February 20, 2008

How Serbia lost out in the EU numbers game

Posted in Irish Independent · 39 comments ·
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Vesela arched her black eyebrows, dragged deeply on her contraband Marlboro, narrowed her dark eyes, and snarled, “David, Kosovo is Serbia and Serbia is Kosovo”.

Vesela was one of Serbia’s leading, liberal political commentators who had opposed the war in Bosnia and Croatia and was an implacable critic of Slobodan Milosevic. Yet even she maintained that Kosovo was different. The Serbs could lose Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Macedonia and even Montenegro, but Kosovo would never be relinquished.

We were in the Serbian Writers’ Club — probably the most famous restaurant in Belgrade and the fulcrum of what was described at the time as “Weimar Serbia”.

In 1997, the country was battered by sanctions, hyper-inflation and the realisation that it had lost the war for Yugoslavia. In addition, it was beginning to sink in that the atrocious murder of innocents in Bosnia and Croatia had, rightly, turned the country into an international pariah.

In response, the Serbs reacted to all this chaos — like Berliners in the 1920s — by turning their capital, Belgrade, into a large impromptu party, with new bars, clubs and underground theatres opening nightly. Belgrade laughed with the gallows’ humour of a condemned people.

Within two years of that late- night Belgrade conversation, an isolated and morally corrupt Serbia was at war with the US and NATO over Kosovo — a war it had no hope of winning.

This perplexing country sustained more than two months of daily air strikes by NATO which pushed an already battered economy over the cliff.

Ultimately, Serbia surrendered, having achieved nothing. The historic province of Kosovo — which to the Serbs is as integral to Serbia as Munster is to us — was being wrestled from it by an international community which had lost patience with this delinquent country.

But why were the Serbs prepared to go to war with NATO over a province that is now 90pc Albanian Muslim, and why should we care? Surely the Serbs, by their murderous actions in Bosnia, have lost all legitimacy anyway? Even if you believe that Kosovo should be independent, are there any lessons for the rest of Europe from the politics of ethnic demography?

Let’s do something unfashionable: let’s put ourselves in Serbian shoes. The Serb view is, oddly enough, very like that of the Palestinians. Although they won’t admit this, historically, the Serbs of Kosovo — like the Arabs of Jerusalem — thought they were top dogs.

For centuries, the local small Jewish population was treated poorly by the Arabs of Palestine. Similarly, the Serbs of Kosovo treated the Albanians appallingly.

Under Arab rule, the Jews were governed by the Charter of Omar which laid out 12 rules (not unlike the Penal Laws) which dhimmi or non-Muslims had to abide by to be allowed to live in peace. The dhimmi also had to pay an annual tax for the privilege of being left alone.

Likewise, the Serbs treated the Albanians as second class citizens.

Like the Palestinians with Jerusalem, the Serbs see Kosovo as their heartland. This is the cradle of Serb civilisation and they have always lived there. Like the Palestinians who, with their Arab allies, declared war on the Jews in 1948 in reaction to the UN setting up the State of Israel, the Serbs sent their troops into Kosovo province in reaction to the UN threat of an Albanian State in 1998.

The Serbs lost this war in 1999 as did the Palestinians in 1948 and, as a result, thousands of Serbs in Kosovo became refugees in their own land.

Those Serbs who are left in Kosovo, like the one million Israeli Arabs who are subjects of a Jewish State, are now given the choice to remain in Kosovo as subjects of an Albanian State.

The Israelis argue that the “facts on the ground” in and around Jerusalem — which is shorthand for Jewish majority areas — should dictate the sovereignty of the city.

In the same way, the Albanians argue that as they are now the majority, Kosovo is theirs.

Looked at from the Serb perspective, the Albanians have out-bred the Serbs and they are now being rewarded for such prodigious fertility.

Furthermore, the Albanians argue (like the Israelis) that they did not start the original war. Ultimately the victors contend that the Serbs (and Palestinians) are simply reaping what they have sowed.

Albanian politicians have also made the arguments that the Serbs have all of Serbia in which to live. Many Israelis make the same argument when they suggest that the Palestinians have the entire Arab world in which to live while middle- eastern Jews only have tiny Israel.

In addition, it is not unusual to hear Albanians and Israelis make the analogy with displaced Sudeten Germans in the Czech Republic when discussing the displaced Serbs and Palestinians.

The Sudeten Germans — who lived in what was then Czechoslovakia — sided with Hitler in 1938. They were expelled in 1945 and, by losing the war and being implicated with German atrocities, the Sudeten Germans lost their right to return to their Czech homeland.

The three million Sudeten Germans became permanent refugees in Germany, just as many thousands of Kosovar Serbs are refugees in Serbia and displaced Palestinians are forced to live in Jordan and South Lebanon.

Serbs are not usually portrayed as victims but in this case they see themselves as a put-upon race who have been penalised by the politics of demography.

Unfortunately for the Serbs, they remain a pariah nation and many European countries, including Ireland, have accepted the logic of numbers. Kosovo is now Albanian and Muslim.

In the course of the next decade, it looks highly likely that the remaining Serbs in Kosovo will be forced out, bringing to an end eight centuries of European and Balkan history.

Granted, this account of Kosovo’s history is jaundiced and probably inaccurate, but that’s the way the Serbs see it.

We in Ireland have the experience of the North and know that when a land is disputed both sides create their own myths and martyrs. That said, and you don’t have to sympathise with the Serb view of history, there is one lesson that we can all take from the independence of Kosovo.

The EU now accepts the principle that an existing country can be partitioned if the demographic balance changes.

Does this have ramifications for Europe’s future? Given differing birth rates between Europe’s Christians and Muslims, could we see the Independent Caliphate of Piedmont or the Islamic Republic of Jutland?

It would be unwise to overstate the case, but the implications of the Kosovo move for an aging Christian continent facing mass Muslim immigration might be worth considering.


  1. VincentH

    The only thing that connects Serbia/Kosova and Palestine is Istanbul. And Serb and Albanian history is complex in the extreme, and both positions comes from a ‘who was there first’ type of argument. Where for years blatant self interest ruled and ancient hatreds acted as foreign policy. Where the movement of 1st millennium tribes is as remembered today as if it were yesterday. And the actions of all during the WW2 were nothing at all new.
    Wars in that area, are a manifestation of tribe not religion.
    Did you ask what a Serb calls an Albanian or the other way round. The field of the blackbirds, refers to the Serb attack on a enclave of Albanians. Who had turned the Istanbul and eventually Mecca for protection.

  2. VincentH

    And there is at least another fifteen groups/tribes/peoples/nations with an oar in the water. And as to the sub-groups, well, pick a number. You might have spoken to a Serb, but from where, and when did she get there.

