqi, who “smoked a cigarette as he assessed the damage and said he felt ‘OK’ about [it]. ‘I don’t want the Serbs to return here,’ he said. ‘They’ve got no place here.’”
There was also a Lullizim Krazniqi, a major drug dealer on the Balkan route, who was killed last March. Next, I stumbled upon a Jakup Krasniqi, a former spokesman for the KLA and Kosovo’s current minister of Environment and Spacial Planning. This is from a 1999 NY Times abstract:
Senior Kosovo Liberation Army official, Jakup Krasniqi, says that guerrilla force would not allow itself to be disarmed, though that is a central tenet of proposed peace deal announced by allied diplomats in Germany; says, however, that rebel soldiers ‘would never’ fight peacekeepers.
(So much for that, huh!)
There is also Arif Krasniqi, a member of the al Qaeda-affiliated terror group Abu Bakr Sadiq, which a Belgrade policy institute mentioned in 2004:
The Islamist terrorist group Abu Bakr Sadiq is active in South Mitrovica…[It] is named after the mujeheddin unit of the same time which carried out terrorist operations in Kosovo in 1998…The paramilitary activities of the Abu Bakr Sadiq unit, comprised of about 120 terrorists from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Albania and Iran did not last very long. Thanks to operations by Serbian police in autumn 1998 the Kosovo Liberation Army was almost completely destroyed, including the Abu Bakr Sadiq unit as one of its component parts…however, in 2001, under pressure from the U.S. resulting from the activities of the Albanian-American Civil League (see Wesley Clark’s love letter to this group), they were released along with other Kosovo Liberation Army members.
Abu Bakr Sadiq is presently comprised of some 30 terrorists, including Shpend Kopriva, Muhamed Avdija, Sami Hoti, Alija Hoti, Besim Ismaili, Sami Hoti, Ertan Bitiqi, Ahmet Hoxha, Lulazim Ymeri, Nexhmedin Laush, Arif Krasniqi…
Next, this headline last July from the Macedonian newspaper Vecer (”Evening”) caught my eye, via BBC Monitoring Europe: “Macedonia: Vratnica attack said done by Krasniqi group,” which was soon followed by this headline: Albanian Gunman’s Release Sparks Fury in Macedonia
Macedonia’s government held a special session on September 1 to discuss how an ethnic Albanian who turned a village outside Skopje (Macedonian capital) into a no-go zone for the police was allowed to walk free…Agim Krasniqi and a dozen other armed men have given the government a headache ever since last November, when they took over control of the village of Kondovo, a dozen kilometers from Skopje [capital], effectively turning it into a safe haven for criminals from Macedonia and Kosovo.
Police issued warrants for his arrest after he ignored a court summons for hearings over charges that included theft, kidnapping and illegal possession of weapons.
But Krasniqi remained defiant, warning that if the police approached the village he would retaliate against Skopje itself with bombs and explosives…It is not clear what happened to the heavy weaponry Krasniqi claimed to hold in the village…In the meantime, Krasniqi can be seen sitting in cafes in the centre of Skopje…
Of course, when it suits his purposes, Agim Krasniqi is capable of saving the day:
…outside the village of Kondovo in the Summer of 2005, armed men from the Wahhabi camp attacked a car carrying…imams who spoke out against the Wahhabis. In a strange twist, the moderate imams were saved when another armed group, that of Kondovo native and young militant Agim Krasniqi, attacked the Wahhabis.
A Krasniqi also came up in a New York Times article from 1982 by a Marvine Howe, albeit with the alternate “Krasnici” spelling. Note the picture of Kosovo that this article — like all the buried articles from the region throughout the 70s and 80s — paints:
There have been no serious troubles between Serbians and Albanians in Bec [near the Albanian border], but Serbs in some of the neighboring villages have reportedly been harassed by Albanians and have packed up and left the region.
The exodus of Serbs is admittedly one of the main problems that the authorities have to contend with in Kosovo, an autonomous province of Yugoslavia inhabited largely by Albanians.
In June a 43-year-old Serb, Miodrag Saric, was shot and killed by an Albanian neighbor, Ded Krasnici, in a village near Djakovica, 40 miles southwest of Pristina, according to the official Yugoslav press agency Tanyug. It was the second murder of a Serb by an Albanian in Kosovo this year. The dispute reportedly started with a quarrel over damage done to a field belonging to the Saric family…Five members of the Krasnici family have been arrested and investigations are continuing.
