Aren't you glad Clinton sent America into war in Bosnia against the Christians?
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
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
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.
"Tea or coffee?" Shortly after stepping down from the pulpit, Nezim Halilovic
— the imam and fiery speaker of the King Fahd Mosque — reveals himself to be
the perfect Bosnian host. He has fruits, nuts and sweetened gelatin served in
his quarters behind the house of worship. A chastely-dressed wife and four
children add themselves to the picture. It's a scene of domestic tranquility
that stands in stark contrast to the railing sermon of the controversial Koran
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.
Halilovic is familiar with the allegations and the usual accompanying thought
patterns: Wahhabite equals al-Qaida, which equals a worldwide terror network. He
says he has nothing to do with that, but he "cannot forbid a Muslim from
worshiping in my mosque according to his own rites." He explains the general air
of suspicion surrounding the King Fahd Mosque as follows: "The West is annoyed
that many Muslims are returning to their faith, instead of sneaking by the
mosque to the bar, as they used to do, to drink alcohol and eat pork."
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.
Despised the West before we went and fought and died for Islamic supremacists.
This traumatic experience left a deep mark on the traditionally cosmopolitan
Muslim Bosnians — and opened the door to the Islamists.
Blame the infidel!
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.
Read it all.
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