I had a recent update to the Bosniran phenomenon, but didn’t include a few relevant parts from this August 2012 Jerusalem Post article by Gordon Bardos. The article is helpful also because of the impressive cataloging that Bardos does of Bosnia-connected major terrorist operations, including September 11, 2001:

The Balkans: Militant Islamism’s new front (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 20, 2012)

…In 2010, Serbian police broke up a terrorist cell in the mountainous Sandzak region straddling the border between Serbia and Montenegro planning to attack western embassies in Belgrade.

Long ignored or downplayed by western countries, al- Qaida and Hezbollah surrogates in the Balkans are increasingly important, thanks primarily to Saudi and Iranian financial support and the influence and power it buys. From Skopje to Sarajevo to Novi Pazar, Islamists and Wahhabis are attempting to take over mosques and building their own network of almost extra-territorial, sharia-run villages in remote Balkan areas. According to Malcolm Hoenlein, for radical Islamists Sarajevo, home to the largest Iranian embassy in Europe, is becoming “a jumping-off place, a radicalization place, a crossroads, something like Berlin during the Cold War.”

I have to pause there for a second, to point out the irony that the two interesting factoids in that sentence are coming from Malcolm Hoenlein, vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Who, if readers recall, looked at me like I had two heads sometime in 2000 or 2001, when I said that the poor reception his delegation of Americans concerned about rogue nukes got in Russia could have to do with America’s reduced credibility after what we’d done in Kosovo. But moving on…

The origins of the Islamist/Wahhabi threat to southeastern Europe go back to the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, when the late Islamist president of Bosnia, Alija Izetbegovic, invited militants from the Middle East and Central Asia to join his war effort. In August 1993, Izetbegovic ordered the formation of the Kateebat el-Mujahidin, his own personal al-Qaida “Battalion of Holy Warriors.”

The roster of veterans of Izetbegovic’s Bosnian jihad reads like a who’s who of terrorist all-stars. On September 11, 2001, three of Izetbegovic’s holy warriors – Khalid Sheik Muhammed, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mindhar – planned and participated in the greatest mass murder in American history. Another Izetbegovic jihadi, Juma al-Dosari, was involved in the June 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Riyadh which killed sixteen US citizens.

In August 1998, Izetbegovic jihadi Abdul Rashim al- Nashiri participated in the bombing of the US embassies in Dar es Saalam and Nairobi in which over 400 people were killed; the mastermind of the plot, Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, visited Bosnia shortly before the embassy bombings for a three-day “business trip” on a visa issued by the Bosnian consulate in Turkey.

IN DECEMBER 1999, Bosnian jihadi Ahmed Ressam was apprehended attempting to bomb LAX airport as part of the failed Millenium [sic] Bomb Plot; the document forger for the plot, Karim Said Atmani, was a resident of the Bosnian mujahedeen village of Bocinja Donja.

In October 2000, Izetbegovic army veterans Juma al- Dosari, Ahmed Zuhair, Jamal al-Badawi, Abu Asim al- Makki, and Abd al-Rahim Hussein Mohammed al-Nashiri attacked the USS Cole in Aden Harbor, killing 17 US servicemen.

In February 2002, Izetbegovic jihadi Omar Saeed Sheik was involved in the murder/ritual beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Amer Azizi, the key go-between for al-Qaida’s top leadership and the March 2004 Madrid Train bombers, trained in terrorist camps near the central Bosnian town of Zenica. The list goes on….

[Right. It includes Khalid Sheikh Muhammad’s and Mohamed Atta’s Bosnia connections.]

Moreover, while it is true that Bosnia is not unique in having al-Qaida cells, what does make Bosnia unique is that it is the only country in Europe in which sympathizers, surrogates and collaborators of radical Islamism are in the highest levels of government.

In February 1996, plans to attack NATO installations in Bosnia were discovered at a terrorist training camp near Sarajevo staffed by Iranian instructors. The commandant of the camp was Alija Izetbegovic’s personal intelligence chief. In October 2001, a plot to use aerial suicide bombers to attack US Camp Eagle Base in Bosnia was disrupted.

The airport planned for the operation was controlled by Izetbegovic’s closest political confidant.

During the 1990s, the leading Islamic cleric in Bosnia, Mustafa Ceric, controlled a bank account with, among others, Fatih el Hassanein, a Sudanese national with close ties to Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, the convicted mastermind of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center.

Even today, the head of the security affairs committee in Izetbegovic’s Islamist party is considered one of the main Iranian agents in Bosnia, despite the fact that he is on the US black list of individuals with ties to terrorist groups.

…[Radicals] are also having a severely negative effect on efforts to stabilize inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations in the region. [Didn’t see that coming out of Western intervention!] Catholic nuns in Sarajevo report that they now only go out in pairs for fear of being attacked by Wahhabis, and that Wahhabi-run bakeries refuse to sell them bread – even when it is in plain sight.

Misogyny and anti-Semitism are of course the Islamists’ and Wahhabis’ other favorite pastimes. A few years ago, after Grand Mufti Ceric announced on television that Israeli actions in Gaza were “genocide,” graffiti appeared around Bosnia equating the Star of David with a swastika.

As a correspondent from Der Spiegel reported when visiting the Saudi-funded King Fahd Mosque in Sarajevo run by one of Izetbegovic’s wartime commanders, the obliteration of Israel is heralded in a torrent of words.

“Zionist terrorists,” the imam thunders from the glass-enclosed pulpit at the end of the mosque. “Animals in human form” have transformed the Gaza Strip into a “concentration camp,” and this marks “the beginning of the end” for the Jewish pseudo-state… .

Currently, the Bosnian security minister estimates there are 3,000 potential terrorists in Bosnia alone. Hundreds of others can be found in Kosovo, Macedonia and the Sandzak…Western policymakers have ignored this problem for far too long….

Just a footnote reminder on Ceric. No one noticed that in 2012, this “Balkan-Muslim moderate,” this U.S.-touring “interfaith dialoguer,” was on a short list to lead the Muslim Brotherhood. As Mickey Bozinovich wrote me in October 2012:

Well, our dear friend Mustafa Ceric, chief Imam of Bosnia, is retiring from that position and is being talked of getting a promotion to lead the Islamic Brotherhood! Since Ceric has been proclaimed a “moderate” Muslim, I guess it is the moderates that will lead the vanguard of Jihad.

Saudis and Kuwaitis have been opening Ceric’s doors for a long time, schooling him, and placing him at Harvard and other schools in the US so as to appear a “moderate” and establish a network of friendly media and political figures who need an example of a “moderate” Muslim in order to shield themselves from being accused of anti-Islamic policies. Talk of a Manchurian figure!

In the end, Ceric was not chosen and instead now serves as the head of the World Bosniak Congress. Naturally, on his wikipedia page there is no mention that he was being considered for the Muslim Brotherhood position, but there is mention of all the awards he’s been given by the endless supply of Western suckers who populate and lead this earth. Just two examples: “He was the co-recipient of the 2003 UNESCO Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize[10] and recipient of the International Council of Christians and Jews Annual Sternberg Award ‘for exceptional contribution to interfaith understanding.’[11]..In 2008, Cerić accepted the invitation of Tony Blair to be on the advisory council of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.[15]”

There was an update this past August on the case of Serb-Israeli citizen Aleksandar Cvetkovic, who was wanted by Bosnia for alleged Srebrenica crimes. Unfortunately, his fight ended predictably:

Israel extradites war crimes suspect to Bosnia (AP, Aug 17, 2013)

A former Bosnian Serb soldier accused of taking part in the Srebrenica massacre has been placed into custody to face trial after his extradition from Israel.

Aleksandar Cvetkovic, who fled to Israel and obtained citizenship there, allegedly participated in mass executions of Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995, Bosnia’s war crimes court said Friday.

Cvetkovic was extradited late Thursday after he was arrested by Israeli authorities in 2010. During the extradition process in Israel, the courts rejected all of his appeals.

More than 8,000 males were killed by Serb troops in Srebrenica, the worst massacre in Europe since the Second World War.

That’s their story and they’re sticking to it, as the item’s disseminator, Liz M., said in response to that staple line.

When the publication New Serbian Political Thought reprinted my 2012 Algemeiner article on Cvetkovic, they titled it “Israel and the ‘Genocide’ Bait.” Meaning, the Cvetkovic case was a baited hook intended to score recognition for the Srebrenica myth by having Israel accept it at face value.

Israeli courts took the bait.

Then again, look at the name of the head of the supreme court judge issuing the decision: Selim. Even in Israel, a Serb never had a chance:

Srebrenica suspect loses extradition battle in Israel
(BBC.com, Nov. 29, 2012)

A Serb-Israeli has lost a court battle in Israel to avoid extradition to Bosnia….Aleksander Cvetkovic, a Bosnian Serb with Israeli citizenship, is accused of being part of a military firing squad that allegedly shot up to 1,200 people.

On Thursday, he lost his appeal at Israel’s supreme court.

“I believe the appellant’s extradition is not… a wrong or unjust deed,” wrote the head of the Israeli panel, Selim Jubran, in the ruling.

“Therefore there is no justification in not extraditing him to Bosnia,” he added, his words quoted by AFP news agency.

A spokeswoman for Israel’s justice ministry told AFP this was the first time a genocide suspect had become liable to be extradited.

[Yet another Serb-related judicial first; so many exceptions and precedents made at Serb expense.]

The final authority to order an extradition rests with Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, she said. […]

I guess Yaakov didn’t come through.

No sooner did I post a blog about a Kosovo Albanian in Edmonton, who was still mythologizing his war in Kosovo, than we got an even thicker-layered sob story about Kosovo Albanians in Nebraska.

