Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Very Model of a Modern Muslim Nation

Some Western analysts are more upbeat than we are about the prospects for Kosovo. According to AKI, one expert thinks an independent Kosovo can become the model for a secular Muslim state:

Kosovo: New state could become a ‘Muslim’ model, says academic

The new state of Kosovo could become a secular model for a Muslim state, a leading academic said on Tuesday.

James Walston, head of international relations at the American University in Rome, told Adnkronos International (AKI) the independence move, following the example of neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina, could be good for Kosovo.

“Both have strong secular foundations made stronger by their desire to join the European Union,” Walston told AKI.

“A ‘Muslim’ Kosovo might provide a secular model for other countries with a Muslim majority. It could be very positive.”

As countries on both sides of the Atlantic continued to debate the merit of Kosovo’s independence move, Walston and other experts criticised the European Union for failing to produce a united front on the issue.

“It shows that EU foreign policy is a shambles,” Walston said. “It’s not surprising, we know who accepted and who didn’t.”
- - - - - - - - -
The US, Britain, France, Germany and Italy, all moved quickly to recognise the new state of Kosovo on Monday.

Russia has consistently opposed the move and appealed to the United Nations Security Council to block it. Spain, Slovakia, Cyprus and Romania are also opposed to Kosovo’s independence.

Robin Shepherd, senior research fellow for Europe at the London-based thinktank, Chatham House, said the European Union must find a way to resolve its differences over Kosovo.

“The European Union must find a way forward,” Shepherd told Adnkronos International (AKI). “I think the big countries will do their best to get the EU behind it but it is exposing its weaknesses.

“I think Kosovo’s future depends on long-term support. It needs investment aid but it needs to be tied with NATO and the EU.”


A European Union ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday “took note” of Kosovo’s declaration of independence, leaving it individual EU countries to recognise it unilaterally.

I agree with Dr. Walston (he must be a PhD to have such weighty opinions, right?): Kosovo could very well become a model Muslim nation.

It just won’t be the model that everyone is thinking of. Think Iran or the Taliban instead, only this time a Sunni version.

In the end, we will reap what we have sown.

Hat tip: C. Cantoni


mikej said...

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I had thought that Iran was rather orderly for an Islamic country, almost civilized even. Kosovo, on the other hand, will certainly resemble Afghanistan under the Taliban or whatever regime: strict Muslims who smuggle drugs and fight constant turf wars.

I can't help but wonder what the independence of Kosovo implies for the United States. Will the EU recognize the new Republic of Aztlan when illegal immigrants take over the southwestern U.S. and secede?

Frank said...

Walston is saying nothing new. He's saying what I used to believe, and what the thrust of post-cold war American foreign policy has always been. In fact, I believe it was an important consideration in the decision, not to invade Iraq, but to stay there and build a nation.

The idea is simple, and someone on a previous comment or post alluded to it...build a showcase democracy that happens to be Muslim, and voila! All other nations in the region will see the error of their ways, ignore the fact that democracy is in stark and unholy opposition to rule by Allah, overthrow their leaders, and become happy Swedish socialists, if a tad more swarthy. (Mind you, by that time, what with all the rapes, Sweden will be swarthier too.) <---- racist comment, bad on me.

The trouble with this naive assumption, and I'm guilty of once believing it too, is the stark incompatibility of a western form of government with a all-encompassing medieval religion; or, on the other hand, the strongmanism that serves as the alternative in Islamic countries.

Only after utterly shattering the will to resist of Germany, Italy, and Japan, was the west able to replace secular regimes and a semi-secular regime with democratic regimes. The only way it was possible was through building on heaps of smoking ruins and 50 million dead.

None of this has happened to Islam. Not since the descent of the Mongols has islam seen a setback on the scale that the Axis had. That's the sort of setback Islam will have to face before we can change the face of it. Until then we can only hold them at bay, like the communists, and hope they self-destruct, like the communists.

The very last thing we should be doing is helping them.

Arius said...

