Showing posts with label Somalia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Somalia. Show all posts

Monday, February 5, 2007

Religious Liberty Trend - Islamic imperialism: Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo

Date: Monday 5 February 2007
Subj: 4. RL Trend - Islamic imperialism: Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo
To: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty News & Analysis
From: WEA RLC Principal Researcher and Writer, Elizabeth Kendal

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (RL) TRENDS: 2006-2007

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TREND - ISLAMIC IMPERIALISM: SOMALIA, BOSNIA, KOSOVO
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The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines imperialism as: "The policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations."

Islam is an imperialistic political system that employs a religious component for political and imperialistic gain. It is natural therefore that Islamic reformation and revival should result in renewed zeal for Islamic imperialism. While Muslims as human beings are extremely varied, holding beliefs ranging from irreligious to indifference to secular to moderate to extremist and from liberal to fundamentalist, the agenda of orthodox, Quranic Islam is absolutely radical and imperialistic.

Islamic imperialism is advanced in myriad ways: through jihad and pro-Sharia Islamist political movements; economically and culturally through the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), the Arab League, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and vast oil profits. These profits are used strategically to disseminate Islamic ideology and advance Islamic politics and culture, as well as to transform free nations (such as numerous Christian-majority African nations) and institutions (such as numerous Western universities) into submissive debtors.

For this annual trends posting I will focus on two regions where Islamic imperialist zeal and rhetoric rose to dangerous levels through 2006: the Horn of Africa, and the Balkans.

THE HORN OF AFRICA (HOA)

The year 2006 saw the rise and fall of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). For background see WEA RLC News & Analysis postings "Somalia: Igniting jihad in the Horn of Africa" (28 July 2006) and "Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia: Death and Danger in the Horn of Africa" (20 Oct 2006).

The rise of the ICU under the leadership of the belligerent al-Qaeda-linked Sheik Aweys, a vocal proponent of the creation of an Islamic Caliphate over a Greater Somalia, meant that conflict with neighbouring Ethiopia was inevitable.

In December 2006 the Ethiopian Army and soldiers loyal to Somalia's UN-sponsored Transitional Federal Government (TFG) routed and all but crushed the ICU. It is imperative that Somalia's government receive maximum international support to secure the state and improve the lives of the Somali people, thereby securing their hearts and minds.

It is estimated that during the December offensive around 3,000 ICU militants abandoned their uniforms and diffused back into the civilian population in Mogadishu where they remain hidden.

Al-Qaeda deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, has called for an Iraq-style Islamist insurgency. Al-Qaeda will doubtless attempt to incite Islamic irredentism and imperialism in Somalia, and separatism in Ogaden, the eastern region of Ethiopia that is home to some four million ethnic Somalis. This would certainly lead to an escalation in persecution of Christians in Muslim-dominated regions of the HOA.

Inflamed Islamic imperialist zeal would doubtless also invigorate the Islamist movement in Khartoum, and this could seriously rattle the tenuous peace in Southern Sudan. The tensions in the HOA will doubtless also lead to an escalation in Eritrea (historic enemy of Ethiopia and ally of the Islamists) of persecution against the Church, including the previously tolerated Orthodox Church.

The degree to which the wider HOA becomes a theatre for an Islamic imperialist insurgency (jihad) will depend largely on the commitment and ability of those charged with keeping the peace in Somalia to persist with conviction in the long operation of mopping-up terrorists and jihadists as they emerge.

Several terrorist incidents occurred during January 2007. If Islamic terrorists and jihadist manage to establish a base of operations for imperialistic jihad in the HOA, then Western and Christian interests and assets will be at risk from Addis Ababa to Juba, Djibouti, Asmara, Mogadishu and Nairobi.

THE BALKANS: SITUATION EXPLOSIVE

While the Balkans remained relatively peaceful through 2006, the issues that emerged onto centre stage last year are reminiscent of those issues that were a prelude to war in the 1990s. The two great issues are essentially related to Islamic imperialism:

* the status of Bosnia's Serbs;

* the status of the Serbian province of Kosovo.

