Taliban threatened Central Asia with friendship

The Taliban movement (banned in Russia) seeks to establish contacts with its northern neighbors – the republics of Central Asia

Uzbekistan was chosen first. The Taliban send congratulations to Tashkent, offer to revive the railway project and promise to support the “partners”. Will Uzbekistan become the first of the former Soviet republics to cooperate with the Islamic Emirate?

On Monday, representatives of the Taliban movement (banned in Russia as terrorist) once again  announced  the end of the war in Afghanistan. Although the resistance to the Taliban in Panjshir may  not be  completely suppressed , the radicals entrenched in Kabul demonstrate that the Taliban Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is transitioning to a peaceful life and is ready to build ties with its neighbors – if not political, then at least economic. Last Wednesday, the Taliban sent congratulations to the Uzbek Foreign Ministry   on the 30th anniversary of the republic’s independence. But the matter was not limited to protocol phrases.

A spokesman for the Taliban’s political office, Mohammad Suheil Shahin, confirmed the new regime’s interest in continuing infrastructure projects. According to Shahin’s statement, the Taliban are interested in two cross-border projects. Both were discussed as recently as July during a meeting between Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. But the latter, as you know, lost power and fled – and the Taliban inherited interstate initiatives.

The first project is the construction of a power line from the Uzbek Surkhan to the Afghan Puli-Khumri. It is known that Afghanistan depends on the supply of electricity from Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The project of the power transmission line “Surkhan – Puli-Khumri” is obviously beneficial for the Uzbek side. The line with a length of two hundred kilometers and a cost of about $ 110 million should increase the export of electricity from Uzbekistan by 70%.

The second project is the continuation of the railway from Tashkent to the Uzbek border town of Termez. The highway is planned to be extended through Afghan Mazar-i-Sharif and Kabul to Pakistani Peshawar. The appearance of such a railway (provided that transportation and travel along it are safe) will mean the access of the Central Asian countries to Pakistani and Indian ocean ports.

Promise to “Uzbek partners”

Taliban spokesman Shahin assures that his associates, who have taken power in Afghanistan, will support the “Uzbek partners” in their endeavors. But judging by the actions of the Uzbek authorities, Tashkent is in no hurry to establish contacts with neighbors “across the river” (as the border between the republics of Central Asia and Afghanistan, passing along the Amu Darya and Pyanj rivers, was called in the past). The latest initiatives of the republic’s authorities are more likely associated with an attempt to protect themselves from the new masters of Kabul.

In early August, at a time when the Taliban were rapidly moving towards victory, the Uzbek army for the first time in a long time held joint exercises with the military from the countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) – from Russia and Tajikistan.

On the one hand, Uzbekistan is likely to agree to continue the implementation of beneficial infrastructure projects, because “it has a desire to enter South Asia, Pakistan,” said the Kyrgyz political scientist Mars Sariev. “Pakistan, which traditionally has a very strong influence on the Taliban, also welcomes the position of Uzbekistan in this regard,” the expert noted.

“On the other hand, it should be noted that the strengthening of Pakistan’s influence on Afghanistan means the strengthening of the pro-Pakistani and at the same time the most radical Taliban faction – the Haqqani Network,” Sariev said. And this cannot but worry the republics of Central Asia, the expert said. According to experts, some factions of the Taliban will fight against IS * and its “branches”, but Central Asia fears further chaos in Afghanistan after the flight of the Americans.

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

Recall that Afghanistan for a long time – in the 1990s and at least before the start of the American operation in this country – was the base for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU, banned in Russia), which participated in the civil war in Tajikistan, staged terrorist attacks in Kyrgyz cities, and in 1999 organized the invasion of jihadists through Tajikistan into southern Kyrgyzstan. On the basis of the IMU, the “Islamic Movement of Turkestan” was created (banned in the Russian Federation), which indicates the expansion of the claims of this terrorist group. In 2014, the IMU swore allegiance to the Islamic State *.

Recall that Russian President Vladimir Putin in his speech at the Eastern Economic Forum noted that in the event of disintegration in Afghanistan “there will be no one to talk to.”

“And the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (banned in the Russian Federation), and what is there only in the territory of today’s Afghanistan, and all this threatens our allies and neighbors,

– pointed out the Russian leader. “And if you keep in mind that we have no visa restrictions, free movement actually across borders, this is very important for us, for Russia, from the point of view of ensuring our security.”

