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Can Turkey Learn Tolerance?

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  • Bell, yes I know the source....


    BBC World Service

    Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 19:04 GMT

    Turks in Christian murder trial
    Funeral of murdered Christian in Malatya
    Many Christians moved out of Malatya after the murders
    The trial has started in eastern Turkey of five men accused of killing three Christians earlier this year.

    The Christians, who included a pastor and a German missionary, were stabbed repeatedly and had their throats cut.

    The suspects, aged 19 and 20, were detained at the scene of the crime, a Protestant publishing house in Malatya.

    The trial was adjourned after defence lawyers argued they needed more time to prepare. The hearing is now expected to resume in mid-January.

    Turkey is a candidate for EU membership. The bloc has asked Ankara to protect the human rights of the country's ethnic and religious minorities, as a precondition for membership.

    Germany has accused Turkey of "unacceptable intolerance" towards non-Muslims.

    The murders prompted three Christian families to leave Malatya, in eastern Turkey.

    The attack came months after the killing of the ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and a year after the killing of a Catholic priest in northern Turkey.

    In all cases, the alleged killers were nationalist-minded young men or even teenagers.

    Turkish nationalists often view missionaries as a threat, especially in remote places like Malatya, says the BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Istanbul.

    Life sentences

    In Malatya, the defendants reportedly told police they were acting to foil a plot to undermine Islam and divide Turkey.

    Turkish police carry one of the victims from the publishing house
    The three victims were found bound by hand and foot

    The killings were condemned by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    The five suspects face three life sentences each, while two others are charged with membership of a terrorist organisation.

    A lawyer acting for the victims' families earlier said he was concerned by the tone of the indictment against the accused.

    More than half the 31 files in the indictment focus on the missionary work of the men murdered. They include contact details of people they approached.

    The lawyer believes that will help those accused plead provocation.

    The town's Protestant community now numbers only about two dozen people.

    There are only around 100,000 Christians left in Turkey - less than 1% of the population.

    My bold highlights.

    Comment


    • Once again, can turkey be taught tolerance ??

      NO !

      Comment


      • Mosaic? Yeah right


        http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/ya...haberno=127984


        ANDREW FINKEL
        The search for tolerance

        Turkey is a mosaic. Or so the cliché runs. It is a metaphor in praise of multi-culturalism, a liberal-minded suggestion that the grand design is far more interesting than the component pieces. A mosaic view of culture holds that it’s a good thing that not every single Greek Orthodox has left the country (even though the numbers are down to under 5,000) and that Armenians or Jews have a proud place in Turkish life. A mosaic floor where every stone is the same size and the same color would be monochrome and dull.
        Thinking of Turkey as a mosaic and not a monolith is a great advance on the post-1920s view of nation which saw “Turkishness” not as an interesting pattern but as a wallpaper for covering over diversity. All manner of people were welcomed into public life as long as they left their cultural differences at home. People were expected to cover up, not with a headscarf, but with the cloak of modernity. Not to conform, to insist on one’s right to wear that headscarf or use Kurdish, or hold allegiances or a mother tongue other than Turkish was seen as a potential betrayal.

        As literary conceits go, the view that “society is a large mosaic” is a step in the right direction, but not quite far enough. After all, a mosaic is only a mosaic if every chip knows its place. If the blue chip wants to be green and the green dyes its hair yellow, the result is a messy blur. So the search for political correctness has led some to look at other decorative arts. “Society is not so much a mosaic as an ebru,” some say. “Ebru” is, of course, marbling -- the art of creating a design from oil paint floating on water and lightly laying a piece of paper on top. Ebrus are largely abstract in design, although they can have figurative elements. While the colors may seem less defined than in a mosaic, they still have to behave themselves. If you stir the water too vigorously, you end up with muddy gray. Social actors are not black or white, red or orange, but changing all the time.

        So while Turkey is developing a language to acknowledge cultural complexity, it is still looking for a way of describing the freedom not to conform. The true test of tolerance is not accepting that people come in different hues but accepting that people whose birth and education should make them look just like you decide to be something totally different. Those who think of themselves as tolerant might still do a mental double take at the sight of a president’s wife with her head covered, just as there are men who know women are equal but can’t quite manage to treat them as equals at work. One blade that strikes to the heart of concealed intolerance is that of religious converts. The number of Turkish Muslims who actually abandon their religion for another is statistically insignificant. Even in the 19th century, Western missionaries to the Ottoman Empire were busier proselytizing among Armenians and fellow Christians than Muslims. Yet in popular culture, Christian missionaries are a corrupting and insidious threat. They are a bogeyman to subvert one’s own identity. It is one thing to celebrate diversity in the abstract, another to have diversity encroach upon your own life -- like seeing your children marry a person of a different color skin or faith.