BOSNIA

The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was dealt with thoroughly in a lengthy posting entitled "Bosnia and Herzegovina: Religious tensions rising" (19 September 2006). That posting included a detailed overview of the historical context that has given rise to the present position. This is hugely important because at present the history of the Serb nation, a Christian nation of Eastern Orthodox tradition, is buried deep beneath a veritable mountain of lies and revisionist propaganda, myth and demonisation courtesy of belligerent Islamist imperialist forces and their Western allies.

That posting was followed up with one entitled "Bosnia and Herzegovina: Fragile stability threatened by Islamisation" (12 October 2006).

The 1992-1995 Bosnian war was essentially over the status of Bosnian Serbs. In 1992 the Bosnian Serb rejection of the Islamist Izetbegovic's illegal, unconstitutional move to declare Bosnia independent from Yugoslavia triggered war. As Bosnian Muslims (Bosniacs) fought for an independent, united, Muslim Bosnia, Bosnian Serbs fought to retain their liberty and autonomy as they had no desire to be reduced to a Christian minority in an Islamic state, let alone be further separated from their fellow Serbs.

The Dayton Accords of 1995 ended the Bosnian war by establishing an independent Bosnia divided into two autonomous entities: the Muslim-Croat Federation, which today is under immense strain, and the Republika Srpksa (RS, Serb Republic).

Hard-line Islamists have never accepted the Dayton Accords and view it as a betrayal by their war-time allies, the US. For RS to be part of an independent Bosnia, yet autonomous and not under Muslim rule, is totally against the Islamist order. Izetbegovic only signed the Dayton Accords because he feared that without I-FOR (the international peace keeping force) on the ground, Serbia and Croatia would attempt to divide Bosnia between them and that Bosnia alone would not have the capacity to resist. Izetbegovic knew the Bosniacs needed both the US to keep the peace and Iran to re-arm and advance the Islamist agenda.

The loudest voice against the "partitioning" of Bosnia and Herzegovina was war-time Foreign Minister and Prime Minister, Haris Silajdzic. Over the years Silajdzic has been persistently critical of Izetbegovic for making what he believed were too many concessions.

On 1 October 2006, Haris Silajdzic was elected as the Muslim representative in Bosnia's tripartite presidency. Central to his election campaign was his proposal that RS be dissolved. Silajdzic uses words that impress the West, such as united, democratic and non-sectarian. But what he is advancing is the Islamic agenda to put all Bosnian territory and citizens under Muslim rule.

Further to this, Bosnia is under immense pressure from the West to move from the "Dayton phase" to the "European phase". Before it can join the EU, Bosnia is being advised that it must undergo constitutional reforms aimed at strengthening the central government at the expense of the entities. Some of these reforms are unacceptable to the Bosnian Serbs as they lessen their autonomy. The Orthodox Serbs are especially determined to retain autonomy in the area of policing as they do not want to be under a centrally administered, Muslim-dominated police force. Islamist imperialists and their naive supporters then label Serb resistance to dhimmitude as racist and ultra-nationalist!

The situation in Bosnia is explosive. Serbs (Orthodox) and Croats (Catholic) are both becoming agitated by the Islamist imperialistic rhetoric that is rising in an increasingly Islamised Bosnia. The situation today closely resembles 1992.

KOSOVO

Ever since the Serbs liberated themselves from Ottoman (Islamic) rule (1912-1913), "Kosovars" (descendents of Albanian Muslims who migrated into Kosovo during the Ottoman era) have been complaining of "occupation" and agitating along secessionist lines. And the secessionism is both pan-Islamic and nationalistic in character.

The contemporary Kosovar vs Serb contest for Kosovo has really been going for almost a century now. Both sides have attempted to advance their status by diminishing the "other" when circumstances permitted. The Serb cause however, was particularly hurt by the Nazi-Muslim alliance in World War Two.