(This was back when murders of Serbs were prosecuted; under Serbia, Kosovo still had some semblance of rule of law.)
The authorities have responded at various levels to the violence in Kosovo, clearly trying to avoid antagonizing the Albanian majority. Besides firm security measures, action has been taken to speed political, educational and economic changes.
“The nationalists have a two-point platform,” according to Becir Hoti, an executive secretary of the Communist Party of Kosovo, “first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania.”
The migration of Serbs is no ordinary problem because Kosovo is the heartland of Serbian history, culture and religion. Serbs have been in this region since the seventh century…[Pressures] included personal insults, damage to Serbian graves and the burning of hay, cutting down wood and other attacks on property to force Serbs to leave.
What is special about Pristina is that it has always been Serbs on one side of the street and Albanians on the other. Residents say Albanins have been encroaching on Serbian ‘’territory'’ since the disturbances.
After the crackdown on Albanian nationalists — about 300 have been sentenced — they are said to have changed tactics, moving to the villages, where there is less security control. In some mixed communities, there were reports of farmers being pressured to sell their land cheap and of Albanian shopkeepers refusing to sell goods to Serbs.
This has been the short list of Krasniqis. At an event in which he was pitching Kosovo to potential investors, the KLA arms smuggler Florin Krasniqi tried to allay the investors’ fears about organized crime running the show in Kosovo. Krasniqi used a quip that I’ve heard used by Russian mafiosos about Russians: Albanians are too disorganized to have “organized crime”. Considering the mayhem they’ve managed “without” organization, imagine what they’ll be capable of when they do, by their standards, get organized. Actually, we won’t have to imagine; we’ll see it in June, in the conflict they’ve been arming for since we did their bidding in ‘99: unilaterally declaring independence, and war, on NATO and the UN.
Islamic Jihad official threatens to fight in Bosnia “again”
BBC Monitoring Europe (Political) - March 19, 2007 Monday
Excerpt from report by Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA
Sarajevo, 19 March: A senior Islamic Jihad official, Ali Abu-Shahin, has said that members of this Palestinian militant organization will, if necessary, fight in Bosnia-Hercegovina [B-H] again.
In an interview for the Bosnian edition of [Croatian newspaper] Vecernji list, Abu-Shahin admitted that Islamic Jihad was directly involved in helping “our brothers Muslims in that country” since the start of the war in [Bosnia-Herzegovina].
“Apart from the financial help and weapons, we sent them fighters who with their lives gave the greatest contribution to that struggle. This is our pride, and if something like this is necessary again, we shall be available,” Abu-Shahin said…
Abu-Shahin says this Palestinian faction is not surprised by the ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which absolved Serbia of guilt for genocide in Srebrenica.
“Even during the war, our brothers who fought in B-H met Alija Izetbegovic [Bosnian Muslim war-time leader] and told him that these were not conflicts with Chetniks [Serbs], as it was said then, but that behind this was the international community which wanted to eradicate Muslims in Bosnia,” Abu-Shahin said.
And let’s not forget about this June, 2005 item:
Balkan Islamists Sponsored the Act of Terrorism in Israel
On December 5 a Palestinian suicide bomber exploded in the Israeli city of Netanya. As a result of that…terrorism, 5 Israelis died, 95 were wounded…According to the data from the investigators, radical Islamic organization Al-Asifa from the Balkans is involved in this terrorist act. It unites Slavic adherents of the Islamic fundamentalism and natives of the Arab countries, who settled in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and in Croatia after the 1992-95 war. According to the Israeli secret services, during this war the major part of the present members of Al-Asifa served in the “Al - Mojahid” and “Kataeb Talaat Yasin” divisions. They were a part of the Bosnian Muslim army (by the way, Israel secretly supported the Bosnian Serbs at that time).
To again quote retired Boston Herald columnist Don Feder:
When Zionists start caring about the fate of Serbs in Kosovo, when Hindus support Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (designated the West Bank), when Serbs stand up for Indian Kashmir, then we will begin making progress.
Below is just some additional text on the first item, from a fuller translation of the Bosnian-Croatian article:
Palestinian Islamic Jihad to Fight for Bosnia if Necessary
[Interview with Ali Abu-Shahin, senior official of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, by Haasan Haidar]
Islamic Jihad is a Palestinian militant group whose members have carried out the highest number of suicide attacks on the Israelis. They are once again in the spotlight following the release of their proclamation condemning the international community for exonerating Serbia from the Srebrenica genocide. In the proclamation Islamic Jihad also threatens the United States and its interests in the world because it has offered a five-million dollar award for any information about Ramadan Shalal, the secretary-general of the Islamic Jihad movement.
