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Kosovo (part 1) - A blast from the past !

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    Kosovo (part 1) - A blast from the past !

    Assallaamu 'alaikum,

    Just as memories of the inhuman atrocities in Bosnia were fading away, the Balkans has once again become a focal point for hosting yet another injustice against the innocent.

    In 1996 the world was appeased by empty UN promises to sentence Slobodon Malosovic and his Generals for war crimes in Bosnia. As a result of these false assurances, the only sentencing being carried out today, is that of the Serb leader himself. Only this time his victims are the people of Kosovo.

    Day after day harrowing reports come through from Eastern Europe describing the Serbian rampage across the region of Kosovo. Since this invasion of human rights, tens of thousands of Muslims have been cold bloodedly massacred by Serbia’s vicious regime in order to fulfil their ambitions of ethnic cleansing. Although the world has only been exposed to this renewed chapter of Serb abomination in recent months, ample evidence of film footage has been collected to suggest that such criminal activities have been taking place in Kosovo for over a year now.

    As brutal Serb paramilitary police march through Kosovo’s villages burning and looting, there is one thing that can save the civilians - the letter ‘S’ marked on their doors. Serbian homes are being preserved by marking them with a Cyrillic ‘S’, whereas residents of homes without the sign face are being forced onto the street at gunpoint or shot. The words ‘your money or your life’ can be heard echoing in every street corner, as the wave of ethnic cleansing sweeps through Kosovo.

    The men are often separated from their families and led away to prison camps or isolated regions where they are shamelessly slaughtered. Only last week, freshly dug graves near the village of Pusto Selo in West Kosovo were discovered. They may hold the key to some of the 100,000 missing ethnic Muslim Albanians feared dead. Although it’s not just men, but whole families who are caught up in this genocide, from the speechless child to the weary old. I saw video evidence of mutilated bodies where a woman had had her eye cut out before being burned alive and a baby, who must have been no more than a year old, lay dead with an amputated arm beside the corps of his mother. It was so horrific. Every member of the family had been butchered, and the house burned down to rubble - the roof that had once sheltered them, now graved them.

    Those more fortunate, anxiously flee their homeland hundreds of miles on foot, toward the borders of Albania and Macedonia. Taking with them what little they can carry, for some it’s only the shirt on their back together with the hope of ‘Escaping Hell’ as one refugee in tears put it. Indeed, this is nothing short of hell on Earth, as close to three quarters of the Kosovon population has been displaced, of whom 400,000 have been seeking refuge in the freezing conditions of the snowy mountains, without food or shelter for almost two weeks.

    With this exodus continuing, thousands of innocent civilians are herded together and bungled onto trains like sheep, without food and water up to days as they track across hundreds of miles to the boudaries. As a result of this Serb aggression and haste to rid themselves of ethnic Albanians, but more precisely of ethnic Muslims (as one channel 4 news reporter in the UK emphasised) many thousands of families have been split up. In a situation where mothers have lost their children and brothers have lost their sisters, with tears rolling down their faces, they desperately search for their loved ones, not sure if they will be found at all, and if so, alive.

    Within a space of weeks, more than 1.5 million of Kosovo’s population has been forced to leave their homes, in a state where not only the land is being raped by a ‘scorched earth’ policy, but also her women.

    Scores of women and young Muslim girls are being systematically raped, many by convicted criminals who have been released from Serbian jails, just to carry out these savage attacks on innocent females. Girls as young as 13 - Astaghfirul ‘Atheem - have been raped and left to die. In one of the most sinister developments yet uncovered in the conflict, refugees told of soldiers hand-picking teenage victims and raping them in front of distraught relatives. This provides a chilling reminder of the Bosnian conflict in the early nineties were some 20,000 Muslim women and girls - some as young as ten - were raped by Serb troops. Some estimates put the total at 60,000.

    And how can we forget Kosovo’s lost generation? They are the children, sitting quietly sobbing to themselves or pleading with strangers to help them find their parents. Under the canvas of 150 British tents at the Brazda refugee camp near the border between Macedonia and Kosovo, an ‘orphan tribe’ has been created out of the horrors of ethnic cleansing. Traumatised children have become separated from their families in the confusion of war and now do not know the fate of their parents. The smallest will not even understand the situation.