As Bill Dorich titled his email about this one, “Get out your handkerchief…”

A new American family: After fleeing Kosovo, at home in Nebraska
(Lincoln Journal Star, By Peter Salter, Dec. 25)

They didn’t know what to make of the 200 strangers offering them applause, balloons and teddy bears when they stepped off the TWA flight 14 years ago.

But they had already seen so much. They had hidden and huddled together in dark basements. They were marched at gunpoint through the streets of their own city. They were loaded into train cars and hauled, with other Albanians, out of Kosovo. Like animals.

They lived in a field, sleeping in the mud. They lived in a camp…That changed in late May 1999, when they learned the name of their destination.

Nebraska? They had never heard of such a place. An airman unfolded a map of America and put his finger in the center.

And a few days later, Bahtije Govori and her sons, daughters, daughters-in-law, grandchildren — the same 14 who shared their big home in Kosovo’s capital…landed in Lincoln.

Lincoln was waiting. It had read about the brutality and genocide and ethnic cleansing of Albanians in the late 1990s. Men rounded up and slaughtered, buried and burned in mass graves. Families driven from their homes.

“We had a really happy childhood,” said Tina, now 32. “It was a good life. I had happy memories until the war.”

There it is, again. Happy memories. Until the war. The war that Albanians insisted on, and persisted in, for decades. So, living in Belgrade-run Yugoslavia wasn’t, after all, bad for Albanians, the most subsidized ethnic minority in Yugoslavia.

The change, the tension, came gradually.

The Serbs closed her public school after she finished the fourth grade, so students met with volunteer teachers in a neighbor’s unoccupied home.

There’s that familiar inversion of the Albanian boycott of public institutions. In addition to the recent handling of this here, Bill Dorich wrote to writer Peter Salter the following:

…Before this war the Serbian government provided schools in Kosovo that taught in both Albanian and Serbian. There were 7 Albanian radio stations and a dozen Albanian newspapers in Kosovo. Ms. Govori can pretend that Albanians were persecuted by the Serbs but the fact that the Tito government provided a “form of welfare” unheard of in any communist country speaks volumes about how Albanians were treated. I remind [you] that when the war broke out, more than 90,000 Albanians fled to Belgrade…into the arms of their Serbian enemies?

When Tito granted “autonomy” illegally to the Kosovo Albanians from 1978-1989, Albanian authorities fired every Serbian teacher, judge, doctor, policemen and government official. Albanian authorities banned the Cyrillic alphabet and the Serbian language used by the Serbs since the 8th century. Over 2 million books were burned along with priceless religious manuscripts. Two major Serbian libraries, and two Serbian monasteries went up in smoke. Serbian girls and Serbian nuns were raped and hundreds of Serbian farms were burned in an Albanian effort that forced over 100,000 Serbs to leave Kosovo. This was ten years prior to the current war in 1999.

Back to Mr. Salter’s Christmas-day hack job, 14 years debunked:

…The massacres started in 1998. Led by Slobodan Milosevic, Yugoslav soldiers and Serbian forces were hitting hard, targeting ethnic Albanians.

By early 1999, even Pristina didn’t feel safe. Especially at night. Their home didn’t have a basement, so they’d all gather in a cousin’s house…

That night, they looked out that window and saw the officers marching their way, dressed in black, like a SWAT team.

“We were just running, a bunch of people. Then some people we didn’t even know, they said, ‘Come in here.’ So we went.”

The soldiers came later. A knock on the door, and they were marching through their city, guns pointed at them. They seemed to walk through the day, Tina remembers, more Albanians joining them all the time.

“Eventually, everybody marched together in the main street. We didn’t know where we were going. They just told us to walk.”

The guns led them to a street blocked by tanks, turrets pointed their way.

“This is it,” Hateme said to Tina. “They’re going to shoot us all here.”

They didn’t.

How about that? Lucky thing those gun-pointers weren’t the Albanians’ KLA heroes. Or the family wouldn’t have lived to tell the tale.

They eventually loaded them into a train car, the 14 of them sharing a small cabin. No water, no fresh air, no answers…

“The train would start going and then it would stop. Every time it would stop, you wouldn’t know what to expect.”

Then they were walking again….They ended up in the borderland between Kosovo and Macedonia. They had nothing.

People were dying. Old people, children, who couldn’t hold on long enough for relief supplies — food and blankets — to fall from the sky.

The Govoris made it to the tents of the refugee camp in Macedonia…They told humanitarian workers they wished to go to Canada or Germany, where they had family.

But one day, Fahri found their names on a list, Tina said.

America.

We insist!

…In Lincoln, Curt Krueger was busy. The Catholic Social Services resettlement staffer had learned a big family was waiting at Fort Dix in New Jersey for their new home to be ready.

Fort Dix. That military base that four Albanians wanted to shoot up.

The story the world had been watching — the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo — was about to hit home.

“It was a big thing nationally,” Krueger remembered. “’60 Minutes’ did a story on the ethnic cleansing and it was on the covers of Time and Newsweek. There were stories in the newspaper.”

After a scramble to find and furnish homes, volunteers and reporters gathered at the airport on June 2, 1999.

But they hated their first house, tucked behind a U-Stop at 27th and E, old and dirty….And worse, after surviving so much together, they were split among three rentals: Bahtije and her single children in the house; a son and his family a few blocks to the south; a daughter-in-law and her kids miles away.

“We were all heartbroken when we moved here,” Tina said. “We didn’t know anything and we were all separated.”

Know-nothing Americans. Don’t they understand that Albanians live at least 12 to a house? Which in American-living terms translates into the bare necessity of a mansion.

… “I remember all of a sudden we were taken to this really, really horrible house,” Lena said. “Everything was cracking. We thought it was terrible. And we were depressed; we thought we were going to be stuck in that house.”

If they thought that house was bad, I’ve got a yellow one I can sell them.

So many years later, Georgia Stevens wants to apologize. The resettlement volunteer has long been bothered by their early splitting of the Govori family.

That bitch!

“Oh, my goodness. We put them in three apartments. And they were so far away from each other. I have regretted that for a long time. We were so naïve.”

No apology needed. Bahtije and her children found a better home, closer to their brother’s. And Tina has warm memories of Georgia Stevens. When Tina and her younger brother, Ramush, were given bikes, Georgia followed them in her car all the way down D Street to their English lessons at Park Middle School. Making sure they knew the way.

They celebrate Thanksgiving now. They go all out: turkey, potatoes, beans, stuffing. They’re grateful. […]

The Dorich letter to Mr. Salter adds:

…This article reveals a disgusting truth…14 years after 78 days of bombing and $70 billion in damage to Serbia, journalists…still have a knee-jerk reaction of blaming the Serbs. Not since Hitler has “Collective Guilt” been used so successfully against the Serbian Christians in a Muslim dominated Kosovo.

Today, there are 1.2 million Serbian refugees…this represents twice the combined number of Croatian, Bosnian Muslim and Kosovo Albanian refugees, so it is rather clear who was the most skilled at “ethnic cleansing.” [Mr. Salter] should be ashamed of such ruthless journalism meant to pull at heartstrings while camouflaging the real human rights violations in Kosovo against tens of thousands of Serbian, Roma Gypsies and [other] non-Albanian minorities that exceed 250,000 victims.

In the reply which Mr. Salter was decent enough to write to Mr. Dorich, he wrote:

Mr. Dorich –

I appreciate the letter, and the additional context.

This was a story about one family starting over in Lincoln, Nebraska. I did not intend to advocate, offend, sympathize or gloss over anything. I included their backstory about leaving Kosovo so I could show our paper’s readers what that family remembered going through before they landed here. Again, I was telling just one family’s story – not the story of all Albanians or all Serbians or all the atrocities.

Thanks again for your letter.

Peter Salter

Since Mr. Salter doesn’t think he took any sides, anyone who can succinctly explain to him how his article, like a million others like it, was a bit more damaging and insidious than “just one family’s story,” can email him at psalter@journalstar.com.

Never mind that it was a million of these uncorroborated one-sided tales in 1998-99 that got us on board a jihad in the first place.

******UPDATE******
Oh never mind. I emailed him myself. With the following letter:

Dear Mr. Salter,
…Allow me to explain what was wrong and unfair about your article, which did all of the above: advocated, offended, sympathized, and glossed over. I’ll briefly take you through just the earlier paragraphs of your own article, complete with thickly-laid accentuation, for dramatic effect:

Lincoln was waiting. It had read about the brutality and genocide and ethnic cleansing of Albanians in the late 1990s. Men rounded up and slaughtered, buried and burned in mass graves. Families driven from their homes.

Here you’re recycling pre-war claims and labels which — by the end of 1999 — had been shown to not be based in any fact. Publics from the UK to Germany demanded an accounting from officials such as Robin Cook and Joschka Fischer as to why their countries were dragged into a war on premises of ethnic cleansing and genocide that used grossly inflated numbers. No one ever got an answer. And so, to this day — despite Daniel Pearl’s and others’ findings in the fall of ‘99 that the Yugoslav Army was centering its operations on KLA towns — we’re treated ad nauseum to a fresh round of recycled obsolescence. And no one corrects anyone. Albanians, meanwhile, are all too happy to perpetuate the original perception for gullible Westerners. They’ve even come to believe it themselves, which is why they seem so in earnest when talking about it.

While much trumpeted mass graves like the Trepca zinc mine turned up empty, and roundups like the “stadium concentration camp” didn’t exist, if you want to talk about burnings and mass graves, look up the town of Klecka, where 22 Serbs were killed and burned.