Ali Abu-Shahin is a senior official of Islamic Jihad, who lives in hiding and with a high level of protection over fear of Israeli retribution. In an exclusive interview for Vecernji list, Abu-Shahin openly talked about the role of Islamic Jihad in the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina and his movement’s attitude to the statement by Pope Benedict XVI. He admitted that Islamic Jihad would never stop their suicide attacks, despite a possible Palestinian-Israeli peace solution.
[Haidar] Of all Palestinian factions, you are the only one that issued a proclamation condemning the international community for acquitting Serbia of genocide in Srebrenica. How come other Palestinian factions have not made a statement?
[Abu-Shahin] Others are of no concern to us. From the outset of the aggression against Bosnia-Hercegovina we were directly involved in helping our Muslim brothers in that country…
[Haidar] May we understand your statement as a public confession that the Islamic Jihad had taken part in the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina?
[Abu-Shahin] We have never denied taking part in that war. I repeat - if necessary, and despite the difficult situation that Islamic Jihad is in today, we would again do the same thing. When Islam needs to be defended, it does not matter whether this is in Iraq, Palestine, Bosnia, Afghanistan, or any other place.
German judge stirs protest by citing Quran
Experts, Muslim leaders condemn ruling that agrees a Muslim husband may beat his wife
FRANKFURT, GERMANY — A German judge has stirred a storm of protest by citing the Quran in turning down a German Muslim’s request for a speedy divorce on the ground that her husband beat her.
…the judge, Christa Datz-Winter, noted that the couple came from a Moroccan cultural milieu, in which it is common for husbands to beat their wives. The Quran, she wrote in her decision, sanctions such abuse.
The ruling was condemned by politicians, legal experts and Muslim leaders in Germany, many of whom said they were confounded that a German judge would put seventh-century Islamic religious teaching ahead of German law in deciding a case of domestic violence.
The court in Frankfurt removed Datz-Winter from the case on Wednesday, saying it could not justify her reasoning…Muslim leaders agreed that Muslims living here must be judged by the German legal code…
Point being: Don’t you get it, Westerners? We decide when, where and how Sharia is to be implemented in your societies — not you!
I nominate Datz-Winter for the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s a rare thing indeed to find someone willing to put her job on the line to make a point that will ultimately benefit society, such as the point Datz-Winter was making here. The indignant legal experts and politicians are missing that point: Datz-Winter is setting a very important precedent, one cemented by this clear, concise reaction, so let’s put it on the record:
“Every so often, there are individual rulings that seem completely incomprehensible,” [Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries] said.
The mass-circulation Bild daily asked in a front-page article: “Where are we living?” The left-leaning Tageszeitung headlined its Thursday edition: “In the name of the people: Beating allowed.”
“The legal and moral concepts of Sharia have nothing to do with German jurisprudence,” Wolfgang Bosbach, a lawmaker with the Christian Democrats, told N24 television. “One thing must be clear: In Germany only German law applies. Period.”
Ronald Pofalla, the party’s general secretary, told Bild: “When the Quran is put above the German constitution, I can only say: Good night, Germany.”
Representatives of Germany’s Muslim population were also critical of the ruling. The country’s Central Council of Muslims said that the judge “absolutely should have ruled in line with the German constitution.”
Now if only they could remember this on days when they’re trying to incorporate Sharia into our systems.
Let’s look just one more time at one line from the first item:
The ruling was condemned by politicians, legal experts and Muslim leaders in Germany, many of whom said they were confounded that a German judge would put seventh-century Islamic religious teaching ahead of German law in deciding a case of domestic violence.
What’s this? All of a sudden, the Koran isn’t good enough? It’s not the “perfect book” anymore? Now it’s just a seventh-century “relic,” as some Muslims are now calling the passage? Next thing you know, they’ll be flushing Korans down the toilet.
Last week, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that the day before 18 year-old Sulejman Talovic killed Mormons in Utah, he told his girlfriend that
“something is going to happen tomorrow that you’ll never be able to forgive me about,'’ the 17-year-old remembers Talovic saying. “He said it was supposed to be the happiest day of his life and that it could only happen once in a lifetime.”