James Walston is a very ignorant person that does not understand Islam. A Muslim Kosovo a secular model? What a joke! He is like most in the West that project Western morals and ethics on Muslims.

We in the West operate with a bipolar morality of good and evil that we admit can be personal and that our conscience must arbitrate, whereas the Muslim operates with a bipolar morality of Muslims are good and the other is evil, without conscience. The morality of the West does not map to the morality of the Muslim. The Muslim very clearly sees the internal conflicted nature of the West and plays upon that conflict.

Unknown said...

Muslim world can choose any democracy as a model for contemporary civilized society. Don't know the exact number but there must be thousands of Muslim elites who have already attended Western universities. Did they not have the opportunity to learn anything about building a civil society?

That Muslims need new country as a model is absurd on its face.

Unknown said...

It'll become a model country just like Albania.

In fact it may even join Albania.

That's who's flag they were flying after independence, not the Kosovo flag.

Unknown said...

It is very comforting to know that Mr. James Walston, a Western international relations expert, has defined "The Very Model of a Modern Muslim Nation". Now he just needs to convince the Muslims that such an animal exists or is even desirable by the Muslims. If I look deeply into my crystal ball, even without the aid of a double shot of Jack Daniels, I see Kosovo gradually falling under the fundamentalist grip and sliding back into anarchy and ethnic cleansing of a slightly different type.

Tuan Jim said...

Ok, I'm going to keep running with my Indonesia allusions - not just because I like them and I'm familiar with the country, but because they make sense.

Indonesia is the only country I know at the moment that is working as a secular democracy with a muslim majority. It certainly has it's share of issues, but it's far and away superior to any of the other ones out there simply (and possibly solely) due to it's extremely diverse population.

Of course, the "problem" is exacerbated by the fact that as an archipelago it takes far more money and manpower to adequately "secure" different areas - which makes compromise far cheaper for the central government than ongoing fighting (as seen in Aceh - and currently Irian Jaya).

While the radicals are certainly present and causing quite a bit of havoc in a lot of places, the country as a whole is not likely to take it lying down - or give in to sharia (unlike Malaysia).

I just lost my train of thought - might come back to this later ;p

Anonymous said...

I would love to believe this won't end up in another world war ignited in the Balkans. I would also love to believe in the Big Rock Candy Mountain...but I don't.

. said...

Dymphna, you're such a pessimist.

The question to be answered in Kosovo (and Bosnia and Albania for that matter) is whether they will be European states that happen to be predominantly Muslim, or Islamic states that happen to be in Europe.

Dymphna and the Baron (and most everyone else who posts here not a member of just another Balkan faction out for blood-revenge - hello 1389!) have taken the current international face of Islam, exemplified by al qaeda, the Iranian theocrats, and the Wahhabists of Saudi Arabia, and automatically plopped it onto a very different group of people in the Balkans.

They have also taken the current cultural face of Islam in Europe, exemplified by hook-handed British preachers, rioting French "youths," knife-wielding Dutch jihadists, and the Islamic numbskull community of Denmark, and plopped it onto a centuries-old entrenched set of cultures within the Balkans.

Now it remains to be seen whether these unique EUROPEAN cultures can withstand the combined force of international jihadism and the revenge-motivated blood-lusts of their Christian neighbors.

But to automatically dismiss the words of this Professor as hopeless naive is - hopelessly closed-minded.

Frank said...

Really, Gordon, you ought to learn a bit about the history of this place. Here, read this. It'll help you understand how well we can expect this "unique" European culture can be expected to perform:


It's not about being a pessimist; it's about being sane or insane.

John Sobieski said...

Well, xGordon, you obviously have zero knowledge of Islamic history. What you see as Radical Islam is the 'mean' Islam. That is, all these 'enlightened' Islams, like what you believe exists in Kosovo and that other 'fine democratic example' Turkey, all revert back to the mean. If you would spend the time to study Islam, you would see that is what Islam is all about. Islam is about war, conquest, parasitic behavior against unbelievers, intolerance of dissent, and absolutely no criticism of Islam and its founder PedoMo. I am sure Walston is also for opening the EU to African 'magreb' states and supports Turkey's admission to the EU. Pity that the people's taxes pay for such buffoons as Walston.

