Kosovo Albanians, overwhelmingly Muslim, love America—which rescued them from Serbian aggression in 1999—and desire diplomatic relations with Israel. Kosovo does not recognize the Palestinian Authority and does not belong to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).Read more
The young state of Kosovo—with an Albanian majority of more than 90 percent, of whom 80 percent are Muslim—declared its independence in 2008, but now faces a “risk from extremist religious currents, which requires . . . counter-measures at a strategic level.” Further, Kosovar Albanians have an agenda for a return of their people and culture to Europe, not an orientation toward the Middle East.Read more
On November 26, the Financial Times published an extravagant encomium to Lady Catherine Ashton by its Brussels bureau chief Peter Spiegel, under the headline “EU foreign policy chief Lady Ashton comes of age in Iran talks.” Spiegel reported, “her team returned from negotiations in Geneva to a standing ovation . . . from EU ambassadors for their part in clinching a historic deal to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”Read more
Away from the eyes of the world, ideological Islamists pursue infiltration of the moderate Muslim communities in Kosovo and Albania. But in nearly all cases, they continue to be rejected.Read more
Kosovo, the Albanian-majority Balkan republic, is probably best known for its fervent pro-Americanism, understandable given the role of U.S.-led NATO forces in assisting its 1.8 million inhabitants against Serbian oppression in 1999. American troops in Kosovo are drawn from National Guard units and have fallen below a thousand, but continue to symbolize a commitment that Kosovars consider indispensable to their future.Read more
On November 29, Albania was the sole Muslim-majority country in the United Nations to be counted among the 41 abstainers from the proposal to admit Palestine as a non-member observer. Certain Islamists were displeased, to say the least. In particular, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, head of the “fundamentalist-lite” Justice and Development Party or AKP, responded with one of the tantrums that has become a hallmark of his administration.Read more
On November 28, Albania celebrated the 100th anniversary of its independence from the Ottoman Empire. The small and enigmatic republic had an atrocious history of strict isolation, after World War II, under the Communist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha. Its population of three million is described typically as 35 percent Sunni Muslim, 35 percent spiritual Bektashi Sufis, whose creed is derived from Shia Islam, 20 percent Christian Orthodox, and 10 percent Catholic.
While Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and other Balkan countries have been plagued by radical Islamist incursions, Albanian prime minister Sali Berisha, who is Muslim, told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth at the end of November that he considers Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Iranian government “the new Nazis, and the world must learn from the Holocaust and stop them before it is too late.”Read more
On November 11, Al Jazeera announced from its home offices in Doha, Qatar that it had broadcast its first “Al Jazeera Balkans” news bulletin at 5 p.m., Bosnian time. A press release described Al Jazeera’s southeast European enterprise as “the first regional news channel,” which, the report continued, “fills a large gap in the market. News till now has been country specific.”Read more
Arif Uka is a 21-year-old German-Albanian Muslim whose family came from the ethnically divided region of Mitrovica in northern Kosovo. He is being held by German police after the shooting deaths Wednesday of two U.S. Air Force members, and injury to two more—one seriously—in a group headed for Afghanistan via the sprawling Frankfurt International Airport and nearby American military base at Ramstein.Read more
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