In case that doesn’t sound convincingly Islamic enough, consider that Sulejman’s favorite movie was “Malcolm X”. Or consider the lie he told his girlfriend:
Monika said Talovic described hiding in the woods over a period of three years, lying face down in the dirt to avoid watching as Serbs decapitated countrymen nearby. He told Monika of seeing people shot in the head or stomach. He did witness killings, his aunt said.
Hmm, Christians decapitating Muslims? It’s possible, but it could be projection: While the public has seen pictures and videos of people shot by Serbs, what has not been circulated to the public is any of the videos of beheadings, eye-gougings, disembowelment and other mutilations of Serbs by Bosniaks. So as usual, there is some projection going on. (On Passover every year, the Palestinian Authority broadcasts a movie in which a Jew slits an Arab boy’s throat to get the Christian blood he needs to make the matzo. Of course, we know who does the throat-slitting in reality.)
But that’s actually not the big lie here. The big lie concerns the fact that Talovic told his girlfriend that he and his family were hiding in the woods for three years when, according to all previous accounts by Talovic family members, the family left Talovici for Srebrenica in 1993 and arrived in Tuzla later the same year.
But lo and behold, it seems the selfsame family members are changing their stories to the more dramatic:
The aunt recalls hiding with the Talovic family in the woods. Eventually, the family left, walking hundreds of miles toward a free zone in Tuzla. On the way, they slept on the floor of schoolhouses without blankets. Talovic’s grandfather was fatally shot. An infant brother and sister died.
First, notice that the family is still playing around with the plotline that the grandfather was shot — as opposed to his dying from a mortar shell, as the Talovics originally were saying — and now the location scouting for Grandpa’s death has moved to the woods as opposed to Srebrenica. (Original post on Grandpa is here.)
Secondly, the family didn’t walk from Srebrenica to Tuzla, but got a ride on a UN convoy.
And the plot thickens still: If what Sulejman told his girlfriend was true, specifically the part about an infant brother and sister dying along the way, it means that the Talovics had six kids — as opposed to the three daughters and one son they’d had up until now. They got themselves another two kids to kill off in the storyline.
How can there have been six children when it was originally reported that “Young Sulejman, his three siblings, his mother Sabira and grandfather made the difficult journey on foot to Srebrenica…” Where are the other two siblings at this early point in the family’s war saga?
It could still be true, and Sulejman’s aunt Ajka Omerovic confirmed that the girl died before the war and the boy died during. But it’s strange that we’re only hearing about these two dead kids now that the family has had time to think — considering that this is exactly the kind of painful-history detail the family would have reached for early on, when they were pulling out all the sympathy stops as soon as they learned that their boy had killed five Americans.
There does, for now, seem to be a more forthcoming relative. Perhaps it’s because Sulejman kept assaulting this guy’s son, Sulejman’s cousin. Nasir Omerovic, who is separated from Sulejman’s aunt Ajka Omerovic,
disputes family members’ description of Talovic as a good child who rarely caused trouble…Omerovic said Talovic often tormented his son Safer, who was two years younger. Within the first few months of living on Edmonds Place, Omerovic said, Talovic grabbed Safer by the throat and choked him.
On another occasion, he said, Talovic packed a snowball with broken glass and threw it at Safer’s head, drawing blood. “For Sulejman, that was a game…All the trouble he was making, it was just a game.”
This is all in addition to pulling a knife on the landlord, throwing rocks at one girl, and swiping a knife at another one. But back to the Trib article:
Suljo Talovic was a kind father who was reluctant to acknowledge his son’s problems, Omerovic said. “He never punished his boy for his troubles,” he said. “Every time he blamed somebody else.”
Hmm, blaming someone else…that doesn’t sound too Muslimy either.
Something else that the media are gliding over is mentioned in passing in this item from Salt Lake Tribune. Apparently, several weeks before the shootings, Talovic had told his cousins that he got one of the guns from a member of the Crips gang, which he was allowed to join once he removed a SWASTIKA TATTOO from his arm.
Six weeks before his deadly rampage at Trolley Square mall, Sulejman Talovic proudly showed three young relatives the 12-gauge shotgun, .38-caliber revolver and black backpack of ammunition he had collected.
None of the three teenagers, skeptical of Talovic’s claim that he was “hustling” for a local gang, thought to alert Talovic’s parents or police.
