Bosnia – Hotbed of Radical Islam in Europe

 

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute.

From 1992 to 1995, Bosnia was ravaged by a war pitting Muslims (known as Bosniaks), Serbs and Croats against each other.

Thousands of foreign Mujahedeen guerrillas entered the country to battle rampaging Serb forces. The 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement ended the fighting. It also partitioned Bosniaalong religious lines, creating two quasi-national entities – the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Bosnian Serb Republic.

Yet, after the war, many jihadists did not leave. The Saudi government has spent millions funding the construction of mosques and religious education centers. More ominously, Saudi-backed clerics have vigorously promoted Wahhabism, an intolerant and extreme form of Islam. In pamphlets, books and sermons, Wahhabis demand an Islamist Bosnia where Orthodox Christian Serbs and Catholic Croats are subjugated under Shariah law. The goal is also to drive out Western, especially American, influence. It’s no accident that Mr. Jasarevic is a Wahhabi. Militant Islam has regained a foothold in the Balkans.

For the past decade, anti-American sentiment has intensified among segments of Bosniaks. Following the toppling of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, U.S. troops found more than 1,000 dead jihadists on the battlefield possessing Bosnian passports. The Saudis have supported several Bosnian charities serving as front groups for al Qaeda cells. Radical organizations, such as the Young Muslims, have proliferated. During the Iraq war, some Bosnian Muslim fighters joined the insurgency against American forces. At one of Sarajevo’s main mosques, the second-highest-ranking cleric in the country, Ismet Spahic, publicly denounced the U.S.-led campaign in Iraq as “genocide.” Western intelligence reports say Bosnia has become fertile soil for recruiting “white al Qaeda” – Islamic extremists with Caucasian features, who could easily blend into American or European cities and commit heinous atrocities.

Western public officials, however, have refused even to acknowledge the Islamist problem. For example, from 2002 through 2006, the international high representative for Bosnia, Paddy Ashdown, repeatedly downplayed the rise of Wahhabism under his watch. Mr. Ashdown acted as the viceroy of Bosnia. He preferred to preside over pompous ceremonies, amass administrative power and gorge at elaborate banquets. He refused to speak out against incidents of Islamic extremism, such as vandalism against Catholic churches, the harassment of priests and nuns, and the growing persecution of Bosnian Croatians. He feared offending Muslim sensibilities.

The irony is that it was American air power that finally brought the Bosnian Serbs to heel and saved countless Bosniak lives. And still, jihadists such as Mr. Jasarevic are eager to wage holy war. This reveals the moral depravity and spiritual darkness at the heart of Islamic fundamentalism. The fundamentalists cannot be appeased. The West – including the peoples of the Balkans – must awaken to this evil force lurking in the heart of Europe.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute.

Source:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/10/radical-islam-in-the-heart-of-europe/

 

 

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