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This Is A Kosovar Muslim
Commentary ^ | Unk. | Michael J. Totten

Posted on 05/06/2008 3:02:36 PM PDT by forkinsocket

Lee Smith laments that American Muslims have to read almost exclusively about scary Muslims and slightly less scary Muslims in the mainstream American media. “One can only sympathize with American Muslims,” he writes,

those who may or may not be religious, but surely have no attachment to the obscurantist fanatics that drove them from the region, and must now be wondering what is wrong with the New York Times that the only Muslims that register with the paper of record are very scary ones, and less scary ones.

I have noticed and been annoyed by this tendency myself, and it goes double today: I'm writing this from the capital of Kosovo, the least “scary” Muslim country on Earth. I've grown accustomed to moderate Muslims after living in and traveling to places like Beirut and Istanbul, but Kosovo is surprising even to me. Islam in this country is so thoroughly liberal (“moderate” doesn't quite cover it) that, if it weren't for the mosques, there would be no visible evidence that Kosovo is a Muslim country at all. I've been in Prishtina, the capital, for four days, and I can count the number of women I've seen wearing a hijab on one hand. Aside from the conservative dating culture, women here are as liberated as Christian women in the rest of the Balkan region.

A large number of Kosovo's Muslims are Sufis--the most peaceful and the least fundamentalist of all the world's Muslims. Sufis can be found in many parts of the Islamic world, but here in Kosovo they proudly proclaim that they are the most “progressive” of all.

Soft-imperial Wahhabis are trying to export their brand of Islam from the deserts of Saudi Arabia to this fertile green land. They have their work cut out for them with this crowd. Bosnia notoriously welcomed thousands of Salafist mujahideen fighters from the Arab world during Yugoslavia's violent demise. But the Kosovo Liberation Army brusquely told them to stay the hell out of their country--even while they faced an ethnic cleansing campaign directed from Belgrade.

“After two years of traveling almost exclusively to Western Europe and the Middle East,” Thomas Friedman wrote in 2003, “Poland feels like a geopolitical spa. I visited here for just three days and got two years of anti-American bruises massaged out of me.” I feel the same way now in Kosovo after working for much of the last year in Iraq. (Kosovo feels like a pro-American spa compared even to my home town in the United States.)

American flags are on sale at kiosks everywhere. They fly in front of government buildings. The world's second largest replica of the Statue of Liberty sits atop the five star Hotel Victory. The largest street downtown was renamed Bill Clinton Boulevard. Many businesses are likewise named after Clinton. One cafe owner called his establishment “Hillary” and placed two gigantic pictures of Bill and Hillary on the walls. Don't assume, though, that this makes Kosovars Muslim versions of Euro-lefties. Clinton is rightly hailed as a liberator, but one resident told me “We are Republicans here in Kosovo.” They want a strong American President who won't back down from commitments.

Just a few short blocks from Bill Clinton Boulevard is the Israeli Odyssea Bakery. It is not just a Jewish bakery, but an Israeli bakery owned and operated by an actual Israeli. The very idea of this would be unthinkable in even the most liberal of Arabic-speaking countries.

Accomplished businessman and practicing Muslim Luan Berisha told me that 90 percent of Kosovars support Israel in the Arab-Israeli conflict. I don't know if that's really true. But if so it means Kosovo is more pro-Israel than even the United States. And even if he was exaggerating, it was an intriguing-- and telling--exaggeration. No one in any Arabic country would say such a thing. Whatever sneaking sympathy for Israel might exist here and there in the Arab world is vehemently denied by just about everyone else. Kosovo sharply contrasts also with nearby Serbia on this question, where General Wesley Clark is seen as a sinister Jewish figure who plotted Belgrade's destruction, and where Saddam Hussein was considered an ally.

