Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

My tone as well as my human judgment was critical of Serb Mosque burning in Bosnia in the above blog. I am also critical of the Srebrenica massacres, even though I dispute the facts as presented by the Western press.

But I am especially critical of the fact that you seem to be focusing entirely on Serb "wrong-doing" in the Balkans and systematically oversee, omit or otherwise disregard the context in which events unfolded in ex-Yugoslavia in the early 1990's. You seem to know nothing of Muslim atrocities committed against Serbian civilians in Bosnia, nor do you know anything of the Croat Nazi insignia that is embroidered on Croatia's flag that flies in front of the UN today - under which over 600 000 Serbs were exterminated just over 70 years ago. That's tantamount to a New United Germany placing a swastika on its flag - and being surprised to hear the Jews complain. I won't go into Croat politics prior to the outbreak of hostilities, but will instead focus on Bosnia and the Muslim Jihadist adventure that Alija Izetbegovic was preparing at the time.

Alija Izetbegovic was always known as a Muslim extremist. In 1970, he authored and published a book entitled "Declaration" in which he explicitly states his political objective of creating a fundamentalist Muslim pro-Turkish and pan Islamist Bosnia and Herzegovina. He believed that (quote from book) "There is no peace, no coexistence between Islam and non Islamic social and political institutions [...] The Islamic movement can and must take power as soon as it is numerically strong enough in order to not only destroy non Islamic power but also to represent The New Islamic Power". In 1983 he was convicted and sent to jail for propagating violent Muslim fundamentalism in then Yugoslavia.  After serving his term, he organized a tour of the Middle East raising funds for his "enterprise". Funds, arms and many Mujahedeen he did receive. Encouragement from the likes of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States (brothers in arms) he also received. In 1993, Izetbegovic was awarded a high Muslim distinction: the Islamic Prize of Jihad delivered personally to him by King Faisal in Riyadh.

Estimates of the number of burned Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries ranges from 200 to 400 (depends on which source you take) with another 350 to 400 damaged. Now that's a lot of cultural heritage sites. Of the 125 000 or so victims, 40 000 were Serb. And last, but not least, you need to know that Serbs make up the largest refugee population in the Balkans: 500 000 from Bosnia during the war, 250 000 from Croatia and another 150 000 from Kosovo. That's close to 1 000 000 Serb refugees.

Now, given this context, can you understand the motives behind the Bosnian Serb nation building effort? I'm not asking you to condone them - just understand.

by vladimir on Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 04:18:02 PM EST
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