Slovenia is the westernmost Slavic region of southern Europe, and comprises a branch of the South Slavs who moved into the area after the fall of the Roman Empire. Slovenia was under the rule of the Austrian Habsburgs from the 14th century until 1918, after which it was absorbed into another artificial multicultural entity — Yugoslavia — until 1991.
Slovenia was the first part of the former Yugoslavia to break away successfully. It won a brief war with the regime in Belgrade, and, since it is relatively ethnically homogeneous, it has avoided the persistent violence that has plagued places like Bosnia and Kosovo.
According to our Slovenian correspondent, his country has also resisted Islamization. Here’s what he said:
Slovenia is a strong beacon of light that shines bright. We have long resisted Islamization for centuries. Not only that, in the present, we were labeled by Brussels as extremely xenophobic and intolerant, but for what? Because we never allowed a mosque to be built in our county! Here’s an old article from the BBC’s site about Slovenia.
That article more or less hits the nail on the head: we don’t like Muslims, simple as that. There was a referendum later, and we voted against a mosque. Even now, after various pressures from the EU, we didn’t cave in and we will not. We will not allow a mosque to be built in Slovenia. I’m writing this to show you that not all of Europe is dhimmi-happy and drunk on liberal ecotopianism. Sorry If I just wasted your time, or you already you knew this, but I had a feeling that this is something that had to be said.
And here are some excerpts from the BBC article, which is from 2004:
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Mosque bid stirs feelings in Slovenia
Ljubljana’s historic city centre is a picture postcard rivalling any European capital.
Its gothic and baroque skyline stands silhouetted against a backdrop of snowy mountains.
The cafes in the city centre are full of young people and overpriced cappucinos and the old market place is bustling.
But this is one of the few European capital cities without a mosque, even though the country’s 50,000 Muslims have been requesting one for more than three decades.
The most recently proposed site for the mosque is in downtown Ljubljana… next to the ring road, beside some allotments and perfumed by the proximity of the city refuse dump. But some politicians remain firmly against even such a modest location.
Nearly 11,000 signatures have been collected in opposition to the latest planning proposal. A referendum has been pencilled in for next month, pending a decision from Slovenia’s constitutional court.
Michael Jarc is the city councillor leading the petition against the mosque.
“You should look back in history. Slovenes have been in this area for 20 centuries. In the middle ages our ancestors were attacked by Muslim soldiers, and they did bad things here, and this is in our historical subconscious,” he says.
He also says Muslim values are seen as somehow opposed to the Jewish, Christian and Orthodox European tradition — the “enemy of Europe”, as he chooses to put it.
“Before this debate was blown out of all proportion, people in schools and workplaces felt fine, but now they feel afraid,” says local Imam Ifet Suljic.
Some of this fellow Muslims, he says, are now suffering victimisation in the workplace.
Slovenes are starting to accuse them directly, saying “It’s you… you’re the ones who want this mosque”, he adds.
With elections due this autumn, the imam worries that the mosque debate is being used for political reasons.
“We’re really angry at those who have known about our request for a mosque for years and years and have said nothing and now they are taking a stand on it just to win votes,” he says.
“Slovenia is so small and I don’t want a mosque here because we know what kind of people are behind all these recent explosions… We don’t need that here… I’m against it.”
“It’s not an appropriate time to build a mosque here,” a taxi driver agreed, “especially when you look at the problems in other European countries because of these forgiving attitudes towards Muslims.”
All this makes me wonder when the rest of the EU is going to impose discipline on Slovenia for its racism and Islamophobia.
The Austrians have set a precedent — they elected a leader considered unacceptable to the rest of Europe, and the EU cracked down on them.
Is the same fate awaiting Slovenia?