    These are only some of the realities of Kosovo. Every hour of every day brings a growing plight of refugees seeking sanctuary. Each one is a victim and each one crosses the border with new accounts of persecution. Our brothers and sisters are being raped and tortured, orphaned and killed. But even then we fail to shed a single tear. The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam said: "The example of the Believers in their mutual love and mercy is like the example of the body. If one part feels pain, then all of it is affected by sickness and fever." [Bukhaari]

    Serbia’s evil legacy continues, from where it left off in Bosnia. The stories are many, but the people are dying where the only felony the accused are guilty of is their ethnic lineage. This is Kosovo, a land where even the unborn in the wombs of their mothers have been sentenced.

    May Allaah Help and Protect its people.

    [This message has been edited by Hasnain (edited April 19, 1999).]

    asalaamalaykum Hasnain,

    This very moving and tragic story which you
    have so feelingly described, admirably
    illustrates the fact that some races are
    simply not ready to govern themselves.

    They have not reached that stage of social evolution, where 'tolerance and
    forbearance' become second nature.

    These past Fifty Years of Sub-Continent Independence, presents an example to the
    world of 'What is possible', when a
    people are mature.

    However, we are all at different stages
    of evolution. The unfortunate people
    who live in the Balcans of Europe, have
    not had the time or the circumstances
    to develop a culture like South Asia.

    Their history is one of violence: wars, invasions and foreign domination, without much time to grow spiritually.

    They are like children and should be treated
    with firm and tender loving care.

    The delicate balance of law and order
    must be maintained. The only way, I humbly
    believe, that we may save this world from
    another major catastrophe, is to put the
    whole Balcan region under United Nations Mandate.

    In the South Asian fight for independence,
    the weapons were different. The great sages
    of history walked this land and provided
    wise counsel as to the most appropriate
    methods. I shudder to think of the outcome,
    if weapons such as those carried by the
    "Kosovo Liberation Army", were used in
    the heroic struggle for liberation from
    the British Raj!

    'Violence begets Violence' is the message
    of Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi!

    Pakistan Zindabad! Jai Hind! Congratulations
    from a Canadian, on Fifty Years of Progress!

    Tom Lipscombe,
    Begum Noor Connection,
    St. Leonard, Quebec, Canada




      I’m sorry, i’m not sure whether to address you as begumnoor or Tom Lipscombe (with the name you signed off in your post). Your response was an interesting one to read, although I have to say, I disagree with most of what you wrote without reservation.

      I find it most bizarre that the West always attempts to elevate itself above the rest of the world by picking out faults in individual global societies, yet never questions it’s own principals and actions.

      What is tolerance and forbearance? Is it the ethnic cleansing the Europeans carried out of the native Americans in the 15th and 16th centuries? Or is it the Crusades of Spain (in the name of Christianity) that slaughtered millions and the colonialisation and slavery that dominated from the middle ages into the 20th century?

      If anyone is guilty of ‘tolerance and forbearance’, then it’s those nations that regulate and run the UN. They have not even entered the transitional phase of social evolution! Their excuse is to police the world of it’s affairs by venturing into and destroying other people’s concerns at any cost, just to satisfy their own whims and desires. The US and Britain are responsible for numerous misconducts in recent times alone, some of which include Iraq, Somalia, Cambodia, the Sudan, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Panama etc etc. These two are literally married to one another, just as they are inseparable in crime - not even a row over bananas will lead to divorce. Then there’s Russia guilty of Chechnya and Afghanistan; France in Algeria; and Israel in Palestine.

      Israel is guilty of violating and breaking almost every single UN resolution set, but even then the US and Britain do not storm in with aircraft and start bombing. So far this year alone the US has vetoed 27 times to protect Israel who has bombed south Lebanon on 44 occasions since January. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have died in the last fifty years at the hands of the Zionist authorities, yet the UN remains silent and watches, just as it’s merely an observer over Kashmir.