[He told them] that he got the revolver from another member of the Crips gang; and that he used a knife to remove a swastika tattoo on his arm in order to join the gang. Talovic said he planned to sell the guns.
Like the weapons that the parents claimed to not know about, and the record of juvenile violence that they dismiss, did Sulejman’s parents not know about the swastika tattoo either? The one on his ARM? Even if Sulejman was lying about this tattoo to his cousins, the fact that he claimed to have had it is significant in itself.
On his blog, Salt Lake Tribune photographer Trent Nelson, who accompanied reporter Lisa Rosetta to an intimate interview with Monika, mentions the following tidbit from Monika’s mother:
She told how she was alone with her two children, and how men threatened to cut off her daughter’s head. She told how men put out their cigarettes on her 6-month-old baby’s neck. I had heard a lot of similar stories from the wars in Yugoslavia. After a trip to the Balkans in 2000, I read everything I could get my hands on. But hearing it in person is always more harrowing tha[n] you can imagine.
It’s tales like these and those of the Talovics that are the classic Muslim embellishments that were flying around the Balkans throughout the 90s and that thousands of reporters swallowed, then regurgitated for us to swallow. This is a microcosmic replay of what happened then: reporters dutifully taking down and printing every tall tale by Bosnian (and later Albanian) Muslims, no questions asked, while blocking out equally horrific tales from Serbs that would have given some context to the civil wars and the crackdowns.
But for the Balkans, all reporter skepticism and fact-checking were set aside, and there was no putting two and two together. Did this photographer even bother to ask to see the cigarette burn marks on the aforementioned child’s neck, before repeating it to us? I’d be floored if he did, as it would be a first for Balkans-related reporting.
Certainly some of the stories were true, but when only some are true, and the other side’s similarly horrific stories are dismissed wholesale because you were instructed ahead of time as to who the designated victim was, does it justify an intervention on behalf of one of those two sides? Oh what a different picture might emerge if we could be given a glimpse of the unprinted portions of reporters’ 1990s notebooks.
This is the reporting phenomenon that Peter Brock covers in his riveting book Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting, in which he mentions that only a handful of journalists later admitted to feeling disillusioned about the Balkans conflict. To my knowledge, there is only one reporter who publicly stepped forward to admit having been a dupe for the Muslims — in this case the Albanian Muslims of Kosovo. Her name is Nancy Durham, and she was working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation at the time. She wrote an article about it for the October, 1999 issue of Brill’s Content, titled “Casualties of War.” Below are excerpts from the breathtaking article, a snapshot of a conflict, which so far does the most to explain how the free world came to align itself with al Qaeda at a time when it was already our chief adversary. (All bolded emphasis is mine; the actual pages of the original Brill’s Content article are here, here, here and here.)
My experience in Kosovo over the last year and a half has introduced me to a type of propaganda that I have never encountered before, at least as far as I know. Because of that, I have learned a lesson: Taking time to get to know the people in your stories, and making a point of following up on stories, which I do, means you might actually find the truth–and discover that what came before it was a lie.
While I certainly wasn’t the only reporter in the place at the time [September, 1998], it was definitely not the story of the day. Monica was…While I wasn’t thinking about it at the time, my being there in those desperate days made me very attractive to the Albanian Kosovars, whose plight was far from the top of the news agenda.
On this journey, I traveled to Shale, in Drenica (a Kosovo Liberation Army stronghold), with an Albanian Kosovar doctor, Shpetim Robaj. He took me there to show me a KLA field hospital. One week after our visit, Shpetim was killed when a landmine exploded under his Red Cross vehicle…
Shale is where I first met Rajmonda Rreci, who was then 18. She was a patient in the KLA hospital at the time, pale and weak and attached to an intravenous drip. She told me she had just seen her eight-year-old sister Qendresa killed in a Serb attack on her village.
When we first met, Rajmonda and I only had a few minutes together. She told me in a voice filled with anger and conviction that she might join the KLA as a result of what had happened to her family…
The following week, I returned to London to assemble my story about Shpetim. My report was shown around the world in about a dozen countries that I know of, including Germany, Sweden, Italy the Netherlands, and Australia; in the United States, CBS Evening News used my pictures to tell Shpetim’s story. Kosovo was sneaking back into the news. Viewers were moved by Shpetim’s warmth and humor in the midst of adversity and distressed by his untimely death. Although Rajmonda made only a brief appearance, she too made an impact. People were struck by her conviction to avenge the murder of her sister. So three months later, in December, I returned to Shale to look for her.