  3. John Q. Public

    A point worth mentioning about Israel is that it has had a huge influx of Jews for years now. They are allowed stay there just because they are Jews, not because they can pick up a screwdriver or hammer nails into wood (never done by jews as far as I know) but on the qualification of being Jewish and this infuriates a lot of Palestinians.
    The EU policy makers need to examine the social and economic impact of this influx through member states and from outside member states. Maybe the Universities could undertake such a task, project future possibilities and present this study to the head geezer in the EU who looks after all this (if there is one).
    A huge proportion of Ireland’s asylum sneakers I mean seekers have been turned away from France and Germany first so how is it possible that they got here never mind be allowed stay here? It seems more complicated for us citizens to get cars across member states than for chancers and undesirables to hop through member states and reside here regardless of their background.
    We must guard against increasing Islamisation of our states and tides of immigration as seen in Britain over the decades that have fueled tensions and increased crime rates. Saw this in the news and hope it is the start of more restrictions: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7253933.stm
    By the way David, did you mean Ulster when you said Munster in that paragraph? Just asking. You are right about one thing, it is a numbers game so lets start crunching numbers and monitoring those numbers from now on and keep it real!

  4. AndrewGMooney

    David, thanks for pressing some ‘controversial’ (sensible) buttons with this post.
    As Mrs Merton famously said: “Let’s have a heated debate!“

    You are not ‘overstating the case’, the possibility is real. An Islamic Munster or Ulster? What about an Islamic Mercia? It’s already happening by incremental gains. I grew up in the ‘Little Ireland’ that was Small Heath / Sparkhill in Birmingham. It is now an almost exclusively Muslim ‘community’ / enclave / ghetto / fortress of ‘Dar-el-Harb’ reclaimed from the Infidels. Depending on your view of ‘reality’.

    I know devout yet tolerant Muslims living there who are extremely concerned at the implication of this ‘Muslim solidarity’. And Muslim women who are getting increasing pressure on the streets to dress more ‘modestly’. All regret the ‘voluntary exodus’ of ‘Cross-Worshippers’ from the area.

    It isn’t the indigenous White British or the immigrant 50’s Irish / Caribbean / Hindus and Sikh bus-drivers and nurses who instigated ‘non-Muslim-flight’:

    The streets where I was raised were gradually reclaimed for ‘Dar-el-Islam’. ‘Non-Islamic Urban Flight’ happened in response. Recently a mosque in Small Heath was exposed as a petri-dish of hate speech:

    http://www.birminghammail.net/news/tm_headline=mosque-launches-probe-after-tv-claims&method=full&objectid=18471799&siteid=50002-name_page.html

    The beautiful historical red-brick building in the picture was the Library and Swimming Baths where I was educated – in so many different ways. And now?

    The ‘Muslim Community’ in Small Heath isn’t a homogenous blob. The Somalis have as much in common with the Kashmiris as the Irish have with the Sicilians. What they all have is a fanatical sub-group with an historic track-record of resorting to terrorist means to achieve ‘political’ goals: Whether uniting Ireland or uniting the whole world under a new Caliphate.

    Oh, and having witnessed the Birmingham Pub Bombings of 1974 I’d advise any pistol-trigger happy readers to think twice before typing any shite on that particular subject….

    Demographic conquest has always been a specific political/military weapon of Muslim expansionism, that’s why Genghis Khan never had his pants up for more than a brief respite to chop some heads off.

    If Turkey is allowed to join the E.U after the recent ‘relaxation’ on the ban on Islamic head-dress: Then we deserve all we get. Thankfully, French will never capitulate and allow that to happen. That’s why I’ll move there.

    The French (despite the wretched racism that still disfigures parts of their society) accept Maghreb and Arab Islamic communities. But only as part of ‘The French Project‘. Hence the head-scarf ban. In the same way as they play the EU game to suit their wider cultural supremacist project.
    And they’ll win: Whether it’s ‘Appellation d’origine contrôlée’ or drawing in S.E England and The Rhineland with the T.G.V Masterplan. They’ll win. They don’t have a Florida, but they’ve got everything else to be their own United States of Europe.

    The U.K? Multi-cultural bedlam. Londonistan. It’s fc-uk’d.
    There’s still time for Eire to draw the line in the sand. Will it?

    David, one quibble: You don’t really spell out just how serious this is. It’s like the worldwide Catholic community accepting the loss of The Vatican.

    This isn’t over. It’s just beginning. And I predict the Serbs will win at whatever cost in blood. Anyone who thinks Osama is frightening knows nothing of Serbian history and culture. In Serbia today: We’re breeding monsters who’ll destroy us when they arise from their shock and inchoate rage.

    http://www.serbia-info.com/news/1999-07/25/13536.html
    http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2008/02/19/serbia-anger-disbelief-over-proclamation-of-kosovo-independence/

    Current mood: Extreme Pessimism.
    Kind regards.

  5. geoff dickson

    David, great article!
    You mention Israel and 1948. Well it looks like the UN is about to create a separate Palestinian state removing land granted to Israel.
    The UN has pledged 7.4 billion! This is a recipe for disaster.

    http://www.jnewswire.com/article/2269

  6. surely David that Kosovo lies on the fault line between the USA & Russia. The EU will just go along with whatever the USA tells them to do, hand over private data on EU citizens, acknowledge an independent Kosovo etc.. BTW The Palestinians acknowledged an independent Kosovo before the Israelis did, I believe Israel is still mulling their diplomatic response.

    As for the Serbs, they did kick the Nazis out on their own.

    and it’s much easier to fear the Muslims than it is to compete against India , China and other EU states for technical excellence. A way to solve our birth rate problems is to introduce Ceausescu style orphanages, sure tis cheaper then €5k per annum creches

  7. “…the Serbs see Kosovo as their heartland. This is the cradle of Serb civilisation and they have always lived there.”

    The Serbs haven’t always lived in Kosovo or even in the Balkans.

    The Serbs are Slavs — and the Slavs migrated into the Balkan region in the 6th century from further north — probably in/around what is known as Poland today.

    http://lamar.colostate.edu/~grjan/kosovohistory.html

  8. Tariq

    Kosovo is not serbian , it is a spin used by Serbian Nationalist to attack innocent civilians. They are the only nationalists in the world to celebrate a massive defeat to Ottoman Turks as a proud day. After that day on 14 th century , serbians came under ottoman control , and the albanians later. They always harrassed other minorities in the balkans , tried to supress them ,dreaming of a slavic christian kingdom . There was no place for other communities in their kingdom, especially the muslims(ironically mostly slavic origins). Violent nationalism brought them disaster , not the numbers……

  9. Tariq

    David needs to get rid of this islamophobia as this is becoming too scary for ordinary readers… Demographics is an interesting science , it might work for u or against u depending on what you need as a country. As income levels and capitalization of the markets in the muslim countries accelarate birth rates fall as in the western countries. Turkey s fertility rate has fallen around to 2.2 , which is at replacement.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Fertility_rate_world_map_2.png
    So muslims do not have hidden agenda to take over the world by producing more children , they have a lot of challenges economically , as they develop their economies , this will change .
    Scaremongers talking about a caliphate is again total nonsense. Muslims are not a homogenous society . When Ataturk abolished caliphate in 1920 s , it was because he realized it was useless but damaging for his country. after all the last caliph ottoman sultan called for help from muslims in WWI ,there were many muslims in british army fighting against him, not even speaking what the arabs did , so please lets be sensible about this , and not manipulate opinions by fiction.

