Religious Liberty Trends - Islamic Imperialism: Somalia , Bosnia , Kosovo
By Elizabeth Kendal, World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (WEA RLC)
2/6/07 Somalia-Bosnia-Kosovo (ANS) -- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines imperialism as: "The policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations."
Islam is an imperialistic political system that employs a religious component for political and imperialistic gain. It is natural therefore that Islamic reformation and revival should result in renewed zeal for Islamic imperialism. While Muslims as human beings are extremely varied, holding beliefs ranging from irreligious to indifference to secular to moderate to extremist and from liberal to fundamentalist, the agenda of orthodox, Quranic Islam is absolutely radical and imperialistic.
Islamic imperialism is advanced in myriad ways: through jihad and pro-Sharia Islamist political movements; economically and culturally through the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), the Arab League, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and vast oil profits. These profits are used strategically to disseminate Islamic ideology and advance Islamic politics and culture, as well as to transform free nations (such as numerous Christian-majority African nations) and institutions (such as numerous Western universities) into submissive debtors.
For this annual trends posting I will focus on two regions where Islamic imperialist zeal and rhetoric rose to dangerous levels through 2006: the Horn of Africa, and the Balkans.
HORN OF AFRICA (HOA)
The year 2006 saw the rise and fall of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). For background see WEA RLC News & Analysis postings " Somalia : Igniting jihad in the Horn of Africa" (28 July 2006) and " Eritrea , Ethiopia , Somalia : Death and Danger in the Horn of Africa" (20 Oct 2006).
The rise of the ICU under the leadership of the belligerent al-Qaeda-linked Sheik Aweys, a vocal proponent of the creation of an Islamic Caliphate over a Greater Somalia, meant that conflict with neighbouring Ethiopia was inevitable.
In December 2006 the Ethiopian Army and soldiers loyal to Somalia 's UN-sponsored Transitional Federal Government (TFG) routed and all but crushed the ICU. It is imperative that Somalia 's government receive maximum international support to secure the state and improve the lives of the Somali people, thereby securing their hearts and minds.
It is estimated that during the December offensive around 3,000 ICU militants abandoned their uniforms and diffused back into the civilian population in Mogadishu where they remain hidden.
Al-Qaeda deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, has called for an Iraq-style Islamist insurgency. Al-Qaeda will doubtless attempt to incite Islamic irredentism and imperialism in Somalia , and separatism in Ogaden, the eastern region of Ethiopia that is home to some four million ethnic Somalis. This would certainly lead to an escalation in persecution of Christians in Muslim-dominated regions of the HOA.
Inflamed Islamic imperialist zeal would doubtless also invigorate the Islamist movement in Khartoum , and this could seriously rattle the tenuous peace in Southern Sudan . The tensions in the HOA will doubtless also lead to an escalation in Eritrea (historic enemy of Ethiopia and ally of the Islamists) of persecution against the Church, including the previously tolerated Orthodox Church.
The degree to which the wider HOA becomes a theatre for an Islamic imperialist insurgency (jihad) will depend largely on the commitment and ability of those charged with keeping the peace in Somalia to persist with conviction in the long operation of mopping-up terrorists and jihadists as they emerge.
Several terrorist incidents occurred during January 2007. If Islamic terrorists and jihadist manage to establish a base of operations for imperialistic jihad in the HOA, then Western and Christian interests and assets will be at risk from Addis Ababa to Juba , Djibouti , Asmara , Mogadishu and Nairobi .
THE BALKANS: SITUATION EXPLOSIVE
While the Balkans remained relatively peaceful through 2006, the issues that emerged onto centre stage last year are reminiscent of those issues that were a prelude to war in the 1990s. The two great issues are essentially related to Islamic imperialism:
* the status of Bosnia 's Serbs;
* the status of the Serbian province of Kosovo .
The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was dealt with thoroughly in a lengthy posting entitled " Bosnia and Herzegovina : Religious tensions rising" (19 September 2006). That posting included a detailed overview of the historical context that has given rise to the present position. This is hugely important because at present the history of the Serb nation, a Christian nation of Eastern Orthodox tradition, is buried deep beneath a veritable mountain of lies and revisionist propaganda, myth and demonisation courtesy of belligerent Islamist imperialist forces and their Western allies.
