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Priština: Wahhabis in Kosovo

ICC Note: The long arm of the Saudis stretches to Europe, endangering Christians in Kosovo and threatening peace in the region.

3/19/07 Serbia/Kosovo ( – Albanian media in Kosovo report today the Wahhabis have been active in the province since the early 1990’s.

The reports claim that the radical Islamic sect has 30 religious schools in Kosovo, adding that their activity presents the Albanian community’s identity with “a serious challenge”.

The Wahhabis mainly work to religiously indoctrinate impoverished Albanians, Bosniaks, Egyptians and Ashkalis, according to the Priština-based media.

The sect, which refers to its members as “fighters of pure Islam”, impose their “exclusive teachings” during funerals, circumcision rituals and other religious gatherings, offering their version of Koran as an alternative to natural or social theories.

The reports point to Elvis Goga from Peć as “the chief mujahedin in Kosovo”, adding that the expansion of Wahhabism in the province has been aided by the foreign NGOs that still operate under the umbrella of the joint Saudi committee for assistance to Kosovo and Chechnya .

These organizations arrived in the province in the wake of the 1999 war and stayed on in the field, obeying the Saudi government’s position to “remain as long as they’re needed.”

Wahhabis open internet cafes associated with their mosques, “in a bid to attract children to listen to ‘naslihates’ against Skenderbeg and the Albanian national renewal movement, the Western civilization and even Kosovo’s traditional brand of Islam,” the media report.

The newspapers in Priština also say that “Kosovo and international mujahedins may be preparing for a rebellion on the brink of the status solution,” adding that the characteristic Wahhabi personalities would “attract the international reporters to Kosovo in an instant.”