Forget creepy crypto-Islamists like Tariq Ramadan and his ilk, whom reporters like to swoon over. Genuinely liberal and moderate Muslims do exist. They're just not famous. If NATO's Kosovo war had taken place after September 11, 2001 instead of two years earlier, perhaps the Muslims of Kosovo wouldn't be so obscure. As it stands now, hardly anyone bothers to write about them because their country no longer explodes.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: appeasement; balkans; islamofascists; jihad; kosovo; muslims; wrongside
.
1 posted on 05/06/2008 3:02:36 PM PDT by forkinsocket
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To: forkinsocket
Aren't many Muslims there more along the veins of sufi in terms of how they view their religion. (not actually sufi but theologically similar?)
2 posted on 05/06/2008 3:06:01 PM PDT by mnehring
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To: forkinsocket

The same people who burned down every church in Kosovo after their victory??


3 posted on 05/06/2008 3:10:52 PM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: SJackson

FYI. Thought you might be interested in this, for your ping list.


4 posted on 05/06/2008 3:11:05 PM PDT by NYC GOP Chick
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To: forkinsocket
those who may or may not be religious...

Um... If they aren't religious, then they aren't Muslims. It's not an ethnicity.

5 posted on 05/06/2008 3:13:21 PM PDT by SeeSharp
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To: SeeSharp

True, but many Arabs do refer to themselves as “secular Muslims” to refer to their cultural upbringing. I’ve even heard specific phrases like “secular Shi’i”. This is among Arabs, don’t know about Bosnians.


6 posted on 05/06/2008 3:15:25 PM PDT by forkinsocket
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To: forkinsocket

The woman I’m dating says that the real problems with the kosovar muslims were rooted outside the country. (She’s from Pancevka)


7 posted on 05/06/2008 3:15:41 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Voting CONSERVATIVE in memory of 5 children killed by illegals 2/17/08 and 2/19/ 08)
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To: forkinsocket

Kind of makes you wonder who it was that desecrated all those Christian monasteries and old churches in Kosovo doesn’t it? Bill Clinton Boulevard huh? That’s good enough for me! I guess that means they’re OK after all. I thought Totten was smarter than this.


8 posted on 05/06/2008 3:18:14 PM PDT by D_Idaho ("For we wrestle not against flesh and blood...")
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.

High Volume. Articles on Israel can also be found by clicking on the Topic or Keyword Israel. or WOT [War on Terror]

----------------------------

Since it's such a peaceful place, perhaps the government will look into the epidemic of spontaneous Church combustion.

9 posted on 05/06/2008 3:26:48 PM PDT by SJackson (I'm a lawyer, Barack is a lawyer, all our friends are lawyers, Michelle O.)
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To: D_Idaho
"Bill Clinton Boulevard huh? That’s good enough for me! I guess that means they’re OK after all."

There's a bit of irony. A Bill Clinton Blvd. in a place known for burning churches.

10 posted on 05/06/2008 3:35:30 PM PDT by VR-21
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To: forkinsocket

Excellent find, thank you.


11 posted on 05/06/2008 3:45:36 PM PDT by Diocletian
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To: forkinsocket; joan; Smartass; zagor-te-nej; Lion in Winter; Honorary Serb; jb6; Incorrigible; ...
Notice how he specifies that the bakery is owned by an Israeli but he never mentions the word Jew?

That's because he's hoping the readers don't know that Kosovo has been Judenfrei since the Serbs were driven out by NATO.

12 posted on 05/06/2008 3:45:54 PM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: RaceBannon

They burned down churches not in the name of Islam, but rather because the Serbian Church is a national one and represented the Serbian nation, their enemies. Those attacks were national and not Islamic in character.


13 posted on 05/06/2008 3:46:24 PM PDT by Diocletian
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To: FormerLib

““We are Republicans here in Kosovo.””

Speaks volumes about our foreign policy over the past few years! Also explains the stream of money flowing from Kosovo Mohammedans into McCain’s campaign coffers. The commitment of the Republican ruling elites to Islam is truly astonishing.


14 posted on 05/06/2008 3:51:53 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated)
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To: forkinsocket
They're so moderate and tolerant that they butchered the Christian residents of Kosovo for transplant organs and blow up churches and monasteries. For shame! Commentary should know better than to print such claptrap.
15 posted on 05/06/2008 3:54:58 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: Diocletian
They burned down churches not in the name of Islam, but rather because the Serbian Church is a national one and represented the Serbian nation, their enemies. Those attacks were national and not Islamic in character.