In addition to every newspaper running the story of Kosovo not being ethnic cleansing, much less genocide or even intended genocide, the proceedings at The Hague court reluctantly showed the same. That’s why Bosnia and Croatia indictments against Milosevic were tacked onto the Kosovo indictment. Because there was otherwise nothing there. Milosevic was flushing out KLA. Defense witnesses including Serbs and Albanians testified how everyone was told to stay in their homes or, when too dangerous, to leave but come back after the crossfire was over. Sometimes that latter option was executed indelicately, which is where we got scenes of Albanians being “marched at gunpoint”:

They had hidden and huddled together in dark basements. They were marched at gunpoint through the streets of their own city. They were loaded into train cars and hauled, with other Albanians, out of Kosovo. Like animals. They lived in a field, sleeping in the mud. They lived in a camp…

Considering that the vast majority of refugees had been ordered to leave by the KLA (for the benefit of Western cameras), your pointing the finger at the disproportionately fewer cases of Serb troops doing the marching of Albanians (and for less nefarious purposes) is a distortion.

Ah but you were just faithfully repeating what the family told you. That’s pretty much how we got into the war in the first place. This was the war notorious for “information” being transmitted directly — directly — from Albanian lips to reporters’ notebooks to newspapers. With none of the usual story-vetting processes interfering. I see the tradition continues.

…The Serbs closed her public school after she finished the fourth grade, so students met with volunteer teachers in a neighbor’s unoccupied home.

Naturally, you didn’t check out whether this really was the case, or whether there might not have been an organized Albanian boycott of Yugoslav public institutions, the way separatist movements usually start.

Blood was starting to spill onto other parts of the country, but it was scattered, isolated.

“Country,” Mr. Salter? Province.

The massacres started in 1998. Led by Slobodan Milosevic, Yugoslav soldiers and Serbian forces were hitting hard, targeting ethnic Albanians.

There weren’t “massacres” of Albanians by Serbs, certainly not any that were officially directed. The army and police were ordered to protect civilians. That’s why your favorite Albanian family made it out alive. This was all demonstrated at the international court. And it’s why the staged massacre in the town of Racak was needed.

There were isolated war crimes, mostly by irregulars but a few by actual soldiers or police, and the culprits were prosecuted by Yugoslavia itself. Again, your “targeting ethnic Albanians” was in reality the army and police targeting KLA rebels and their stronghold villages, as confirmed in after-the-fact reporting by WSJ’s Daniel Pearl and others.

And this was the moment they fled their old world, their longtime home — photos in their backpacks, baby nieces in their arms. This is the story they carried, what Lincoln couldn’t see and couldn’t know….They joined cousins and neighbors, cutting through side streets and backyards.. They eventually loaded them into a train car, the 14 of them sharing a small cabin. No water, no fresh air, no answers. For Tina, that was the scariest stretch of their journey… Then they were walking again, this time between the rails because the land along the tracks was peppered with mines. They ended up in the borderland between Kosovo and Macedonia. They had nothing…People were dying. Old people, children, who couldn’t hold on long enough for relief supplies — food and blankets — to fall from the sky.

In touches like these the implication is that this was all drummed up to be done to Albanians, rather than a conscious path and sacrifice that Albanian themselves chose, motivated by nationalism, in order to acquire the Kosovo appendage of their Greater Albania. (Or are you still not familiar with that quickly unfolding endgame?)

She remembers a man insisting on returning home. They saw his body in the street when the sun came up; he had been shot.

You would have readers believe that the man could only have been killed by Serbs. Considering that he was trying to return home, against KLA orders, there was at least as likely a chance he was killed—as promised–by KLA, who were watching everyone in a way that would make the KGB blush. It was a threat backed up by NATO bombs, which targeted Albanian areas that weren’t emptying out, and refugees heading back home. The cases of such KLA-inflicted punishments — especially punishments of Albanian “collaborators” such as government workers, plus Albanians who were friends with or married to Serbs — being labeled as “Serbs did it” are too many to count, and were an integral part of padding atrocity numbers.

There’s an act in Las Vegas now that goes by the name Recycled Percussion. That’s what your article was like: recycled percussion. And I’ve got a 14-year headache from it.

NYPD Officer Arrested in Staten Island on Extortion Charges (Dec. 3)

NEW YORK (WABC) — An NYPD officer was arrested Tuesday on charges of helping two other men exort a restaurant owner in Astoria, Queens.

34 year old officer Besnik Llakatura was taken into custody at his Staten Island home.

He was charged with extortion and brandishing a firearm in relation to extortion.

33 year old Denis Nikolla of Brooklyn and 37 year old Redniel Dervishaj of Queens will also appear in federal court.

Prosecutors say the scheme began shortly after the victim opened a restaurant in Astoria when he was visited by Dervishaj and told that he had opened a business in “our neighborhood” and, as a result, “you have to pay us.”

The restaurant owner, who understood that he was targeted because he, like the defendants, is of Albanian descent, sought help from his friend Llakatura.

Unbeknownst to him, Llakatura was conspiring with Dervishaj in the extortion, and he told the business owner to pay, according to the indictment.

“The defendants told their victims they offered “protection,” but in reality they peddled fear and intimidation through the Albanian community, their community, of Queens,” said United States Attorney Loretta Lynch. “When one victim turned to law enforcement for help, he was betrayed again by a corrupt officer on the take, who turned his back on his badge, his oath and his friend in exchange for extortion money in his pocket.”

Both Nikolla and Dervishaj have prior arrests, Nikolla for promoting prostitution, and Dervishaj for burglary.

Federal authorities are also looking into whether Dervishaj was in the country illegally.

Dervishaj was accused in February in the fatal stabbing of Antonio Lacertosa, a groom-to-be, during his Staten Island engagement party.

A grand jury later determined that Dervishaj was acting in self defense.

The name Dervishaj should sound familiar, since he was in an April 2012 blog when he was let off after killing fellow Albanian Antonio Lacertosa, the finding being that it was in self-defense. Ah, but it’s not enough to have narrowly escaped murder and burglary charges. Dervishaj just can’t give up the good life of crime. Then again, he’s got a gang leader brother to live up to. According to NY Daily News, “Dervishaj even boasted about Lacertosa’s death, warning the restaurant owner to ‘look him up’ on the Internet if he didn’t know who he was, court papers state.”

Since we’re on the subject of NYPD, I’ve been meaning to point something out for over a year. While it wouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that the NYPD is monitoring Egyptians and Syrians, one wonders why-oh-why would it be monitoring Albanians:

NYPD kept Muslim businesses under surveillance, documents show (NY Daily News, March 9, 2012)

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department collected information on businesses owned by second- and third-generation Americans specifically because they were Muslims, according to newly obtained secret documents…

The NYPD has faced intense criticism from Muslims, lawmakers — and even the FBI — for widespread spying operations that put entire neighborhoods under surveillance. Police put the names of innocent people in secret files and monitored the mosques, student groups and businesses that make up the Muslim landscape of the northeastern U.S.

In late 2007…plainclothes officers in the department’s secretive Demographics Unit were assigned to investigate the region’s Syrian population. Police photographed businesses and eavesdropped at lunch counters and inside grocery stores and pastry shops. The resulting document listed no threat. And though most people of Syrian heritage living in the area were Jewish, Jews were excluded from the monitoring.

“This report will focus on the smaller Muslim community,” the report said.

Similarly, police excluded the city’s sizable Coptic Christian population when photographing, monitoring and eavesdropping on Egyptian businesses in 2007, according to the police files.

“This report does not represent the Coptic Egyptian community and is merely an insight into the Muslim Egyptian community of New York City,” the NYPD wrote.

The AP has posted the documents at hhtp://apnew.ws/ABtsAH and http://apne.ws/A1s5BQ and http://apne.ws/xUlmEQ .

If police, for example, ever received a tip that an Egyptian terrorist was plotting an attack, investigators looking for him would have the entire community already on file. They would know where he was likely to pray, who might rent him a cheap room, where he’d find a convenient Internet cafe and where he probably would buy his groceries.

As a result, many people were put into police files, not for criminal activities but because they were part of daily life in their neighborhoods. Shopkeepers were named in police files, their ethnicities listed. Muslim college students who attended a rafting trip or discussed upcoming religious lectures on campus were cataloged. Worshippers arriving at mosques were photographed and had their license plate numbers collected by police.

[A]fter Moroccans were involved in terrorist attacks overseas, the NYPD photographed and eavesdropped in New York businesses where Moroccans might work, shop and eat.

The AP has since obtained documents outlining NYPD efforts to monitor Albanians, Egyptians and Syrians. Each report focused specifically on ethnicity.

In the case of the Egyptians and Syrians, the reports explicitly focused on Muslims. The Albanian report mentions Albania’s diverse religious composition but police only photographed and mapped mosques for the report. There was no indication that criminal leads prompted any of the reports. […]

What, no priority given to spying on Orthodox Christian communities? At least some elements of law enforcement still get it, if the foreign policy establishment does not. (Indeed, for the latter, all three — Egypt, Syria and Albania/Kosovo — were pet projects.)

Also related is this May 2011 item: Europol: Albanian crime the most dangerous in Europe

Separately, countries where young women live in fear and whose Islam they are fleeing include — what? — Albania and Kosovo.

The title may sound sarcastic, but I haven’t decided if that’s what I’m being. Because this Bosnian Muslim (media a.k.a. “Muslim from Serbia”), who in the end didn’t manage to kill anyone, seems to be genuinely remorseful about his actions, and shows some post-terrorism sensibleness. Though it could all be thanks to the abandonment by his more Muslimy mentors:

Bosnia’s US Embassy Attacker Apologises for ‘Stupid Act’ (International Business Times, Nov. 14)

A Bosnian man being re-tried for an attack on the US Embassy in Sarajevo in 2011 has apologised for his “stupid act”.

Mevlid Jasarevic told the court that he had been manipulated and then rejected by his radical Islamist mentors.