  10. When the Kingdom Serbs, Croats and Slovenians was created after the World War I, Serbs had one church in what is Republic of Kosovo today. And no Serbian population there. When Yugoslavia was made on the same territory Tito understood that Kosovo cannot just ‘become’ Serbia, so gave it a status of a ‘Province’ Yugoslavia was a republic with 6 Republics and two Provinces — both part of a Republic of Serbia.

    Slovenia decided to leave. War lasted three days and Slovenia become Independent. Croatia declared the same — Serbs, that controlled the army started shooting. War broke. A lot of blood. Two years later Bosnia decided to declare the independence. More troubles. More blood. UN dropped a few bombs on Serbian capital Belgrade. Serbs cooled down. Macedonia declared independence. Montenegro as well. Serbs under embargo. Quiet. Kosovo declares independence. Serbs start the party on the streets of Belgrade. Stones thrown on the embassies. Flares, police, madness in Belgrade. Countries around the world recognise Kosovo as independent state. Russians and Spanish do not. For the obvious reasons. And Greek (Cipar!) Serbs are pulling the ambassadors from the countries who recognise Kosovo. Serbian PM looks 5 years older on TV.

    It will not be easy for the Kosovo. It is poor, the economy depends on the jewellery and ice cream shops around Europe.

    Kosovo we wish you well!!!

    Ivan | http://www.SeoConsultant.ie

  11. AndrewGMooney

    I said I wanted a ‘heated debate’……Ok, ‘Hibernia Girl’ do you really wanna go there, gurlfren? The ‘original’ Irish? Wot? As in De Danaan? From where? Germania? Get real. W.T.F was the ‘Irish’ identity in 6th Century?

    Having recently visited Lindisfarne / Holy Island and claiming myself as the ‘Prophet of The Fifth Province’ :I say: ‘Celtic Blood. Saxon Heart’. And bollix! At what stage did ‘Irishness’ emerge as a coherent identity other than in antagonistic relationship to ‘The Other’, ‘The Oppressor’: Just like the same old same old Hutu / Tutsi / Serb / Croat / Kosovan crap we’re gonna witness in fast-forward, retro – nouveau rewind over the next few weeks. How many people on this site actually understand Anglo-Irish history and politics? The ‘totalising’ stigmatisation of the ‘English-Other-Oppressor’ that led to the delusionality of, say: The Birmingham Pub Bombings?

    Hello Tariq. Salaam. Cead Mile Failte! Shame you’re not Tariq Ramadan, but never mind, we’ll make do:

    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/theworld/2006/October/theworld_October130.xml&section=theworld

    You can throw your silly ‘bogey’ non-word ‘Islamophobia’ about as much as you like. It’s not a ‘phobia’, We have ‘phobias’ about spiders or bizarre sexual practices: Not about a demonstrable history of Genghis reaching Vienna and the Fall of Constantinople. Sorry to disabuse you, mate,: But not all Europeans are ‘onward Christian soldiers’ or credulous fools. I’m glad you find Europeans who dismiss this ‘boo’ word as nonsense ‘scary’. You ain’t seen nothing yet. You can get David to ‘ban’ me if he wants to destroy his credibility, but I seriously doubt he will.

    Who are these ‘ordinary’ readers? My Muslim mates in Birmingham who have had just about enough of Saudi perversions of ‘legitimate Wahhabi / Salafi Islamic thought and jurisprudence’ to last them a life-time? Thanks Osama, but: No thanks. Fc-uk off, already!

    You refer to ‘that day on 14th Century’. I assume you mean ‘The Field of the Blackbirds‘? I’m not going to enter into a discussion on Balkan history with you, except to say: Serbia didn’t ‘collapse’. It hasn’t now. It never will. I have no connection with Serbia other than my wife worked at ‘The School of Slavonic and East European Studies’ at ‘The University of London’ and I met several Serbs who made it absolutely clear to me that their ‘Identity’ is so written in Blood and History that it can never be unwritten. They made the Irish Rebel singers in The Harp in Sparkhill seem like a bunch of amateurs. Sadly: They weren’t.

    Match that with the ‘Albanian Blood Feud System’ and it makes the Irish/British spat seem like a bun fight in a tea-shop. Since when did Serbian culture ever instigate institutionalised dhimmitude under the auspices of ‘Religion’? You mention ‘no place for minorities’: What on earth do you think is happening in Kosovo to Serbs today? And has been happening under the ‘protection’ of U.N forces since the bogus ‘cease-fire’?

    I’m not scare-mongering by factually pointing out that Attaturk’s legacy is under threat in C21st Turkey. You know this, so why are you being obtuse? I know many Turks whose only reason for wanting EU membership is to have an Exit Route if the country swings back to Clericalism in the wake of a resurgent Iranian sphere of dominance ushered in by Bush’s beserk operations in Iraq – rather than grasping the nettle in Afghanistan.

    ‘Turkey’ is not one country as you know very well. There is a war being waged for the Soul of Turkey between Anatolian retreatism and building The Bosphorous Bridge to Europe: Fact.

    When I can fly into Mecca with a Christian Bible in my hand wearing a Crucifix, I’ll listen to ‘Muslim Moderates’. Until then: Don’t waste my time.

    Ivan, you can wish Kosovo well till the cows come home, but the implication of this treachery and abrogation of international treaties governing the legitimacy of ‘The Nation State’ will come home to roost when Brit and Irish ‘lazy sunbathers’ are blown to smithereens by Basque/Catalan terrorists following this ‘precedent’.

    As for your comment: ‘Serbs had one church in what is Republic of Kosovo today’: What planet are you on? Are you really proposing that Metohia is some kind of latter-day Orthodox Disneyland built after WW1?

    http://www.serbia-info.com/news/1999-07/25/13536.html

    If you think the Serbs are ‘partying’ in the streets of Belgrade tonight, I hope you’ll still be enjoying the ‘party’ in six months time…..but I doubt you will.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7256158.stm

    I’m amused by your description of the ‘Kosovan Crime Syndicate Economy’ as based on Ice-Cream and Jewellery! The idea that Serbia will just take this as another slap on the face from the hypocrites in the E.U and U.S is the truly, frighteningly risible element of this unfolding catastrophe.

    Still, I guess some ‘Paddy Last’ will be flying out to Pristina to buy condos off-plan. Or have we reached the ‘That Joke Isn’t Funny Any More’ stage about Ireland’s Zeppelin Housing Balloon?

    No doubt some idiot will find a way to ‘square the circle’ of my vociferous support for the Chechen people with qualified support for Islamic Kashmir and absolute denunciation of British connivance with the corrupt Saudi fiefdom; But that’s not my concern. I’ll debate these matters with Tariq Ramadan and Robert Spencer. Maybe even David McWilliams. But not with the ‘cheerleaders of the Neu-Europa Apocalypse’. I wish Serbia was weak. But it isn’t. It’s indomitable. North Korea Pt 2 in the making? No surrender? You ain’t seen nothing yet……

    There’s a tinderbox. It’s been lit before. ‘Franz Ferdinand’ are quite an amusing group of musicians: But I don’t want that particular iteration of history repeated, thank you very much.

    Fc-uk the E.U. Fc-uk the U.S. Fc-uk International Treaty Law: That’s what’s really going on here.

    Is this response ‘balanced’ and ‘calm’ enough for you all? Come on David: Ban me if you dare. As if I care!