After a harrowing search, I found Rajmonda at the KLA’s Drenica mountain headquarters. As twilight capped the summit, we stood together shivering in the forest while she gave a riveting interview. Here was a beautiful 18-year-old girl in a soldier’s uniform, cradling a Kalashnikov rifle that she described as being “just like one member of my family. This is for me everything…because he have the power that I don’t have.”
…Before I left, I said I’d like to see her little sister’s grave. “Even I don’t know where it is,” she said. I asked her what Qendresa’s death meat to her. Rajmonda replied, “It’s so really, really hard. But I am — sometimes, I am so lucky that my sister was only seven years old — six years old — and she had a chance to give her blood for this land.”
This is when the first faint feeling of doubt flickered through my brain. In September, Rajmonda had told me her sister was eight. Was it just her command of English that tripped her up? I made a note to check her age in my notes.
Since there was no grave to visit, I pursued the idea of going to her hometown. “Why not?” she cheerfully asked. A picture of her house — whether it was still standing or in ruins — would do. It didn’t even really matter if no one was home. I could talk to a neighbor, a teacher — anyone at all who could inform me about the life of a girl who had come to treat a Kalashnikov as a family member.
I asked Visar, my fixer — my translator, driver, and all-around guide — to ask Rajmonda for directions to Skenderaj. They talked for a bit, in Albanian of course, when suddenly Rajmonda had a change of heart. She now said it could endanger her family for me to go to them. I offered to skip the family interviews if that made her feel better, and just take pictures of the neighborhood, but she wouldn’t budge. Visar also insisted it was too dangerous. Once again, I felt slight pangs of suspicion. Why didn’t Rajmonda want me to see her hometown? Her insistence was puzzling.
For now, I would have to let it go. No grave, no village, no more Rajmonda for that visit.
I went back to London and told her story. It was a report about a gun-toting girl soldier who saw her small sister die. It was beamed around the world, just like the first installment. CBS news featured her. Stephanie Nolen of The Globe and Mail in Toronto saw Rajmonda on CBC and told me she found her “so real…she was such a child, and yet she had skills and ideas and plans and a sort of mission that’s utterly foreign to what I know of [teenage] girls….Was it her sister who was killed? What more primal reason would there be for picking up a gun?” After my report aired on Channel 4 News in Britain, the editor, Jim Gray, declared that the story was the “tastiest morsel” on the show that night.
In June, when the war ended, I returned to Kosovo to look once again for Rajmonda. I learned that she had indeed survived and was still at KLA headquarters on the mountain in Drenica. I found her on her day off at the logistics house. She was very warm and, I thought, happy to see me. She spoke about death and how she had thought it was coming to her in one particular battle; how the soldiers sang together to give themselves power; and how killing the enemy was hard at first, but then “you only want to kill, to kill him because you know what he done to your family.” She told me how she was committed to the struggle for complete independence for Kosovo, yet yearned to behave like a teenager while she still was one. And once again I asked her about her feelings for her sister, Qendresa. She said that sometimes “you have to lose something that you love, you really love, to have the freedom.”
The following day I found her in a university dorm in Prizren, a city in the south, that had been taken over by the KLA. She was dressed in the all-black uniform of the new KLA special-police unit…She told me that she had learned her family was alive and safe in Albania. She also offered me a surprise element to her story. She said she had in fact been an agent for the KLA in the summer of 1998 — before she met me — and she told me that as an agent, she had been used to spy on Serb policemen. She dressed up and flirted with them, speaking excellent Serbian, she said, adding that she wore a wireless microphone for these operations and had a code line like “it’s time to move” to let the KLA know when to pounce.
It was chilling listening to her describe her work. And it was unsettling, too, because her story was beginning to unravel. If she had lied to me about being a KLA agent, what else had she lied to me about? I blurted out, “Qendresa did really die, didn’t she?” “Oh, yes,” she said.
By now, I had more than a gnawing feeling about the whole story. Something wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what. I did know, however, that the Yugoslav army had just withdrawn from her hometown, and it was now finally safe to go there. So when Rajmonda and I parted, I made my plans to go to Skenderaj, to see for myself what I could find.