“I truly apologise and regret any problems that my acts have caused to anyone,” Jasarevic told a Sarajevo court.

“I have been a victim of those who were telling me it was necessary to fight for Islam, to lead jihad,” he said, wearing a white shirt and jeans.

“How is it possible that all those who were telling me about jihad are now playing with their children and live free, with their wives, while I have not seen my child for months?” [That’s the sensible part.]

Jasarevic, 25, fired at the embassy for more than 40 minutes with an automatic rifle, seriously wounding a police officer. The attack sparked fears that, as Bosnia recovered from the wars of the 1990s, its Muslim population was becoming radicalised. [It didn’t “spark fears” but confirmed the obvious.]

Jasarevic, originally from Serbia, was sentenced to 18 years in prison after being found guilty of terrorism by Bosnia’s state court in December last year.

The verdict was withdrawn on appeal in July and a fresh trial was ordered after judge[s] deemed the original trial to be flawed while defence lawyers argue[d] they did not have sufficient access to witness testimony and evidence.

At his first trial, Jasarevic had a long beard and appeared in a traditional Wahhabi robe and cap. He boycotted many hearings, declaring that he only obeyed Allah and did not recognise the court.

In Bosnia, 40% of the population follow Islam and most Bosnian Muslims practice a moderate form of the religion. There has been a notable rise in the number of homegrown Islamist militants emanating from Bosnia, according to analysts.

Jasarevic was a member of the strict Wahhabi brand of Islam, which has risen in prominence after the Bosnian War of 1992-95. [How about that?!] He had resided in the northeastern village of Gomja Maoca for three years, an isolated community of Wahhabi believers.

He claims to have embraced Islam as a teenager during a prison term for bank robbery in Austria, where he originally lived throughout his childhood. He told the court that, in Go[rn]ja Maoca, he was exposed to videos illustrating the difficulties that Muslims faced in Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations.

“I felt the need to do something, to get attention for the sufferings of the Muslims in the East,” he said. “I did not plan this dangerous, tragic and unbelievably stupid and sad act.”

He claimed that his radical Islamist mentors abandoned him after he was arrested, telling him that he had “misunderstood” their messages and teachings.

“Believe me, I understood them well and turned their words into acts,” Jasarevic said. He stated that he was now willing to assist the authorities in preventing “any youngster from going to fight in Syria”.

Jasarevic requested that the court cut his original prison sentence and take into account the fact that he was not aligned with an organised group and acted of his own accord as a “confused young man”. […]

This reminds me of Arid Uka, the young Albanian who likewise apologized for his actions in which he shot five American servicemen in early 2012 in Frankfurt. Uka likewise credibly claimed manipulation, in his case by inflammatory videos. As I’ve said before, though it sounds perverse, the Balkan terrorists do have a touch more humanity about them. After they’ve killed or maimed, of course. Jasarevic and Uka seem genuinely to be victims of the realer Muslims (though it’s distasteful to call themselves “victims” after claiming victims of their own).

So, when the MSM and worldwide political establishment were getting us on board the comparative moderates’ jihad in Bosnia and Kosovo, with terms like “modern, pork-eating, alcohol-drinking, European, non-religious, Westward-facing Muslims of the Balkans,” what they meant was, “Even if we are helping terrorists or helping make terrorists, they’ll be more remorseful ones.”

My favorite of this type, though he isn’t from the Balkans, is Ali Hamad, on whom there was an update not long after the November update on Jasarevic:

Ali Hamad, former Al Qaeda warrior in Bosnia: We were torturing Serbs in concentration camps, hammered them alive, drove rusty nails through their genitals (There Must Be Justice, Nov. 30, by Grey Carter)

Belgrade – Ali Ahmed Al Hamad, former Al Qaeda member and commander of [the] ruthless ‘El Mujaheddin’ unit, who sent a letter to [the] Serbian Government, requires extradition to Serbia.

After talks with Dusko Tomic (Al Hamad’s lawyer), the Prosecution is of the opinion that testifying by his client could be important for investigation of crimes committed by ‘El Mujaheddin’ against Serbian prisoners in Kamenica camp at the Town of Zavidovici in Bosnia.
According to Tomic, Al Hammad’s extradition to Serbia is a matter of days.

“If the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina decide to extradite Al Hammad to Bahrain where he was recruited by Al Qaeda, that would be a death sentence to him.” Tomic explained that Al Hammad “would have preferred to be extradited to Serbia in order to testify about all the crimes against Serbian population they committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also said that after testifying he would go to Bahrain only after all preparations for his safe return are done.

Meanwhile Serbian Prosecution for war crimes is leading a pre-trial action over crimes in Zavidovici and nine witnesses have been heard already.

The Prosecution notes that the Zavidovici massacre was among the most horrible crimes ever. [The] El Mujahedin detachment, composed [mostly] of fanatic volunteers from the Arab countries, had captured 60 Serbian soldiers. The Serbs [were] subject to unprecedented torture and suffering in [a] concentration camp in the village of Gostovići near Zavidovići.

The captured Serbs were forced to stab each other with daggers; Mujahedins hammered them alive with nails on a fence; the rusty nails were driven through their genitals. After the most horrifying bestiality which lasted for days, at the end the Mujahedins cut off their heads.

According to so far findings it has been determined that on July 21, 1995 the ‘El Mujaheddin’ unit of the 3rd corpus of the Bosnian Army attacked the place of Krcevine in the Zavidovici municipality. Soldiers of Republica Srpska Army were captured and taken to the village of Livade.

Two soldiers, Momir Mitrovic and Predrag Knezevic, were decapitated and it could be seen in the films the mujahedin recorded on tapes. Other prisoners were taken to a camp in Kamenica where they were beaten and tortured by electro-shocks constantly, every day. The most monstrous crime took place on July 24, 1995 when they decapitated Gojko Vujicic and forced other prisoners to kiss the cut-off head. Then they hung the head on a hook on a wall of a room where the prisoners were kept. More than 52 prisoners were killed in Bosnian Muslim Kamenica concentration camp.

Lawyer Dusko Tomic said that his client decided to speak because of a “deep remorse”.

“…My client believes that it’s Serbia’s interest to know the truth about all the crimes committed against Serbian people in Bosnia,” said Tomic.

Ali Hamad, a Bahraini citizen and former Al Qaeda warrior who claimed asylum in Serbia this week after [a] 12-year prison sentence in Bosnia, admits that he personally took part in atrocities against [the] Serbian population during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tomic says that the authorities of Bosnia launched [an] extradition procedure of Ali Hamad to Bahrain as revenge for his testifying against Rasim Delic, former Bosnian Army commander, before the Hague IC tribunal.

“Ali Hamad gave statements to [the] CIA and ‘other intelligence services’, thus Al Qaeda cells in Spain and Germany were disclosed a few years ago; [and] thanks to Ali Hammad 12 Al Qaeda members were arrested in Italy, [confirming] his statement that the mujaheddins were transferred there from Bosnia, once jihad was over there”, said Tomic.

The finishing year saw a sort of positive epilogue to the previous year’s scene in which a former U.S. secretary of state who’s still on the wrong side of World War II after escaping it herself, famously revealed that she waged her 1999 world war out of hatred for one of the sides.

An unsaid modern phenomenon was identified, labeled, and stigmatized, via an unlikely award nomination for someone who called it out, though I couldn’t find whether this individual ultimately did receive the award:

Swedish Journalist Nominated for Prestigious Award for Fighting “Politically Correct” Racism (Justitia Pax Veritas, Global Research, July 20, 2013)

…Justitia Pax Veritas, a non-profit organization based in Stockholm, recently nominated Swedish journalist Jan Hagberg for the Raoul Wallenberg Prize. The award was established this year by the government of Sweden in memory of the late diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Jews during World War II. The prize is awarded to individuals who have distinguished themselves in the fight against racism and xenophobia.

The explanation of the nomination stated, among other things, that Jan Hagberg is about the only journalist in Sweden [or anywhere else] who has drawn attention to a very dangerous kind of racism, one within the establishment, which Hagberg called “the fine mingling racism” towards those Slavic peoples and nations who are “not entirely subordinated to the dictate of the West.”

As a clear example of such a “politically correct” racism Hagberg has written about an incident from October 2012 when Madeleine Albright was filmed screaming “Disgusting Serbs!” to a group of Czech protesters. As Hagberg noticed, rather than condemning Albright, media in Sweden [were] completely silent “because it was the accepted, the fine circles’ racism which was exclaimed by the ex-minister”. […]

Below is the nomination letter from Justitia Pax Veritas:

To the Raoul Wallenberg Academy

…The background of Raoul Wallenberg’s honourable deed was the Nazi totalitarianism and the expansionism which eradicated millions of people merely for being considered a ‘lower race’. Aside from Jews, who were especially targeted, Slavic peoples in Eastern Europe were also put through the Nazi extermination politics. The Nazi Drang nach Osten expansion affected millions of Poles, Belarusians, Russians and Serbs, among others. The latter suffered in particular, because of their persistent resistance against the Nazi occupation and the break-up of Yugoslavia. Due to their two resistance movements – the communist and the monarchist – Hitler maintained particularly harsh policies against the Serbian people. Partly, he allowed various chauvinist regimes in newly founded vassals to carry out extermination politics directed at Serbs, as well as Jews and Roma (the most infamous example is the concentration camp Jasenovac where even Nazi SS-officers were appalled by the extent and brutality of the crimes). Partly, the Nazi occupiers applied the so called 100:1 policy whereby 100 civilian Serbs were executed for each soldier killed in duty of the Third Reich.