Yugoslavia came under Nazi occupation in April 1941, and while the Croats, Bosniacs and Kosovars were all allies of the Axis powers, the Serbs were aligned with the Allies. The Nazis, who viewed the Serbs as a threat to the Nazi advance in the Balkans, classed the Serbs as a "lesser race" to be exterminated along with Jews and Roma/Gypsies. Islamic imperialists joined Muslim Waffen-SS units, such as the mostly Bosniac Handschar Division in Bosnia and the mostly Kosovar Skenderbeg Division in Kosovo, and massacred Serbs with impunity.

The Axis powers created a "New" or "Greater Albania" by annexing territory from Montenegro and Serbia, including Kosovo and the western part of southern Serbia that is today part of Macedonia. Wide-scale ethnic cleansing occurred, aimed at creating an ethnically pure Albanian Kosovo, or "Kosova". The fascist Prime Minister of Greater Albania, Mustafa Kruja, and the Muslim leader of the Albanian National Committee, Bedri Pejani, both called for the total extermination of all Orthodox Serb Christians in Kosovo. Pejani also advocated for the union of Greater Albania with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Nazi-allied Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Muhammad Amin al Husseini, approved the plan as being in the interests of Islam. However the Nazis, recognising that an Islamic super-state was not in their long-term interests, rejected the idea and kept the Muslim Bosniacs and Kosovars geographically separated.

Through the WW2 Nazi-Muslim holocaust in Yugoslavia, some one million Serbs, sixty thousand Jews and eighty thousand Roma were exterminated.

The Islamic imperialist agenda being advanced through the Nazi-Muslim alliance during WW2 was scuttled when the Allies won the war. However, while resistance to Nazi occupation came from both the Partisans (Communists, led by Marshall Tito, a Croat) and the Loyalists (loyal to Yugoslavia's ruling Serb monarchy), Winston Churchill elected to abandon his Serb allies and support the Communists for political expediency (peace with the Soviets). This guaranteed a Communist victory and further suffering for the Serbs.

Marshall Tito divided Yugoslavia along ethnic lines in order to destroy the hegemony of the Serbs who were the largest ethnic group in Yugoslavia. While the various ethnic minorities lived in their ethnic regions, Serbs, though concentrated in Serbia, were scattered over the whole nation. Dividing Yugoslavia along ethnic lines left millions of Serbs as religious and ethnic minorities under the rule of those who had attempted genocide against them in World War Two. Tito also re-cast the borderless regions of Kosovo and Metohija as a single, bordered province within Serbia. Tito was keen to form a federation with Communist Albania so he denied the Serbs who had been ethnically cleansed from Kosovo during WW2 the right to return. In an effort to appease Kosovar separatists, Tito granted Kosovo autonomy in 1974.

When Kosovo's autonomy was revoked in 1989 on account of rising persecution of Serbs and sectarian unrest, Kosovar separatism increased, even to the extent that the Kosovars set up a parallel government. Milosevic dissolved Kosovo's Kosovar legislature after it unilaterally declared Kosovo independent. While Albania recognised the "Republic of Kosova" the international community did not because at that time it still respected International Law and the UN Charter and would not re-draw international borders just to appease separatists, Islamic imperialists or terrorists.

Kosovo has been a UN protectorate since 1999. During this time, around 150 historic Serbian monasteries and churches have been destroyed while some 400 mosques have been built. Meanwhile it is estimated that more than 1,000 Serbs and Roma (no Jews, because the KLA drove out all the Jews in 1999) have been kidnapped, killed and disappeared, while around 230,000 Serbs have been ethnically cleansed.

On Friday 2 February 2007, UN special envoy Martti Ahtisaari presented his proposal on the status of Kosovo. Ahtisaari has proposed that Kosovo have supervised independence.

The Kosovars have accepted the proposal while the Serbs naturally reject what is essentially a plan to excise 15 percent of Serbia's territory, which includes its historic spiritual heartland of Metohija and cede it to Kosovar Muslim separatists.

Ahtisaari's proposal now goes to the UN Security Council where Russia and China will oppose it while the US and the UK will support it.

