If there are no churches, it must be Muslim land. From Reuters, with thanks to Ali Dashti:
PARIS, June 11 (Reuters) – European states must help rescue dozens of Orthodox churches and monasteries destroyed in Kosovo to show they are serious about fostering better ties between Serbs and Albanians there, a European expert said on Friday.
A large part of the Serbian Orthodox heritage in Kosovo, the province Serbs consider the hallowed birthplace of their nation, was destroyed or damaged by majority Albanian rioters last March in what a NATO official called “almost ethnic cleansing.”
“Almost ethnic cleansing,” eh? Of course, Reuters can’t use the j-word.
For Thyse, Kosovo’s religious heritage played a key role in the struggle to restore the multinational society that Kosovo enjoyed before Yugoslavia fell apart in 1991.
“The discussions on Kosovo’s future status are starting,” he said. Albanians make up 90 percent of the two million Kosovars.
“To keep the Serbs from claiming this area as part of their national heritage, some Albanians are attacking their churches.”
To maintain its claim on parts of the province, the Serbian Orthodox Church has defiantly stayed on, with priests and monks hunkering down in the remaining icon-filled churches and frescoed monasteries under peacekeepers’ protection.
Local patriarch Bishop Artemije has repeatedly criticised peacekeepers in the province — officially part of Serbia although Belgrade does not control it — for protecting the clergy but not the churches at the holy Serbian sites.