        I write all this because Turkey’s capacity for tolerance was literally put on trial last week in the city of Malatya, where five men were charged with a particularly vicious set of murders. The victims, Tilmann Geske, a German missionary, Pastor Necati Aydın and Uğur Yüksel, had been attending Bible study in a Christian publishing house. They were tied to their chairs, stabbed repeatedly in the stomach, genitals and back. Their fingers were sliced off and their throats slashed from ear to ear. The accused, all aged between 19-20, allegedly filmed this outrage on their mobile telephones.

        According to some reports of the first court hearing, it was not the accused on trial, but the people they mutilated. “Listening to the proceedings, you’d think they were some sort of criminal gang and that they deserved what they got,” another Turkish pastor who attended the trial was quoted as having said. The sympathy the attackers appear to have attracted is similar to the hero’s welcome the teenager accused of the murder of the Armenian editor Hrant Dink received in the police station where he was arrested. These are instances of Turkey not celebrating the tokenism of its mosaic but upholding intolerance.

        27.11.2007
        Comments | Send to Print | Send to My Friend
        General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Joseph View Post
          Mosaic? Yeah right


          http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/ya...haberno=127984


          ANDREW FINKEL
          The search for tolerance

          Turkey is a mosaic. Or so the cliché runs. It is a metaphor in praise of multi-culturalism, a liberal-minded suggestion that the grand design is far more interesting than the component pieces. A mosaic view of culture holds that it’s a good thing that not every single Greek Orthodox has left the country (even though the numbers are down to under 5,000) and that Armenians or Jews have a proud place in Turkish life. A mosaic floor where every stone is the same size and the same color would be monochrome and dull.
          Thinking of Turkey as a mosaic and not a monolith is a great advance on the post-1920s view of nation which saw “Turkishness” not as an interesting pattern but as a wallpaper for covering over diversity. All manner of people were welcomed into public life as long as they left their cultural differences at home. People were expected to cover up, not with a headscarf, but with the cloak of modernity. Not to conform, to insist on one’s right to wear that headscarf or use Kurdish, or hold allegiances or a mother tongue other than Turkish was seen as a potential betrayal.

          As literary conceits go, the view that “society is a large mosaic” is a step in the right direction, but not quite far enough. After all, a mosaic is only a mosaic if every chip knows its place. If the blue chip wants to be green and the green dyes its hair yellow, the result is a messy blur. So the search for political correctness has led some to look at other decorative arts. “Society is not so much a mosaic as an ebru,” some say. “Ebru” is, of course, marbling -- the art of creating a design from oil paint floating on water and lightly laying a piece of paper on top. Ebrus are largely abstract in design, although they can have figurative elements. While the colors may seem less defined than in a mosaic, they still have to behave themselves. If you stir the water too vigorously, you end up with muddy gray. Social actors are not black or white, red or orange, but changing all the time.

          So while Turkey is developing a language to acknowledge cultural complexity, it is still looking for a way of describing the freedom not to conform. The true test of tolerance is not accepting that people come in different hues but accepting that people whose birth and education should make them look just like you decide to be something totally different. Those who think of themselves as tolerant might still do a mental double take at the sight of a president’s wife with her head covered, just as there are men who know women are equal but can’t quite manage to treat them as equals at work. One blade that strikes to the heart of concealed intolerance is that of religious converts. The number of Turkish Muslims who actually abandon their religion for another is statistically insignificant. Even in the 19th century, Western missionaries to the Ottoman Empire were busier proselytizing among Armenians and fellow Christians than Muslims. Yet in popular culture, Christian missionaries are a corrupting and insidious threat. They are a bogeyman to subvert one’s own identity. It is one thing to celebrate diversity in the abstract, another to have diversity encroach upon your own life -- like seeing your children marry a person of a different color skin or faith.

          I write all this because Turkey’s capacity for tolerance was literally put on trial last week in the city of Malatya, where five men were charged with a particularly vicious set of murders. The victims, Tilmann Geske, a German missionary, Pastor Necati Aydın and Uğur Yüksel, had been attending Bible study in a Christian publishing house. They were tied to their chairs, stabbed repeatedly in the stomach, genitals and back. Their fingers were sliced off and their throats slashed from ear to ear. The accused, all aged between 19-20, allegedly filmed this outrage on their mobile telephones.