    Kind regards

    Mrs Merton.

  12. Paul

    I hope you don’t get banned, that was very intersting post.

  13. Paul

    oops, I was typing too fast excuse the typo’s or phonetic’s, which ever you wish to call it.

    Ill start again,

    I hope you don’t get banned, as that was a very interesting post.

  14. John Q. Public

    If one does get banned, can one not simply re-invent oneself like a balkan state?

  15. Garry

    fair play Andrew

    cant comment on the Serbs as i know nothing of their history. But they seem to be stubborn to the point of madness, fighting NATO/US a few years ago and now burning the US embassy…. seems like they are self destructing again.

    +1 on your comments on Islamophoia.

    Tariq, People are entitled to have any opinion they want on Islam. No religion or ideology deserves ‘respect’. In fact all authority or ideology — Christianity, Communism, Democracy, Islam, Judaism, Nationalism ……….. they all deserve to be continuously and fearlessly challenged, we despair at Berties antics in the tribunal but isn’t it great that the leader of our country can be hauled before the courts?

    Years ago, Cat Stevens (who, before he converted to Islam was a live and let live hippy who wrote songs like Morning Has Broken) gave many radio interviews where he explained how it was every Muslims duty to kill Salman Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses which mocked something or other…

    The scary thing was not that an aging hippy found religion, but that he changed to being a nasty piece of work in the process…. And that this was the first in a long line of incidents where polite muslim men calmly but firmly explain to anyone who will listen that death is the only penalty for drawing cartoons, taking the piss out of something, adultery ….. So as long as fatwas are imposed for drawing cartoons, writing books, or naming teddy bears, Islam deserves nothing but contempt.

    And don’t give me the line that theres many different types of Islam…. the silence from the moderates is deafening every time this happens…. they either believe it or are afraid that if they say something a fatwa will be put on their heads by the more rabid islamists. And if that isn’t a perfect example of a self reinforcing evil ideology, what is?

  16. Glen Quinn

    To Tariq,

    Obviously you haven’t lived in another EU country’s city. If you had then your view of Islam would be completly different. As I said on a number of posts, I’m a Dublin lad and now living in London for the last 5 years. Before I came over I had a lot of respect for all religions regardless. I had never lived in another EU country ever. When I reached 30, I then emigrated over to London (My first time ever to be in London or any other EU city for that matter). What I saw and experienced in London changed my view forever. I then went to other EU countries to see what they were like and I was complely shocked and I still am. I don’t want any Irish citys or towns to be like London, Brussels,Paris etc. I have to travel about 5 miles to get my grocerys because all the shops in my area only stock food for Muslims and the food is not palatable for me.

    I would say to you, go to any other EU city that is outside Ireland, pick any one it doesn’t matter. If you are a woman I challenge you to walk down the street in your regular clothes and we will see how moderate they really are.

    To Hibernia Girl said: “The Serbs are Slavs – and the Slavs migrated into the Balkan region in the 6th century from further north – probably in/around what is known as Poland today.”

    So what you are saying is that the Slavs have been in that region for the past 1400 years. I think that is long enough for them to be able to claim that land as there own. How long does a group of people have to stay on a land for them to be regarded as from that area?

    To AndrewGMooney:
    Spot on Andrew. I completly agree with every word you have said. People have to understand that talking about Islam is absolutly nesessary for our Democratic and equal rights needs.

    One point, I like to raise is that the Muslim population in France is about 10% of the population. This is frighnening high as it has happened over the past 20 years. Other counties around the same level are Germany. The rest of Europe the Muslim population ranges between 5%-8% per EU country. And we all know the principiles of compound interest.

  17. Glen Quinn

    To David McWilliams:
    Great article David and keep up the good work on trying to educate ordinary Irish people who don’t know whats happening in Europe today.

    Other facts to Look at is how Muslims took control of Spain, Egypt and Turkey. Before Islam came to these countries they were all 100% Christian, were today Egypt and Turkey are 99% Muslim. Also Turkey still denies that they massacured 2 million Christians during World War 1, when they were allied with Germany.

  18. Ed

    This is a serious development for Christians everywhere – In Germany ,the young ethnic Turks are refusing to learn German ,so they’re unemployable and they go around taunting the locals that country this will be all theirs in the near future.

  19. Frank the Tank

    I don’t think Ireland should accept ‘s Kosovas declaration of independence because it means every region in the world now can try to set it self up as independent state. A state doesn’t just include the people that are alive today it should include the people that are buried in its graveyards, especially if they died fighting to create the state in the first place. What would we say if Brazil wanted to create an independent state in Co Clare, it would be a handy foot hold for Brazilian beef exports into the EU. The majority of voters in Gort are Brazilian.

  20. webmaster

    Sorry AndrewGMooney, you would need to do better than that to get banned!

    As far as I can recall, we have only banned one person from the site.
    David appreciates the dissenting views, the only thing we won’t stand for is people being rude to others (without having a cogent argument to back it up at least).

    If you have any complaints or suggestions for the site, please email webmaster@davidmcwilliams.ie

    Thanks

    Ronan

  21. AndrewGMooney

    Ta 4 that, Mr/Ms Webmaster, but – is that a challenge? You wanna put a bet on it? I said I wanted a ‘heated debate’. My Name is Mrs Merton. It’s still a bit tepid for my tastes! Boxing gloves on…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pIWSi8QkOA

    Let’s deal with the important stuff first. England’s win in Paris tonight means we (they!) are back in the game. I can just see the celebrations now in Glasgow, Dublin and Cardiff…. Is that pint half full of Guinness or half empty of Abbot’s Ale, Andy Mooney? To be fair, the manners of the crowd at Croke Park showed the French up as uncultured and gauche: No matter how many fireworks they set off. Remember that tacky Eiffel Tower millenium nonsense?

    On to the boring stuff. Here’s a news report from the future, 2018 A.D to be precise:

    “Following the destruction of both Severn Bridges by ‘The New English Patriot Army’ to impose order on ‘The Army of Owain Glyndwr’, and the imposition of further import taxes by newly independent Anglesey:

    The emergency government of the City-State of Dublin has today seceded from the resurgent linguistic fanaticism of ‘Gaeltacht Ireland’ which recently seized control of large areas of Ulster with a view to re-establishing a formal political and trading alliance with ‘Gàidhealtachd Scotland’. Thus avoiding any need for impure trading relationships with the historical oppressors of ‘Neu Angle-Land‘.

    In attempting to avoid the ‘Anglo-Welsh’ conflict, the ‘Irish Emergency Government’ had previously routed trade by sea to Calais. However, the invasion of ‘Northern France’ by over-taxed English commuters on high-speed T.G.V trains from Kings Cross has resulted in the formal annexation of Pays de Calais into Grande Britannia, as well, of course, as Brittany itself.