      And for sure, one cannot relate tolerance and forbearance with the situation in Kashmir. You give the example of south Asia, but look at the atrocities India is carrying out on the people of Kashmir. Is this tolerance? Since 1947, India, another UN member, has brutally killed Millions of Kashmiris, yet the UN sits back and ignores this oppression of the innocent. A parallel can easily be drawn between the situation in Kosovo and Kashmir: ethnic cleansing on a mass scale is taking place in Kashmir just as in Kosovo; houses are being destroyed and the people looted just as in Kosovo; woman are being raped just as in Kosovo; the civilians are being butchered, and the children orphaned just as in Kosovo. In fact the two scenarios are so similar that we could have simply substituted the word ‘Kosovo’ for ‘Kashmir’ in my article above, and nobody would have even noticed the difference - Subhaan’Allaah! And what makes it more worrying is the fact that India, this so called ‘mature’ society, has not only voiced its support for the Serbs in recent events, but has also increased its efforts to ethnically cleanse Kashmir from Muslims, since the conflict in the Balkans resumed.

      Just before I leave matters to rest in this post, as we’re on the subject of tolerance and forbearance, one final point with regards to eastern Europe. I’m not sure how aquainted you are with the history of the Balkans, but during the 7th and 8th centuries, amongst the most tolerant of societies populated the region known as Bosnia today. Although it was a Christian society by large, they were a people with fundamentally different beliefs to main stream Christianity, and for this very reason other Christian nations were always a threat to their security. In the 9th century their land was invaded by Slaceks, Orthodox Christians from the east, and the Roman Catholics from the west, both of whom then started a campaign of terror against the natives. They were being forced to accept the Orthodox and Catholic faith or face death. To keep the story brief, the natives called upon the Ottoman Empire to help them over come such persecution. Eventually the Ottomans crossed the Mediterranean in ships from North Africa and liberated the natives from their enemies.

      Although I agree, ‘tolerance and forbearance’ is extremely important in any social environment, unfortunately the definition of the phrase has been set according to the characteristics and ideologies emanating from Europe and the Americas. They have given themselves the right to invade lands and societies, but whenever such actions are carried out by another, it becomes intolerable. Yet they are among the least tolerable and forbearant as history attests. Both the past and present witness that the West (who clearly dictate UN policies) have taken advantage of weaker societies and have been the prime culprits for global disorder in the first place. They really ought to concentrate on straightening out themselves, before they attempt to iron down the creases around the world!

      [This message has been edited by Hasnain (edited April 26, 1999).]


        Dear Brother Hasnain,

        I have read both your articles with much sadness, but at the same time I am heartened by the genuine love you have shown for your muslim brothers and sisters. Please contribute more regularly to this forum as you have a good balance and perspective in your views.

        With regards to the Balkans issue, I have posted a new article entitled "NATO's role in the Balkan's Conflict". You may find it of interest.



          I agree wholeheartedly that 'ethnic
          intolerance' is a world-wide problem,
          and it is certainly not my intention
          to minimize the 'very real' sufferings
          of people in Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Kosovo,
          Rwanda...or any where else.

          When fear and animosity hold sway over the emotions of people, disaster is the eventual

          One may accuse me of being the 'eternal
          optimist', but I cannot fail to see the
          'bright' side of South Asian stability.
          When one considers the great diversity
          of language and culture in the region,
          it is an amazing fact that the delicate balance of life, order and liberty
          in the region have been, for the most
          part, maintained intact for fifty years! [notwithstanding
          the terrible adjustments]

          I don't see what you have to disagree with,
          concerning my previous message.

          I am simply stating that, as long
          as we attempt to solve disputes by
          acts of violence, we move further away
          from reconciliation and peace.

          In your country, Pakistan, we find Sindhis,
          Baluchis, Punjabis, Pathans and many other races of people..all living together
          and functioning as a unit. This is admirable!
          And what do you call them?: "Pakistanis"

          In our country, Canada, we have ALL THE RACES
          IN THE WORLD....and what do we call them?

          Things have not always gone smooth in
          Canada, re the integration of new cultures...but we have made, and are making,
          excellent progress towards a truly
          multi-cultural society.

          So, Hasnain, my Muslim brother, let us
          look at the 'Bright' side....we have
          accomplishments, too...not only blemishes!