The UN cannot declare Kosovo independent without unleashing a torrent of secessionist claims across the globe and Kosovo, which claims to be special and unique but isn't, would be the precedent for them all. Russia and China would both be threatened, which is probably one of several reasons, along with appeasement of Islamists and attraction to myth, why the US and the UK are supporting it.

The Serbs are advocating for Kosovo to have autonomy within Serbia (see http://www.kosovocompromise.com/ ). However Kosovars and other Islamist imperialists will doubtless accept nothing less than full independence.

The situation in the Balkans is explosive and Kosovo may well prove to be the fuse.

Friday, October 20, 2006

ERITREA, ETHIOPIA, SOMALIA: DEATH AND DANGER IN THE HORN OF AFRICA

Date: Friday 20 October 2006
Subj: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia: Death and Danger
To: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty News & Analysis
From: WEA RLC Principal Researcher and Writer, Elizabeth Kendal


Tensions are rising across the Horn of Africa - there is death and danger. Irredentist Somali Islamists have declared jihad against Ethiopia. Christians are being attacked and murdered by Muslims in Ethiopia. Eritrea, which is accused of arming the Somali Islamists, is exploiting an
opportunity and has breached the 2000 cease-fire agreement by moving troops into the Eritrea-Ethiopia border buffer zone. Two Protestant Christians were recently tortured to death in Eritrea. The savagery of persecution appears to be escalating in proportion to regional tensions - and it could be about to get much worse.

(Irredentist: One who advocates the recovery of territory culturally or historically related to one's nation but presently subject to a foreign government. (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language))

TENSIONS RISE THROUGH THE HORN OF AFRICA

Political and religious tensions have been rising throughout the Horn of Africa ever since Islamists captured Mogadishu, Somalia, in June.

As noted in the 29 July 2006 WEA RLC News & Analysis posting, "Somalia: Igniting jihad in the Horn of Africa" (Link 1), Islamist leaders in Somalia are actively reviving Somali irredentism while simultaneously effecting a massive military build up. The head of Somalia's Supreme Islamic Courts Council (SICC), Sheikh Hassan Dahir 'Aweys, himself a veteran of the failed 1977-78 Ogaden War for a Greater Somalia, has recently publicly voiced his support for the idea of Greater Somalia. He regards Ogaden as Ethiopia-occupied Somali territory. As noted in the July WEA RLC posting, this situation has the potential not only to erupt in regional conflict, but
to inflame Islamic zeal, stoke traditional animosities, agitate belligerents and seriously impact and escalate the already perilous situation faced by Christians across the Horn of Africa.

On Monday 16 October, Eritrea moved 1,500 troops and 14 tanks into a security buffer zone established in 2000 after the 2-year border war with Ethiopia. While Ethiopia described this as a "minor provocation" the UN regards it as "a major breach" of the cease-fire agreement reached in 2000. (Link 2)

Stratfor Intelligence reported on 20 October: "Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer said Eritrea is taking advantage of the standoff between the SICC and the Ethiopia-backed transitional federal government to take a swipe at its longtime enemy."

Associated Press writer Les Neuhaus writes, "Relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea have been strained since the peace pact ended their war six years ago, with tensions on the rise because of unrest in Somalia, with Eritrea and Ethiopia supporting opposing factions.

"Eritrea's move [into the buffer zone] may be part of a regional strategy to place military pressure on Ethiopia. The United Nations reported earlier this year that Eritrea has sent weapons to a radical Islamic group that has been increasing its power in Somalia and that opposes Ethiopia's moves to prop up Somalia's internationally backed government.

"By moving troops closer to the border, Eritrea could be aiming to keep Ethiopian troops tied up there so that they cannot move into Somalia. Ethiopia would presumably want to avoid trouble on two fronts, but Eritrea's action raised the threat of renewed war between the feuding neighbors." (Link 3)

Meanwhile on another front tensions are escalating between Ethiopia and Somalia, inflaming Islamic zeal across the region. Islamists, other Muslims, and anti-Western elements who resent the loss of Southern Sudan, are keen to support Somalia, any Muslims - or any belligerents for that matter - against any Christian and any West-allied force.

