Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses the prospect of an independent Kosovo, now being bandied about:
Independence for a Muslim Kosovo? No. Without commenting in detail on the history of the Serbs in Kosovo, one can simply offer the following:
Ibrahim Rugova, recently deceased, was always presented as a “moderate” Albanian in Kosovo. Yet he never uttered a word about the destruction, in recent times, of Orthodox churches, or the harrying, and murder, of Serbian villagers. Nor did he ever note that Izetbegovic’s plan to thoroughly islamize whatever area he controlled was set out long before there was any “in the heat of battle” to explain it away.
In World War II, the United States and Great Britain had to do whatever they could to stop Hitler. To this end, they made common cause with, and even gave aid to, a regime that was not exactly to the liking of either country, and certainly not to Winston Churchill or to Franklin Roosevelt: the Soviet Union. That aid, offloaded at Murmansk, was not only in tangible tanks and guns. It was also in diplomatic support, financial support, all other kinds of support. And there was no stopping, during that war, to tell the Soviet regime how badly it behaved, because all that mattered then was to stop Hitler and the Nazis.
The triumph of Islam, or any victory, anywhere that will be interpreted by Muslims as a triumph of Islam, should be opposed for that very reason. It could be a case where the Muslim demands are outrageous, as in the Lesser Jihad against Israel which has so successfully been based on manipulation of the phrase “the Palestinian people” — so as to make it seem as merely a nationalist resistance. This disguises the fact that it is and always was, and always will be, a classic Jihad, designed to destroy an Infidel sovereignty and to replace it with one where Islam will “dominate and is not to be dominated” — even where the Shari’a will be imposed.
It could also be a case as in Chechnya, where the historical record makes one more sympathetic to the Chechens. They were moved about and subject to massacres by Stalin, and are now being put down with Soviet-style ruthlessness. But now that the Chechen cause has been thoroughly islamized, and its triumph would be a triumph for Islam, even those doubtful about the Russian (Soviet) regime and aware of what happened to the Chechens under Stalin must still be opposed to a victory for Chechnya.
And the same goes everywhere where a victory for the Muslim side will inevitably lead to a shrill triumphalism that can only be bad for Infidels, whatever they think, wherever their expressed sympathies lie.
And that is why those who, trying to be fair, trying to be more than fair, and stating a case for the Albanians (that is, the Muslim Albanians, even as they destroy churches and the villages), are actually working to make Islam stronger.
Under Ottoman rule, many Christian Albanians converted to Islam so as to avoid being treated the way non-Muslims were treated (devshirme, etcetera). That is how native Albanians became Muslims in the first place. The supposed “moderateness” of the Islam practiced by many Albanians reflected several things: the recent arrival of Islam, the separation of Albania physically from the Ottoman heartland by Christian Greece, and the presence within Albania and in circumambient lands of large numbers of Christians. These people had not yet been thoroughly subjugated; their mere example and presence helped to foster a more relaxed atmosphere, a less observant group of Muslims. The kind of syncretism, of softening of the edges of Islam, can in the same way, for the same kind of reasons, be observed in the East Indies, where for so long large communities of Hindus, Buddhists, and other non-Muslims put a break on Islam’s ferocity — a check on fanaticism, a dilution of the mores and manners that the Sharia mandates. And in the last two centuries, the appearance of large numbers of both Chinese, and the Dutch colonial rulers, also helped to constrain Islam. (Those Dutch were for a while guided in their attempts to deal with Islam by none other than Snouck Hurgronje himself).
As for the “co-existence” about which we hear so much, it was a matter of being under Ottoman Muslim rule, where the Christians knew their place. But now that that Ottoman tide has subsided in Europe, the Muslim Albanians have not all refocused their energies on religion (so many are busily involved in the drug and prostitution trades in Italy, for example), but when they do — well, watch out. For inevitably, “moderates” can, in a wink, shed that “moderation” and become real full-fledged, full-bodied Muslims. And that means, as all those who watched the dozens of venerable Orthodox churches go up in flames last year, the Full Monty, Muslim-style.
Most Albanian immigrants around the world, in such places as Massachusetts (where old King Zog, presumably a merry old soul, spent many years), are Orthodox Albanian. They fled years ago the Muslim environment, just as did Christians from Lebanon and Syria. And perhaps their descendants do not always realize, in one case as in the other, why their ancestors fled — but it had a great deal to do with the growing menace and perceived encroachments of Islam.
Independence for a Muslim Kosovo? No. A thousand times no.