When honouring Raoul Wallenberg we should remember that he operated in a time when racism was normalised through its advocacy and enactment by many within Europe’s highest social order. Today there are a number of organisations and individuals who fight different forms of intolerance and xenophobia carried out by extremist groups and individuals. Naturally, this fight is valuable and important but Jan Hagberg is nearly alone in having drawn attention to a particularly dangerous form of racism – the one which is cultivated by parts of the establishment. In his article “The fine mingling racism” Hagberg writes the following:

“Open and read a Swedish daily newspaper about the Slavic peoples, about the countries which do not entirely submit themselves to the dictates of the West. Countries such as Russia, Belarus or Serbia. Read any article on Serbs – and then change the article’s Serbs to Jews. In the former case not an eyebrow is raised over the grossest of insults. The fact that over 100 000 people with this descent live in our country doesn’t seem to matter…

“President Clinton’s foreign minister Madeleine Albright, a war criminal and partly responsible for air strikes in violation of the UN charter, recently visited her birth country the Czech Republic to promote her new book The Prague winter. She was met in a shopping mall by a demonstration led by the Czech director Vaclav Dvorsak, creator of the movie “The Stolen Kosovo”. This mischief made the well-mannered ex-minister completely lose her senses and howl before the congregation, ‘Disgusting Serbs!’.

“Try to change the word Serbs for Jews, exclaimed by – even as a thought – an eastern foreign minister, and it is easy to realize what sort of headlines would be spread (over the Western world). In the real case it was dead silent here, because it was the accepted, the fine circles’ racism which was exclaimed by the ex-minister.”

As Jan Hagberg implies in his article Swedish examples of the establishment’s racist and xenophobic outbursts à la Albright are not few. About one year ago a famous Swedish radio host called Serbs “Breiviks, psychopaths and retards”; in a live national radio programme. The justice councillor, who otherwise frequently prosecutes incitement to racial hatred on the basis of anonymous comments on websites of marginal political movements, decided to not initiate an investigation, with the motivation that the right of free speech is especially strong when it comes to “political opinions” and “debates in issues of public interest”. The justice councillor’s decision was preceded by two ‘anti-racists’ who
defended
(!) the radio host’s spiteful outburst. Another very prominent ‘human rights activist’ made gross and generalising statements on Swedish public radio about the Serbian people by claiming that Serbs are especially violent and that their church “always has been a negative force”. The programme in question, which was completely in line with Albright’s statement “Disgusting Serbs!” was acquitted by the Swedish Broadcasting Commission, in spite of the commissions otherwise very restrictive praxis when it comes to negative statements about peoples.

In some Swedish upper secondary schools a current project which deals with the conflict in former Yugoslavia subjects Swedish students to simplified messages while hiding the great powers’ crucial role in the blood bath between the Yugoslavian peoples. The Serbian people are this time especially afflicted because of their resistance against the break-up of Yugoslavia as well as against the colonisation and devastation of the resourceful and strategically important Balkan peninsula – against a contemporary Drang nach Osten – expansionary politics. Justitia Pax Veritas has received several reports of Swedish-Serbian students feeling bad due to collective blaming and for them Jan Hagberg’s brave words are a consolation for their spiritual wounds.

It is obvious that Jan Hagberg, in Raoul Wallenberg’s spirit is acting in extremely hard head winds as he undresses the establishment’s racism or, to use minister of integration Erik Ullhenhag’s expression; normalised hate. Therefore Justitia Pax Veritas believes that Jan Hagberg is an obvious winner of the Raoul Wallenberg award.

Thank you Jan Hagberg! Long live the memory of Raoul Wallenberg!

Justitia Pax Veritas

Stockholm 10 June 2013

Just another one I’m catching up on from 2013. In August, missionaries in Albania sent this note to reader Maksim, who forwarded it to me, with a link to the following development. I don’t know whether this has been resolved yet or not:

“Church of the Dormition in Permet in southern Albania…Hopefully this will be reversed by the national government, but please remember the church of Albania in your prayers.”


Albania Seizes Orthodox Church
(Greek Reporter, Aug. 20, by Maria Korologou)

Tension still prevails in Përmet in Albania, where hundreds of Orthodox residents of the town came into conflict with the forces of private police that were lined up outside the Church of Virgin Mary.

The church was taken over in a violent way some days before following the orders of the municipal authorities.

Photos of the scene showed crews building a brick wall at the entrance to prevent people from using the church as well as using sheet metal around columns.

The municipality sent private police to the church in order to implement a Supreme Court decision concerning the returning of the church building to the municipal authorities who maintain that the place belongs to them and that it is a cultural center.

However, according to the Orthodox Church of Albania, and as it is widely known, the building was confiscated by the Communist regime in 1968 an was turned a cultural center as were hundreds of other churches in the country.

Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durrës and All Albania, talking about the incidents of Aug. 16, spoke of “a very sad incident” and reminded, among others, the agreement of 2010 between the government and the religious communities in the country for returning to them all the religious institutions.

Christians violently ousted from Church in Premeti; Orthodox Archbishop of Albania urges calmness and respect to rule of law (tovima.gr, Aug. 22)

The Christian Orthodox Church of Albania has condemned the violent ousting of clergy and believers from a temple in Premeti, during the celebrations for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on the 16th of August, by private security guards and municipal authorities.

Worshippers and clergy refusing the leave were violently removed by municipal police, while religious artifacts such as religious icons and utensils were confiscated. On Monday local residents reacting clashed with police outside the church, demanding that they be allowed to resume services.

The church was evacuated under the pretext of following a court order, which stated that the building be returned to municipal authorities. According to Albanian legislation, the building must function as a culture center.

During his lecture at the Cathedral Temple in Tirana, the Archbishop of the Orthodox Church of Albania Anastasios commented that the ousting harkened back to the communist era in Albania, when religious beliefs were banned. He also demanded that the Albanian government fulfill its 2009 promise to return seized church assets.

Regarding the legal pretext, Archbishop Anastasios explained that the Albanian [government] recognized that the cultural center was built on top of a Christian holy temple and handed it over to the Church in exchange for the cost of converting it. In the past the Church has repeatedly been vandalized, with the clergy alleging the attacks have municipal backing.

The spokesman of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Mr Konstantinos Koutras commented that the violent ousting of the clergy and believers from the temple “are unacceptable, condemned and without any legal backing”.

The violence was also condemned by former President of Albania and outgoing Prime Minister Sali Berisha.

Catching up on a few late-2013-breaking items this week.

Just when you thought post-9/11 flakiness passed her over, don’t count her out. Just when you thought she wasn’t merely another dumb blonde dating a Muslim, it turns out Madonna did decide after all to join the “stupid hen” club, as one German social worker some years ago called a woman trying to escape her violent Muslim husband.

We know she’s into S & M, and maybe those death threats about performing in Tel-Aviv turned her on too much to resist. But to give her some credit, she’s probably studying it to find the loopholes allowing for Muslim-Jewish co-existence.

Has Madonna ditched Kabbalah for Islam? Singer reveals she is studying the Koran (Daily Mail, Oct. 7)

It is almost a quarter of a century since she first sang Like A Prayer.

But it seems the intervening years have done little to help Madonna decide exactly who she’s praying to.

For it appears the queen of re-invention may be on the verge of one of her most startling changes yet, after she revealed she was studying the Koran.

Now the singer, whose current partner is a Muslim, has begun investigating Islam. [Well it’s about time someone did!]

She said: ‘I am building schools for girls in Islamic countries and studying the Koran.

‘I think it is important to study all the holy books. As my friend Yaman always tells me, a good Muslim is a good Jew, and a good Jew is a good Christian, and so forth. I couldn’t agree more.’

Madonna has followed Kabbalah since 1996…But she and her current partner Brahim Zaibat, 25, have reportedly argued about religion because of his Muslim faith.

No kidding!

And yet, what pious Muslim runs around with damaged infidel goods more than twice his age? An infidel that’s the very embodiment of Western misbehavior.

Someone should also explain to him how a harem works: he’s supposed to have one, not be part of one. And what’s a Muslim to do with all her gay-love? She worships gays probably more than he worships Allah.

One wonders what his reaction was to the penis-shaped bong she instagrammed to fans as her favorite present of 2013. (It’s nice the 15-year-old — I mean, 55-year-old — still finds novelty in, and flaunts her excitement over, things shaped like penises. Yes, Dear, we know. And it’s nice that Daily Mail still classifies such trifles as “controversy.” The instagram was part of her announced New Year’s resolution to “f***in’ own it. 2014 is mine!’ As if she hasn’t owned the last three decades.)

But let’s see how well the sultana’s bodyguards protect her, given that she’s dating, essentially, a CIA profile. One hopes security is allowed into the bedroom. Because there’s a 50-50 chance that a more radical pal will convince Zaibat that, given his proximity to the biggest symbol of Western depravity, it is his duty to deprive the West of one of its most celebrated icons. They’ll have to rewrite the song as “Like a Snare.”

It’s quite the long-term rebound from half-Jewish Sean Penn, to whom Madonna never lost her attachment. Or maybe she’s looking to outdo the violence of that relationship which ended when she drove to police after Penn gagged, beat, bound, and molested her, threatening also to cut off her hair. Which is always good practice for the Islamic version of that.

In other flaky-Westerner news, the six-year-old Colorado boy suspended for kissing a girl’s hand was allowed back to school in December, and the “sexual harassment” charge has been changed to “misconduct.” The things we teach our kids. I’m sure if he had kissed a boy’s hand instead, he’d be Student of the Month.

On that note, a 13-year-old boy’s Bar Mitzvah speech that went viral in December advocated redefining marriage to include gay marriage. (Because, as evidenced by Reform doctrine, to be Jewish is to love gays. Which means that, no matter how much Koran she reads, Madonna is hopelessly Jewish.)

As an argument for gay marriage, the boy cited how much traditional marriage has changed since the days of Jacob and his two wives. Not realizing, of course, that by redefining marriage he’s moving us backwards to those ancient days.