Somali Islamists continue to actively recruit youths for jihad against Ethiopia. Chief registration officer Sheikh Abdulrahman Abdulle told Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) the Islamists would provide the recruits with military training, as well as arms and vehicles. (Link 4)

Stratfor Intelligence reported on 19 October: "Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi accused Somalian fighters Oct. 19 of coming within nine miles of the Ethiopian border backed by troops from Indonesia, Pakistan, the Arab world and other African countries. Zenawi said the troop movement threatens Ethiopia's sovereignty and that 'if these groups attempt to violate our border our defense forces will be obliged to hit back exercising the right of self-defense.'" Another source names Egyptian and Libyan military elements as working with the Islamic Courts Union. (Link 5)

ETHIOPIA: MUSLIM ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANS INTENSIFY

JIJIGA, the capital of Ethiopia's Somali Ogaden region, is about 720 kilometres due east of the capital Addis Ababa, towards the Somalia border. In May, Muslim youths in Jijiga stoned the homes and businesses of Christians after taking offence at what they claimed was the desecration of the Koran. (Link 6)

HENNO is in southern Ethiopia, 404 kilometres South of Addis Ababa, towards the Kenyan border. According to International Christian Concern (ICC), Islamic leaders, angry about the conversion of two prominent Muslims in 2005, have reportedly been urging Muslims in the area to kill full-time Christian evangelists. ICC reports that on 20 July 2006, seven Muslim clerics brutally attacked 50 or more Christians, seriously injuring twelve. Local Muslims in Henno have so far been rejecting their leaders' calls to violence. (Link 7)

DEMBI is a small village 90 kilometres northwest of Jimma (which is about 350 kilometres west of Addis Ababa) towards the Sudan border. Muslims in Dembi had allegedly told the Christians that they would not let them celebrate Meskel this year because it was "their [Muslim] land". Meskel ("cross" in Amharic) is an annual Orthodox festival commencing mid September which marks the arrival of Spring.

When the Orthodox Christians in Dembi did celebrate Meskel the Muslims rioted. According to news agency Reuters, four days of religious conflict in early October left three religious centres and some 800 houses burned, more than 100 displaced, numerous people injured and 10 dead. The Islamic Affairs Supreme Council of Ethiopia claimed that nine Muslims were killed. Council vice-president Elias Redman said that most of the Muslims in the area practise the ultra-conservative Wahhabi brand of Islam. Religious conflict resumed on the weekend of 14 - 15 October, resulting in a further five deaths.

Local officials said they are growing increasingly concerned about conflict between faiths. A local official of the Orthodox Church said, "This is a very worrying situation for us. These things never used to happen but they seem to be starting now." (Link 6)

Reformatorisch Dagblad gives a more detailed account of the Meskel riot: "Within a matter of two days, they [armed 'Muslim fundamentalists'] had burned over 350 homes belonging to Christians, killed 31 Christians, and taken dozens as hostages, according to local church leaders. Muslim attackers burned one Catholic church, one Orthodox church, and three evangelical churches. The latter are part of the 75-year-old Kale Heywet Church (EKHC), which began under the missionary influence of what was then known as Sudan Interior Mission and now includes over 5 million Ethiopian believers. Attackers quickly converted five local EKHC churches into mosques.

"Local church leaders estimate that nearly 3,000 Christians have been displaced. Last week they hastily organized themselves into five camps for protection and to share food and other supplies. The humanitarian relief group Samaritan's Purse has provided $50,000 in emergency food aid to the displaced." (Link 8)

ERITREA: BELIEVERS DIE FROM TORTURE

Compass Direct's most recent News Flash on Eritrea gives insight into the escalating savagery of the persecution suffered there by Christians. (Link 9)

Compass Direct (CD) reports that on 15 October 2006, Immanuel Andegergesh (23) and Kibrom Firemichel (30) were arrested while attending a religious service in a private home south of Asmara. The ten Christians worshipping with them (three women and seven men), all members of the evangelical Rema Church, were also arrested.

