June 09th 2010 05:47:16 PM
Will Evangelicals Working in Kosovo STILL Tell Pat Robertson to not Worry about Kosovo’s Christians?Posted by Julia Gorin
In a follow-up to yesterday’s post about the five Wahhabis (mixed Albanian and Bosnian) who were arrested two weeks ago in Prizren, Kosovo, we have this cry for help from an Albanian pastor in Kosovo:
Within the last couple of months, Christians in Kosovo have been victims of what has been described as the increasing influence of radical Muslim groups.
In an e-mail obtained by ASSIST News Service, Pastor Artur Krasniqi said a church member from a town in the western part of the country was recently brutally beaten. [He’s a tax collector who, the Wahhabis found out, gave out bibles.]
In addition, Krasniqi added, one of his church’s buildings in Prishtina was recently vandalized.
In addition to the attacks, Krasniqi said, he is worried about Islamic influence. He said, “Muslim radicalization of our country has become our serious concern, as it will impact not only our democratic values and freedoms but our safety and well being too.”
Krasniqi asked that those concerned about the plight faced by his fellow believers write to both the Prime Minister and President of Kosovo expressing their concerns.
One American special police investigator recalls how, in early 2006, several wanted men — North African Islamists — with passports from a Western European country were sheltered in a Kosovo apartment belonging to local Islamic fundamentalists. “A police buddy and I staked out this building, and interviewed some people,” he said. “We had photos and good information that showed these guys should be dealt with. You think anyone [in UN Mission in Kosovo] cared? No chance. Why do you think I’m leaving?”
Further, the officer charged that the Kosovo Albanian government leaders — the same ones that, according to Jane’s [Intelligence Review], are supplying the United States with “intelligence” on Islamic extremists in the province — have blocked investigations and staffed the civil administration with the often underqualified friends and relatives of known Islamists. “The Kosovo Department of Justice won’t act on [counterterrorist information], because the people inside the institution are from the ‘other side.’ It’s very frustrating — and a very dangerous thing for the future.” Michael Harrison [UNMIK Field Coordinator for Protection of Minorities] refers to another case later in 2006, in which an undercover investigator from a Central European country posed as a mafia figure interested in buying rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) from an Albanian Islamist. “No one cared. No one [in UNMIK] gives a shit. We have terrorists here, and the Wahhabis coming in from everywhere. Instead of doing something about it, you have the Germans donating 30 tons of weapons for Kosovo’s future army, the TMK, now in storage.” Tom Gambill [ex-security chief for OSCE] added in the fall of 2006 that a NATO internal map from 2003 listing some 17 illegal paramilitary and terrorist training camps was “still currently valid, to the best of my knowledge.”
Anyway, here’s that picture again of the Albanian Christian who was beat up by the Kosovo Wahhabis. Gee, none of us saw this coming on on March 24, 1999, did we!
Shall we make a wager on whether this church member, and his pastor, were supporters of Kosovo’s illegal and violent separation from Serbia? Then again, perhaps they were members of the silent Albanian minority that knew what was coming but was rendered powerless to speak out after the “freedom” we brought to their province under the stewardship of the KLA.
For the most part, however, all were on board willingly. Certainly the Albanian diaspora waving American and Albanian flags on Feb. 17, 2008 in Times Square, and cheering the KLA from a seemingly luxurious distance, were on board. But since we’re on the subject of Protestant pastors, let me say that I’ve often wondered why the Pat Robertsons, Jerry Falwells and Pastor Hagees of the world dropped the ball on Kosovo. Why was the safety of the Christians there not on the agenda of the evangelicals and other Christian sects?
So in 2005 I asked about it. I asked a reader/fan of mine at JewishWorldReview.com, named Drew Parkhill, who worked for Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network and whom I was in touch with via email. I asked whether Kosovo, in danger of impending independence, could be brought to the attention of Pat Robertson, what with the annihilation that Christians faced there. I promptly never heard from the otherwise chatty fellow again.
But the following year there was an unexpected ray of hope (perhaps my plea hadn’t fallen on deaf ears after all?), when this Financial Times article came out in October 2006: “US Evangelists “join campaign to keep Kosovo within Serbia’.” However, yesterday I found out from Jim Jatras what it was that, predictably, happened with all that:
After Bishop Artemije visited with Pat Robertson and with Jerry Falwell’s operation, there were some news stories about American evengelicals taking a pro-Serbian view on Kosovo. This resulted in some evangelicals claiming to work in Kosovo writing to Robertson and ciruculating blogs that our info was wrong, that Christians are free to evengelize in Kosovo, that Kosovo Albanians love Americans, are tolerant, blah blah blah. Even to the extent they were lying then, now the truth comes out.
