Skip to comments.This Is A Kosovar Muslim
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.
The same people who burned down every church in Kosovo after their victory??
FYI. Thought you might be interested in this, for your ping list.
Um... If they aren't religious, then they aren't Muslims. It's not an ethnicity.
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.
The woman I’m dating says that the real problems with the kosovar muslims were rooted outside the country. (She’s from Pancevka)
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.
Since it's such a peaceful place, perhaps the government will look into the epidemic of spontaneous Church combustion.
There's a bit of irony. A Bill Clinton Blvd. in a place known for burning churches.
Excellent find, thank you.
That's because he's hoping the readers don't know that Kosovo has been Judenfrei since the Serbs were driven out by NATO.
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.
“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.
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
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.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.