By: Julia Gorin
Is it a coincidence that earlier this month, the following call to Jihad by IS was issued specifically to Balkan Muslims: IS to Balkan Muslims: “Either join, or kill over there”
Well, Alen Rizvanovic killed over there. Not exactly “lone” or “deranged” (beyond the mental disorder otherwise known as Islam which, yes, is lame. And now so are 34 Austrians, plus three dead).
Austria is of course very vulnerable to feeling the effects of the call of the wild, thanks to the Bosnian Muslims it welcomed back when it served as the financing center of the Bosnian Jihad, known to Westerners as the Bosnian war, or “Serbian genocide against Bosniaks.” Official Austria was front and center in helping make the war go in favor of the Muslims who demanded to carve their own Islamic state in Europe out of Yugoslavia.
But getting to the main question at hand: Gee, why would IS think it can recruit Balkan Muslims? Of all people. Didn’t we make it clear that those Muslims aren’t like those Muslims? IS and its forebears must not have gotten the memo that the West proclaimed the Muslims of the Balkans to be modern, secular, European, Western-facing, moderate, and so on — and gave them the upper hand in the war, and then in the peace. Because that way there would be no risk that these Muslims would turn into those Muslims, right? I mean, if they drink alcohol and eat pork — as their advocates constantly point out — then there’s no way they’ll choose Islamic solidarity over the West. Right?
Here was that IS call:
IS to Balkan Muslims: “Either join, or kill over there” (B92, RTS, vocativ.com, June 5, 2015)
The Islamic State has published a propaganda video that threatens Balkan countries and calls on Muslims to either join it, or launch attacks in the Balkans.
The video, titled “Honor is in jihad, a message to the Balkans”, has been published by the Alhayat Media Center – a propaganda center established to reach audiences in the West with Islamic messages.
The video, that lasts a little over 22 minutes, has an English language narrator talking about the history of the Balkans, while showing historical footage, and about the Muslim communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania “and other countries in the region.”
Members of the Islamic State who came from the Balkans are shown, with several of them calling on other Muslims to go to Iraq and Syria, “where they can safely and with dignity live with their families.”
Among the identified Islamists are Abu Bilkis, aka Al Albani and Abu Mukatil, aka Al Kosovo, as well as Abu Muhammad al Bosni.
[What names these are! “Al-Bosni, Al-Albani, Al-Kosovi.”? Who could have foreseen it? Those very same “moderate” and “pro-American” Muslims.]
“Many of you complain that they cannot grow a beard or wear a niqab. Now is your chance, make Hijra,” said one of those featured, Salahudding Al Bosni.
He also told the audience that “to think back to the last war in Bosnia-Herzegovina”.
As in other propaganda videos, the jihadists are telling those who are “unable to emigrate to the land of Islam” to attack “dictators in Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania”, as well as their armies.
“Fight them over there. If you can, put explosives under their cars, in their houses, all of them. If you can, take some poison, put in it their drink, in their food, let them die. Kill them in every place and wherever you can. In Bosnia, in Serbia, in Sandzak. You can do it, Allah will help you,” Salahudding Al Bosni is heard saying.
This clip has been “much better produced than the dozens of previous propaganda materials made for the Balkan Islamists in the past 20 years,” said the reports.
Well that must have done the trick. This guy was motivated enough to extrapolate “over there” to his own adopted home of Austria, not far from the Balkans. It’s a call-up that has Deutsche Welle asking, “Are the Balkans a gateway for ‘IS’?”
Now, why would the Balkans per se — more than some other part of Europe — be IS’s gateway? I mean, what is different about the populations of the Balkans from those of the rest of Europe? Surely it couldn’t be the countless Westward-facing Muslims that populate that region. In any case, when has the word “extremism” ever been associated with Balkan Muslims? Yet that is the category Deutsche Welle placed the story under:
Are the Balkans a gateway for ‘IS’?
Millions of Muslims live in the Balkans. According to media reports, Islamist terrorists are increasingly trying to influence them. But opinions are split on how dangerous the situation really is.
The history of the Balkans over the past 100 years is nothing but a chronology of Muslim oppression, at least according to the “Islamic State” (IS) terrorist group, whose propaganda targets the region. [Funny, that’s also according to the Bosnian and Albanian ‘not-like-those’ Muslims.] The only solution in the fight against the communists, so-called “crusaders” and Jews is jihad, they say. In an elaborately produced video, “IS” urges Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegowina, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia to kill their “infidel” neighbors.