The next day, Donat, my fixer during this trip, and I drove from rubble house to rubble house until we were directed to Llaushe, a village on the edge of Skenderaj, where the Rreci clan was supposed to live…At the end of the road, we found a few members of the Rreci clan hanging around in a burned-out shell of a house. They knew Rajmonda and her family. No, they had not gone to Albania, as Rajmonda had said. We were sent on to a squat bungalow, slightly odd looking in that it appeared untouched by war.
Please, someone be home. We knocked. A child answered. A beautiful, dark-haired, sparkly-eyed little girl. I asked Donat to ask her her name.
“Qendresa,” she beamed.
I found myself in the ludicrous position of having a sick, sinking feeling because a delightful nine-year-old child was alive. I was horrified, stupefied. Qendresa’s mother, Bahrije, came to the door. She recognized me — from my videotapes, I suppose. She spoke my name before I could introduce myself and she seemed a little nervous. We wasted no time in getting to the question: Uh, Qendresa, isn’t she supposed to be, uh, not here?
Bahrije quickly offered the explanation that Rajmonda had got her sister’s name wrong and that actually it was another sister, “Dafina,” who died in the war. But her story was sloppy and not even close to Rajmonda’s version. She said “Dafina” was killed in shelling in the woods, while Qendresa was supposed to have died in a fleeing convoy. The dates were wrong, the names were wrong. I could see there was no Dafina at all! It stunk. I had to admit I’d fallen victim to a lie. My story was no longer a true one, and the reports that had aired in cities around the world repeated the lie.
The next morning, Donat and I headed back to Rajmonda’s new headquarters at Prizren for a confrontation. I was a nervous wreck by the time she appeared. A teenage girl I thought I knew had my reputation in her hands. She’d lied to me — but why?
I found her and asked her that very question. She said that last summer, five days before we met, she was told that a girl who fit Qendresa’s description had been killed. She claimed that the doctors — both Shpetim and another doctor at the filed hospital — encouraged her to tell me her sister was dead as though it were fact. Rajmonda admitted that by December, she knew without doubt that Qendresa was alive…She says everyone told her the same thing, that lots of girls lost their little sisters and didn’t have the chance to give an interview, so she should do it for them.
I returned to London with a bag of tapes but in a complete fog as to how to use them. Initially, I thought I could salvage my story. I would just have to find a way to let viewers know a fundamental part of it was nonsense! But the more I looked at the tapes and attempted to work with them, the more I wondered who else had lied. I had completely lost heart. I turned to my colleagues, who saw much faster than I that I must return to Kosovo and approach the story afresh. Kelly Crichton, executive producer of CBC’s The National Magazine, listened quietly to my saga. When I was done, she told me I potentially had an even better story: If I could turn it into a story of war propaganda, I stood to be seen as an “older, wiser, more brave and honest reporter.”
It has taken me several weeks to begin to feel once again engaged as a journalist and to regain my interest in this troublesome story. I was helped by a visit to Shpetim’s sister Aferdita and her husband, Faton, Kosovar exiles in London. They were deeply sympathetic but honest enough, too, to admit that the lie probably did help their cause. Faton explained that my story came when “no one from the West believed our suffering. After the propaganda the world said, ‘Oh, the doctor died, and the sister died.’…Now everyone knows the suffering, a year ago they did not.” But the weakness of propaganda is not lost on Faton, either. “This story you tell now will be very good for Serbs. This is how Albanians are. They lie. But thanks God we have plenty of real tragedies and Rajmonda’s lie is going to be nothing.”
I often think of the human misery and suffering I witnessed in Kosovo last summer. The people hiding in the forests, the villages on fire. Why would anyone feel the need to make up or exaggerate death? And then I remember the very last time I saw Shpetim. He was crying. He wasn’t acting. He had seen terrible things. That September, there were few reporters around. The place really was on fire. I saw the smoke…
Yes, Nancy, they were suffering: they were suffering for their cause — one that they set in motion and were willing to sacrifice for: a nationalistic land grab that will be attached to Albania along with parts of Macedonia, Greece, southern Serbia, and Montenegro — all places that the Albanians moved on to terrorize, without skipping a beat after we helped them terrorize the Serbs.
Even though she was lied to by the Albanian side, and even though she heard the stories about how the KLA were assassinating Serb police and government officials, this reporter held to the program: the bad guys were the Serbs. Did she ever do that story about war propaganda? Perhaps if she had, we wouldn’t be looking at the very near possibility that we will once again be siding with al Qaeda against the Serbs this year so as to wash our hands of Kosovo.