Anyway, that’s one for the gays, and one for the Muslims. In both cases, the recruits and fellow travelers are adding up. We don’t know when the final showdown will be (gays have to first admit there’ll be one), but I want a front-row seat.

That’s almost as impressive as I am: Not only do I speak some Russian, but also English, American, Canadian, Australian, and even Pennsylvanian and New Yorkan! (And I understand some Texan.)

As Liz, who circulated this November item below, commented: “Wow, look at all of them-there languages of Yugoslavia.”

Ex-Kosovo author makes new start in Edmonton (By Michael Hingston, Edmonton Journal, Nov. 14)


Author Kadrush Radogoshi with his works at the library at Norquest College
John Lucas , Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON - Kadrush Radogoshi has been many things in his life. Teacher in the former Yugoslavia. Translator. Union leader. Political dissident. Political prisoner. And, most frequently, author — of 16 books of Albanian poetry, fiction, literary criticism and non-fiction.

Radogoshi moved here with his wife and their three adult children from Kosovo on Sept. 1, 2010, and it hasn’t been a seamless process…Radogoshi himself arrived in Edmonton with next to no knowledge of English. Thankfully, he has some experience with other languages: back home he studied and has long been fluent in many of the languages of the former Yugoslavia, including Albanian, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin. To help with his English here in Canada, Radogoshi takes classes at NorQuest College.

After the Kosovo War concluded in 1999, “Kosovo became a new country, but it is difficult to be an established country,” Radogoshi says. “It needs more time to build democratic institutions. It’s too hard. Because Serbia crushed everything in Kosovo. After the war, it was very difficult.”

So while some of his fellow Kosovo Albanians have made the first step to national maturity by admitting here and there that Kosovo is a bigger, more dangerous mess, with less freedom of the press, than under Serbian rule, this supposed intellectual is still playing the Blame-Belgrade card.

Among Radogoshi’s literary credentials are the Pjetër Bogdani Prize, the highest award for literature in Kosovo…as well as the prize for Kosovo’s best poetry collection….Before immigrating, he also served for two years as president of the Writers’ Union of Kosovo.

(Imagine. President of the writer’s union, yet nothing from him about the muzzling of the press and attacks on journalists in Kosovo, which even its international makers are honest about.)

If life here in Edmonton has sometimes been difficult, it’s nothing compared to what Radogoshi has already endured. In 1981, amid a wave of protests against the ruling Communist party [does he mean the fascio-Ottoman-nostalgic Albanian race riots of 1981?], Radogoshi was teaching high school in his hometown of Gjakova. One evening, Radogoshi says he witnessed the Yugoslavian police provoke and then shoot two of his students, point-blank, in the middle of a busy street. One died of his injuries.

The next day, however, government officials showed up at the school and tried to argue that it was the deceased student who was, in fact, to blame.

“It was nonsense,” Radogoshi says, “and I disagreed, publicly.” He was thrown in jail for his efforts.

And on March 28, 1989, as Kosovo’s nascent autonomy was effectively revoked by Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic [really?], Radogoshi was one of more than 200 Albanian intellectuals rounded up and imprisoned.

Now, after so many years fighting against censorship and tyranny in Kosovo [apparently giving up once the censorship and tyranny emanated from the “former” KLA now running Kosovo], Radogoshi is ready to try something new in Edmonton… “My goals are to publish something in English,” Radogoshi says. “I will try. I treat many universal motifs. They are the same everywhere. But my point of view is different, because I came from another reality. I came from hell.”

At least he’s honest about that. Albanians usually claim they came from Illyrians.

Now, I recently brought up the farcical American faux informed-ness vis-a-vis “the Bosnian language.” When I did, I heard from Draga, who wrote the following note:

As you are aware, the languages are used as political tools. As early as 1980, The New York Times reported that approximately 12,000 new words had been injected into ‘Croatian” in order to separate it from Serbian. In the early 90’s Bosnian ambassador Mohammed Sacirbey was interviewed by Vladimir Posner, who asked the ambassador what language is spoken in Bosnia-Hercegovina, to which Sacirbey responded “Bosnian”. Not skipping a beat, Posner said it is not listed among the world languages, and asked what language they had spoken there the year before. Sacirbey cleared his throat and sheepishly admitted they spoke “Serbo-Croatian”. To that Posner responded something to the effect of: In other words, an entire country learned a new language in one year? The Bosnian language also has additional words reflective of the Islamic faith. In Montenegro the Serbian language has been thrown out, although it is the language of the revered prince-bishop Njegos. In Montenegro, they added a new letter or two to reflect their particular dialect. At first they wanted to call their language ‘mother’s tongue’ until they were ridiculed. It is now called Montenegrin.

Don’t know how authoritative this Pravda article below in Serbian is for you, but roughly translated it essentially says:

“A proposal of the German linguist and member of the Parliament of Europe, Michael Shatsinger, is that upon admission to the European Union, countries once comprising Yugoslavia, for the reward of better relations and ‘peace in the EU house’, should forget their differences, most reflected in language. That way, official correspondence among ex-YU republics will not utilize Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian or Montenegrin, but rather the “formerly Yugoslav language’. ”

Naturally, this sort of idea traditionally hasn’t gone over well with the Serb-distancers: Croatia upset over EU language proposal

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro, Apr. 9, 2007 (IPS/GIN) — Many Croats are seething about an European Union parliament member’s suggestion that EU institutions should use a single Serbo-Croatian language for residents of the West Balkans, rather than translating everything into four different languages.

Croatian media commentators called the proposal a sign of “disrespect” and “lack of goodwill” towards the small nation. The daily Vjesnik called for the EU to “respect [the] particularity for Croatia” once it joined the union.

The proposal to introduce a single Serbo-Croatian language in EU institutions came from member of the European Parliament Charles Tannock, who suggested that the single common language be introduced, mostly for practical reasons, once the nations join the EU.

“I hope you’ll not burden us with expenses for translations into Croatian, Bosniak, Montenegrin or Serbian,” Tannock said at a recent discussion in the Parliament, attended by officials from Western Balkans countries. “People from Western Balkans have to agree on the language they all understand, and that is Serbo-Croatian.”

The EU spends about 800 million euros ($1.04 billion) a year of its 100 billion euro ($130 billion) budget for translation into languages of its 27 member nations.

Language is a sensitive issue in the West Balkans, where several ethnic groups are seeking to distance themselves from each other.

Some Croatians are trying to forget the past because the language it left in the Balkans is too mixed up with Serbs and Bosniaks. Croat linguists are now producing a language of their own. [A language of their own: ‘Sieg Heil’]

The varieties spoken are distinct due to region, not ethnicity. Serbs in Croatia speak as Croats, Croats in Serbia speak like their Serb neighbors. Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks in Bosnia cannot be ethically distinguished by the language they speak.

Croatia has been moving towards a separate language that is distinct from Serbian and other influences. Its leading linguists have turned to history, old literature and their own imagination to invent new terms that would detach Croatian from Serbian.

New expressions were introduced for fax, which became “dalekoumnozitelj” (distant reaching copy device). Helicopters were named “zrakomlat” (air beater), phones became “brzoglas” (quick voice), and it was decided that “zoroklik” (cry at dawn) would replace the Croatian “pijevac,” which sounded similar to Serbian “pevac” for cock. [And the internationally used French word for “airplane,” also used by Serbs, became ‘zrakoplov’ (plough the air).]

But some of the new language has been chilling, rather than amusing. New language for military ranks has been taken from the days of Croatia’s Ustashi regime…. [Gee, didn’t see that coming.]

The International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, founded by the United Nations, translated all its documents into one language called “B/C/S” [or B/H/S], or Bosnian, Croat, Serbian…

(Notice the order of that acronym: first, the UN-revered Balkan belligerent; second, the acceptable belligerent; and last, the actual but reviled originator of the language.)

I must say, it’s cute the way Croatians think they have their own language and distinct culture. It’s sort of poignant that the uniqueness of their culture consists of killing off the people they derive from in order to have an identity. They just tweaked a few words so they could differentiate a Serb from a Croat, so they’d know whom to kill.

It seems the U.S., like the UN and EU, also wishes to simplify matters by regarding the people whose separation it fomented, as speaking one common language. A 2011 Tanjug article appears below, translated by Draga, who added she’s not sure if ‘Inspector’ is the correct title of the position named below or if she got the spelling of the last name ‘Gejsel’ right (I tried looking it up, but wasn’t successful):

14 February 2011 US: Serbian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Bosnian - one language

The General Inspector of the Secretary of State in September 2009 sent an internal document to the Department of Human Resources and the Institute for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, entitled “Balkan Linguistic Problems” in which he expressed concern about the practice of treating Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian as three different languages.

Zagreb’s “Jutarnji List” reports that the deputy chief inspector Harold V. Gejsel [Geissel?] informed the authorities that their office visited U.S. embassies in Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia and on that occasion came to the conclusion that the languages spoken in those countries are basically the same language. It is a matter of “dialects of one language” …

The U.S. diplomats came to the same conclusion which the reputable Croatian linguist Snjezana Kordic proved with authority in her book “Language and Nationalism”. Namely, she argues that language rights on the territory of the former Yugoslav republics became justification for extreme nationalism.

“In linguistics, it is defined that it is the same language if at least 81 percent of the basic vocabulary treasure is in common, and the Croats, Serbs, Bosnians and Montengrins, when they speak the standard language, have 100 percent of the basic vocabulary treasure in common,” said Kordic.

Noting that it is easy to understand the slight variations that can be overcome by brief conversation, the suggested conclusion is “if an officer who has been trained, for example, in the Croatian language, and is going from Zagreb to Sarajevo, it is unnecessary that he must pass the whole Bosnian language course as though it is a new language”.