          According to some reports of the first court hearing, it was not the accused on trial, but the people they mutilated. “Listening to the proceedings, you’d think they were some sort of criminal gang and that they deserved what they got,” another Turkish pastor who attended the trial was quoted as having said. The sympathy the attackers appear to have attracted is similar to the hero’s welcome the teenager accused of the murder of the Armenian editor Hrant Dink received in the police station where he was arrested. These are instances of Turkey not celebrating the tokenism of its mosaic but upholding intolerance.

          27.11.2007
          Comments | Send to Print | Send to My Friend
          The answer is still "NO!"
          General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

          Comment


          • turkish Daily News

            Syriac priest believed kidnapped, officials say
            Friday, November 30, 2007


            ANKARA - AFP

            A priest from the ancient Syriac Christian community went missing in southeast Turkey on Wednesday and is believed to have been kidnapped for ransom, community leaders and officials said.

            The priest's car was found abandoned on a road near the town of Midyat in the province of Mardin, officials said.

            A local clergyman received a call from a person using the mobile telephone of the missing priest who said the man would be released in return for 300,000 euros (444,000 dollars), a senior member of the Syriac community in Mardin said.

            "They sent a message from the same telephone afterwards saying 'Be wise, if you do not bring 300,000 euros we will kill him,'" Anto Nuay told Anatolia.

            The priest was identified as Edip Daniel Savcı.

            Christians in Turkey were the victim of two deadly attacks in recent times: an Italian Roman Catholic priest was shot dead last year and three Protestants -- a German missionary and two Turkish converts -- had their throats slit in April.

            "We have no idea who is behind the incident... Our community is worried," another local Syriac leader, Yusuf Bektaş, told the 24 news channel.

            The security forces launched an operation to find the priest and a special crisis desk was set up to deal with his disappearance, Mardin Governor Mehmet Kılıçlar said.

            "There is no indication at the moment that (the motive behind) the incident is political or ideological," he told Anatolia.

            Interior Minister Beşir Atalay said: "We are extremely upset and condemn the incident."

            He added: "All our efforts are aimed at resolving the issue and securing the priest's safe return."

            The Syriac Orthodox community is one of the world's oldest Christian denominations, whose original congregations also settled into what is today Iraq, Syria and the Lebanon.

            In Turkey, the community numbers about 25,000 people, concentrated mainly in Mardin, in the southeast, and in Istanbul.

            It uses Aramaic, the language spoken at the time of Jesus Christ, in its liturgy.

            Many Syriacs had immigrated to western Europe in the past three decades, driven out by poverty and clashes in the southeast, but have started to return to their ancestral lands in recent years.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by steph View Post
              turkish Daily News

              Syriac priest believed kidnapped, officials say
              Friday, November 30, 2007


              ANKARA - AFP

              A priest from the ancient Syriac Christian community went missing in southeast Turkey on Wednesday and is believed to have been kidnapped for ransom, community leaders and officials said.

              The priest's car was found abandoned on a road near the town of Midyat in the province of Mardin, officials said.

              A local clergyman received a call from a person using the mobile telephone of the missing priest who said the man would be released in return for 300,000 euros (444,000 dollars), a senior member of the Syriac community in Mardin said.

              "They sent a message from the same telephone afterwards saying 'Be wise, if you do not bring 300,000 euros we will kill him,'" Anto Nuay told Anatolia.

              The priest was identified as Edip Daniel Savcı.

              Christians in Turkey were the victim of two deadly attacks in recent times: an Italian Roman Catholic priest was shot dead last year and three Protestants -- a German missionary and two Turkish converts -- had their throats slit in April.

              "We have no idea who is behind the incident... Our community is worried," another local Syriac leader, Yusuf Bektaş, told the 24 news channel.

              The security forces launched an operation to find the priest and a special crisis desk was set up to deal with his disappearance, Mardin Governor Mehmet Kılıçlar said.

              "There is no indication at the moment that (the motive behind) the incident is political or ideological," he told Anatolia.

              Interior Minister Beşir Atalay said: "We are extremely upset and condemn the incident."

              He added: "All our efforts are aimed at resolving the issue and securing the priest's safe return."

              The Syriac Orthodox community is one of the world's oldest Christian denominations, whose original congregations also settled into what is today Iraq, Syria and the Lebanon.

              In Turkey, the community numbers about 25,000 people, concentrated mainly in Mardin, in the southeast, and in Istanbul.

              It uses Aramaic, the language spoken at the time of Jesus Christ, in its liturgy.