That posting was followed up with one entitled " Bosnia and Herzegovina : Fragile stability threatened by Islamisation" (12 October 2006).
The 1992-1995 Bosnian war was essentially over the status of Bosnian Serbs. In 1992 the Bosnian Serb rejection of the Islamist Izetbegovic's illegal, unconstitutional move to declare Bosnia independent from Yugoslavia triggered war. As Bosnian Muslims (Bosniacs) fought for an independent, united, Muslim Bosnia, Bosnian Serbs fought to retain their liberty and autonomy as they had no desire to be reduced to a Christian minority in an Islamic state, let alone be further separated from their fellow Serbs.
The Dayton Accords of 1995 ended the Bosnian war by establishing an independent Bosnia divided into two autonomous entities: the Muslim-Croat Federation, which today is under immense strain, and the Republika Srpksa (RS, Serb Republic ).
Hard-line Islamists have never accepted the Dayton Accords and view it as a betrayal by their war-time allies, the US . For RS to be part of an independent Bosnia , yet autonomous and not under Muslim rule, is totally against the Islamist order. Izetbegovic only signed the Dayton Accords because he feared that without I-FOR (the international peace keeping force) on the ground, Serbia and Croatia would attempt to divide Bosnia between them and that Bosnia alone would not have the capacity to resist. Izetbegovic knew the Bosniacs needed both the US to keep the peace and Iran to re-arm and advance the Islamist agenda.
The loudest voice against the "partitioning" of Bosnia and Herzegovina was war-time Foreign Minister and Prime Minister, Haris Silajdzic. Over the years Silajdzic has been persistently critical of Izetbegovic for making what he believed were too many concessions.
On 1 October 2006, Haris Silajdzic was elected as the Muslim representative in Bosnia 's tripartite presidency. Central to his election campaign was his proposal that RS be dissolved. Silajdzic uses words that impress the West, such as united, democratic and non-sectarian. But what he is advancing is the Islamic agenda to put all Bosnian territory and citizens under Muslim rule.
Further to this, Bosnia is under immense pressure from the West to move from the " Dayton phase" to the "European phase". Before it can join the EU, Bosnia is being advised that it must undergo constitutional reforms aimed at strengthening the central government at the expense of the entities. Some of these reforms are unacceptable to the Bosnian Serbs as they lessen their autonomy. The Orthodox Serbs are especially determined to retain autonomy in the area of policing as they do not want to be under a centrally administered, Muslim-dominated police force. Islamist imperialists and their naive supporters then label Serb resistance to dhimmitude as racist and ultra-nationalist!
The situation in Bosnia is explosive. Serbs (Orthodox) and Croats (Catholic) are both becoming agitated by the Islamist imperialistic rhetoric that is rising in an increasingly Islamised Bosnia . The situation today closely resembles 1992.
Ever since the Serbs liberated themselves from Ottoman (Islamic) rule (1912-1913), "Kosovars" (descendents of Albanian Muslims who migrated into Kosovo during the Ottoman era) have been complaining of "occupation" and agitating along secessionist lines. And the secessionism is both pan-Islamic and nationalistic in character.
The contemporary Kosovar vs Serb contest for Kosovo has really been going for almost a century now. Both sides have attempted to advance their status by diminishing the "other" when circumstances permitted. The Serb cause however, was particularly hurt by the Nazi-Muslim alliance in World War Two.
Yugoslavia came under Nazi occupation in April 1941, and while the Croats, Bosniacs and Kosovars were all allies of the Axis powers, the Serbs were aligned with the Allies. The Nazis, who viewed the Serbs as a threat to the Nazi advance in the Balkans, classed the Serbs as a "lesser race" to be exterminated along with Jews and Roma/Gypsies. Islamic imperialists joined Muslim Waffen-SS units, such as the mostly Bosniac Handschar Division in Bosnia and the mostly Kosovar Skenderbeg Division in Kosovo, and massacred Serbs with impunity.