          Tom Lipscombe in Montreal

          [This message has been edited by begumnoor (edited April 26, 1999).]


            Salaam Tom,

            How are you keeping? Firstly, i’d just like to say that I hope you didn’t take my arguments personally in my previous post.

            I agree with you that violence is not the solution to social and ethnic differences. However, every human has a right to God’s given freedom, and a right to defend himself and his family. Such rights are being violated today in Kosovo as they are in Kashmir and as they were in Bosnia (amongst several other places around the world as you are well aware).

            Clearly our disagreement stems from two issues: UN mandate; and the ‘tolerant’ society of South Asia. With regards to the first difference, as I stressed in my last post, the UN policy makers - namely US and Europe - are the ones who should learn and cultivate themselves when it comes to respecting other societies. For some reason they always find it necessary to ‘run the show’ no matter how destructive the outcome.

            There seems to be an obvious pattern emerging between UN and NATO policies. Whenever two warring factions seem to have Muslims involved on either side of the conflict - e.g. Iran & Iraq war in 1980s; war in Afghanistan; and the internal Algerian conflict - then US, Britain, France and Russia (and their allies) are more than willing to sell weapons, rather than impose an arms embargo. The US and Britain supply one side, and the Russians (Soviet Union) the other side, so that the Muslims can destroy each other, saving their real enemies the trouble to do so and at the same time boosting revenue through sales of weaponry.

            However, when the dispute involves Muslims versus non-Muslims - e.g. Kosovo, Kashmir, Bosnia, Palestine, Chechnya - they either ignore the situation, or they supply weapons to the oppressors to use against the Muslims - subhaan’Allaah! Chechnya was ignored by the West and is still being ignored; US is continuously supplying weapons to Israel to use against regional Arabs; Israel is passing some of these weapons through to India (i.e. US supplying indirectly) who is using them on Kashmiris together with those it’s receiving from Russia; Bosnia had a UN arms embargo in place while Russia was supplying the Serbs; and Kosovo has an arms embargo imposed while Russia supplies the Serbs. The UN and NATO realise, that if they were to lift the arms embargo and allow the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) weaponry, then Kosovo would be liberated from the hands of the Serbs and come under Muslim control rather than possible UN/NATO control. This is precisely why they are afraid of arming the KLA, and are happier to watch hundreds of thousands of innocent ethnic Albanians killed. There are 200 volunteers signing up with the KLA each day to fight the Serbian army, but they have no weapons to defend their homeland and their people. This is exactly what happened in Bosnia not too long ago. Harris Siladzic, the Bosnian Foreign Minister strongly emphasised - in an interview on BBC’s Newsnight programme here in the UK - that had there not been an arms embargo in place by the UN in Bosnia, tens of thousands of lives could have been saved.

            Clearly those countries who run the affairs of the UN do not tolerate certain societies and religions, but i’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions on which ones. The most worrying fact is that Albanians and Bosnians are amongst the most hospitable and tolerant people I have got to know in Europe, yet this is the price they’re having to pay for their good attributes.

            Furthermore, the Labour Party MP, Tony Ben, here in the UK pointed out the disturbing fact, that because of the sanctions imposed by the UN two thousand babies are dying every month in Iraq.

            My friend, if we turn to the situation of South Asia now, our second point of difference, then I find it extremely surprising how anyone can see India as a nation of tolerance, particularly at an age of intolerance. In such a land, stability only remains for those who are not Muslim, unless they have certain authority and affluence. There is no tolerance whatsoever toward the majority of Muslims. Only a few years ago the Mosque in Ayodiyah was knocked down to rubble by the Hindus, and I don’t have to remind anyone of the persecution the Muslims in India, especially those in Kashmir have been facing for almost 52 years. However, it’s not just Muslims who are being oppressed, but also Sikhs as well as the lower cast (untouchables) Hindus themselves.

            Even if we were to put religious disputes aside and concentrate on culture and religion, then the lack of tolerance and forbearance would still be obvious. When Nehru came to power in 1947 following the partition of Pakistan, one of his aims was to abolish the Urdu language and replace it with Hindi. He also attempted to close Ali Gar College/University, one of the most prestigious established institutes for languages (as well as religion). India has also banned Pakistani imports, including any other cultural influence from its neighbour in the form of films and dramas.