The recent participation of the Armed Forces of Uzbekistan for the first time in a long time in joint exercises with the military from the CSTO countries – Russia and Tajikistan – was dictated not by an attempt to demonstrate strength, but by the desire to prepare for a potential attack by the Islamic Movement of Turkestan, which has always looked in the direction of Uzbekistan. the newspaper VZGLYAD Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs Leonid Kalashnikov.

Tashkent is afraid not only of the Taliban

“Tashkent is afraid not only of the Taliban,” the deputy stressed. There are other Afghan groups that are ready to conduct military operations against Uzbekistan on its territory if they are loyally treated in Afghanistan itself. Therefore, Uzbekistan wants to deepen military cooperation with such serious allies as Russia and Kazakhstan. He needs to interact with us and to supply military equipment by Russia, ”the deputy explained.

It is not surprising that now Tashkent remembered the role of the CSTO in protecting Central Asia from threats from the south. The Collective Security Treaty was signed in 1992 in Tashkent, but since the late 90s Uzbekistan has preferred to participate in the pro-Western GUAM union, rather than in the “pro-Russian” CSTO. But against the backdrop of the situation in Afghanistan, Tashkent may return to the status of a full member of the organization, Andrei Grozin, head of the Central Asia and Kazakhstan Department of the Institute of CIS Countries , suggested in a comment to the Sputnik Tajikistan news agency in July . The return of the republic to the CSTO would strengthen this military alliance – given that Uzbekistan spends the most on equipping and rearming its 70,000-strong army in the Central Asian region (up to 4% of GDP goes to defense spending).

Since Uzbekistan is also concerned about the vulnerability of the southern border, Tashkent will step up cooperation with Moscow through the CSTO, Sariev predicts. True, the official entry of the republic into the military-political structure should not be expected, since this is impeded by the restrictions prescribed in Uzbek legislation, the expert added. But we note that no confirmed reports of Uzbekistan’s plans to return to the “pro-Russian” CSTO have yet been received.

Tashkent is not interested in a quarrel with Kabul

On the contrary, at the end of August, official Tashkent took a step that could be interpreted as not entirely friendly towards Moscow (and, possibly, friendly towards Kabul).  

President Mirziyoyev officially declared 115 members of the Basmach movement, who were repressed in the 1920s and 1930s, to be fighters for national independence. Among them – the major leader of the Basmachi Kurbashi Ibrahim-bek, who attacked the Soviet republics of Central Asia just from the territory of Afghanistan, was captured by the OGPU in 1931 and shot. “The decision of Uzbekistan to rehabilitate the Basmachi who fought with the Bolsheviks in the 1920s is anti-Soviet and partly, of course, anti-Russian,” said Vladimir Lepekhin, director of the EurAsEC Institute.

According to Central Asian experts, Tashkent is now at least not interested in a quarrel with the new authorities in Kabul. For example, on August 31, the American  Wall Street Journal  reported that the authorities of Uzbekistan, to whose territory a group of Afghan military pilots fled, are asking the United States to take these pilots to third countries as soon as possible in order to avoid confrontation with the Taliban movement.

Uzbekistan is placed in conditions under which it is forced to take care of both protection from the Taliban and building relations with them in order to maintain its own benefit, experts say. Sariev believes that it is not Uzbekistan that is now in the most vulnerable position, but Tajikistan, given that Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in the early 2000s supported the forces of the leader of the Afghan Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Massoud, an ethnic Tajik.

“The Taliban can now close their eyes to the fact that Islamist groups, militants of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, ISIS * and Al-Qaeda (banned in Russia) will begin to infiltrate Tajikistan,” the Kyrgyz expert said.

Tajikistan cannot afford to try multi-vector game

Thus, Tajikistan, as a country that has staked on a losing force in Afghanistan and as a country bound by the CSTO obligations, cannot afford to try the multi-vector game, which is being played by neighboring Uzbekistan. But, according to Lepekhin, at present the former Soviet republics in Asia have no choice but to demonstrate their loyalty to the Taliban. “A big game is beginning: not only Uzbekistan, but any other Central Asian republic will be forced to cooperate with the Taliban,” the expert said.

GREATER ALBANIA PROJECT

GREATER ALBANIA PROJECT IS ACCELERATING AS KOSOVO’S STATEHOOD IS IN QUESTION

Clear indications have been made that there is a project for a Greater Albania and it is progressing ahead, especially as the world’s attention is focussed on and distracted by the coronavirus, Libya and Syria’s Idlib province. The ultimate goal of Albania was to absorb Kosovo and the Preševo Valley in Serbia, southern Montenegro, Epirus in Greece and western North Macedonia into a single Greater Albania state.