The conclusion, namely, is that all American universities with well-established Slavic language programs, including Harvard and UCLA, treat it as dialects of one language…U.S. administration had significant savings in training employees, and [is demonstrating] tangible evidence of U.S. support for strengthening cooperation among the peoples of the former Yugoslavia.

Strengthening cooperation among the peoples of the former Yugoslavia? Too bad we didn’t think of that in 1991. So after separating them, now we support unifying them.

A related excerpt from a 2010 article:

War, peace and the Virgin (Guardian, Andrew Brown’s Blog, Aug. 20, 2010)

…[In Medjugorje, Bosnia] there is a Franciscan monastery a little distance away where a particularly zealous Croat catholic was presented with a prize for cutting the throats of more than 1,400 “schismatics” as the orthodox Serbs were then known…

Twenty nine years ago, in the week after 24 June 1981, six village children started to see the Virgin Mary… “She speaks purest Croatian”, explained one enthusiast on Crossing Continents, an important point since when I was growing up the language did not exist at all: rather, it was known as Serbo-Croat, and the two girls who looked after us children, one Serbian and one Croat, understood each other perfectly well, as we understood them. Nowadays…children who have grown up in Serbia and Croatia seem genuinely unable to understand one another.

Medjugorje was a Franciscan parish, and the Franciscans are deeply implicated in Croatian nationalism, and correspondingly suspect to the authorities in Rome. The official church refuses to recognise that apparition….None of the others has the same association with blood soaked nationalism…I don’t doubt the sincerity of the people who believe they find peace there, and that they can spread it…But that is, in a way, the really frightening thing about the whole story. The pilgrims and believers seem to suffer from a kind of migraine there, which blocks out half the world in a bright interior light, so that they see the Virgin’s presence in their hearts, and don’t see her picture pasted on the soldiers’ gun butts or hear the rantings of the politicians. […]

The farce of treating one language as three or four is even appreciated by Washington mouthpiece Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Or Montenegrin? Or Just ‘Our Language’? (RFERL, February 21, 2009)

…The distinctions sometimes reach extremes even locals find absurd. Street signs often give multiple versions of the same designation, to accommodate all likely users. Bookworms look for translated works by writers from neighboring states. Films produced in Serbia are released elsewhere in the Balkans with subtitles.

Zhivko Bjelanovic, a linguist based in Split, on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, says to the trained eye, the languages are fundamentally distinct.

“Serbs and Croats can understand each other on the level of basic communication. [Isn’t that fundamentally?] But when experts start to actually analyze the languages, there are in fact a lot of differences — in grammar, syntax, and every other way,” Bjelanovic said.

Croatians have coined entirely new words, Bosniaks have peppered their speech with Turkic terms and phrases, and Serbs throughout the region remain committed to using the Cyrillic alphabet instead of Latin script. [Damn originators. Always depriving usurpers of satisfaction. Meanwhile, should the Russians and Hebrews also switch?]

The issue becomes even more complicated….Entry into the European Union entitles member states to have their languages recognized as official tongues, obligating the EU to provide translations in all formal settings.

Egon Fekete, a linguist in Belgrade, says most academics still say a single language is spoken in the Balkans — albeit one with numerous dialects. But he says the issue is more about politics than it is about language. “…If you take a scientific approach, you can’t accept that there are distinct Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin languages.”

Ah, but the scientific approach would interfere with the whole point of creating new languages out of one: to create fictitious new nationalities, which will then want to fictitiously claim land from the original thing:

LINGUISTS’ DISPUTE: Croatian Language Causes Dispute in Bosnia (Javno (Croatia)/Dalje.com, March 10, 2009)

An association of young linguists and translators in Bosnia-Herzegovina several months ago created a web site ‘bosanski.ba’, but lately they are being attacked by linguists from the Bosnian Serb entity, Republika Srpska.

They were angered by a statement by the association’s executive director, Djermana Seta, who said that the web page was created to enable the studying of the Bosnian language. Mirjana Vlajisavljevic, a professor at the Faculty of Philosophy in Republika Srpska’s Banja Luka, said the Bosnian language was nothing but a Sarajevo version of the Croatian language and that the Sarajevo authorities are using young people to achieve the goal of a unitarian Bosnia-Herzegovina. [Mirjana calls it “Croatian” because she is likely Croatian herself, given that Bosnian Croats have been flocking to the Serb Republic since we ‘fixed’ Bosnia.]

Academician Slobodan Remetic thinks that history from the Austro-Hungarian occupation is repeating itself, when Benjamin Kalay tried to create a hybrid nation and language, that is, Bosnian language, to separate the territory from Croatia and Serbia.

Also targeted were Serb politicians in Republika Srpska, who are slammed for using “Croatisms”. Linguist Milorad Telebak claims Serb politicians do not have a developed awareness about their culture and tradition. […]

Or we’ve successfully taught them to have an aversion to it.

Weighing in on the issue in January of last year was Bosnia’s former ambassador to Turkey, Hajrudin Somun, though he seems to be espousing two opposing views on it at once:

Confused Balkan Languages

There was and still is, in fact, one common language that is written in two alphabets and spoken in four countries, but with different names. As was emphasized in an Academy of Finland study, Balkan languages…are a reflection of the regional developments that “seem only to resume the aggressive nation-building process which had partly been in check during the Cold War era,” according to Croatian linguist Snjezana Kordic. “…Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin are the same languages,” she concludes…In Belgrade’s elevators, for example, floors one and two are written “sprat 1” and “sprat 2.” But in Zagreb, they are written “kat 1” and “kat 2” just to be different from Belgrade. Most people probably don’t know that “kat” is neither Croatian nor Slavic, but a Turkish word.

All nations have the right to call their languages as they want, of course. It is normal that Serbs and Croats call their languages Serbian and Croatian. But denying the same right to Bosnians and Montenegrins recalls old, still-existing nationalist ambitions…Bosnian Serbs and Croats think that Bosnian Muslims, officially Bosniaks, should call their language Bosniak. [Which is already too generous.] They think Bosniaks are striving to call it “Bosnian” because this implies it is the language of all the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, and accuse them of pursuing a policy of “majorization,” whereby Bosniaks can dominate the country.

(Gee, when have they ever tried to do that before?)

…In all historical documents and travel books from before the Ottoman arrival in Bosnia — during the rule of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires…the Bosnian language was not Bosniak, but Bosnian. It was spoken by Bosnian Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Jews. It was the third official language of the Ottoman Empire. Bartol Kasic, author of the first Croatian grammar book from the 16th century, noted that people in Bosnia were speaking Bosnian. The Bosnian poet Muhamed Hevai Uskufi is the author of the first Turkish-Bosnian dictionary, completed in 1632 and written in Arabic script…Evliya Çelebi, the famous Ottoman writer from the 17th century…noted that the people in Bosnia spoke a Bosnian that was similar to Latin. Austro-Hungarians, ruling Bosnia from 1878 to 1918, encouraged the official usage of Bosnian, but they switched to Serbo-Croatian under pressure from increasing Serb and Croat nationalism…

In other words, ‘Don’t take my Bosnian-Muslim word for it, take the Ottomans’ or a few assorted Arabists’ and Croats’.’ If we’re supposed to be impressed by some ancient-sounding dates Somun cited for the “Bosnian” language, one wonders where that language was being spoken in the year 50 A.D., when Serbs were already around and speaking either Serbian or something that would evolve into it. Or in the year 1217, when Rome recognized the Serbian kingdom. What language were those ancienter Serbs speaking? Bosnian?

Mirko Kovac, a celebrated Croat novelist, who says: “Foreigners have a better relationship than we do with our languages. They consider them as one language, which is what is most correct from the linguistic point of view. The state [Yugoslavia] fell to pieces, but not the language.” Bosnian writer Nenad Velickovic believes language should not be used as a marker of national identity, explaining, “In my opinion, that means adopting the ideology of nationalism — something I despise.”

So why can’t they all just admit they speak Serbian? And why can’t Somun figure out which side of the issue he’s espousing: Speak one language but let anyone call it whatever they want?

So, rather than the Ottomans’, Arabists’, Croats’ or Austro-Hungarians’ word, I’ll take Irish-American linguistics Professor Emeritus John Peter Maher’s word for it, in his 2009 article “What did they call it before they called it ‘Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian-Montenegrin’?

In 1958 the U.S. Army called it “Serbo-Croatian”. That was during the Cold War. I was a soldier in Military Intelligence, just beginning to learn the major language of Yugoslavia at the US Army Language School, on the old Spanish Presidio of Monterey in California. Thirty-some years later the Berlin Wall came down. In Slovenia in the year 1990 I learned from an American working there (it was still Yugoslavia then) that the Army had closed down the Monterey course. The Pentagon apparently had not yet received their orders to attack Yugoslavia. They thought the Cold War was over.

Someone in Washington had other ideas. The old contingency plan to dismantle Yugoslavia was taken off the shelf, updated and implemented by the mercenaries of MPRI, and invisible government countermanded the shut-down. In 1992 a call went out for teachers of “Serbian and Croatian” at the re-named US Defense Language Institute. The announcement was a classic farce. Some petty bureaucrat at a loss how to phrase the official advertisement took his phraseology from want-ads for interpreters. It was spelled out that job applicants must be able to teach the “two languages” simultaneously or consecutively. “It” was now two languages.

One colonel took the Monterey course in Croatian and/or Serbian; he developed the Pentagon plan for the big ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Croatia in 1995.

At the University of Michigan the linguistics department chairman opposed the New-Speak and retained the designation “Serbo-Croatian” …The University of Calgary in Canada ran with the political-correctness. Doctoral candidates there could now fulfill the requirement of reading ability in two foreign languages by passing exams in Serbian [and] Croatian. Queuing up to apply for the test in “the two languages,” Croats and Serbs were united in laughter.