              Many Syriacs had immigrated to western Europe in the past three decades, driven out by poverty and clashes in the southeast, but have started to return to their ancestral lands in recent years.
              Christians will forever be targets in that ...place.
              General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

              Comment


              • http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatc...ves/014165.php

                Insulting "Turkishness" -- whatever that means. Meanwhile, Ali Bardakoglu of the Directorate General for Religious Affairs says that the idea that Christians have a hard time in Turkey is all in our mind. From AP, with thanks to Andrew Bostom:

                ISTANBUL, Turkey - Two men who converted to Christianity went on trial Thursday for allegedly insulting "Turkishness" and inciting religious hatred against Islam, the Anatolia news agency reported.
                The trial opened just days before a visit to Turkey by Pope Benedict XVI. During his visit, the pontiff is expected to discuss improved religious rights for the country's tiny Christian minority who complain of discrimination.

                Hakan Tastan, 37, and Turan Topal, 46, are accused of making the insults and of inciting hate while allegedly trying to convert other Turks to Christianity. If convicted, the two Turkish men could face up to nine years in prison.

                The men were charged under Turkey's Article 301, which has been used to bring charges against dozens of intellectuals — including Nobel Prize-winner Orhan Pamuk.

                The law has widely been condemned for severely limiting free expression and European officials have demanded Turkey change it as part of reforms to join the EU.

                They also are charged under a law against inciting hatred based on religion.

                Prosecutors accuse the two of allegedly telling possible converts that Islam was "a primitive and fabricated" religion and that Turks would remain "barbarians" as long they continued practicing Islam, Anatolia reported.
                General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

                Comment


                • http://www.guardian.co.uk/turkey/sto...222066,00.html

                  Trial of publisher revives row over Turkish 'insult' law


                  · British author fears attack over Armenian book
                  · Ankara accepts need for change, says Labour MEP

                  Helena Smith in Athens
                  Wednesday December 5, 2007
                  The Guardian


                  Publisher Ragip Zarakolu. Photograph: Heribert Proepper/AP

                  Nearly two years after the internationally acclaimed author Orhan Pamuk narrowly escaped imprisonment for statements that were thought to "insult Turkishness", the publisher of a British writer goes on trial today accused of the same charge.
                  Ragip Zarakolu is facing up to three years in prison for publishing a book - promoting reconciliation between Turks and Armenians - by George Jerjian, a writer living in London.

                  Jerjian's book, The Truth Will Set Us Free, which was translated into Turkish in 2005, chronicles the life of his Armenian grandmother who survived the early 20th century massacres of Armenians thanks to an Ottoman soldier. The historical account has prompted as much controversy among the Armenian diaspora, not least in the US, as it has in Turkey.


                  "Mr Jerjian ... is a highly credible author with very moderate views," said the Labour MEP Richard Howitt, who will attend the hearing at Istanbul's Asliye Ceze courthouse. "If even he falls foul of Turkish law it shows how far they still have to go on freedom of expression."
                  The MEP, who is in Turkey in his role as vice-president of the human rights sub-committee of the European parliament, said Jerjian was too scared to visit Turkey "for fear he might be shot".

                  Zarakolu is being tried under Turkey's 301 article of law, the same legislation that was used against Pamuk, a Nobel prize winner, as well as 60 other local writers and journalists. Today's hearing comes in the wake of repeated promises by senior officials in Turkey's reform-minded neo-Islamist administration to rescind the notorious piece of legislation.

                  In February this year, six months before he went on to become head of state, Turkey's foreign minister, Abdullah Gul, declared the need for article 301 to be revised, saying: "There are certain problems with [it]. We see there are changes which must be made to this law."

                  Yesterday the Turkish justice minister, Mehmet Ali Sahin, reiterated the sentiment, telling Howitt that "freely expressed views that neither promote terrorism nor violence should be protected".

                  But while Turkish diplomats admit the contentious law has probably done more damage to Ankara's efforts to join the EU than any other single piece of legislation, observers say there has been little headway made over reforming the spirit and letter of the law.

                  In a climate of unabated nationalism, state prosecutors and police officials continue to level charges against artists, musicians and writers perceived to publicly denigrate Turkishness.

                  Vehemently denied by Turkish authorities, the Armenian genocide, which began in 1915, has sparked feverish debate, with several writers, including the Turkish-Armenian newspaper editor Hrant Dink, being sued for publicly questioning the official version of events. Dink, editor-in-chief of the bilingual paper Agos, was shot dead outside his Istanbul office this year by a self-avowed nationalist.

