by Felix Quigley
July 7, 2008
The main issues in the destruction of Yugoslavia were
1. The Nazi Fascists of the Croatian region
2. The Islamists or Islamofascist Nazis of the Bosnia-Herzegovina area
3. The Albanian nationalism with fascist nazi and Islamist roots in the Albania Kosovo area
4. Over reaching all of these was the dominant role in the world of US Imperialism, and to a lesser extent because of their diminishing power states in Europe, such as Britain, France and Germany.
The orientation to the Fascists in Croatia under Tudjman is fairly straight forward, the history showing that Tudjman was an antisemite and a Holocaust denier. The US linked closely with him to murder and expel half a million Serbs from Croatia.
The orientation to Izetbegovic and the Islamists in Bosnia is not so straight forward and is less obvious. It is in the next articles that we shall lay down some material to make this more understandable.
In order to create a unity between American Imperialism and the Islamofascist Izetbegovic it was necessary to develop a Big Lie that Izetbegovic was a moderate politician. Read through the works of both Kamm and Hoare and find out how many times they have made a reference to the Mein Kamph of the Balkans, the Islamic Declaration by Izetbegovic, the very central core of the thinking of this Bosnian leader. You will find that they never have done so.
But Izetbegovic was representing a long tradition of Islamist repression in the Balkans. Moreover Kamm and Hoare themselves were also representing a long tradition, that is of creating a myth around this Islam, that in the Balkans it was progressive and willing to live in peace with Christian and Jew. it is this tradition of which Kamm and Hoare were merely in the 90s the tail end of that we will explore in this article by referring to a speech given by the expert on Islam and on dhimmitude, a Jewish woman born in Egypt and forced to leave that country because of Islamofascist antisemitism.
[begin quote from Bat Ye’or speech here]
And this past — the long and agonizing process of Christian annihilation by the laws of Jihad and dhimmitude — is a taboo history, not only in Islamic lands, but above all in the West. It has been buried beneath a myth, fabricated by Western politicians and religious leaders, in order to promote their own national strategic and economic interests.
Curiously, this myth started in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 19th century. It alleges that Turkish rule over Christians in its European provinces was just and lawful. That the Ottoman regime, being Islamic, was naturally “tolerant” and well disposed toward its Christian subjects; that its justice was fair, and that safety for life and goods was guaranteed to Christians by Islamic laws. Ottoman rule was brandished as the most suitable regime to rule Christians of the Balkans.
This theory was advanced by European politicians in order to safeguard the balance of power in Europe, and in order to block the Russian advance towards the Mediterranean. To justify the maintenance of the Turkish yoke on the Slavs it was portrayed as a model for a multi-ethnical and multi-religious empire. Of course, the reality was totally different! First the Ottoman Empire was created by centuries of Jihad against Christian populations; consequently the rules of Jihad, elaborated by Arab-Muslim theologians from the 8th to the 10th centuries, applied to the subjected Christian and Jewish populations of the Turkish Islamic dominions. Those regulations are integrated into the Islamic legislation concerning the non-Muslim vanquished peoples and consequently they present a certain homogeneity throughout the Arab and Turkish empires.
The civilization of dhimmitude in which the Serbs participated had many aspects that evolved with changing political situations. In the 1830s, forced by the European powers, the Ottomans adopted a series of reforms aiming at ending the oppression of the Christians.
In the Serbian regions, the most fanatical opponents of Christian emancipation were the Muslims Bosniaks. They fought against the Christian right to possess lands and, in legal matters, to have equal rights as themselves. They pretended that under the old system that gave them full domination over the Christians, Muslims and Christians had lived for centuries in a convivial fraternity. And this argument is still used today by [Bosnian Muslim] President Izetbegovic and others. He repeatedly affirms that the 500 years of Christian dhimmitude was a period of peace and religious harmony.