    Ministers of ‘The European, Eurabian and Trans-Caucasian Economic Union’ (EETCEU) have reacted with concern to the news that the renegade militia controlling the territories of what used to be ‘Serbia’ have announced they are in possession of nuclear weapons. This follows the leaked ‘disclosure’ of a covert nuclear programme by Greater Albania by ‘The New Improved It Will Really Work This Time, Honest! League of Incompetent United Nations’

    In the region which was formerly known as ‘The Caucasus‘, reports still emerge of vast ethnic, cultural and linguistic cleansing pogroms in all areas from Georgia to Ingushetia.

    http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/democracy_power/balkans_caucasus_tangle

    However, as this region is now part of ‘Mother Russia Re-United’ and hence part of the ‘EETCEU‘: Government guidelines prevent us from further reporting on this matter. It would be tasteless and disrespectful to do so.
    On a brighter note: ‘The Commission for Equal Opportunities, Racial, Cultural, Sexual and Linguistic Harmony Worldwide’ have launched a new 24/7 advertising blitz to remind the citizens of Planet Earth that their attachments to historical grievances, dress-codes and cultural identities is now officially recognised as a ‘Mental Health Challenge’.

    Treatment is now free (and/or compulsory) for anyone seen in public with The Flag, Insignia or any other identifier of the now discredited and redundant notion of ‘The Independent Nation State’ governed under ‘International Treaty Law‘. This includes gaudy acrylic sports shirts with ugly advertising logos plastered all over them.

    All sensible people now accept that the ‘Free Movement of Trafficked People, Counterfeit Branded Goods, Services, Ideas, Terrorist Technology and Hedge/Vulture Capital’ is an unquestionably ‘Good Thing’.

    And that we are now ‘One Happy Earth Community’ despite current ’turbulence’. Anyone suggesting otherwise is just being ‘negative’, depressing, retrograde and a right pain in the arse……….

    ‘The U.S. secretary of state then went on to send a message to the Serbs to “accept that Kosovo is no longer theirs, and that the Balkans needs to leave behind centuries of laments and sentimentality”. “We believe that the Kosovo decision will really, finally, help the Balkans leave its horrible history behind,” Rice said. “After all, we are talking about something from 1389! It’s time to move on,” she said, in reference to the year crucial in Serbia’s history, when its medieval empire started succumbing to the Ottoman Turk invasion with the Battle of Kosovo, to be renewed as a state only in the 19th century.’

    http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2008&mm=02&dd=23&nav_id=47921

    Condi: Why don’t you plug your fc-uk’in brain in? This isn’t even funny. You are beyond ridiculous. Like your ‘mentor’, “if I talk like a dumb hick, folk won’t guess I’m a scheming creep’ Bush. Sleep tight, folks. The ‘party’ is just getting started.

    PS: Say a prayer for Eduardo. We are all Arsenal fans tonight.

    Kind regards

  22. Sceilg

    Nice article David, are we expecting the declaration of a Polish republic of Greater Dublin anytime soon?

  23. geoff dickson

    Serbia is getting plenty of attention from higher authorities also.
    Must be the muslim christian tensions!

    Check out the 10 secrets.

    http://www.medjugorje.org/

  24. thaigah

    David

    Your articles are great reads, but sometimes you take the analogy game too far. We could just as happily compare the Serbs to the Israelis rather than the Palestinians (Srebrenica/Chatyla massacres, vast military superiority, recognized nations trying to prevent their neighbours becoming such, attempts to expel large populations, etc, etc). Does an analogy either way help clarify the picture? In this case I think not.

    But one thing can be guaranteed. Mention the word “Muslem” in your article and ere long out scuttle your “resident fringe” with large chips on their shoulders.

    Out comes the guy suffering from “ghetto-shock”, one of its effects being to make him think all Muslems are like his neighbours in a large European city, when we all know that ghetto residents are in no way representative of the populations they originated in.

    Then out trots the World Conquest Theory merchant. At least he knows that Al-Qaeda is a threat to world peace. But does he ever think about the large number of Muslems in many countries who have already died trying to contain Al-Qaeda?

    And let’s not forget Mr Kick-out-all-the-Immigrants. No article worth its salt is complete without him!

    When one Muslem dares raise his head above the parapet he is shot down by a few stale arguments from some old history book.

    Come on, resident fringe. Try awaking from the nightmare of history. If that’s too difficult for you, remember all the horrors of our own recent history and stop trying to find someone else to hate. Better still, go like me and live in a Muslem country for a while (avoiding the obvious hotspots). If your minds are open, it will change you for the better.

    I have no time for religions or any religio-political ideology. But if I show my intolerance for them and their followers, in what way will that make them more tolerant? So, Tariq, don’t despair, there are still some Irish people around who realise we have a lot more positive things in common with you than the ideologies and extreme ideas which some internet posters love to drag out all the time.

  25. John Q. Public

    Come on thaigah we don’t want to hate anybody here, just protect ourselves from the assholes that hate us. I am in favour of kicking out some immigrants though, especially the illegals, convicts and fraudsters etc. If you bother to read newspapers thaigah you will see more than just a ‘few stale arguments’. Where do you live, in a cave? Have we not got a right to show intolerance sometimes?

  26. H

    Nice use of an ad-hom there, thaigah.

  27. Glen Quinn

    To Thaigah,

    I just want to live in my own country were my Christian values and my right to live my life as I see fit without being dictated by others.

    Were you are at present, can you answer the following questions truthfully?
    Can you visit a Church on Sunday?
    Can you buy and read a Christian bible?
    Are women allowed to dress as they see fit?
    Are women able to work in high skilled or construction professions?
    Are women allowed to drive?

    Also do they respect your Irish customs or do you have to adopt to there’s?
    Are you free to voice your opion on any topic like Government, religion etc?

  28. AndrewGMooney

    Other news from Bertie:
    Ireland recognises Kosovan independence:

    http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0229/breaking13.htm

    As an add-on to my previous ‘newsflash’ from 2018, here’s another one for you all to digest:

    “Following the break up of the Dis-United Kingdom, the balkanization of the Brit-Irish Isles continues apace. The Independent City-State of Edinburgh has now forged a defended trading route/alliance down through Berwick-upon- Tweed to the sea ports of Independent Anglo-Norwegian ‘Geordie-Land.’ “Wa-hay!” said Presidents Ant and Dec on the steps of Newcastle Town Hall as they promised full military protection for the new arrangements.

    Gàidhealtachd Scotland ‘freedom-fighters’ dressed in cast-off costumery from Braveheart continue to harass truckers on the A1 with their pre-modern weapons, but sales of blue lipstick/eyeshadow are doing a roaring trade to get that ‘Mel Gibson I’m so angry I might just explode’ look.

    The alliance between Gaeltacht Ireland and ‘Gàidhealtachd Scotland’ has imploded due to factional in-fighting and arguments over what kind of kilts their combined ‘amy’ might wear. Tartan or plain.
    Resurgent ‘No Surrender’ Ulster Unionists have succeeded in moving the displaced refuseniks from Independent Edinburgh and The Lothians to the Irish island on fleet of boats in 24/7 convoys from Stranraer. Guarded by The New Patriot English Army.
    Never having joined the now collapsed currency fraud known at the Euro; A new state of ‘No-Surrender-Ulster-British-Pounds-Schillings -and Common Sense-Pence’ has been declared.