Although this may not be official policy of the Albanian Republic, it is ingrained into the Albanian mythos. However, this has now changed with the Kosovo-born Albanian Minister-in-office for Europe and Foreign Affairs Gent Cakaj and the Foreign Minister of Kosovo Glauk Konjufcameeting yesterday to discuss the establishment of common economic space for free movement of people, goods and capital between Albania and Kosovo, as well as sharing embassies around the world which so far only exists in the Australian capital of Canberra.

Cakaj said on Twitter about “the need to deepen cooperation between [Albania and Kosovo] and strongly support the coalition of Albanian political parties in [Serbia’s] Preshevo [Preševo] Valley” to the east of Kosovo. Although the tweet just emphasizes deeper cooperation between Albania, Kosovo and the Preševo valley, it was his comments to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency that gives the biggest suggestion of a Greater Albania project being put into action. Cakaj said to the agency that:

“the borders between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Albania should not exist at all, they should be removed immediately and our countries should enjoy unrestricted freedom of movement and unhindered ability to deepen economic cooperation.”

Although it may seem like that Albania and Kosovo are making strong efforts for the Greater Albania project, it rather demonstrates their desperation as Kosovo continues to lose legitimacy and countries withdraw their recognition of the quasi-independent state that illegally broke off from Serbia in 2008. A total of 14 countries since 2017 have withdrawn their recognition of Kosovo, meaning only 51% of United Nations members now recognize it. The usual norm in statehood recognition is that more and more countries overtime recognize the state, not withdraw recognition. If we look at the Israeli situation, since its founding in 1948, only five states have withdrawn recognition and 162 of the 193 United Nations member states recognize it. It is inevitable that with incentives from China and Russia more states will withdraw their recognition of Kosovo.

This brings a new question then. Has the failings of Kosovo actually accelerated the Greater Albania project?

The proposal by Finnish Nobel “Peace” Prize winning Marti Ahtisaari to establish an independent Kosovo and Kosovan identity has been an abject failure. Rather, Kosovo has taken on the Albanian identity openly with KosovoPrime Minister Albin Kurti, who is currently serving as the fourth Prime Minister of Kosovo since February 3 2020, not differentiating between nation and ethnicity as he sees Kosovo as an extension of Albania, despite the nation and the state not being the same. Kurti also does not recognize the flag and anthem of Kosovo, as well as the Kosovar identity.

As Kosovo continues to lose legitimacy, meaning the breakaway province could return back to Serbian administration, it is attempting to avoid this situation by merging Kosovo into Albania. It is for this reason that Cakaj says the borders between Albania and Kosovo should not exist at all and that they should both share embassies. As Serbia’s position has strengthened, Albania’s official support for Kosovo is an attempt to parry it and jointly formulate a strategy to achieve some success.

The broader goals of merging Albania and Kosovo are multiple – to confirm Kosovo’s independence from Serbia; to propagate the Greater Albania project; and to put pressure on Serbia as well as international states to challenge Belgrade’s foreign policy successes. The campaign cooperation between Albania and Kosovo demonstrates the attempts to raise the issue to a higher level and the desire to establish new mechanisms and measures, with the incumbent government in Pristina to implement a practical policy because all tactics so far have not yielded results and giving up is not an option.

Therefore, there is no reason why Serbia should give up its current policy of pushing states to withdraw their Kosovo independence recognition. Belgrade must maintain that Kosovo is an integral and historical part of Serbia. Belgrade’s efforts have produced results and the Serbian public demand results. Serbia should not accept any blackmail and demands from Kosovo or Albania, especially as it continues its project of reintegrating Kosovo. Only days ago, it was announced that rail links between Belgrade and Pristina will be constructed, something that does not even exist between Kosovo and Albania. Although Kosovo’s failings continue, it has also accelerated the Greater Albania project in an effort to prevent the reintegration of the breakaway province back into Serbia.

By Paul Antonopoulos
Source: InfoBrics

Karzai warns Afghans and neighbors to resist ‘US agenda’

Karzai is confident that Afghans and regional stakeholders support his crusade against the “American agenda” in Afghanistan, which he describes as an attempt to create disharmony among nations

 

Three years since he left office, the presence of former president Hamid Karzai still lingers in the corridors of Afghan politics. The fact that he continues to live on the same street as the presidential palace also ensures that he remains keenly involved in matters of a nation at war.