Let us now confront the myth with reality. A systematic enquiry into the condition of the Christians was conducted by British consuls in the Ottoman Empire in the 1860s. Britain was then Turkey’s strongest ally. It was in its own interest to see that the oppression of the Christians would be eliminated in order to prevent any Russian or Austrian interference. Consul James Zohrab sent from Bosna-Serai (Sarajevo) a lengthy report, dated July 22, 1860, to his ambassador in Constantinople, Sir Henry Bulwer, in which he analyzed the administration of the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He stated that from 1463 to 1850 the Bosniak Muslims enjoyed all the privileges of feudalism. During a period of nearly 300 years Christians were subjected to much oppression and cruelty. For them no other law but the caprice of their masters existed.
The Devshirme system is well known. Begun by the Sultan Orkhan (1326-1359), it existed for about 300 years. It consisted of a regular levy of Christian children from the Christian population of the Balkans. These youngsters, aged from fourteen to twenty, were Islamized and enslaved for their army. The periodic levies, which took place in contingents of a thousand, subsequently became annual. To discourage runaways, children were transferred to remote provinces and entrusted to Muslim soldiers who treated them harshly as slaves. Another parallel recruitment system operated. It provided for the levy of Christian children aged six to ten (Ichoghlani), reserved for the sultans’ palace. Entrusted to eunuchs, they underwent a tyrannical training for fourteen years. (A system of enslaving Black Christian and Animist children, similar to the Devshirme, existed in Sudan as is shown from documents to be published in my book. A sort of Devshirme system still exists today in Sudan and has been described and denounced by the United Nations Special Report on Sudan and in a recent article last Friday’s Times of London.)
In 1850, the Bosniak Muslims opposed the authority of the Sultan and the reforms, but were defeated by the Sultan’s army aided by the Christians who hoped that their position would thereby improve, “but they hardly benefited.” Moreover, despite their assistance to the sultan’s army, Christians were disarmed, while the Muslims who fought the sultan could retain weapons. Christians remained oppressed as before, Consul Zobrab writes about the reforms: “I can safely say, they practically remain a dead letter.”
Discussing the impunity granted to the Muslims by the sultan, Zohrab wrote:
[Quote from Consul Zobrab starts here]
“This impunity, while it does not extend to permitting the Christians to be treated as they formerly were treated, is so far unbearable and unjust in that it permits the Muslims to despoil them with heavy exactions. Under false accusations imprisonments are of daily occurrence. A Christian has but a small chance of exculpating himself when his opponent is a Muslim.”
“Christians are now permitted to possess real property, but the obstacles which they meet with when they attempt to acquire it are so many and vexatious that very few have as yet dared to brave them. Although a Christian can buy land and take possession it is when he has got his land into order […] that the Christian feels the helplessness of his position and the insincerity of the Government. [Under any pretext] “the Christian is in nineteen cases out of twenty dispossessed, and he may then deem himself fortunate if he gets back the price he gave.”
[Quote from Zobrab ends here]
Commenting on this situation, the consul [Zobrab] writes:
“Such being, generally speaking, the course pursued by the Government towards the Christians in the capital of the province Sarajevo where the Consular Agents of the different Powers reside and can exercise some degree of control, it may easily be guessed to what extend the Christians, in the remoter districts, suffer who are governed by Mudirs generally fanatical.”
[Quote from Consul Zobrab starts here]
“Christian evidence in the Medjlises (tribunal) as a rule is refused. Knowing this, the Christians generally come forward prepared with Mussulman witnesses (…), twenty years ago, it is true, they had no laws beyond the caprice of their landlords.”
“Cases of oppression are frequently the result of Mussulman fanaticism, but for these the Government must be held responsible, for if offenders were punished, oppression would of necessity became rare.”
[Quote from Consul Zobrab ends here]
In the spring of 1861 the sultan announced new reforms in Herzegovina, promising among other things freedom to build churches, the use of church bells and the opportunity for Christians to acquire land.