                  "The government has understood that it needs to change the article but it is now for parliament to pass it and for the courts to respect that change," Howitt told the Guardian from Ankara.

                  The neo-Islamists' unveiling of a new constitution later this month will be a significant turning point in the campaign to overturn the law, analysts say. "A test for the sincerity of their commitment will be that the new constitution lays down a framework where these cases never happen again," Howitt said.
                  General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

                  Comment


                  • Why We Should Oppose Independent Kosovo
                    Fjordman - 12/7/2007

                    http://globalpolitician.com/articled...5&cid=3&sid=10

                    Hans Rustad runs Document.no, the largest independent weblog in my country. A recent post there contained criticism of me, and I have already answered some of it. However, Mr. Rustad also claimed that I support a revisionist view of the Balkan wars of the 1990s which is "just as factually wrong, immoral and politically dangerous as David Irving's Holocaust revisionism." I consider that statement to be too awful to ignore, and decided to write a reply in English.

                    I have said repeatedly that I believe the Balkan wars were far more complex than we are led to believe by the political establishment, and I fear that we out of ideological blindness have come to support some pretty dangerous Muslim forces. I respect Mr. Rustad for exposing the bias against Israelis in the mainstream media, and I am sad to see that he accepts uncritically a similar bias against the Serbs. My point is that you cannot understand recent history in the Balkans without taking the previous seven centuries of Islamic oppression into account.

                    Sir Jadunath Sarkar, the pre-eminent historian of Mughal India, wrote this about dhimmitude, the humiliating apartheid system imposed upon non-Muslims under Islamic rule: "The conversion of the entire population to Islam and the extinction of every form of dissent is the ideal of the Muslim State. If any infidel is suffered to exist in the community, it is as a necessary evil, and for a transitional period only. (…) A non-Muslim therefore cannot be a citizen of the State; he is a member of a depressed class; his status is a modified form of slavery. He lives under a contract (dhimma) with the State. (…) In short, his continued existence in the State after the conquest of his country by the Muslims is conditional upon his person and property made subservient to the cause of Islam."

                    This "modified form of slavery" is now frequently referred to as the pinnacle of "tolerance." If the semi-slaves rebel against this system and desire equal rights and self-determination, Jihad resumes. This happened with the Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire, who were repressed with massacres, culminating in the genocide by Turkish and Kurdish Muslims against Armenians in the 20th century. This same pattern is now used against the state of Israel. Israelis are not only attacked because they are Jews, but because they do not meekly disarm and accept the status of servitude that they should have according to Islamic law. They are disobedient dhimmis, just as the Armenians were.

                    According to Dr. Andrew G. Bostom, editor of the excellent book The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, even the Turcophilic 19th century writer Ubicini acknowledged the oppressive burden of dhimmitude in this moving depiction:

                    "The history of enslaved peoples is the same everywhere, or rather, they have no history. The years, the centuries pass without bringing any change to their situation. Generations come and go in silence. One might think they are afraid to awaken their masters, asleep alongside them. However, if you examine them closely you discover that this immobility is only superficial. A silent and constant agitation grips them. Life has entirely withdrawn into the heart. They resemble those rivers which have disappeared underground; if you put your ear to the earth, you can hear the muffled sound of their waters; then they re—emerge intact a few leagues away. Such is the state of the Christian populations of Turkey under Ottoman rule."

                    Bostom asks, "Why has the quite brutal Ottoman devshirme-janissary system, which, from the mid to late 14th, through early 18th centuries, enslaved and forcibly converted to Islam an estimated 500,000 to one million non-Muslim (primarily Balkan Christian) adolescent males, been characterized, reductio ad absurdum, as a benign form of social advancement, jealously pined for by 'ineligible' Ottoman Muslim families?"

                    Writer Vacalopoulos describes how Jihad-imposed dhimmitude under Ottoman rule provided critical motivation for the Greek Revolution:

                    "The Revolution of 1821 is no more than the last great phase of the resistance of the Greeks to Ottoman domination; it was a relentless, undeclared war, which had begun already in the first years of servitude. The brutality of an autocratic regime, which was characterized by economic spoliation, intellectual decay and cultural retrogression, was sure to provoke opposition. Restrictions of all kinds, unlawful taxation, forced labor, persecutions, violence, imprisonment, death, abductions of girls and boys and their confinement to Turkish harems, and various deeds of wantonness and lust, along with numerous less offensive excesses — all these were a constant challenge to the instinct of survival and they defied every sense of human decency. The Greeks bitterly resented all insults and humiliations, and their anguish and frustration pushed them into the arms of rebellion. There was no exaggeration in the statement made by one of the beys if Arta, when he sought to explain the ferocity of the struggle. He said: 'We have wronged the rayas [dhimmis] (i.e. our Christian subjects) and destroyed both their wealth and honor; they became desperate and took up arms. This is just the beginning and will finally lead to the destruction of our empire.'"