            In Islaam, a multiracial society and multicultural (that respects religion at the same time) society is the best thing that can happen to any nation. But as you pointed out tolerance and forbearance is also of extreme significance when building a social framework. And i’m more than happy for the people in Canada that things are working out, as I pray they will everywhere. However, the UN is only an excuse for the countries in charge, to do as they please while regulating foreign policy. And as for India, then May Allaah protect its Muslims and the people of Kashmir. I’m sure there is a ‘bright’ side somewhere in India, but right now that’s even too dark to see into.


              Salaam Hasnain,

              I trust this message finds you in as good health and spirits as your humble correspondent.
              Of course I didn't take your comments
              personally. It is very evident that you
              are a sincere, caring person.

              There is no doubt that prejudice plays a very
              great part in man's inhumanity towards man.
              We, in the west have been bombarded [by the media] for decades, with "arab Terrorism" "Iraqi Aggression" "Iranian Ayatollahism"...etc.etc. until we wake up in the morning expecting to find a wild-eyed muslim under our bed.

              Slowly but surely, we are attempting to change these 'negative' images, in our own lives.

              Education, cultural exchanges, freedom of expression...all these factors will help to bring about a mutual respect and understanding for the varied customs and beliefs that make up our global village.

              There is not the slightest doubt in my mind,
              as to the hospitality and tolerance of
              Bosnians and Albanians. Incidentally, one of my sister-in-laws is ethnically Albanian.

              However, I would also like to add that I believe ALL people, to be hospitable and tolerant, in varying degrees.

              I had the good fortune to visit India and
              Pakistan in 1967, I spent time in Ajmer.
              Now, here is a prime example of a peaceful
              little town that never 'makes the news'....
              because nobody is burning down mosques or
              slaughtering cows outside Hindu Temples.
              Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Christians etc.
              live together in relative harmony.
              {PS: Now that I have said that, watch the news...I am sure that something will come up
              to dash my 'praise for Ajmer' to the ground!]

              There are many such towns and villages
              throughout South Asia.

              The tragedy, as I see it, Hasnain, is the simple fact, that South Asians of all religions, have very much in common.

              In fact, a Muslim of Pakistan has more
              in common with a Hindu in India, than he does with a Muslim in Albania.
              Firstly, he enjoys the same basic food, music, and general attitude toward life.
              And, most importantly, South Asians are intensely religious...whether they be
              Muslims, Hindus or any other faith.
              You also know that Bosnian or Albanian Muslims,
              in general, are more like Turks, in matters
              of devotion.

              They are totally unlike South Asian, Malaysian, North African or Middle
              Eastern Muslims.

              One day, mankind will stop making weapons
              to kill each other....but that may be a
              'way down the road'.

              It sort of reminds me of the famous quote of Albert Einstein: "I don't know what weapons
              will be used in the 'third' world war...however, in the 'fourth', it will be sticks and stones"

              I hope that one day, we may wake
              up some glorious morning and find that all these wars, atrocities, miseries and sufferings, were only a bad dream...or rather
              a nightmare.

              We won't believe that these
              horrible deviations, from our true nature,
              ever occurred.

              There is a movement afoot...a 'South Asian
              Movement' is in its infancy, but
              perhaps, just maybe, it is a step in the right direction.

              You may check out their site at URL

              I would be very interested in knowing your
              feelings about this.


              [This message has been edited by begumnoor (edited April 29, 1999).]


                Salaam Tom,

                I'm sorry i could not write earlier. Something came up and i had to go away for a few days ... and when i did get back i had a little accident.

                However, i managed to visit that web site and had a nice little read. But forgive me, as i cannot reply to it right now. I'm unable to type with my left hand for the time being, and my right one is tiring after a long day. But i'll try and respond soon.

                If you're ever in London mate, perhaps we can talk over a milk shake.

                kind regards

                PS - by the way, take my email, as it won't be public for much longer. I have yours.


                  Interesting read.

                  Learn to love yourself, then learn to love one-another

                  This is not my Paradise
                  "O man! What has seduced thee from thy Lord Most Beneficent?" - Quran 82:6

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