So, as usual, the prevailing propaganda prevailed again, this time upon the otherwise propaganda-immune Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, whose help Kosovo really could have benefited from. And, from the looks of it, whose help some Albanians are going to wish they had, even if at the time it would have seemed like the opposite of help.
So now, according to Pastor Krisniqi, Albanian churches are being vandalized. It’s not just those medieval “symbols of Serbian repression during the Milosevic era” that are vulnerable in the New Kosovo? Who could have seen THAT coming!
Enjoy your “independent” “Kosova,” Albanian supremacists.
But just to be clear. This incident, like other Wahhabi “nuicances” in the Kosovo we helped win, is not an intentional function of the Albanian supremacists that stole Serbian land via terror. Indeed, the vast majority of Albanians are NOT happy with these developments. But as I’ve said before, when you make a deal with the devil, he will collect his due. And as Jim Jatras has said before, “national” movements are almost always hijacked by jihad — regardless of how “moderate” or “nominal” the area’s Muslims are. WE ALREADY KNEW THIS AT THE TIME WE SIGNED ON TO “HELP.” That ‘help,’ meanwhile, is what opened the floodgates.
For those still laughing at the notion of an independent Kosovo becoming an extremist foothold in Europe, Chris Deliso underscores repeatedly in his book that the Wahhabis don’t care what the Balkan Muslims’ conception of Islam is or what their conception of themselves is. How these secular Muslims dress and eat today is of no consequence. Tomorrow will be different. Their opinion “is not important to the movement’s deep-pocketed foreign funders, who can, and do, throw around millions without a second thought,” Deliso writes, adding:
Albanians, whether from Albania, Kosovo, or Macedonia, have scoffed at the idea of a major religious fundamentalist incursion in their midst. So have their Western yes-men. The West heavily backed the Kosovo Liberation Army during the NATO bombing, despite the presence of mujahedin in its ranks, and for Western publics to suspect that this cause has been muddled up with an Islamist one would amount to a public relations disaster for both Clinton-era political veterans and for the Albanians themselves. Indeed, it would call into question the entire rationale for Western intervention in Kosovo.
Although both then and now the vast majority of Muslim Albanians are neither radical nor pro-Arab, as in Bosnia, a small but stubborn Wahhabi movement was being established. This, the unsurprising result of a decade of Islamist infiltration of the economic and religious spheres of society, would eventually become powerful enough to challenge the mainstream Islamic leadership — a trend that has been noted in every single Balkan country that has been penetrated by foreign Islamist interests.
[W]hile most Balkan residents feel their countries are hardly worth the trouble for Islamic radicals, this view ignores the reality that the Islamists are simply biding their time and cleverly adapting to the prevailing social conditions, in order to strengthen their position. Then, when the demographics and other salient factors are in place, the real battle for dominance will begin.
So that’s what Albanians are dealing with now. A September 30, 2007 headline by writer Tejinder Singh encapsulates the connection:
“Wahhabism tightening grip over Kosovo”
Ahtisaari’s plan for independence may help terrorism flourish:
…[O]ver the last decade, especially now with the talk of Kosovo independence, there are questions being raised about the external influence in once-tranquil religious relations…[Wahhabism]has been rearing its ugly head of intolerance in the Balkans starting from Bosnia a decade ago. With the recent manifestation of its hardcore modus operandi in Kosovo, which has more than a 90 percent Muslim population, the ongoing impact of Wahhabism demands serious attention.
It will not be long after the “independence” of Kosovo that the Kosovoan version, of “Muttawa,” the religious police since 1926 of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia that enforces prayer five times a day, monitors mobile SMS and arrests women for failing to cover themselves completely, will be a reality on the streets of Kosovo. One look at the local media reports in Kosovo and neighbouring arena will suffice to convince any sceptic about the dangers of Wahhabism form of Islam. The UN and Kosovo police in the southern part of the divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica on September 19 arrested one of the leaders of the Wahhabite movement in southern Serbia and Kosovo, according to local media reports.