                    As scholar Reuben Levy noted: "At Constantinople [Istanbul], the sale of women slaves, both negresses and Circassians [likely for harem slavery and/or concubinage], continued to be openly practiced until...1908."

                    In 1809, after the battle on Cegar Hill, by order of Turkish pasha Hurshid the skulls of the killed Serbian soldiers were built in a tower on the way to Constantinople. 3 meters high, Skull Tower was built out of 952 skulls as a warning to the Serbs not to challenge their Muslim rulers.

                    Similar Jihad massacres were committed against the Greeks, the Bulgarians and other non-Muslims who slowly rebelled against the Ottoman Empire throughout the 19th century. Professor Vahakn Dadrian and others have clearly identified Jihad as a critical factor in the Armenian genocide in the early 20th century. As Efraim Karsh, author of the book Islamic Imperialism: A History points out, "The Ottomans embarked on an orgy of bloodletting in response to the nationalist aspirations of their European subjects. The Greek war of independence of the 1820's, the Danubian uprisings of 1848 and the attendant Crimean war, the Balkan explosion of the 1870's, the Greco-Ottoman war of 1897--all were painful reminders of the costs of resisting Islamic imperial rule."

                    In his book Onward Muslim Soldiers, Robert Spencer quotes a letter from Bosnia, written in 1860 by the acting British Consul in Sarajevo, James Zohrab: "The hatred of the Christians toward the Bosniak Mussulmans is intense. During a period of nearly 300 years they were subjected to much oppression and cruelty. For them no other law but the caprice of their masters existed....Oppression cannot now be carried on as openly as formerly, but it must not be supposed that, because the Government employés do not generally appear as the oppressors, the Christians are well treated and protected."

                    According to writer Ruth King, "during the bombing of Serbia on behalf of Moslem Albanians in 1999 Saudi Prince Khaled Bin Sultan, commander of the allied Saudi troops during the first Gulf War, called on the US to do the same against Israel on behalf of Palestinians. The fate of Jews and Serbs, which has intersected in the past, is doing so again. The jihadist effort to expunge Jews from Palestine mirrors the Moslem goal of incorporating Kosovo into a 'greater Moslem Albania' while expelling Christian Serbs. When Serbia became independent of Byzantine rule in the 12th century, its economic, cultural, social and religious institutions were among the most advanced in Europe. Serbia functioned as a bridge between Greco-Byzantine civilization and the developing Western Renaissance. The center of the Serbian Orthodox Church was in Kosovo where churches, monasteries and monastic communities were established. A form of census in 1330, the 'Decani Charter,' detailed the list of chartered villages and households, of which only two percent were Albanian. The Ottomans invaded Serbia in 1389 and consolidated their rule in 1459, propelling major parts of the Balkan peninsula and adjacent southeast Europe into a Koran-dictated Dark Ages."
                    Early in the twentieth century Serbian Christians were roughly two-thirds of the population of Kosovo. After WW2, Communist dictator Tito did not allow Serbs who fled from their homes to return and did not enforce border controls as thousands of Albanians moved into Kosovo.

                    As King says, "Initially, the media reported the situation in Kosovo fairly. For example, in July 1982 The New York Times noted: 'Serbs have been harassed by Albanians and have packed up and left the region. The Albanian nationalists have a two-point platform, first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then to merge with Albania for a greater Albania. Some 57,000 Serbs have left Kosovo in the last decade.' Five years later, in 1987, the Times was still reporting the persecution of Serbs within Kosovo. 'Slavic Orthodox churches have been attacked, wells poisoned, crops burned, Slavic boys knifed. Young Albanians have been told to rape Serbian girls…. Officials in Belgrade view the ethnic Albanian challenge as imperiling the foundations of the multinational experiment called federal Yugoslavia….Ethnic Albanians already control almost every phase of life in the autonomous province of Kosovo, including the police, judiciary, civil service, schools, and factories.'"