Then there were three. At the ICTY in The Hague “it” became “Bosnian-Croatian- Serbian”, all three spoken simultaneously. Consequently, Vojislav Šešelj demanded that court interpreters should turn Croatian testimony into Serbian for him.

Then “it” was four. Americans applying for Fulbright Grants in 2005 and 2006 were “informed” that the language of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro/Srbija I Crna Gora ought to be to be called “Montenegrin”, a separate language, if Montenegrins wanted it so. Language teachers in Montenegro were ordered to call “it” Crnogorski/Montenegrin or Mother Tongue, if they wanted to keep their jobs. Dozens of honest Montenegrin teachers felt otherwise, that the language they were teaching was in fact Serbian. They were fired and stripped of their pensions.

The linguistic theory of Vuk Stefanovich Karadžich, that south Slavs – Catholic and Orthodox – spoke the same language, was declared passé. The policy of the multi-ethnic Austrian Empire and, later, the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867-1918) was both liberal and reactionary. It was liberal in that subject nations had the right to be schooled in their own languages, use them in court and see them printed on the currency. The policy was reactionary in that this was a measure to keep the Slavs, who were a 60% majority in the Dual Monarchy, subject to German and Hungarian rulers.

Both Vienna, with an eye to coherence of the Empire, and Rome with an eye to conversion of Eastern Orthodox “schismatics”, smiled on the efforts of Archbishop Strossmayer to teach a new auxiliary language to the Croats to hasten their integration into a broader society and function as missionaries. It was some time before many Croats at all could speak their new literary language…

…Muslim Bosnians take no united stand in practice. In Chicago a school for Muslim Bosnian children displays a big banner “Govori Bosanski! – Speak Bosnian!”. At Northeastern Illinois University in 1992 the debate “got physical”. I watched as a Junoesque blonde gave a good shove to a young man who had called “it” “bošnjaèki” [’Bosniak’]; she told him in no uncertain terms that “it” was “bosanski”.

At Truman College in Chicago I asked students with Muslim names “what country do you come from?”–“Bosnia” they all said. “What language do you speak?”. “Bosnian.” Then I responded (in Serbian) that I too speak – “… bosanski i bošnjaèki i hrvatski i hrvatsko-srpski i srpski i crnogorski…” They always laughed. One smiling man flatly said: “it’s the same language”.

At a nearby grocery store, a clerk with the Muslim name Amira revealed the stress normal people are put under. When we first chatted at the check-out counter, she asked me if I was of Yugoslav origin. Her surprise was great to hear I was “irskog porekla”. Since then she always greets me with “moj irac / my Irishman”… One day she remarked that she was pleased that I always greeted her in srpski. She then hesitated, rolled her eyes and said the PC word “bosanski”…

The literary Croatian word for “wedding” is vijenchanje, derived from the noun vijenac “wreath”, which in turn is from the verb viti “to twine, braid, wreathe”. One infers from this example…that the literary Croatian language is historically a Serb dialect, since the Eastern Orthodox (Serb) wedding ceremony in its traditional form involves the crowning of bride and groom with wreathes of green, while such a custom is not found in the Roman Catholic (Croat) wedding rite.

Conclusion: Abraham Lincoln in his Illinois lawyering days once asked a witness in court “if you called a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs would a dog have?” The witness: “Five.” Lincoln: “No, even if you call a dog’s tail a leg, it’s still a tail.”

Closing with two anecdotes, the first from Melana in 2011:

I ran into a Croat guy who owns a winery up here [California], who said that the Croats have “gone back to the old words again”. When I asked him what he meant, he admitted that Croats actually made up new words so linguists could declare “Croatian” a separate language from “Serbian”, but the problem was that Croats couldn’t understand each other when one was using the old words and another was using these made-up words which never caught on.

I once told a Montenegrin separatist that if he wanted to be a Montenegrin and not a Serb, then he better be prepared to trade in every Montenegrin hero he ever knew — from Njegos (my great-great-great uncle) to Prince Danilo — because all of these heroic Montenegrins considered themselves “Serbs” first.

And from a 2011 Diana Johnstone email:

‘Serbian’ and Serbia are being pushed into oblivion.

Yesterday I was in the languages and literature branch of the Gibert Jeune bookstore in Paris to buy Spanish books, and went downstairs to the “small languages” section to see what there was for Serbian. On the floor-level shelf I spotted an Assimil package of book plus CDs for learning Serbo-Croatian. Since I have an old Assimil Serbo-Croatian with tapes which I consider one of Assimil’s least successful efforts…I asked whether the closed package contained a new version or the old one. The woman clerk told me that this was the last copy of the old Assimil Serbo-Croatian which was being terminated. A new Assimil Croatian is due to come out soon. No Serbian.

I informed her that this was a political choice, since for one thing there are more Serbs than Croats. “I don’t know about that”, she said, obviously not eager to learn.

This is no doubt linked to the expectation that Croatia will soon be admitted to the European Union. Not Serbia.

Check.

On September 27th, I got the following email from Zoran Almuli:

Dear family and friends,

It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that our dear Jasa Almuli passed away yesterday in London.

He leaves a personal and public legacy of which his family is truly proud. We will also always remember and treasure the time he spent with us, his great interest, curiosity, wise advice and, at times, frank comments.

Jasa has been battling with illness for a few months but only learned about his severe lung cancer three weeks ago. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his family.

Jasa will live on in our memories and hearts forever.

His loving family.

In Serbian:

Draga porodice i prijatelji,

Sa velikom tugom vam saopstavamo da nas je nas dragi Jasa napustio juce popodne u Londonu.

On ostavlja za sobom velika licna i javna dela na koja je njegova porodica vrlo ponosna. Mi cemo uvek pamtiti dragoceno vreme koje smo proveli zajedno, njegov kuriozitet, mudre savete, a ponekad i njegove iskrene primedbe.

Jasa se junacki borio sa bolescu poslednjih nekoliko meseci, ali je saznao za diagnozu raka pluca pre svega tri nedelje. Napustio nas je u miru i okruzen porodicom.

Jasa ce da zivi zauvek u nasim srcima i mislima.

Sa ljubavlju od njegove porodice.

There was contact information for the family listed as well, so if anyone wishes to contact Jasa’s children or wife, email me through this website’s contact form and I’ll send it to you.

I don’t know how old Jasa (pronounced like the Russian “Yasha”), was upon his death, though definitely somewhere in his 80s. We do know that he was a Holocaust survivor, a historian, and defender of the Serbs. Among many of his works was, I’ve been told, a definitive contextualizing and debunking of the popular notion that WWII Serbia was “the first Judenfrei city in Europe,” as minimizers of the Croatian genocide like to decoy. Unfortunately, there is no English version of the text, something Jasa hoped to remedy when he had the chance. He told me, “I wrote about it in my fourth book The Destruction and Rescuing of Serbian Jews, but the text is in Serbian. I will send you my article about the Holocaust in Jugoslavia included in my fifth book They Stayed Alive. Unfortunately it is also in Serbian. When I get a shorter version in English I will send it to you.”

One Almuli book that was translated into English, Jewish Women Speaking, got the first prize at the public competition by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Yugoslavia in 2004, and was sold out in Belgrade. Both were about hidden Jewish children, one in Greece and one in Serbia.

For his efforts at the truth, he was predictably called a revisionist by revisionists, accused of minimizing Auschwitz because he dared to describe the more demonic nature of the killing at Croatia’s Jasenovac complex. Interestingly, just this week The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Ephraim Zuroff told Vecernje Novosti that the Serbs ought to take the lead in fighting Croatian nazism, saying among other things, “The tragedy of the Jewish people is one of the greatest in history. But to be entirely frank, the Holocaust in the former Yugoslavia was a sideshow for the much bigger mass murder of Serbs.”

(Oh, would that the Serbs be ‘allowed’ to take such a lead; as we know, observable fascism ceases to be such if a Serb points to it.)

Here was one site citing Jasa on the topic:

Mass murder and cruelty

According to Jaša Almuli, former president of the Serbian Jewish community, Jasenovac was a much more terrifying concentration camp, in terms of cruelty, compared with Auschwitz. In the late summer of 1942, tens of thousands of Serbian villagers were deported to Jasenovac from the Kozara mountain area (in Bosnia) where NDH [Croatian] forces were fighting against the Yugoslav Partisans. Most of the men were killed at Jasenovac, but women were sent to forced labor in Germany. Children were taken from their mothers and either killed or dispersed to Catholic orphanages.

On the night of 29 August 1942, the prison guards made bets among themselves as to who could liquidate the largest number of inmates. One of the guards, Petar Brzica, boasted cutting the throats of about 1,360 new arrivals with a wheat cutting knife that became known as srbosjek (”Serb-cutter”).

Other participants who confessed to participating in the bet included Ante Zrinusic, who killed some 600 inmates, and Mile Friganovic, who gave a detailed and consistent report of the incident. Friganovic admitted to having killed some 1,100 inmates. He specifically recounted his torture of an old man named Vukasin; he attempted to compel the man to bless [Fuehrer/Poglavnik] Ante Pavelic, which the old man refused to do, although Friganovic cut off his ears, nose and tongue after each refusal. Ultimately, he cut out the old man’s eyes, tore out his heart, and slashed his throat. This incident was witnessed by Dr. Nikola Nikolic.

I don’t mean to mar this tribute to Jasa by such horrific imagery, but the fact is, he was right. Finally, here are two letters he wrote in the early 90s about the (still ongoing today) attempts to equate WWII Serbia with WWII Croatia.

Jasa Almuli, R.I.P.

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