"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Friday, December 02, 2005

Another Islamist State in Europe?

Last week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the leaders of Bosnia’s three main groups—Muslims, Serbs and Croats—met in Washington to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Dayton Accords, which ended Europe’s worst bloodletting since 1945. But instead of limiting itself to a symbolic remembrance ceremony, the administration pressured Bosnia’s political representatives to sign an agreement demanding constitutional reforms by early next year.
The plan seeks to establish a centralized, unitary state dominated by a strong government in Sarajevo. The ultimate goal is to do away with most of the post-Dayton institutions, and forge a more cohesive state that will finally eradicate the country’s ethnic divisions.
Bosnia’s current political system, with its rotating tripartite presidency, parallel administrations and vast bureaucracy, is neither rational nor efficient. Reform is needed. The American-backed plan, however, is a recipe for disaster. It is a form of radical social engineering that will have to be imposed against the wishes of the country’s Serb and Croat populations. More importantly, it will pave the way for potentially turning Bosnia into Europe’s first Islamic republic. This will destabilize not only the Balkans, but the entire European continent.
What is remarkable about this plan is that it has been spearheaded by the very same Balkanists in the State Department, who are most responsible for the disaster that has befallen the peoples of Bosnia. During the Bosnian war of 1992-1995, State Department officials refused to lift the arms embargo against the Muslims and Croats. This effectively favored the murderous Serb forces, since they had access to the vast depots of weapons left over from the fall of Yugoslavia. The result was that hundreds of thousands were slaughtered and several million were expelled from their homes.
Due to the West’s passivity in the face of Serb genocide, many of Bosnia’s Muslims became radicalized. Thousands of foreign Arab fighters, known as the mujahedeen, infiltrated into the country in order to wage jihad against Christian Serb and Catholic Croat forces. Iran and Saudi Arabia’s influence over the Bosnian Muslim authorities grew as the war ground on. Radical Islam took root in the Balkans.
Most of Bosnia’s Muslims remain secular or moderate. But in his recent book, “Faith at War,” Yaroslav Trofimov, the Wall Street Journal’s foreign correspondent, documents the chilling rise of militant Islam since the end of the fighting.
Mr. Trofimov shows that the Saudis have been funding numerous mosques in Sarajevo, where long-bearded men promote Wahhabism, a particularly intolerant version of Islam. The Saudis have also supported charities that serve as fronts for al Qaeda. Islamist radio stations, such as Radio Naba, and radical organizations, such as the Young Muslims, have proliferated. Parts of Bosnia, like the village of Bocinja, serve as enclaves for the country’s remaining mujahedeen.
What is most disturbing, however, is the influx of young Bosnian Muslim fighters into Iraq, where they are joining the Islamofascist insurgents in their barbaric campaign against U.S. forces. At one of Sarajevo’s main mosques, the second highest-ranking cleric in the country, Ismet Spahic, has publicly denounced the U.S.-led war in Iraq as “genocide.”

Read it all.

No surprise here. Most Westerners, including President Bill Clinton, had no clue as to what Islam is about. Now George W. Bush is committing the same error. Idealism has blinded them both and we are reaping the whirlwind.


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