                    It was this situation that led to the rise of Serb nationalist leader Slobodan Milosevic. However, instead of reporting about the advancing Jihad to make some sense of the situation, Western media, according to Ruth King, "went into a frenzy of accusations against the Serbs, much as it has against Israel and with similar distortions. The media depicted the armed, violent and jihadist Moslem Albanians as 'unarmed civilians' despite the fact they called themselves an army and perpetrated assaults, bombings, murder of civilians and targeted assassinations of Albanians loyal to Serbia. President Clinton outrageously referred to a 'holocaust' perpetrated by Serbia and compared the Moslems of Kosovo to the Jews—this, even though the Serbs had behaved well toward the Jews during the real Holocaust and Clinton himself was pressing Israel's Jews to accept the 'peace partnership' of Arafat, a brutal terrorist far worse than Milosevic, admittedly a dictator and a Communist thug."

                    Moreover, "While the brutality of the Milosevic regime was indeed a complicating factor, he is long gone, but the KLA [Kosovo Liberation Army] continues its assault on Serbs, on their churches, priests, homes, even on civilians sitting in cafes, this under the nose of the U.S. and UN troops."

                    Bosnia's wartime president Alija Izetbegovic died in 2003, hailed as a moderate Muslim leader. Little was said in Western media about his 1970 Islamic Declaration, where he advocated "a struggle for creating a great Islamic federation from Morocco to Indonesia, from the tropical Africa to the Central Asia," and that "The Islamic movement should and must start taking over the power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough to not only overthrow the existing non-Islamic, but also to build up a new Islamic authority."

                    As Hugh Fitzgerald says, "One must keep in mind both the way in which some atrocities ascribed to Serbs were exaggerated, while the atrocities inflicted on them were minimized or ignored altogether. But what was most disturbing was that there was no context to anything: nothing about the centuries of Muslim rule. Had such a history been discussed early on, Western governments might have understood and attempted to assuage the deep fears evoked by the Bosnian Muslim leader, Izetbegovic, when he wrote that he intended to create a Muslim state in Bosnia and impose the Sharia not merely there, but everywhere that Muslims had once ruled in the Balkans. Had the Western world shown the slightest intelligent sympathy or understanding of what that set off in the imagination of many Serbs (and elsewhere, among the Christians in the Balkans and in Greece), there might never have been such a violent Serbian reaction, and someone like Milosevic might never have obtained power." Yet, "In all of Europe, only a few French journalists and the Austrian writer Peter Handke tried to explain Serbian fears and Serbian history."

                    Alija Izetbegovic received money from a Saudi businessman, Yassin al-Kadi, who has been designated as a financier of al-Qaeda terrorists. Evan F. Kohlmann, author of Al-Qaeda's Jihad in Europe: The Afghan-Bosnian Network, argues that the "key to understanding Al Qaida's European cells lies in the Bosnian war of the 1990s." In 1992, the government of Izetbegovic issued a passport to Osama bin Laden. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2001 that "for the past 10 years, the most senior leaders of al Qaeda have visited the Balkans: The Egyptian surgeon turned terrorist leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia."

                    Yosef Bodansky, director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Conventional Warfare in Washington, has stated that the Balkans was a "springboard for Islamic extremism" in Europe and that Iran was the main driving force behind it. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia supplied funding, weapons and men to the Bosnians during the war. Saudi Arabia has invested more than $1 billion in the Sarajevo region alone, for projects that include the construction of 158 mosques. Terrorist organization Al-Qaeda gained a strong foothold in the Balkans during the 1990s.

                    Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland and later Chief United Nations negotiator for Kosovo, caused anger when he stated that "Serbs are guilty as people," implying that they would have to pay for it, possibly by losing Kosovo. I disagree. It is one thing to criticize the brutality of the Milosevic regime. It is quite another thing to claim that "Serbs are guilty as a people." If anybody in the Balkans is guilty as a people, it is the Turks, not the Serbs.
                    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

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                    • Part 2

                      Dimitar Angelov elucidates the impact of the Ottoman Jihad on the region:

                      "…the conquest of the Balkan Peninsula accomplished by the Turks over the course of about two centuries caused the incalculable ruin of material goods, countless massacres, the enslavement and exile of a great part of the population – in a word, a general and protracted decline of productivity, as was the case with Asia Minor after it was occupied by the same invaders. This decline in productivity is all the more striking when one recalls that in the mid-fourteenth century, as the Ottomans were gaining a foothold on the peninsula, the States that existed there – Byzantium, Bulgaria and Serbia – had already reached a rather high level of economic and cultural development….The campaigns of Mourad II (1421-1451) and especially those of his successor, Mahomet II (1451-1481) in Serbia, Bosnia, Albania and in the Byzantine princedom of the Peloponnesus, were of a particularly devastating character."