Bullshit
Down through the ages Muslims have devastated churches and synagogues in the name of Jihad. Not to mention the razing of Hindu and Buddhist shrines
16 posted on 05/06/2008 4:00:22 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: mnehrling

Plenty of Sufis have been Jihadists. Sufis get a good rep here and in Europe. Sufism gets Christian converts here. But the historical record shows they have participated in Jihads. Kashmir has Sufi Jihadists


17 posted on 05/06/2008 4:03:20 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: forkinsocket
Michael J. Totten, Judas Goat.
18 posted on 05/06/2008 4:05:48 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (John McCain, the Manchurian Candidate.)
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To: forkinsocket
Ya right. I have as my ch sympathy for them as I have for a pile of cow dung!!!
When you hitch you horse to the wagon of hate, murder, female slavery, and imposed suppressive cult laws do not be surprised when people judge you the same as the rest of the animals in that herd.
We all learned a great deal about islam on 9/11. To be honest, it's all i need to know.
Due to the fact that islamics will not step and clearly, concisely, without qualification or excuses, absolutely condemn the murdering muslim terrorists then I can only conclude that they are all the same.
19 posted on 05/06/2008 4:11:42 PM PDT by oldenuff2no (As bit by bit of the states case falls apart Texas responds with a few more unsubstienated accusatio)
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To: Diocletian; RaceBannon

You are correct, Race. It was Jihad at its worst (the bleating of the Jihadist apologists notwithstanding).

There were a few attempts to claim those Churches as property of the Albanian Orthodox Church but the Albanian Orthodox were not going to have any part in this.

Of course, the Muslims had already desecrated every Christian Church they could. Remember how it was headline news when the Taliban blew up that statue of Bhudda? Yet hundreds of Christian Churches and monasteries were destroyed and people still fall all over themselves to excuse the behavior.


20 posted on 05/06/2008 4:23:13 PM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: Diocletian

If it is only the Serb church that is targeted, how are other christians doing there? Evangelicals, catholics, other orthodox? Are they free to worship and evangelize?

How are jews treated?

Just curious.


21 posted on 05/06/2008 4:25:25 PM PDT by marron
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To: forkinsocket

Most of the Muslims I know are Bosnian, and they are scary (expletive)s.


22 posted on 05/06/2008 4:48:35 PM PDT by grellis (By order of the Ingham County Sheriff this tag has been seized for nonpayment of taxes)
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To: marron; FormerLib; Kolokotronis; Bokababe

This is what the Kosovo Albanian muslims can do to Albanian Catholics:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1818955/posts

And I know that the KLA types burned down at least one Albanian Evangelical Protestant church soon after the Serb army was forced out of Kosovo in 1999.

Kosovo Albanian culture is clan-based, and especially with their difficult language and code of revenge, no American tourist ninny is going to penetrate it. So things may seem all Stars and Stripes and rah-rah clinton on the surface, while a volcano of violence and savagery is bubbling underneath!!!!


23 posted on 05/06/2008 7:59:46 PM PDT by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: forkinsocket; FormerLib; Bokababe; Kolokotronis

...“One can only sympathize with American Muslims,” he writes...

Somehow I have a great deal of difficulty sympathizing with them.

That is because I know about the large fifth-columnist mosque in the heart of our metropolitan area, which has helped finance the KLA, the “Bosnian” islamists, Hamas, the Chechen bandits, etc., and has hate literature in its library against Christians (especially Orthodox Serbs and Russians), Jews, and Americans.

I also know that nearly every metropolitan area in the US has at least one fifth-columnist mosque, usually financed by the Saudis and other Gulf Arabs, and run by the fifth-columnist muslim Brotherhood.

Somehow, I would find it easier to sympathize with “American” muslims if they would clean up their own house!