    The population surge of Scottish Protestant refugees have formed a strategic alliance with The Paisley Jock Muslim Brother and Sisterhood to commence a strategic ‘breeding’ programme. Within five years, the constant shagging and fecundity of these groups will ensure the demographic balance will be overwhelming against the traditional (residual) Catholic residents of Ulster, who are now seeking refuge in Eire. Which can only trade via Southern France, having been banned from both re-captured Liverpool and Holyhead. Gaeltacht Ireland now consists of the Aran Islands but is still seeking independence and formal recognition by the United Ex-Nations headed by Condoles ‘Smarmy Smile’ Rice.

    When asked by an audacious reporter for his comments on the ‘New Ireland’ former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern burst into tears at his retirement villa in Pristina:

    “Listen! Will yous all just feck off and leave me alone! How was I to know that recognising Kosovo would set off all this sh1te all over the world? D’you think I had a crystal ball with me whilst I was filing my, er… tax returns?”

    When the reporter, Andy Mooney, suggested to Bertie that the role of the Taoiseach was, indeed, to manage current challenges and ‘strategic threat scenarios‘, Bertie once again began sobbing, asking his steely-eyed interrogator: “Why me! For the love of God, Andy – why me? Have you no mercy”. “No” replied the reporter to his world-wide YouTube News audience. His co-star Caroline Aherne (no relation) was just about to lambast Bertie with Craig Cash when Bertie’s daughter, Cecelia Ahern, then appeared in a rather fetching Stella/Manolo combo to confront the reporters.

    Both for upsetting her poor old Da and for interrupting her cogitations for another ‘buy at Dublin airport in case you’re bored on the beach and want a laugh at crap writing/plot’ novel. She threw a bucket of water (?!) at the hapless reporters and crew before storming off back to her creative eyrie to conclude another ‘work of god-like genius’.

    Oh, and ‘thaigah’: If your comments regarding the supposed ‘“resident fringe” with large chips on their shoulders’ include me, don’t be shy! Kindly address any relevant comments directly to me and we can step into the ring. Where I will, metaphorically, box you to within an inch of your online life.

    Kind regards

  29. thaigah

    Glen Quinn

    You ask me some very fair questions and I can only answer them relating to the years I was in these countries (I’m in Korea now).

    In Sudan in the Seventies we used to visit the Cathedral regularly in Khartoum. There were several other churches there.
    I never tried buying a Bible but there was a very good English-language magazine on sale called “Sudannow” which addressed all sorts of controversial topics, including female circumcision. At the University where I worked women wore the clothing acceptable to their families. Armenian girls wore very short skirts, as I recall, but Arab women wore the traditional tobe, down to the ankles. My best Law student (to whom I was teaching English) was a woman and went on to get a high-powered job in the capital. Women could drive and did, though no better than the men.

    In N.Yemen in the Eighties my good friend, an Irish priest, was allowed conduct services every Sunday for his adoring Filipina congregation (among others), but no church was allowed; he had to work in a theater owned by the US Embassy. He was not allowed work as a priest officially (a blind eye was turned); he taught English full-time. Again I do not remember if Bibles were available, probably not. But I never heard of anyone having problems with owning a Bible (unlike in the Communist countries I worked in). They also had an English-language magazine that freely discussed hot topics.Yemen is more liberal than Saudi, and this includes female clothing. Many wore the traditional black “Guinness-bottle” robes, but if you went south the skirts of the local girls were much shorter. I can’t recall a foreign woman ever getting into trouble for wearing western-style clothing. As for jobs, again I had many highly-intelligent women among my students and many went on to become doctors and engineers. But women certainly lagged behind men in getting the top jobs (not only a feature in the Muslem world). Women drove, especially in Sana’a.

    In Brunei in the Eighties there were some churches; I only visited one of them. Again you have me on the buying-a-Bible question, but the Borneo Bulletin was another fearless publication in English. Women once again dressed according to culture, skirts varying from long (many Bruneian Malay-speaking Moslems and Indians) through medium (local tribes and Chinese) and on upwards according to
    taste. Many women had high-skilled jobs, though again they argued not enough. Many women drove there.

    In Uzbekistan in the early 2000s there are all sorts of churches and some synagogues. The Russian Orthodox church at Easter was visited by many Muslems just to enjoy the atmosphere. Bibles, no problem if you can read Russian. Women dress very attractively, the more traditional Muslems with long skirts, but quite a few with scant regard to the neckline. There are so many nationalities in Tashkent that it is impossible to generalise about female attire, but in the night clubs one could imagine oneself in any Western city. My students tended to become teachers, there were female bus and taxi-drivers, both legacies of the Soviet days. Similarly with the large number of female medical staff, from the top down.

    I’ve gone to such lengths to answer your questions, Glen, in the hope that I can get through to someone that I think it doesn’t get us anywhere to refer to Muslems as in any way a homogenous group of people, unless one is discussing religious faiths. Any country which has a majority of Muslems is very different from all the others, as are its people, and their mentality differs greatly too. The amount of Muslems who – like us – pay lip-service to the more extreme edicts of their faith is vast, as I can confirm having drunk many a glass with them! Haven’t you?

    Your question about respecting my Irish customs is another interesting one. I have found that most of the people in the countries I’ve mentioned not only respect my customs; they know as much as I do, or more than I do about theirs. U2, Westlife, St Patrick’s Day, our top footballers, etc. are more familiar to many of them than their singers, actors or sportsmen are to me (possibly us). But I can say with all honesty that I have never been treated with disrespect in a Muslem country for being a Christian (I was brought up as one and used to attend church). And I chose to adapt to many of their customs to show respect to them in return. I think The extent to which you do this depends on how close you feel you belong there, and it’s always a two-way process. I am ashamed to say I never learned much Arabic, especially when I see how well so many of them speak my language.

    Ironically, freedom to criticise the government was most restricted in the least overtly Muslem country I visited, Uzbekistan. As the Yanks say, go figure!

    Please don’t come back at me and say, for example, well things have changed a bit now in Sudan, unless you’ve been there recently, in which case I’d be very interested to hear about how things have changed. And if anyone comes up again with the well-worn catalogue of abuses perpetrated by the Saudis, I agree with you in advance; it’s not a country I’d like to live in. But I have raised a glass there as well as anywhere else (if not quite as easily!).

    There are still many problems in all Muslem countries, and I believe the most serious one is in the field of education. As a teacher I would never try to defend the more traditional educational methods and content which are still prevalent – but over the last 35-odd years, believe it or not, things have got better, though many Muslem countries still rank very low in the education tables and are even falling further behind as highlighted in a recent report (http: http//news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7227610.stm).

    My bottom line is ….. don’t believe everything you hear about Muslems (or anyone else) from the internet or the newspapers; and don’t judge all Muslems by the bad ones you meet, especially if they are expats. Most of them need our help, not the crazy radicals, but the normal men, women and children who make up the vast majority of Muslems, and who have never had the good fortune to live in a tiger economy.

  30. coldblow

    Thaigah

    Your last post is interesting and informative and you have certainly lived an interesting life and seen more of the world than I could dream about. Fair play to you.

    However you seem to be taking others to task for imagined sins. I just didn’t see any evidence here of the extremism and ideology you decry in your earlier post nor did I see any lumping together of Muslims into a single homogenous identity. As for the newspapers I don’t know anyone who believes everything in them – indeed for many papers we could probably agree that about half of what is in them is true, it’s just that we don’t know which half. (The ones I read are of course of a superior class.) So I’m not sure what the problem is. To borrow your own phrase, whenever the word Muslim is mentioned who exactly is waiting to pounce on whom?