                      Author William Dorich states that "The Serbs lost 52% of their adult male population fighting in the First World War as American allies. Twenty-four years later the Serbs were the only people in the Balkans to declare war on Nazi Germany. Hitler bombed the 'open city' of Belgrade on Palm Sunday in 1942, killing 17,000 Serbs in one day. Surrender followed ten days later as the Nazis invaded. The Serbs lost another one-third of their population in the Holocaust again fighting as American allies, especially against their own Croat, Bosnian Muslim and Albanian Nazis."

                      Serge Trifkovic, author of the books The Sword of the Prophet and Defeating Jihad, documents how Yasser Arafat's uncle Mohammad Amin al-Husayni cooperated closely with Nazi Germany in recruiting Bosnian and Albanian Muslims for Waffen SS units. Serbs had to wear blue armbands, Jews yellow armbands. For Muslims, this was a Jihad against disobedient dhimmis, and thus a continuation of the genocide against Armenians a few years earlier, which was one of the inspirations for the Holocaust. More than a quarter of a million Serbs, Jews and Romani people (Gypsies) were killed by Muslim troops in Nazi service.

                      Trifkovic cites James Jatras as claiming that Washington's irrational Balkan policy is to a significant extent the product of the ignorant and misguided notion that the U.S. can curry favor in the Islamic world by sacrificing Kosovo's Christians to the violent Jihad-terror elements that dominate Kosovo's Albanian leadership: "Such an unfounded notion shows a breathtaking incomprehension of the worldwide jihadist threat. International opposition and the Bush Administration's failing domestic credibility put a weight on the policy, however, which can be dealt a fatal blow if enough Americans raise their voices against it."

                      Miroljub Jevtic, professor at the Belgrade University and author of a number of books on the topic of Islam and politics, believes the Western world is in favor of detaching Kosovo from Christian Serbia by fiat and making it into an independent (Muslim) state. The main argument of those supporting this scenario, notably in the United States, is to improve their image in the eyes of the Islamic world and "co-opt the influence of Islamic 'extremists.'"

                      However, Jevtic notes that "the fact that since the arrival of NATO to Kosovo over 150 Christian churches have been destroyed and some 400 mosques have been built, or are under construction, is for the Muslims a proof that if there is a faith which is supported by true God -- it is Islam! Because, why would the Christian God, why would Jesus, permit the destruction of churches, where He, Jesus, is glorified? Why would He, at the same time, permit the construction of mosques, where His existence as God is denied? Why would He permit it, moreover, in the presence of men who bear arms and who claim to be Christians?"

                      Miroljub Jevtic warns that the European Union support for Albanian Muslim demands could backfire badly: "Granting the independence to Kosovo will be taken as proof of Europe's own wish to cease to exist, as it not only allows the expansion of Islam but is actively promoting it by aiding those who are destroying churches, raping nuns, spitting on crosses and daubing with excrement holy images of Christ."

                      In Kosovo, dozens of churches and monasteries have been destroyed following ethnic cleansing of Christian Serbs by the predominantly Muslim Albanians, all under the auspices of NATO soldiers, and Muslims are not ungrateful. Kosovo Albanians plan to honor their "savior," former US President Bill Clinton, by erecting a statue of him. At the same time, in 2007, four Albanians from Kosovo along with other Muslims were arrested for conspiring to attack Fort Dix, a military base in New Jersey, in order "to kill as many soldiers as possible."

                      The House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-CA) called upon "jihadists of all color and hue" to see Kosovo as "yet another example that the United States leads the way for the creation of a predominantly Muslim country in the very heart of Europe." But a video of Osama bin Laden meeting with two 9/11 hijackers revealed that the mass murderers were motivated by a desire to avenge Muslims... in Bosnia, where the USA intervened on behalf of Muslims. Meanwhile, no Christian Serbs have staged any terror attacks against the United States or Western European countries in retaliation for the NATO bombings. So who are really the bad guys here?

                      In a commentary, "We bombed the wrong side?" former Canadian UNPROFOR Commander Lewis MacKenzie wrote, "The Kosovo-Albanians have played us like a Stradivarius. We have subsidized and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure and independent Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early '90s and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today in spite of evidence to the contrary. When they achieve independence with the help of our tax dollars combined with those of bin Laden and al-Qaeda, just consider the message of encouragement this sends to other terrorist-supported independence movements around the world."
                      General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

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