Commenting on this, Consul William Holmes in Bosna-Serai writes to Ambassador Sir Henry Bulwer that those promises rarely applied. He mentions that the Serbs, the biggest community, were refused the right to build a church in Bosna-Serai. Concerning the right to buy land, he writes,
“Every possible obstacle is still thrown in the way of the purchase of lands by Christians, and very often after they have succeeded in purchasing and improving land, it is no secret that on one unjust pretext or another, it has been taken from them.”
Consul Longworth writes, from Belgrade on 1860 that by its Edicts,
“[The] Government may hasten such a reform but I question very much whether more evil than good will not arise from proclaiming a social equality which is, in the present stage of things and relations of society, morally impossible.”
The biggest problem, in fact, was the refusal to accept either Christian or Jewish testimony in Islamic tribunals.
Consul Longworth comments on “the lax and vicious principle acted upon in the Mussulman Courts, where, as the only means of securing justice to Christians, Mussulman false witnesses are permitted to give evidence on their behalf.”
The situation didn’t change, and in 1875 the Grand Vizier Mahmud Pasha admitted to the British Ambassador in Constantinople, Sir Henry Elliot, the “impossibility of allowing Christian testimony at courts of justice in Bosnia.” Thus, the Ambassador noted: “The professed equality of Christians and Mussulmans is, however, so illusory so long as this distinction is maintained.”
This juridical situation had serious consequences due to the system of justice, as he explained:
“This is a point [the refusal of testimony] of much importance to the Christians, for, as the religious courts neither admit documentary nor written evidence, nor receive Christian evidence, they could hope for little justice from them.”
The difficulty of imposing reforms in such a vast empire provoked this disillusioned comment from Sir Francis, consul-general, judge at the British Consular Court in 1875 Constantinople:
“Indeed, the modern perversion of the Oriental idea of justice is a concession to a suitor through grace and favor, and not the declaration of a right, on principles of law, and in pursuance of equity.”
From Consul Blunt writing from Pristina on 14 July 1860 to Ambassador Bulwer, we learn about the situation in the province of Macedonia:
[Quote from Consult Blunt starts here]
“[…] For a long time the province of Uscup [Skopje, Macedonia] has been a prey to brigandage: […] Christian churches and monasteries, towns and inhabitants, are now pillaged, massacred, and burnt by [Muslim] Albanian hordes as used to be done ten years ago.”
“The Christians are not allowed to carry arms. This, considering the want of a good police, exposes them the more to attacks from brigands.” “Christian evidence in law suits between a Mussulman and a non-Mussulman is not admitted in the Local Courts.”
[Quote from Consult Blunt ends here]
Ten years before he said:
“Churches were not allowed to be built; and one can judge of the measure of toleration practiced at that time by having had to creep under doors scarcely four feet high. It was an offense to smoke and ride before a Turk; to cross his path, or not stand up before him, was equally wrong.”
Fifteen years later, in another report from Bosna-Serai, dated December 30, 1875, from consul Edward Freeman, we learn that the Bosnian Muslims had sent a petition to the sultan stating that before the reforms, “they lived as brother with the Christian population.” In fact, wrote the Consul, “their aim appears to [be to] reduce the Christians to their former ancient state of serfdom.” So once again we go back to the myth. When reading the literature of the time, we see that the obstruction to Serbian, Greek and other Christian liberation movement was rooted in two main arguments:
1) Christian Dhimmis are congenitally unfitted for independence and self-government. They should therefore remain under the Islamic rule.
2) The Ottoman rule is a perfect model for a multi-religious and multi-ethnical society.
Indeed these are theological Islamic arguments that justify the Jihad since all non-Muslim people should not retain political independence because their laws are evil and must be eventually replaced by Islamic rule. We find the same reasoning in the Palestinian 1988 Covenant of the Hamas. Those arguments are very common in the theological and legal literature and are exposed by modern Islamists.