    Having said that I agree that we need to reach a positive understanding with all cultures and religions, whether they are here with us or abroad, as isolationism is no longer an option.

    coldblow (scuttling fringe wannabe)

  31. Glen Quinn

    Thaigh: If one of my questions is answered with a “no” then there is no freedom in that country. I too have travelled throughout the World but I did not go to any Muslim country but I did go to Belarus, Russia and ex Soviet countries.

    I went to Belarus because that country is run by a dictator and I wanted to see what it is like living under a dictatorship. Dictatorships are formed by either a person, Religion or some other organisation or cult. The end result is the same, people get hurt and I want to make sure that Ireland does not fall under a dictatorship of any kind that starts to limit freedom and if I see it happeneing, I will speak out as it is my right to point out what I think is wrong.

    At present in Europe there is a two tier court system starting to emerge, there is one law for Muslims and another law for non-Muslims. You can’t deny it because I see and hear about it in London everyday where I now live. Islam is also starting to erode freedom throughout Europe.

    For your information I don’t have a TV and I don’t read any newspapers (I am too busy in work to either watch or read). What I have wrote above is from my experience that I have had throughout Europe.

    However I do believe in the following:
    We need to reach a positive understanding with all cultures and religions and all religions and cultures need to respect and have a positive understanding of our Irish culture.

    If the above is not obeyed then there will be mayhem in Ireland which is what I’m seeing at the moment throughout Europe.

  32. Glen Quinn

    Thaigh:

    If one of my questions is answered with a “no” then there is no
    freedom in that country. I too have travelled throughout the World but I
    did not go to any Muslim country but I did go to Belarus, Russia and ex
    Soviet countries.

    I went to Belarus because that country is run by a dictator and I wanted
    to see what it is like living under a dictatorship. Dictatorships are
    formed by either a person, Religion or some other organisation or cult.
    The end result is the same, people get hurt and I want to make sure that
    Ireland does not fall under a dictatorship of any kind that starts to
    limit freedom and if I see it happeneing, I will speak out as it is my
    right to point out what I think is wrong.

    Also Sudan was a Christen country and now about 70% of the population are now Muslim. The Christians mainly live in the south of Sudan. Im just giving an example of how a foreign population can move into a country and over a couple of hundred years literally take the country away from the indigious population. This same phonemana happened in Eqypt, Turkey and Kosovo. Im not against Islam but I am against that they don’t diverisy. As an example Islamic schools in Europe only allow Muslim pupils to attend and not non-muslims. All other religious and non religious schools have a quota system. Also alot of Muslims do not allow inter-faith marraiges that is a muslim man/woman cannot marry a non-muslim man/woman. The non-muslim man/woman must convert to Islam for the marrage to take place, now in my view and in the view of a secular society this is wrong as it limits the freedom of choice in a person being able to choose any religion that they want. Also for a Muslim to change religion then we get into the fact that they can be killed, again this is curtailing freedom for a secular society.

    At present in Europe there is a two tier court system starting to
    emerge, there is one law for Muslims and another law for non-Muslims.
    You can’t deny it because I see and hear about it in London everyday
    where I now live.

    For your information I don’t have a TV and I don’t read any newspapers
    (I am too busy in work to either watch or read). What I have wrote above
    is from my experience that I have had throughout Europe.

    However I do believe in the following:
    We need to reach a positive understanding with all cultures and
    religions and all religions and cultures need to respect and have a
    positive understanding of our Irish culture.

    If the above is not obeyed then there will be mayhem in Ireland which is
    what I’m seeing at the moment throughout Europe.

  33. Garry

    Hi Thaigh,

    Im probably one of the “resident fringe” you referred to so hopefully this response will explain where Im coming from, I don’t believe your first post represented my views at all but not to worry, I’ll try to spell them out to you again. Thanks for the second post, it was very informative it gave me some understanding of where you’re coming from.

    To me there is a big distinction between Islam and Muslims, hopefully I’m using the terms correctly and this simple analogy will spell it out. (as much to others reading this as yourself)

    I really dislike smoking, to me its a stupid self destructive habit with no redeeming qualities. However I’ve friends who smoke, they get something from it, and I enjoy their company.

    Like all analogies, it can be stretched too far but hopefully when you read my comments on Islam, they aren’t from the perspective of someone who hates Muslims, rather someone who was born a Catholic, is now an atheist and has given a little time to understanding Islam and is shocked by it. If you believe Islam is above critical analysis, we’ll just have to differ.

    Ive read your second post a few times and I think we have some common ground. I’ve traveled a fair bit but to different parts of the world than yourself. I’ve came to a conclusion which can be summed up as

    “The more seriously a people take their religion, the less tolerance they have for those who arent fellow believers.” Ive found this to be true about most religions, Indeed to continue the analogy Ive met some fundamentalist smokers.

    I think from your message you would agree with this. But if not, please accept my apologies, thats what it read like to me.

    We’re becoming a multi cultural society and its in that context I raised my concerns on Islam. By definition, multi cultural means more than one culture sharing a confined space. If it is to be peaceful long term, it must be built on strong foundations of mutual respect. Not just between Christians and Muslims, but also the fundamental human rights of atheists, gays, and even deviants like GAA followers should be respected. Either that or it can be built on fear, where we have one dominant culture which just about puts up with the others provided they keep their heads down, do their work and don’t get too uppity; there were some examples of this in your message.

    I agree with your post and appreciate that attack makes the tribe defensive and rally together, that ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have the result of making Muslims more devoted to their faith no matter where they live and freezes out moderate opinion. We had that experience here during the penal laws, so we should be well aware of this. But fundamentally, I believe both Muslims, Christians and Jews need to ignore large chunks of their teachings for the privilege of peacefully living together as equals in a genuinely multicultural society and that this should not be glossed over if we are to have an honest debate.

    So, given that I think we are in broad agreement that both Christians and Muslims are great people when they ignore the worst of the rubbish in their holy books, what now?

    I don’t have the answers but I think that the EU Charter of Human Rights (which hopefully will become law if the referendum is passed) should be seriously looked at
    (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/en/oj/2007/c_303/c_30320071214en00010016.pdf) Why? Because the biggest questions facing a post Christian Europe is “What do we stand for? What are out values and beliefs?” And that charter is as good a place to start as anywhere else, certainly better than looking in the Bible or Koran for them.

    Ideally, each religion in Europe should voluntarily sign up to it. It would be nice to see both the Queen of England and a certain former member of Hitler Youth formally acknowledging that this document overrides stuff about treatment of slaves or unbelievers in the Bible. It would also be very reassuring to see the Muslim churches at least in Europe formally accept this document and override stuff in the Koran on the treatment of unbelievers. Or is this asking too much for religions to start formally expunging the more lunatic elements of their outdated teachings and behave?

    I don’t believe that the answer is an uncritical welcome to Islam or the lazy “all religions are the same” argument. While there is an argument that criticism weakens moderate Muslims, Democracy is a fragile plant and can be overgrown by the weeds of fundamentalist religions or ideologies in a surprisingly short period of time. Theres plenty of examples of this.

