Muslim Terror in the Balkans

Extract from Europeans as Victims of (Muslim) Colonialism by Fjordman

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No European peoples suffered more from Islamic colonialism than those in the Balkans. Sir Jadunath Sarkar, the pre-eminent historian of Mughal India, wrote this about dhimmitude, the humiliating apartheid system imposed upon non-Muslims under Islamic rule: "The conversion of the entire population to Islam and the extinction of every form of dissent is the ideal of the Muslim State.

If any infidel is suffered to exist in the community, it is as a necessary evil, and for a transitional period only....A non-Muslim therefore cannot be a citizen of the State; he is a member of a depressed class; his status is a modified form of slavery. He lives under a contract (dhimma) with the State....In short, his continued existence in the State after the conquest of his country by the Muslims is conditional upon his person and property made subservient to the cause of Islam."

This "modified form of slavery" is now frequently referred to as the pinnacle of "tolerance." If the semi-slaves rebel against this system and desire equal rights and self-determination, Jihad resumes. This happened with the Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire, who were repressed with massacres, culminating in the genocide by Turkish and Kurdish Muslims against Armenians in the 20th century.

The Balkans, with its close connections to Byzantium, was a reasonably sophisticated region in medieval times, until the Ottomans Turks devastated much of the area. One of the most appalling aspects of this was the practice of devshirme, the collecting of boys among the Christians who were forcibly converted to Islam and taught to hate their own kin. Andrew G. Bostom quotes the work of scholar Vasiliki Papoulia, who highlights the continuous desperate struggle of the Christian populations against this forcefully imposed Ottoman levy:

It is obvious that the population strongly resented...this measure [and the levy] could be carried out only by force. Those who refused to surrender their sons - the healthiest, the handsomest and the most intelligent - were on the spot put to death by hanging. Nevertheless we have examples of armed resistance. In 1565 a revolt took place in Epirus and Albania. The inhabitants killed the recruiting officers and the revolt was put down only after the sultan sent five hundred janissaries in support of the local sanjak-bey.

We are better informed, thanks to the historic archives of Yerroia, about the uprising in Naousa in 1705 where the inhabitants killed the Silahdar Ahmed Celebi and his assistants and fled to the mountains as rebels. Some of them were later arrested and put to death. The Christian subjects tried for centuries to combat this evil practice:

Since there was no possibility of escaping [the levy] the population resorted to several subterfuges. Some left their villages and fled to certain cities which enjoyed exemption from the child levy or migrated to Venetian - held territories. The result was a depopulation of the countryside.

Others had their children marry at an early age...Nicephorus Angelus...states that at times the children ran away on their own initiative, but when they heard that the authorities had arrested their parents and were torturing them to death, returned and gave themselves up. La Giulletiere cites the case of a young Athenian who returned from hiding in order to save his father's life and then chose to die himself rather than abjure his faith.

According to the evidence in Turkish sources, some parents even succeeded in abducting their children after they had been recruited. The most successful way of escaping recruitment was through bribery. That the latter was very widespread is evident from the large amounts of money confiscated by the sultan from corrupt...officials.

Lee Harris in his book The Suicide of Reason[14] describes how this practice of devshirme, the process of culling the best, brightest and fittest "alpha boys," targeted the non-Muslim subject populations:

The bodyguard of Janissaries 'had the task of protecting the sovereign from internal and external enemies,' writes scholar Vasiliki Papoulia. 'In order to fulfill this task it was subjected to very rigorous and special training, the janissary education famous in Ottoman society.

This training made possible the spiritual transformation of Christian children into ardent fighters for the glory of the sultan and their newly acquired Islamic faith.' Because the Christian boys had to be transformed into single-minded fanatics, it was not enough that they simply inherit their position.

They had to be brainwashed into it, as we would say today, and this could be done most effectively with boys who had been completely cut off from all family ties. By taking the boys from their homes, and transporting them to virtually another world, devcirme assured that there would be no conflict of loyalties between family and duty to the empire. All loyalty would be focused on the group itself and on the sultan.

This practice drained the strength of the Christian populations. Harris again:

The culling of these alpha boys had two effects, both of them good for the Ottoman Empire, both bad for the subject population. By filling the critical posts in the Ottoman Empire with boys who had been selected on the basis of their intrinsic merit, and not on their family connection, the Empire was automatically creating a meritocracy - if a boy was tough, courageous, intelligent, and fanatically loyal, he was able to work his way up the Ottoman hierarchy; indeed, as we have seen, he become a member of the ruling elite, despite having the formal title of being the sultan's slave.

The Ottoman Empire was both strengthening itself through acquiring these alpha boys, and weakening its subject population by taking their best and brightest. Thanks to the institution of devcirme, the more 'fit' Christian boys who would be most likely to be the agents of rebellion against the Empire become the fanatical Muslim warriors who were used to suppress whatever troubles the less 'fit' Christian boys left behind were able to cause.

The most enduring legacy of the centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule in the Balkans is the presence of large indigenous Muslim communities. Srdja Trifkovic explains in Kosovo: The Score 1999-2009, a book dedicated to the anniversary of the NATO bombing of Serbia, which resulted in the ethnic cleansing of Christian Serbs by predominantly Muslim Albanians:

The Balkan Peninsula is one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse regions in the world, especially considering its relatively small area (just over 200,000 square miles) and population (around 55 million). Of that number, Eastern Orthodox Christians - mainly Greeks, Bulgars, Serbs and Slavic Macedonians - have the slim majority of around 53 percent; Sunni Muslims (11 million Turks in European Turkey and a similar number of Albanians, Slavic Muslims and ethnic Turks elsewhere) make up 40 percent; and Roman Catholics (mainly Croats) are at around 5 percent.

Those communities do not live in multicultural harmony. Their mutual lack of trust that occasionally turns into violence is a lasting fruit of the Turkish rule. Four salient features of the Ottoman state were institutionalized, religiously justified discrimination of non-Muslims; personal insecurity; tenuous coexistence of ethnicities and creeds without intermixing; and the absence of a unifying state ideology or supra-denominational source of loyalty.

It was a Hobbesian world, and it bred a befitting mindset; the zero-sum game approach to politics, in which one side's gain is perceived as another's loss. That mindset has not changed, almost a century since the disintegration of the Empire.

Trifkovic warns that "The Christian communities all over the Balkans are in a steep, long-term demographic decline. Fertility rate is below replacement level in every majority-Christian country in the region. The Muslims, by contrast, have the highest birth rates in Europe, with the Albanians topping the chart. On current form it is likely that Muslims will reach a simple majority in the Balkans within a generation."

The wars in the Balkans are a direct result of the legacy of Turkish Muslim colonialism. So why does nobody demand that the Turks should pay reparations to their former subjects, starting with the Armenians, who suffered a Jihad genocide less than a century ago, and continuing with the Serbs, the Bulgarians, the Greeks, the Croatians and others who have suffered hundreds of years of abuse and exploitation at their hands?

[14] http://www.amazon.com/ Suicide-Reason-Radical-Islams-Threat/dp/046500203X



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