Islamists Gain Ground in Sarajevo

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Sunni Man, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    By Walter Mayr in Sarajevo

    Radical Muslim imams and nationalist politicians from all camps are threatening Sarajevo's multicultural legacy. With the help of Arab benefactors, the deeply devout are acquiring new recruits. In the "Jerusalem of the Balkans," Islamists are on the rise.

    The obliteration of Israel is heralded in a torrent of words. "Zionist terrorists," the imam thunders from the glass-enclosed pulpit at the end of the mosque. "Animals in human form" have transformed the Gaza Strip into a "concentration camp," and this marks "the beginning of the end" for the Jewish pseudo-state.

    Over 4,000 faithful are listening to the religious service in the King Fahd Mosque, named after the late Saudi Arabian monarch King Fahd Bin Abd al-Asis Al Saud. The women sit separately, screened off in the left wing of the building. It is the day of the Khutbah, the great Friday sermon, and the city where the imam has predicted Israel's demise lies some 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) northwest of Gaza.

    It is a city in the heart of Europe: Sarajevo.

    Sarajevo's King Fahd Mosque was built with millions of Saudi dollars as the largest house of worship for Muslims in the Balkans. The mosque has a reputation as a magnet for Muslim fundamentalists in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the imam is said to be the patron of the Wahhabites, although they call themselves Salafites, after an ultra-conservative movement in Sunni Islam.

    Many Bosnians have despised "the West" since 1992, when the United Nations arms embargo seriously impeded the military resistance of the Muslims in their war against the Serb aggressors. It wasn't until four years later, and after 100,000 people had died, that the international community -- at the urging and under the leadership of the US -- finally put an end to the slaughter. Over 80 percent of the dead civilians in the Bosnian War were Muslims.

    This traumatic experience left a deep mark on the traditionally cosmopolitan Muslim Bosnians -- and opened the door to the Islamists. Years later, the religious fundamentalists have declared the attacks by Christian Serbs and Croats a "crusade" by infidels -- and painted themselves as the steadfast protectors of Muslim Bosnians.

    Imam Halilovic served during the war as commander of the Fourth Muslim Brigade. A photo shows him standing next to a 155 milimeter howitzer, dressed in black combat fatigues, a flowing beard and a scarf wrapped around his head. He witnessed the arrival of the first religious warriors from countries in the Middle East and northern Africa. These fighters brought ideological seeds that have now found fertile ground -- the beliefs of the Salafites, Islamic fundamentalists who orient themselves according to the alleged unique, pure origin of their religion and reject all newer Islamic traditions.

    Sarajevo is at the crossroads of the West and the Orient, in the heart of Europe -- a place where Islam meets the Catholic and Orthodox churches, and a place that shares the historical legacies of the Ottoman Empire and the Austria-Hungary of the Habsburgs. If Europe were to lose Sarajevo's Muslims as mediators between these worlds, it would have to contend with yet another explosive situation.

    According to a survey conducted in 2006, however, over 3 percent of all Muslim Bosnians -- over 60,000 men and women -- profess the Wahhabi creed, and an additional 10 percent say that they sympathize with the devout defenders of morals. But since the radicals and their Arab benefactors have been subject to heightened surveillance in the wake of 9/11, they tend to keep a low profile.

    Could a radical, potentially violent parallel society be emerging in the Muslim dominated region of the war-torn republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, eight months after the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union?

    There are indications of this. Resid Hafizovic, a professor at the Islamic University, was the first to speak of a "potentially deadly virus" in Bosnian society. The head of the Bosnian federal police has recently admitted that there is a growing threat of "terrorism with an Islamistic character" and has cited indications that suicide bombers have begun to equip themselves with explosive belts.

    After discovering that some of the masterminds behind 9/11, such as Khalid Scheikh Mohammed, had been active in Bosnia, international pressure increased on the government in Sarajevo in 2002. Foundations were closed and police searched the Sarajevo office of the Saudi High Commissioner for Aid to Bosnia, which had until then enjoyed the protection of the United States.

    The Islamists are slowly but surely permeating the firm ground upon which Sarajevo's society stands. They are influencing men like the quiet, bearded cab driver who waits for customers day after day at the bridge where the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated in June, 1914. On the evening of Sept. 24, 2008, the cabbie suddenly appeared at the front of a protest, right in the midst of those who shouted "Allahu akbar!" at the police line in front the Art Academy of Fine Arts and attacked visitors to Bosnia's first gay and lesbian festival.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/...609660,00.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
  2. Godboy
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    Godboy Gold Member

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    Any type of person that would convert to Islam, you guys can have.

    Muslim world <--- Weird, violent and stupid people on this side

    Intelligent, peaceful and productive people over here ---> non Muslim world
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
  3. DiveCon
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    DiveCon gone

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    and the islamic invasion of Europe continues
     

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