    So thats the conundrum, how to accommodate multiple conflicting “one true faiths” in a democracy while respecting the rights of all citizens equally.

    Anyways, thats where Im coming from, hope I haven’t misrepresented your views and that I have accurately conveyed my own.

  34. FreedomFighter

    In the late 80s, before the internet, I used to listen to long wave radio. I listened to BBC world service, Radio Moscow, Chinese Radio, and an English speaking service from the Netherlands and one liberty focussed American station. Also I listened to an Iranian station in English. The Iranians were biased against all Western regimes becuase of the Liberal Western media. The Iranians were accustomed to mocking the Americans, by saying that the Jews of New York controlled America, and produced large amounts of bigotry. The Iranians also had a big promise for Britain and France. The Iranians continually boasted that there would be a Muslim majority in France and in Britain, and that this would be punishment for past colonial control, and that the Muslims would declare Islamic control of these societies. Utterly mindless hate and despisement I thought. I never listened to that station ever again.

    Well, it is looking as if, one inch at a time, in a process that is irreversible, Islamic minorities are growing, making large demands every year on the rest of population, and becomming more extreme and antigonistic towards the rest of society as they increase numerically. And it has become a crime against liberalism, to say anything about this, even though their objective is the elimination of all liberal values. To see why the countries should say no to Islamic immigration, look at the Netherlands, and the murder of Thoe Van Gogh, or the death threats against a somali convert from Islam to secularism who had to leave for the US, for thesake of her own safety. I do not regard those who are downplaying this trend, as either educated or liberal. It would be more accurate to fit them with the analogy of the ostritch who sticks their head in the sand, or the bird who is having to look after a cuckoo in the aggressive would master the meek. Marxism stated that the purpose of history was that the bureacracy would seize everything and provide for the masses. Islam is working on the premise that the entire planet will live according to a book. This book was written based on stories that were 150 years old at that stage, and which were full of hate, a preoccupation with sexual politics, repression, big promises, control mania, and some other rather ridiculous ideas (even by the standards of the age). Then several centuries afterwards this text was translated into an updated script so as to allow the entry of vowels. The fact that the first version did not include vowels in the script indicates massive accuracies, and the potential that Paradise could be filled with goats rather than virgins. Currently 70% of all students in Saudi universities are pursuing Islamic Studies. To get a set of accounts completed for a business, one must hire an Indian, educated in a secular society. This is the vision that Islam has for society, and the PC element seems to think this is all rather acceptable.
    To me it sounds completely ridiculous !!!

  35. thaigah

    Garry:

    Your post makes good sense to me, particularly your question:”is this asking too much for religions to start formally expunging the more lunatic elements of their outdated teachings and behave?”
    I think it is premature to expect this from some Islamic authorities (how about the Vatican?), but as you observe the Charter of Human Rights is as good a place as any to start with.
    As I’ve spent so long outside “Fortress Europe”, I admit I knew nothing about this charter. Now, having read it, it seems to embody what any reasonable person might wish for inside an ever-expanding Europe. Including those who choose to come from outside to live there. It looks as if it will be largely enforceable by individual nations as part of their legal systems. Presumably if, for example, Serbia were to join the EU and then contravened section 1 of Article 19 (“Collective expulsions are prohibited”) some transnational military force could be employed. Or if, for example, Turkey were to join and then broke Article 23 (“Equality between men and women must be ensured in all areas ….”), the European Court could compel Ankara to conform. Or is that hoping for too much?
    I think that all those scared by David’s tongue-in-cheek concept of “an Islamic Republic of Jutland” should read this Charter if they haven’t yet done so. If after that they still feel that democracy is the handmaiden of demography, then I guess all that’s left to them is: “Breed,baby, breed!”.

  36. To get back to the article itself, it’s good to see someone take a view more neutral than the standard “Serbs are the bad guys” we find in the media and modern mythology. The same people who decry the actions of the (mostly Bosnian) Serbs during the 1990′s are often conspicuously silent about the death-toll of Serb civilians during the NATO bombing raids of 1999.

    The war crimes of Croats and Albanians during those years also go unmentioned. Maybe Serbian lives are not as ‘valuable’ as those of other Balkan peoples.

  37. bluerose799

    It’s about time to recognize the historical right of Kosova (Dardania) to have its destiny fulfilled-That is full independence. Kosova never was a Serbian province. It was there, since the times of birth of European civilization, a very distinct Dardanian/llyrian identity. Always populated by Dardanias who, although under constant pressure of forcefully migration by Serbian shovinism, Tito’s Yugoslavia & Milloshevic’s Serbia, still make up 92% of the population. They speak ilirian language with the dialect GEGE. Serbs always have been a minority there. We know that Serbs appeared in Balkans (then llyria) only by the 6th Century AD, and they speak a language more similar to Ukrainian then Russian. They have always been a minority and ‘the story’ of Kosova being the Heartland of Serbia is just a pure Serbian nationalist fantasy. Facts Speak Louder Than Words and Serbian’s Lies Will Collapse by Themselves. Serbs always have been considered as oppressors there, not just by Albanian majority, but also by other ethnic groups too. Serbs just occupied Kosova during the rise of the Serbian nationalism early 20th century from Ottomans, who by then were loosing the Balkans after 500 years of occupation. The borders of Kosova are well established and recognized. Now Kosova should be Free! http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/62/094.html
    I can’t comprehend how a minority of 7% of the population, pretend to take off the land, the language, culture and the life of the rest of Kosova. Kosovars have the right to live free and independent in their land where they are born, generation after generation, live and will die.

  38. AndrewGMooney

    I’ve just done a ‘search within this page’ for Tibet. No matches found. Very interesting.

    Compare and contrast Kosova and Tibet: Tibet is a nation with linguistic, cultural and economic forms stretching back thousands of years before Christianity. It was stolen by the Chinese. It was the re-populated by ‘volunteer’ Han Chinese.
    Now there is a resistance which threatens to destroy not only the ridiculous conceit of the Olympic Games, but also to expose the tensions inherent in Chinese expansionism, whether economically, strategically or militarily (Darfur, etc).

    All the hypocrites who [rightly] ranted and raved about Mandela and apartheid remained strangely silent about the appropriation of Tibet. They’re still silent. Why?

    Why is it acceptable to countenance the destruction of the very notion of national sovereignty in Serbia whilst simultaneously engaging in this ludicrous double-think with regards to Tibet? If one accepts the Kosovan nation: How and why can one possibly ignore the plight of the Tibetans?

    And how does one ‘square the circle’ of Irish Nationalism vs British Colonialism whilst ignoring this unfolding tragedy? Will the Irish ‘peace-loving anti-imperialist nation’ be sending a team to the Bejing Propaganda Exhibition?

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0229/kosovo.html?rss

    Perhaps China will go the same way as the USSR. And Tibet will be the downfall of the Communist / Capitalist clique. There may be separatist Muslim provinces breaking away if Tibet sets the ‘balkanisation’ of China in motion.

    Kosova sets a precedent which will be followed in the Caucasus and in ‘China’. And elsewhere. Basque County. Catalonia.And elsewhere.

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