From AP via The Star Online:
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnian Muslims celebrate 600 years of Islam in their nation Saturday with a concert of spiritual music, a prayer for peace, and a gentle reminder to Europe: not all of the continent’s Muslims are of immigrant origin.
“Recently we have noticed that Europe is obsessed by the immigrant Muslims from the East,” said Mustafa Ceric, head of the Bosnia Islamic Community, the official institution of Bosnia’s Muslims. “This is an opportunity to remind that there are indigenous Muslims in Europe.”
“By celebrating 600 years of Islam here we want to naturalize Islam in Europe,” he said, adding that Bosnia’s Muslims have illustrated how Islam can be harmonized with a European way of life.
Sarajevo is a good place to send a message of peace, since the last century started and ended with a with a war in Sarajevo, Ceric said.
Is anyone able to put two and two together here? Maybe it had something to do with the presence of Islam in the Balkans that the region has been so marked by conflict? And what sort of “European way of life” does Islam intend to “harmonize with”? Fascism? Genocide? Spitting on America?
The 1914 assassination in Sarajevo of the crown prince of the Austro-Hungarian empire triggered World War I. And genocide was carried out on Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.
For those still laboring under the adumbrated delusions of the most recent round of Balkan wars, see Diane Johnstone’s Fool’s Crusade or anything on the matter by Serge Trifkovic.
Islam arrived in Bosnia with the Ottoman occupation in 1463 and found the local population split between Roman Catholicism, a dying indigenous Bosnian Church, and Christian Orthodoxy.
Islam spread over the next 400 years of Ottoman rule, mostly thanks to tax cuts and other benefits given to those who converted. It remains the faith of almost half of Bosnia’s population.
Tax cuts. That’s right — tax cuts. Were the Muslim conquerors Republicans? One assumes that this is a reference to the converts’ not having to pay protection money, the jizya, to the Muslim overlords. Other advantages included not having one’s children taken as slaves by the Devshirme system and getting to keep your head if you were late on your protection payments. Read on, if you like.