"With the blood of these shahids, with the lots of suffering of innocent people…we hope in the near future to be the newest state in the world."
Here's an intriguing story, sent in to us by Jim Jatras, Director of the American Council for Kosovo and a member of the Jihad Watch Board.
"Kosovo's top Islamic leader asks local Muslims for support," by Niraj Warikoo in the Detroit Free Press:
The top Islamic leader of Kosovo spoke to Muslims in metro Detroit today, asking them to support the independence of his province.
Mufti Naim Ternava, president of the Islamic Community of Kosovo, is in Michigan as part of a visit to the U.S. to garner support for making Kosovo an independent country. The Muslim-majority province is currently a part of Serbia.
"Pray for the independence of Kosovo," Ternava said through a translator during the Friday sermon to about two hundred Muslims at the Muslim Center of Detroit on Davison Ave. "Thousands of miles away from here, there are Muslim brothers in Kosovo who suffered for many, many years and who are close religious brothers with you."
Critics of Kosovo's independence worry that Kosovo would be a hotbed of extremism if it became a separate country, but Ternava and his assistant said that Kosovo's Muslim community is tolerant and modern.
Ternava also spoke with Muslims at the Southfield office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and at the Albanian Islamic Center in Harper Woods.
During his talk at the Muslim Center, Ternava said that "thousands of people…went as shahids (martyrs) during all these sufferings" that Kosovo went through.
"With the blood of these shahids, with the lots of suffering of innocent people…we hope in the near future to be the newest state in the world," he said.
Ternava also urged the crowd to follow the teachings of Islam.
"Islam is such a comprehensive religion which includes all what the family needs and what an individual needs in this world," he said. "Help others to understand it. Teach it to others."
During his U.S. trip, which is sponsored by the U.S. State Dept., Ternava is also visiting New York, and Washington D.C. to meet with Muslims and State Dept. officials.