American Council for Kosovo Addresses Misleading Assertions on Religion in Kosovo

Published on June 7, 2006, Jihad Watch

Category: Islamic Terror in Kosovo

After publishing this story I got a number of form emails, some in true form email fashion addressed not to Jihad Watch but to other sites that had published it. They protested that it was full of various inaccuracies -- and the emails, though they came from different senders, were all the same. Now the American Council for Kosovo has addressed these allegations:

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2006 – As part of its mission to promote a better American understanding of the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija, the American Council for Kosovo supports dissemination of accurate information concerning Muslim Albanian violence against Christian Serbs and their churches and monasteries. The American Council for Kosovo commends Cliff Kincaid for his essay “Christians Under Siege in Kosovo” (June 1, 2006), in which he explains a “foreign policy disaster in the making,” as jihad terrorist and criminal elements push for an independent Islamic state.

In his essay, published by Accuracy in Media, an independent media watchdog organization unconnected to any side in the dispute over Kosovo’s future, Mr. Kincaid quoted Fr. Keith Roderick of Christian Solidarity International, a Christian human rights organization for religious liberty. Fr. Roderick, who visited Kosovo following the March 2004 riots during which Muslim Albanians destroyed and desecrated 35 Orthodox Christian churches, serves on the Advisory Board of the American Council for Kosovo.

As soon as Mr. Kincaid’s essay was published it was subjected to what appears to have been an organized effort to discredit the accurate information contained in it. Specifically, it has been suggested in mass e-mailings that Mr. Kincaid was incorrect in asserting that by indicating their possible support for Kosovo independence “the U.S. and the United Nations are helping allies of Muslim terrorists come to power in Kosovo.”

In an effort to discredit Mr. Kincaid’s accurate description of the jihad terror that threatens Kosovo’s Christians, it has been asserted that “Catholics [in Kosovo] are not endangered by Albanians (who themselves are more than 15% Catholics).” The testimony of Kosovo’s late Roman Catholic Bishop, Mark Sopi, is cited.

However, Mr. Kincaid is entirely correct in his observations and his critics are wrong. According to the same Bishop Sopi, as of 2001* Kosovo’s Roman Catholics numbered only 60,000 out of a population of some two million Albanians – and of these (again, according to Bishop Sopi) some 40,000 were living abroad! That is, even if all of the remaining 20,000 Roman Catholic Christians in Kosovo were Albanians, they would constitute only one percent of the total ethnic Albanian population in the Serbian province. (In fact, there are still a number of Catholic Croats living in Kosovo, almost all of them living in Serbian enclaves to avoid attacks by Muslim Albanians, so the percentage of Albanian Catholics in Kosovo undoubtedly is well below one percent.)

Criticism of Mr. Kincaid by citing Albanian Muslims’ alleged tolerance of Albanian Catholics, while justifying violence perpetrated against Orthodox Christian Serbs and their holy places, is unfortunately all-too-typical of some minority Christians in majority-Islamic countries and ethnic groups who seek protection by adopting the radical agenda of their Muslim compatriots. For example, in the 1960s and 1970s, when the Palestinian movement was primarily nationalist and even communist, Palestinian Christians were often even more extreme than Muslim Palestinians in their terrorist zeal against Israel. This phenomenon was epitomized by the founder and leader of the ultra-radical terrorist organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, George Habash, who was from an Orthodox Christian family. But as the Palestinian movement evolved in the 1980s and 1990s from secular nationalism to jihadism, the relevance of such efforts was ceded to Islamic terrorist groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The end result has been a growing emigration of Palestinian Christians, who in many places are nearing extinction.

The almost complete disappearance of Albanian Catholics in Kosovo fits the same pattern. The fact that some Albanian Catholics (including some who are not from Kosovo at all) suggest that an independent Kosovo, illegally detached from Serbia, would be anything but a jihad terrorist rogue state are engaged in a deception. Or perhaps they are only fooling themselves.

* Guerre etniche: Una Fatalita -- Un esempio: IL Kosovo,by Enzo Dalla Pellegrina, edited by Caritas Vicenza 2001 (in Italian); facsimile available from the American Council for Kosovo. (“In Kosovo ci sono 60.000 cattolici, ma di questi 40.000 sono all’estero.”)

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