“Put explosives under their cars and houses, pour poison into their food, let them croak,” a young bearded man shouts in Bosnian. The terrorists in the video even have nicknames, depending on where they come from: Al-Bosni, Al-Albani, Al-Kosovi.
The propaganda has already served one purpose: for days, all of the regional media reported that “IS” has its sights on the Balkans. Such reports are extremely useful to the Islamists, warns Vlado Azinovic, a political scientist and journalist from Bosnia.
“Via Twitter alone, the IS publishes more than 200,000 short messages per week,” the terrorism expert says. “They all contain such threats in several languages, so it’s wrong to believe that IS is targeting the Balkans in any way,” Azinovic told DW.
But, notions that the Balkans represent a gateway for jihadists are nothing but media hype and an expression of “hysteria”, he added.
[That’s right, Folks. Stay on-program. There’s no difference between short twitter messages and an elaborately, professionally produced video specifically in the Balkanites’ own language.]
Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper also reported that radical Islamists are increasingly networking in the western Balkans, offering “a kind of initial training for would-be jihadists.” The paper quoted German security officials as saying the situation is so alarming that it was discussed at the most recent G7 summit.
“The threat posed by IS should be taken seriously,” says Filip Ejdus, a Belgrade political scientist. While the expert doesn’t believe “IS” can create branches in the Balkans at this point, he fears the terrorists will soon carry out more attacks in Europe…
Experts may disagree about the extent of the threat posed by “IS” in the Balkans, but there is no doubt that the “Islamic State” has been recruiting many new backers in the region.
A record 250 men from Kosovo have gone to war for “IS”, media reports say. Bosnia-Herzegowina is also said to be at the top of the jihadist recruitment list…
…Ejdus says… “Although a majority of Muslims in the Balkans rejects these anti-civilizing ideas, they still unfortunately find their way to some people.”
The same is true for Kosovo, says Ismail Hasani, an expert on the sociology of religion from Pristina. Some Imams, who were trained in the Middle East, propagate a non-traditional interpretation of Islam, he told DW. “But in the Balkans, these radical versions don’t fall on fertile soil.” Hasani is convinced these interpretations will soon be a thing of the past…
But back to the present. Here is the UK Daily Mail report:
A four-year-old boy is reported to be one of three people killed after an SUV ploughed into a crowd of people in Graz, Austria.
Another 34 people were injured in the attack, with six – including two children – said to be in a serious condition.
Eyewitnesses say the driver rammed into crowds at up to 90mph before he got out and began randomly stabbing bystanders, which included the elderly and policemen.
The three victims killed in the attack have been described as a 28-year-old Austrian man, a 25-year-old woman and a four-year-old boy.
The woman and boy were both killed as the driver ploughed through crowds on the main Herrengasse shopping street before reaching the city’s main square.
The governor of the state has described the driver as a ‘deranged lone assassin’.
The National Police Director, Josef Klamminger, said the man, who is believed to be a 26-year-old Austrian truck driver, was suffering from ‘psychosis’ related to ‘family problems’.
The attacker is believed to be married with two children.
Police director Klamminger added that the man was under a restraining order keeping him away from the home of his wife and two children, after a domestic violence report was filed against him last month. [So far, we’re hitting on all the tropes of being a pious Muslim male.]
The driver did not resist when he was arrested by the police – who say he acted alone – and they have no reason to believe it was an act of terrorism.
The mayor was reported to be riding his Vespa in the street when the SUV sped past him, just feet away.
He only avoided being hit by driving onto the pavement, according to local media.
Always doing his homework, writer Daniel Greenfield found an Alen Rizvanovic on facebook, who has twice “liked” jihadist Bosnian war criminal Naser Oric, commander of Muslim soldiers at Srebrenica whom we are to again memorialize this July 11th. (And with extra gusto, please, as it’s the 20th anniversary of “the worst atrocity in Europe since WWII.”)
By the way, isn’t Graz where the Bosnian Muslims and Croats stole off to in the first place, to have their secret referendum on secession? Graz even sounds like a shortened Grazie — as in ‘Thanks, Austria, for not extraditing that Bosniak war criminal on the Serbs’ warrant, and thanks for trying to block Serbia’s EU accession start. Doing everything “right” for the Bosnian Muslims sure goes a long way.