It is at this humble but traditional home in Kabul that Karzai extends the courtesy of his hospitality to scores of Afghan leaders, ministers, tribal elders and international diplomats, on a daily basis. He meets with hundreds of local and international stakeholders, making peace and relationships that can influence the turn of regional events in Afghanistan’s favor, a country that he helped put back together with the help of US allies after the fall of the extremist Taliban regime in 2001.

However, today, Karzai is among the few prominent Afghan voices against the occupying US forces. He has strongly condemned the new Afghan strategy put forth by US President Donald Trump in late August. “The neighborhood is no longer an ally of the US in their war against terror,” he told us on a warm September afternoon at his residence in the capital.

Karzai is confident that not only Afghans but also regional stakeholders support his crusade against the “American agenda” in Afghanistan, which he describes as an attempt to create disharmony among nations in the region, such as India, Pakistan, Iran and China.

“If they genuinely want to fight extremism and terrorism, they cannot do it by creating rivalry here in this region. They cannot take one ally and create rivalries — that’s adding to the conflicts in Afghanistan,” he said, referring to Trump’s statement calling out Pakistan for harboring insurgents, while encouraging India to play a bigger role in Afghanistan.

However, this is not to say that Karzai doesn’t value international powers trying to foster peace in his country. On September 4, leaders of the five BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — called on Pakistan to end terrorism in Afghanistan and the region following Trump’s statement. 

Move to name terror groups was ‘important’

“BRICS was an important development,” Karzai said, hailing the statement by BRICS nations on terrorism emanating from Pakistan as a “significant development.”

“Naming terrorist organizations at BRICS was important for the countries that are really affected, like India, China and Russia. This is what we need — cooperating in this region against extremism and terrorism. Not the imaginations of the US played out in our region.”

Karzai dismissed Pakistan’s defensive reaction to the BRICS statement, saying that Islamabad lays some of the blame on Kabul. “Nobody believes Pakistan’s [excuse] blaming Afghanistan for providing terrorist sanctuaries,” he said.

“They know Afghanistan is not involved in that or has the capacity to do things like that. They must deal with this and not us,” he added, urging Pakistan to give up extremism. “We want Pakistan to recognize that playing with extremism is never going to help them.”

While Karzai remains critical of Pakistan’s role in regional security, he is also suspicious of Washington’s intention in condemning Pakistan. “President Trump’s strategy makes it look like [there are proxy wars in Afghanistan] and we don’t want that. We don’t want Afghanistan to become a battleground for rivalries, or a place where proxies fight,” he explained.

As the conversation moved more towards regional politics, Karzai expressed appreciation of India’s role in the development of Afghanistan. Karzai’s relationship with India goes a long way back – to his days as a student in Himachal Pradesh, evidence of which can be seen in his library, which boasts of a copy of the Indian constitution, which he has read and referred to several times during his years as leader of a new nation.

Karzai urged India to not be swayed by Trump’s policies. “My advice to India is that it should have its independent policy towards Afghanistan and not be influenced by Americans,” he said. “India should not ally itself with America’s objectives in Afghanistan because those objectives are not good for this region. They are surely not going to be good for India eventually.”

Having presided over the new Afghanistan for more than a decade, Karzai is no stranger to the consequences of proxy wars. “These rivalries will be played out in Afghanistan. Why should we be the ground where larger powers with their own interests create a war in which we die?” he said, noting the drastic increase in civilian casualties over the last two years.

‘India never interfered in our ties with Pakistan’

The former leader also dismissed talk of an India-Pakistan proxy war being played out in his homeland.

“During my government, India never interfered with our relationship with Pakistan,” he revealed, adding that Indian leaders Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi had both been considerate about Afghanistan’s sensitive position in the region.

“We spoke about these issues with India and at one point they even refrained from helping Afghanistan militarily because they said Pakistan may get irritated,” he recalled. “They were trying to avoid too much irritation for Pakistan; that’s what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told me.”

Despite this, Pakistan still appears to be concerned about Afghanistan’s growing affinity to India. “Pakistan, of course, constantly kept talking about India, [and it] especially has issues with the number of Indian consulates in Afghanistan,” he revealed.

As Karzai bid us farewell, he repeated his warning. “Tell India to not fall for the strategic games that the US is playing in this region. We want an Afghanistan-India relationship that is not impacted by the strategic interests of another power [that is well] away from us.”