24 posted on 05/06/2008 8:08:45 PM PDT by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: forkinsocket
Islam in this country is so thoroughly liberal (“moderate” doesn't quite cover it) that, if it weren't for the mosques, there would be no visible evidence that Kosovo is a Muslim country at all.

Guess he missed all the destroyed churches!

25 posted on 05/06/2008 8:24:34 PM PDT by F-117A (Mr. Bush, Condi, have someone read UN Resolution 1244 to you!!!)
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To: Honorary Serb

These unflattering thoughts come to mind when thinking Islam, but too true. It is a dangerous game to court Islam to any cause, as the CIA found out the hard way with its ugly step child in the Afghan-Soviet war, Al Qaeda. There is no peace with Islam, no negotiations, no compromise of convenience, and surely no trusting them. They are deceitful liars, and no truce or hudna is worth the paper. For this there is no apology.

Mohammedans today are what they had always been, descendants of caravan raiders led by a delusional Arab warlord who turned his armies into slavers, hostage takers, rapers, looters, and genocidal murderers of all past civilizations conquered, all in the name of their pagan moon god Allah. Their only claims to fame, their so-called "Golden Age of Isalm", was largely stolen.

To court Islam for any modern cause other than to put it down will lead to the 'Constantinople syndrome', where they close in and one day storm through the gates. There is no peace with Islam, only war until they feel themselves totally subdued and discredited. Not a religion, no apologies to a cult of war. Action speaks louder than words.

Modern Islam has morphed into violent threats, abuse of freedoms, abuse of women, riots over most trivial things, suicide bombings, and all elements of violent Jihad terrorism against our freedoms and democratic ways of life, all powered by their Sharia. Muslims claim this is a small minority, but their silence is collective condemnation of their majority complicity, even if only with their silence. Why? What place can modern Islam occupy in the modern world? None. So, no apologies to them, ever, for any perceived slights as they play their victimhood card. They are the ones who should be apologizing to us.
Posted by: Battle_of_Tours [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 7, 2008 1:12 AM


26 posted on 05/07/2008 3:18:33 AM PDT by dennisw
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To: forkinsocket

Totten’s piece just reeks of accomodation. Sufis are mohamedans and mohamedans are sufis..both inhumanly strange and demented cults.


27 posted on 05/07/2008 6:51:37 AM PDT by eleni121 (EN TOUTO NIKA!! +)
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To: marron
The article above is a crock, cheerleader piece. Are we Americans really that vain and stupid to think that just because they have a "Bill Clinton Boulevard" and an fly a bunch of American flags, that they are "pro-American, non-jihadist Muslims"? What did Bill Clinton EVER do that was "good for America"?

And if you recall, the press went on and on with the same PR bull about the Bosnian Muslims being "peaceful" and "secular" before it turned up that 4 of the 9/11 hijackers cut their jihadist teeth in the Bosnian wars! "How are jews treated?

This is a pretty insightful interview, re not only on what happened to Kosovo Jews, but on the fact that as the Jews of Kosovo were thrown out, Albanians from Albania actually invaded Kosovo in the supposed "Kosovar return to Kosovo".

28 posted on 05/07/2008 8:34:31 AM PDT by Bokababe ( http://www.savekosovo.org)
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To: marron

And here is what happened to the Roma community in Kosovo: http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles/Rifati_Kosovo.htm


29 posted on 05/07/2008 8:48:34 AM PDT by Bokababe ( http://www.savekosovo.org)
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To: Bokababe; Honorary Serb; Diocletian

So, lets see. Evangelicals, orthodox, catholics, jews, and gypsies are being pushed out of Kosovo at the point of a gun.

Who does that leave?

There is a lesson here for anyone that cares to learn it.

Thanks.


30 posted on 05/07/2008 9:05:40 AM PDT by marron
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To: dennisw

Sorry Dennis, but you’re completely wrong. I’ve explained why the attacks on churches happened.


31 posted on 05/07/2008 4:09:19 PM PDT by Diocletian
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To: marron

Are any of those groups Albanians? if not, then you’re beginning to understand Kosovo.


32 posted on 05/07/2008 4:10:12 PM PDT by Diocletian
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