December 28, 2008
Anyone Up for a Nice, Little Religious War - in Europe?
Bosnia and Herzegovina, when it was part of Yugoslavia, was fairly secular (granted, it was also Communist). But since the horrific war there against Serbia, when Tito's "Yugoslavia" sundered and shivered into pieces that instantly began to gnaw on each other, Bosniak Moslems have veered in a dangerous direction. Fueled by the kindling of several new madrasas (built by our friends, the Saudis) and the recent introduction of "Islamic education" into kindergarten classes, Wahabbi Islamism is sweeping through Bosnia-Herzegovina:
Many here welcome the Muslim revival as a healthy assertion of identity in a multiethnic country where Muslims make up close to half the population.
But others warn of a growing culture clash between conservative Islam and Bosnia’s avowed secularism in an already fragile state.
Two months ago, men in hoods attacked participants at a gay festival in Sarajevo, dragging some people from vehicles and beating others while they chanted, “Kill the gays!” and “Allahu Akbar!” Eight people were injured.
Muslim religious leaders complained that the event, which coincided with the holy month of Ramadan, was a provocation [but what isn't?]. The organizers said they had sought to promote minority rights and meant no offense.
It's not surprising that Bosnian Moslems would respond to their newfound freedom from Communist thugocracy by embracing the forbidden religion of their forefathers; but Serbians had the same reaction, embracing a newly invigorated Christianity. As the Wahabbism and Salafism of their Moslem neighbors take increasingly militant liberties with other Bosnians' freedom of religion (or of secularism), clashes, both verbal and violent, are bound to increase.
Although Bosniak (48%) is the plurality ethnic group and Islam (40%) the plurality religion, in fact Serbs and Croats together form a 51.4% majority of Bosnians, while Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism account for 46% of citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Thus, being outnumbered and not in totalitarian control of the government, the militant Islamic faction of the Bosniaks feels insecure and "under siege." This of course drives them towards greater militancy and terrorism (but what doesn't?)
I believe we may be on the brink of a new Bosnian civil war, which might serendipitously test a pet proposition of mine: Passionate Christianity is a greater bulwark against militant Islamism than is enlightened Euro-secularlism, and its rise is indeed the only thing that might possibly defeat the so-called "jihadist" movement.
This falls under the rubric of "you can't fight something with nothing;" the standard liberal democracic "philosophy" of Europe is as close to nothing as one can find on this globe; while Christianity, strained and anemic as it may be in this post-Enlightenment, post-Renaissance age of science and sanity, is nevertheless a powerful belief system that (we all remember) united the Jews, the Greeks, and the Romans; conquered the Roman Empire; held sway over most of the known world; civilized the Vikings, the Celts, and other nomads of land and sea; and predates Islam by more than six centuries.
I think we'll find that the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be unable to cope with the rise of Saudi-funded extreme Islamism... but the Orthodox and Catholic populations will answer the call to arms. I also believe, perhaps paradoxically, that moderate, modern Moslems will find themselves more on the Orthodox-Catholic side than that of their own fanatical co-religionists, for the same reasons that Sunni Iraqis finally formed the "salvation councils" to rid themselves of their turbulent brothers.
I anticipate a salutory lesson on dealing with the worldwide rise of militant, violent, terrorist Islamism.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 28, 2008, at the time of 8:48 PM
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The following hissed in response by: Bart Johnson
More likely, the Saudis will supply the muslims with arms and other supplies, while the U.N. will impose
an embargo "in the name of peace." The Saudis, of course, will ignore such a stupid embargo, and
will go on a killing spree.
There will be much wailing, gnashing of teeth, and rending of clothes over such a disaster.
That will be the extent of European action. I don't think anyone needs prior (and current) examples.
The following hissed in response by: Insufficiently Sensitive
Bosnia and Herzegovina, when it was part of Yugoslavia, was fairly secular (granted, it was also Communist).
Had you ever spent any time in B&H, or any other republics of Yugoslavia, within 30 years or so of its breakup? If so, it would have been apparent that the Communism in those places was worn as lightly as its Muslimity - that is, the old rural societies there were not obliterated by collectivism following the Tito regime's rejection of Soviet dominance in 1948. Goli Otok went out of business as a political prison in 1956.
The overwhelming advantage of money shoveled in by Saudi Arabia and ('activists' in the form of mujahadeen from elsewhere) has indeed given Wahabism a foothold there with its hulking concrete mosques. Passionate Christianity, however, without equally vast funding, is not likely to stem the tide - the Yugoslavs are largely trending in the direction of western Europeans as far as secular hedonism is concerned. So, Wahabism by default and brutality.
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