A note from Jim Jatras over at the American Council for Kosovo:
For years, proponents of Western, especially U.S., backing for Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo have been assuring us that we would be acting as midwife for the ever-elusive peaceful, tolerant, democratic, etc. Islam. As now-Vice President Joe Biden put it, U.S. support for an independent Kosovo (a failure from the get-go) was to have been a “much-needed example of a successful U.S.-Muslim partnership.”
The predicate of such “partnership” was of course the absence of the radical, violent jihad ideology found — well, pretty much everywhere else in the Islamic world. Now comes one of the premier apologists for Balkan Islam, Stephen Schwartz, confirming in The Weekly Standard that — big surprise! — Kosovo and Bosnia, not to mention nearby areas of southern Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, are threatened by “Saudi-financed, ultrafundamentalist Wahhabi” agitation.
Schwartz’s proposed solution: “Our new administration should demonstrate the fresh approach to Islam announced by President Obama, by clearly siding with Muslim moderates under siege.” Evidently the lesson never sinks in that bowing to Muslim demands for territorial concessions, whether in Kosovo, Bosnia, Kashmir, “Palestine,” Mindanao, Chechnya, etc., etc., as a supposed antidote to “fundamentalism,” is a losing proposition that feeds further violent inclinations, not discourages them.
Regarding Schwartz’s assertion that Wahhabism is taking hold in northern Kosovo — in an area overwhelmingly Christian and Serbian, and that “Saudi-backed Wahhabis and Serb radicals are conspiring together” — nothing of the sort has been reported by any reputable source, including the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the European Union (EULEX), or even NATO. If he has any proof to that effect, let him offer it. There is, however, abundant information to the contrary: that violent radical activities based in Albanian Muslim-dominated areas south of the Ibar River are a source of terrorist infection in the region. (And outside of it as well. Schwartz conveniently omits mention of the four “moderate” Albanian Muslims from the Kosovo region who were convicted in the foiled plot to launch a jihad terror attack on Fort Dix, New Jersey.) For example, in 2007 Serbian police rolled up a terrorist training camp near the city of Novi Pazar in Serbia’s heavily Muslim Sandjak region. The connection to the Novi Pazar camp was to the Albanian Muslim-controlled south of Kosovo, not the largely Serbian north. Given Sandjak’s geographic isolation from other Muslim communities, the network of which the camp was a part must have branched into Sandjak from Kosovo, not to Kosovo from Sandjak.
Schwartz’s throwing up a red herring of Serbian collusion with Wahhabists — obvious to anyone familiar with the region but not, he supposes, to readers of the Weekly Standard — serves only to conceal and facilitate the jihadist violence he pretends to deplore.
Schwartz’s prescription also is notable for the usual whitewashing of Islamic “moderates” (who aren’t, and who have demonstrated a long history of assaulting Christian Serbs and destroying their holy places) by reference to those bad, bad Wahhabis, much as “Stalinism” was a useful dodge for exonerating communism per se as a violent ideology. The only real question is: why does the Weekly Standard keep publishing such dangerous nonsense?