CD reports that the Christians were detained in a military camp outside the town of Adi-Quala and, according to one source, were subjected to "furious mistreatment". On 17 October, Andegergesh and Firemichel died in custody as a result of dehydration and torture inflicted by Eritrean security police. The fate of the other ten believers is as yet unknown.

According to CD, Andegergesh and Firemichel had been performing their military service in a southern Eritrean town close to the Ethiopian border.

CD also reports that Eritrean-born American citizen Aregahaje Woldeselasie (early 60s) and his assistant, a married man identified only as Mushie, were arrested on 4 October and have been held in Asmara's Police Station 5. CD reports: "Woldeselasie has been working with Nehemiah Ministry International in Eritrea since 1991, providing leadership training to new congregations."

Furthermore: "Earlier this month, Eritrean authorities returned popular Christian singer Helen Berhane to military detention after she spent three days in Asmara's Halibet Hospital for medical treatment. Berhane's leg had been seriously damaged as a result of beatings she received while imprisoned in a metal shipping container since her arrest in May 2004."

And: "In its apparent campaign to bring all religious groups under its control, the government of Eritrea has recently focused its efforts on schools run by religious groups."

As reported by CD on 8 September: "A total of 35 pastors, priests and church elders are confirmed under arrest in Asmara's Wongel Mermera investigation center. An additional 1,758 Christians of both evangelical Protestant and Orthodox confessions are jailed in 14 other cities and towns." Eritrea is one of the world's most serious religious liberty violators.

REGIONAL THREAT RISES

Islamic irredentism is threatening Ethiopia - and Eritrea knows an opportunity when it presents. As the tensions rise, Christians throughout the Horn of Africa are likely to face increased hostility from zealous Muslims and belligerents such as agitated Eritrean security police. If war breaks out between Somali irredentist Islamists and Ethiopia, and between Eritrea and Ethiopia, the situation for Christians throughout the region will be diabolical.


Links

1) Somalia: Igniting jihad in the Horn of Africa.
By Elizabeth Kendal, WEA RLC. 29 July 2006
http://www.worldevangelicalalliance.com/news/view.htm?id=634

2) U.N. Accuses Eritrea Cease-Fire Breach
16 October 2006. By Edith M. Lederer. UN (AP)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6151413,00.html

3) Ethiopia, Eritrea trade accusations of peace-deal violations
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Oct. 17, 2006
By LES NEUHAUS Associated Press Writer
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/10/17/ap/world/mainD8KQJDAG0.shtml

4) Somalia Islamists recruit hundreds after call for jihad on Ethiopia
Mogadishu (dpa) 18 Oct 2006
http://www.ecanadanow.com/world/2006/10/18/somalia-islamists-recruit-hundreds-after-call-for-jihad-on-ethiopia/

5) Ethiopia: Somalian Fighters Near Border
STRATFOR. 19 October 2006
http://www.stratfor.com/products/premium/read_article.php?id=278464
Will Somalia be the final battle between Islam and the West?
18 Oct 18, 2006, 11:16 By Charles Onyango_Obbo
http://www.garoweonline.com/stories/publish/article_5525.shtml

6) Muslims, Christians clash in western Ethiopia, 5 Killed
6 October 2006. Addis Ababa.
http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article17975
15 killed in Ethiopia's sectarian violence
16 October 2006
http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article18155
ALSO
Nine Muslims dead in Ethiopia riots with Christians
AFP, 6 October 2006, ADDIS ABABA
http://ethiounited.blogspot.com/2006/10/nine-muslims-dead-in-ethiopia-riots.html

7) Muslims Attack Christians in Henno, Ethiopia
http://www.aina.org/news/20061019171402.htm

8) Holy war against Horn of Africa rival Ethiopia
Reformatorisch Dagblad . 13 Oct 2006
http://www.refdag.nl/artikel/1278084/Holy+war+against+Horn+of+Africa+rival+Ethiopia.html

9) Two Eritrean Christians Tortured to Death
Special to Compass Direct. 18 Oct 2006
http://www.compassdirect.org/content/index.php?id=27