A conspicuous Reuters headline in today’s Washington Post: “Kosovo Islamic leaders join call for independence.” This wouldn’t have anything to do with helping form the eventual caliphate, would it?

Noooooooooo, according to the article, which desperately fishes out distinctions between Muslims and Kosovo Muslims. Note the language used: “In a rare foray into politics, Islamic leaders in Kosovo on Monday added their voice to the Albanian majority’s call for independence from Serbia.”

Nor is the following strident tone opposing any partition of the land or compromise with the Serbian infidel characteristic of Muslims either: “Marking the Eid al-Fitr feast in the capital, Pristina, the head of the Kosovo Islamic community, Mufti Naim Ternava, said independence for the breakaway Serbian province was the only acceptable outcome to talks expected to end within months.”

Just in case we’re wearing our thinking caps, the writer reemphasizes that “Islamic leaders have little influence in Kosovo and rarely venture into politics, contrary to Serbia’s warnings that an independent Kosovo would become a hotbed of extremism in Europe.”

Uh - huh.

Lest we start putting two and two together, the writer wants us to fear Christianity instead: “The Kosovo Albanians’ secularism contrasts with the increasingly vocal role played by the Orthodox Church in Serbia’s politics and society since the country emerged from 50 years of Socialist rule in the 1990s.”

Then: “Most of Kosovo’s two million ethnic Albanians are nominally Muslim, but they are proud of the territory’s secular tradition. This year’s Ramadan passed with little trace of piety.”

As I noted yesterday, it was a very busy Ramadan in Kosovo. Even if it’s not up to snuff compared to the rest of the Islamic world, it was a more pious Ramadan than ever before. And next year it will be more so. And the year after that, more so. Just as this year it was more so than the previous year.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a weekend article from the online Turkish paper Zaman: “Turkish Troops, Kosovans Hand in Hand”:

The Turkish battalion in Kosovo, operating under command of the NATO- led international Kosovo peace force, continues to help Kosovans in many ways. Turkish troops are admired by Kosovans for their help in areas such as health, food distribution and education and they also built and restored many facilities.

They restored the Kirik Mosque, built by the Ottomans when they conquered Kosovo, and built a park around it. Turkish troops also fixed cemeteries and built village roads. …They have built three mosques and three parks across Kosovo so far and organized annual circumcision feasts for needy and homeless children. During Ramadan, Turkish troops delivered dinner to Kosovans and provide stationery goods to students every year through liaison offices.

One wonders what the Turkish NATO troops are doing for the Auschwitz that the handful of Serb-populated enclaves of Kosovo have become.

Now, can you spot a tacit admission contained in the language of this sentence: “Kosovo has been run by the United Nations since 1999, when NATO bombs drove out Serb forces accused of ethnic cleansing and atrocities against Albanians in a two-year war with guerrillas.”

Drum roll, please. The shift in language to the disclaimer accused of marks the first time in seven years that a mainstream report from the region is backtracking on what had previously been represented to us as a given — that NATO bombs put a halt to actual ethnic cleansing and genocide by Serbs, period — no “accused of.” Then again, Reuters is a British news service, and they know better about what did and didn’t happen in the Balkans.

As well, Balkan-update dispatches used to start, more or less, like this: “Lifting themselves up from under the the ash heap of communism, the very secular and very peaceful, not-very-Muslim Albanians are rediscovering their roots and religion and have built a mosque to honor their peaceful religion…” Now, as we can see, these articles are starting with: “In a rare foray into politics, Islamic leaders in Kosovo…” Next they’ll read, “In a rare foray into suicide bombings, the Islamists of Kosovo…”