. said...

John Sobieski: I have no idea whether Walston supports unlimited immigration into Europe from North Africa - I don't, and if I were a European leader I would be agitating the EU to put an indefinite halt to such immigration.

But, once again, you are taking Islam as applied in one part of the world and applying it to another, different part, where it probably doesn't apply.

Are you aware how Bosnia's Muslim population came to be? Perhaps you thought Bosnian Muslims were all Turkish immigrants from the 19th Century. Actually, they are the descendants of a thousand-year old Bosnian culture, which until the 15th century was a Christian sect known as the Bogomils. They were considered heretics by both the Catholic Croats and the Orthodox Serbs, subject to crusades, pogroms, attempted genocide etc. When the Turks conquered Bosnia they embraced Islam. Can you blame them? But they remained, and remain to this day, a unique Bosnian Slavic culture, one that has traditionally been very different from the Turkish variety, not to mention the Arabian.

Of course, when faced with ethnic cleansing and genocide from Serbia in the 1990's, the Bosnians turned to the only group willing to help them (until the U.S. and Europe came to their senses) - jihadis from other Muslim countries. And so the infection was introduced - but it will have to gain much additional virulence before it can overwhelm a thousand year old civilization.

And the only way that will happen is if the world takes the advice of deluded Islamophobes who see over one billion people as a homogenous mass and who believe "the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim."

Arius said...

You mention "ethnic cleansing and genocide from Serbia in the 1990's"? Atrocities were committed in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo but mostly by the Croatians, Bosnian-Muslims, and Kosovo-Muslims. The three market place bombings in Bosnia are now known to have been perpetrated by Muslims that had pre-placed Western journalists nearby to quickly blame the Serbs (this has been confirmed by UN personnel on the ground at the time). Slobodan Milosevic was acquitted by the international court of any involvement with any atrocities in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is now known that there was no mass murder of Kosovo Muslims by Serbs - that was German intelligence disinformation. The one major act of ethnic cleansing was perpetrated by Croatia (with American backing) against the 120,000 Serbs of the Krajina. This is the short list. I'm Armenian and know something about mass murder and genocide. The Serbs committed no acts of mass murder or genocide against Muslims. The Serbs suffered the most - most people don't know this because the Western press knew but didn't report it.

Profitsbeard said...


All too true.

It's the Koran that always leads its adherents off the cliff of reason.

Frank said...

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said... And so the infection was introduced - but it will have to gain much additional virulence before it can overwhelm a thousand year old civilization.

Your history is selective and stunted at best, and dangerously foolish at worst, since these two groups have been genociding each other for centuries, but leaving all that aside; are you aware of the speed with which Islam overwhelmed the lion's share of the Bysantine and Persian Empires? Do you know what happened? Islam is a particularly virulent infection, the superbug of religions. It works quickly, efficiently, and uses our own methods against us, just like a virus. Being an apologist for it is exactly what it wants. While folks like you are endlessly parsing and differentiating and contemplating the academic nuances, Islam is climbing in the back window and laying bombs in your living room. It helps to step back for a moment, take off the spectacles, and behold the immediacy of this issue.

VinceP1974 said...

"since these two groups have been genociding each other for centuries"

can you inform us of the genocides during which the Muslims were the victims?

This reminds me of the canard "The Jews and Arabs ahve been fighting for 1,000s of years"... No... the arabs have been fighting against the Jews for 1400 years but not the other way around.

nikolai said...

I think Gordon does have a point that a lot of the balkan muslims were muslim in name only for a long time. Whether that makes a difference in the long-term remains to be seen. I don't think they're going to be any kind of model state though. Muslim or otherwise. I expect the KLA will start up again soon to drive out the NATO troops so they can finish off the remaining Serbs and join Albania.

Either way I'm on the Serb's side now for purely "Christendom" type reasons.