The Axis powers created a "New" or "Greater Albania" by annexing territory from Montenegro and Serbia , including Kosovo and the western part of southern Serbia that is today part of Macedonia . Wide-scale ethnic cleansing occurred, aimed at creating an ethnically pure Albanian Kosovo, or "Kosova". The fascist Prime Minister of Greater Albania, Mustafa Kruja, and the Muslim leader of the Albanian National Committee, Bedri Pejani, both called for the total extermination of all Orthodox Serb Christians in Kosovo. Pejani also advocated for the union of Greater Albania with Bosnia and Herzegovina . The Nazi-allied Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Muhammad Amin al Husseini, approved the plan as being in the interests of Islam. However the Nazis, recognising that an Islamic super-state was not in their long-term interests, rejected the idea and kept the Muslim Bosniacs and Kosovars geographically separated.
Through the WW2 Nazi-Muslim holocaust in Yugoslavia , some one million Serbs, sixty thousand Jews and eighty thousand Roma were exterminated.
The Islamic imperialist agenda being advanced through the Nazi-Muslim alliance during WW2 was scuttled when the Allies won the war. However, while resistance to Nazi occupation came from both the Partisans (Communists, led by Marshall Tito, a Croat) and the Loyalists (loyal to Yugoslavia 's ruling Serb monarchy), Winston Churchill elected to abandon his Serb allies and support the Communists for political expediency (peace with the Soviets). This guaranteed a Communist victory and further suffering for the Serbs.
Marshall Tito divided Yugoslavia along ethnic lines in order to destroy the hegemony of the Serbs who were the largest ethnic group in Yugoslavia . While the various ethnic minorities lived in their ethnic regions, Serbs, though concentrated in Serbia , were scattered over the whole nation. Dividing Yugoslavia along ethnic lines left millions of Serbs as religious and ethnic minorities under the rule of those who had attempted genocide against them in World War Two. Tito also re-cast the borderless regions of Kosovo and Metohija as a single, bordered province within Serbia . Tito was keen to form a federation with Communist Albania so he denied the Serbs who had been ethnically cleansed from Kosovo during WW2 the right to return. In an effort to appease Kosovar separatists, Tito granted Kosovo autonomy in 1974.
When Kosovo's autonomy was revoked in 1989 on account of rising persecution of Serbs and sectarian unrest, Kosovar separatism increased, even to the extent that the Kosovars set up a parallel government. Milosevic dissolved Kosovo's Kosovar legislature after it unilaterally declared Kosovo independent. While Albania recognised the "Republic of Kosova" the international community did not because at that time it still respected International Law and the UN Charter and would not re-draw international borders just to appease separatists, Islamic imperialists or terrorists.
Kosovo has been a UN protectorate since 1999. During this time, around 150 historic Serbian monasteries and churches have been destroyed while some 400 mosques have been built. Meanwhile it is estimated that more than 1,000 Serbs and Roma (the KLA drove out all the Jews in 1999) have been kidnapped, killed and disappeared, while around 230,000 Serbs have been ethnically cleansed.
On Friday 2 February 2007, UN special envoy Martti Ahtisaari presented his proposal on the status of Kosovo. Ahtisaari has proposed that Kosovo have supervised independence.
The Kosovars have accepted the proposal while the Serbs naturally reject what is essentially a plan to excise 15 percent of Serbia's territory, which includes its historic spiritual heartland of Metohija (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metohija ) and cede it to Kosovar Muslim separatists.
Ahtisaari's proposal now goes to the UN Security Council where Russia and China will oppose it while the US and the UK will support it.
The UN cannot declare Kosovo independent without unleashing a torrent of secessionist claims across the globe and Kosovo, which claims to be special and unique but isn't, would be the precedent for them all. Russia and China would both be threatened, which is probably one of several reasons, along with appeasement of Islamists and attraction to myth, why the US and the UK are supporting it.
The Serbs are advocating for Kosovo to have autonomy within Serbia (see: http://www.kosovocompromise.com/ ). However Kosovars and other Islamist imperialists will doubtless accept nothing less than full independence.
The situation in the Balkans is explosive and Kosovo may well prove to be the fuse.