The myth didn’t die with the collapse of the Turkish Empire after World War I. Rather it took another form: that of the National Arab Movement, which promoted an Arab society where Christians and Muslims would live in perfect harmony. Once again, this was the fabrication of European politicians, writers and clergyman. And in the same way as the myth of the Ottoman political paradise was created to block the independence of the Balkan nations, so the Arab multi-religious fraternity was an argument to destroy the national liberation of non-Arab peoples of the Middle East (Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Maronites and Zionists.)
And although from the beginning of this century until the 1930s, a stream of Christian refugees were fleeing massacres and genocide on the roads of Turkey, Irak and Syria, the myth continued to flourish, sustained mostly by Arab writers and clergyman. After the Israelis had succeeded in liberating their land from the laws of Jihad and Dhimmitude, the myth reappeared in the form of a multi-cultural and multi-religious fraternal Palestine which had to replace the State of Israel (Cf. Arafat’s 1975 UN speech). Its pernicious effects led to the destruction of the Christians in Lebanon. One might have thought that the myth would end there.
But suddenly the recent crisis in Yugoslavia offered a new chance for its reincarnation in a multi-religious Muslim Bosnian state. What a chance! A Muslim state again in the heartland of Europe. And we know the rest, the sufferings, the miseries, the trials of the war that this myth once again brought in its wake.
To conclude, I would like to say a few last words. The civilization of dhimmitude does not develop all at once. It is a long process that involves many elements and a specific conditioning. It happens when peoples replace history by myths, when they fight to uphold these destructive myths, more then their own values because they are confused by having transformed lies into truth. They hold to those myths as if they were the only guarantee of their survival, when, in fact, they are the path to destruction. Terrorized by the evidence and teaching of history, those peoples preferred to destroy it rather than to face it. They replace history with childish tales, thus living in amnesia.
** End of speech **
About the author: Madam Bat Ye’or, author and scholar, was born in Egypt. A British citizen living in Switzerland, she is a specialist on Dhimmis and ‘Dhimmitude,’ a word she has coined, and the subject of her pioneer research for the past thirty-four years. She is author, since 1971, of numerous articles on non-Muslims under Islamic rule
[end quote from Bat Ye’or speech here]
This was added to the sppech above:
[begine quote here]
The British Empire Fostered the Myth of Islamic Tolerance. Is history repeating itself?
by Petar Makara, Emperor’s Clothes
It is common to hear from Western intellectuals that Christians and Jews have been treated with great tolerance in Muslim-run societies. In fact this is a myth, as a study of the historical record shows. In the talk transcribed above, Madame Bat Ye’Or, author and scholar, born in Egypt, now a British citizen living in Switzerland, discusses the conditions of Serbs under Muslim rule during the Ottoman Empire. Madame Ye’or is the preeminent authority on the conditions of Christians and Jews in Muslim societies.
To learn more on the historical roots of the myth of Muslim tolerance, please open any encyclopedia and look for the “Eastern Question.”
To simplify it: The superpower of the 19th century, Great Britain, waged a geopolitical game with the other potential superpower, Russia. The interests of the two crossed in the Balkans, then under Turkish occupation.
It would be most natural that Russia should have the strongest influence in that area. Most of the subdued Balkan nations were/are Eastern Orthodox, like the Russians. That did not fit British interests. That is how come Britain allied itself with Turkey and invented the myth of Muslim tolerance.
When the Ottomans cut throats, raped women and stole the children of Balkan Christians – and this is not hyperbole, it all happened with horrible regularity – it was OK for the Brits. It was an expression of tolerance…as long as Russians did not get influence in the Balkans.
History repeats itself. The portrayal of Mr. Izetbegovic and his associates in Bosnia, of the Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East and of the Karzai government in Afghanistan as advocates of tolerance is, as someone once said, “déjà vu all over again.”
Does nothing change? Superpowers are playing again with the destiny of the peoples of the Balkans, Central Asia and the Middle East.
They play with fire.
— Petar Makara