According to these reports the arrested man was Bajram Aslani, allegedly the main Kosovo connection with the recently arrested Wahhabi group in Novi Pazar, Southern Serbia. The local reports suggested that the Belgrade Special prosecution for Organised crime on September 14 pressed charges against a group of 15 Wahhabites from Novi Pazar for terrorism and unlawful possession of arms.
Some of the defendants were arrested near Novi Pazar on March 16 and large quantities of weapons, ammunition and explosives were found during the operation. Moreover, in late April reports stated that in the village of Donja Trnava near Novi Pazar, the police had a clash with two Wahhabis, which resulted in the killing of one of them, Ismail Prentic, and the wounding of one police officer.
Two recent explicit cases involving Wahhabis in Kosovo can be put forward in addition to everyday media reports of Wahhabis being arrested, exchanging fire with law-enforcing agencies or simply taking over mosques that have been there for hundreds of years in Turkish style and converting them to conform to Wahhabi way of architecture and worship. The first case is in the Gazimestan area which has historic values with a famous medieval battlefield dating back to 1389, stretching from Pristina to Mitrovica. In addition to the remains of Serbian Prince Lazar and Ottoman Sultan Murad, there in the vicinity are two shrines called “Turbe” existing for hundreds of years and have never got disturbed until recently when these were vandalised.
According to local reliable sources who wanted to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, it was allegedly the work of Wahhabis as they believe tombs should not be kept as shrines.
Another important case that did stir strong local resentment happened in Prizren…[with] a Mosque, more than 350 years old from the days of Ottoman Empire. According to local sources, the mosque was getting refurbished with Saudi money and the new Imam allegedly preaches Wahhabism. The local Muslim population is disgruntled with the actions of the new Imam who without consultations first made living quarters for himself as an extension of the ancient Mosque and then replaced “irreplaceable” decorative wooden work on the inside ceiling and other parts with new aluminium frames thus the Mosque lost forever its historic heritage.
Another practice that is prevalent in Kosovo today is Wahhabis allegedly paying poor people to wear visible signs of Islam. According to local sources the alleged rate today varies from 100 Euro to 300 Euro per month depending on how much of face or body is covered in Islamic clothing.
Money talks and it sure does as is evident with its contribution to the replacement of moderate Islam in Kosovo with the financing of “Islamic studies” trips for youngsters. After a stint of such religious learning abroad in Saudi Arabia or Egypt, lasting around six to 12 months, the youngsters upon returning back in Kosovo sport Islamic beards and robes instead of their jeans.
Watching those alarming signs in Kosovo, socio-religious pundits and political observers warn that slow but steady moderate Islam with its Turkish roots is on its way out and with the talk of independence in Kosovo picking up, soon the days when girls sport western clothes will be history.
It’s time to rethink Kosovo independence: another Taliban in the making and this time right in the heart of European Continent from where it will be easier not only to strike in Europe but also travel across the Atlantic.
Finally, lest we lay blame exclusively at the feet of the Wahhabi phenomenon, we must ask what trend it is among Albanians themselves — particularly those in Macedonia — which these Albanian intellectuals were referring to when they (refreshingly) ambushed the Macedonian-Albanian party leader Menduh/Mendux Taci in October:
Albanian intellectuals attacked the leader of Macedonia’s DPA party in last night’s political debate on Tirana’s popular TV channel Klan…Thaci unexpectedly received a major slap for the behavior of Albanians and ethnic Albanian parties in Macedonia.
“Hatred towards their own country, extreme Islamism, extremely low culture”. These were the quali[ties] which several Albanian intellectuals used in attacking Thaci….According to [writer Maks] Velo, there is a frightening, extreme Islamism among the Albanian parties in Macedonia and it is not a coincidence that DPA’s leader Mendux Thaci is on the U.S. blacklist for years.
“The mosques in the villages in Macedonia seem like Iranian missiles. If the Albanians there can not climb to a higher cultural level of social life, not to discriminate against women, to build civil society, you will never be able to go up against the Macedonians in any way, especially not intellectually. With minarets you are not going in Europe. We must achieve greater cultural and economic level,” said Velo to Thaci who clearly wished he wasn’t there.
Unfortunately, Mr. Velo has the trend backwards. With minarets and low culture, Europe is exactly where they’ll be welcome.