Source: http://www.atimes.com/article/karzai-warns-afghans-neighbors-resist-us-agenda/?utm_source=The+Daily+Brief&utm_campaign=da61e3311e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_10_12&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1f8bca137f-da61e3311e-21552319

SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) growing importance

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s role in global affairs continues to increase: the bloc has now focused on counterterrorism issues in the Eurasian “heartland” and the US and EU have to take this into account

The West now has no other choice but to take the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) into account, Alexander Dugin, political scientist and the leader of the International Eurasian Movement, told Radio Sputnik, adding that the SCO is by no means an equivalent of NATO.

On May 9 leaders of SCO member states signed a decree admitting India and Pakistan to the bloc.

The SCO is a political, military and economic alliance comprising Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Belarus, Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan hold observer status in the organization, while Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Armenia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka hold the status of dialogue partners.

“Today, new full members join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization…. The expansion of the SCO will undoubtedly contribute to ensuring that it will become more powerful and influential in the political, economic and humanitarian spheres,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the SCO meeting in Astana on Thursday.

According to Dugin, the expansion of the SCO is yet another step toward the new multipolar world order.

“By bringing together the largest Asian powers, where huge economic potential is concentrated and considerable strategic forces, [the SCO] made a very serious step towards the institutionalisation of a multipolar world,” Dugin stressed.

The political scientist underscored, however, that the SCO is not an Asian version of NATO.

“The SCO was created not as an ‘Asian NATO,’ but as a Eurasian structure, which, in fact, opposes globalization,” he told Radio Sputnik. “NATO is dominated by one state, one ideology, while the SCO has brought together states and forces which belong to completely different civilizations with different ideologies and political systems. That shows that the SCO is a multipolar bloc.”

The SCO members also inked a convention on countering extremism and adopted a statement by the bloc leaders who pledged commitment to the joint fight against international terrorism.

According to Dugin, the West will have to take the SCO’s position into consideration, including its collective stance on counterterrorism.

“If the SCO works a consolidated position on countering terrorism — including Pakistan, which itself suffers from terrorism — then this will mean completely different conditions for the solution of the Syrian crisis. If the SCO says ‘no’ to some actions of the West, then this will have to be taken into account [by the US and EU],” Dugin said.

For his part, political scientist Rostislav Ischenko, president of the Ukraine-based Center for Systemic Analysis, called attention to the US and EU’s inability to cope with the terrorism threat in the Middle East and Central Asia.

“The helplessness of Europe has already affected the interests of the SCO member states. It is no coincidence that the current summit was almost entirely devoted to Central Asia’s security issue, given… the plans of radical Islamists to transfer their actions to this region,” Ischenko wrote in his op-ed for RIA Novosti.

“Neither Russia nor China could allow the gangs of terrorists being expelled from the Middle East to rampage on their borders and at the very center of their joint integration project,” the scholar stressed.

According to Ischenko, it is obvious that the upsurge in the terrorist activity in the Middle East and North Africa was prompted by irresponsible and myopic policies of Washington and its European allies.

“As a result of this policy, the EU has completely lost its influence in the Middle East,” the scholar pointed out. “Furthermore, Europe has found itself unable to protect its territory and its way of life from terrorist attacks and the rising tide of refugees.”

“The US is fighting for the opportunity to maintain its former influence in the Middle Eastern region at least to some extent. Those who make efforts to introduce proper order in the region are Russia (a founding member of the SCO), Iran (an SCO observer), Syria and Egypt (applied for observer status in the SCO), as well as Turkey (an SCO dialogue partner),” Ischenko wrote.

According to the scholar, Russia, its former Soviet allies and Asian states have become the driving force behind the Eurasian integration. For its part, the EU has yet to join the process.

In any event, one can’t deny that the role of the SCO is global affairs is growing at a steady pace.

Speaking to Sputnik China, Jia Lieying, an expert at the School of International Relations at Beijing Language and Culture University emphasized the importance of the ongoing integration process.

“The incorporation of India and Pakistan is the brightest moment of the recent summit,” Jia highlighted. “In the very beginning, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization included five states, in 2001 there were six. For 16 years the organization had not expanded. However, all these years India and Pakistan had been seeking to join the SCO.”

“Their accession will provide more opportunities for cooperation within the SCO framework, and it is especially worth noting that the expansion will facilitate the improvement of Indo-Pakistani and Sino-Indian relations. These states will be able to resolve the existing contradictions on the new platform. This will become a positive example for other regional organizations,” Jia stressed.

Source:

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201706101054515679-eurasia-russia-china/

 

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/