February 26, 2006
The front page of my local paper last Thursday was taken up with color pictures and the Los Angeles Time article about the bombing of the Shiite Golden Dome Mosque of Samarra, Iraq and the repercussions of that bombing — presumably by radical Sunni Muslims.
According to the media, this battle between Muslim sects may lead to civil war. I haven't written about it because I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out why the bombing of one mosque in Iraq in 2006 is a worldwide news event, but the bombing of more than 150 Serbian Christian Churches and monasteries in Kosovo by Albanian Muslims didn't even make it to the back pages of most American and European newspapers?
FAR more is being reported about the bombing of this one Shiite Mosque in Samarra than has been reported in US and European media about the Albanian Muslim attacks on 150 Serbian Orthodox Christian Churches that have been bombed, or set afire and vandalized in Kosovo?
Kosovo has been under the governmental control of NATO since the 1999 bombing of Kosovo and Belgrade ordered by President Clinton. In 2004, under the watchful eyes of NATO troops, from March 17-20, Albanian Muslims totally destroyed or badly vandalized 30 Christian Churches in Kosovo. Twelve Christian Churches in Prizren, the only ones that had not been destroyed by Albanian Muslims in the previous 4 year of NATO control, were blown up or torn down during those 4 days.
In Samarra, the fire was still smoldering at the Muslim Shiite Mosque when President Bush led the Western nations in condemning the attack on the Shiite Mosque and promised to provide funds to rebuild it. In Kosovo, not only have those Serb Churches, many of which contained historic art, not been rebuilt, the international community seems to be getting ready to reward the Albanians for their vandalism by taking Kosovo away from the Serbs and GIVING it to the Albanians, although most of them are actually from Albania — not Kosovo. Over a million Albanians fled their country when its economy collapsed in the early 1990s.
What will happen to the remaining Serbs in Kosovo if the Albanians who burned down their churches are in control and NATO withdraws? Rev. Archimandrite, a Greek Orthodox priest in Boise, Idaho who is President of the Relief Fund for the Decani Monastery in Kosovo, predicts the following after a visit to Kosovo:
"If Kosovo and Metohija becomes independent and the UN withdraws it's shall then be end of the lives of the Serbian people, as all property including homes, land, and farms, as well as hospitals and schools, all will be lost. Apparently all the blame is put on the Serbians and no one else! Why are the Serbian people all to blame and who told the world that it's the fault of the Serbian people? When shall the hour of truth be revealed? The reality is that Kosovo and Metohija is falling before our eyes and we pay no attention to this fact, but we judge just the Serbians and no one else. Enough! Let the Serbian people be free too! Let the Serbian people live among their brothers! Serbia within the Providence of Kosovo and Methojia desires not to hear the words of Independence.
"When we speak of the losses of Kosovo we must include the Serbian Orthodox monasteries (for both nuns and monks), churches, and cemeteries. Martyrdom is rampart and bodies are not found, as was the situation with the Hieromartyr Hariton the New Martyr of Serbia, who himself was buried in the sacred grounds of Kosovo without his head.
"Everything Serbian will be excluded in this new call for independence. All Serbian language and culture will be extinguished from Kosovo. Already we are finding blacked out signs written in Serbian along the road sides, even those directing the faithful to the Decani Monastery?
"Death will be rampart, the loss of lives will be too high to count and no one will pay attention to this factor in the media. ...This independence is not for the Serbians but for the non-Serbian, Albanian Muslims, intent on taking over the sacred fields as they continue to pressure the free world.
"It is unbelievable to me that so many people talk about how Kosovo and Metohija should live. Even today some think that the best way to accomplish independence for Kosovo and Metohija is simply to banish the Serbian population from the region. To this day it is well known that more than 250,000 Kosovo Serbians have left the region, being forced out by the atrocities perpetrated upon them by the ethnic Albanian populations. Yet even in light of this forced exile so many western politicians and religious leaders lend their groundless opinions and keep offering their ideas, but they never realize that Kosovo and Metohija are simply Serbia!
"Why are we hearing every day that Serbians better leave now or that it's their last hour?
"Why are we hearing every day that even the electricity is shut off, does anyone really realize how freezing it is in Kosovo and Metohija in winter!
"Why is there barbed wire surrounding towns and villages to protect Serbians, because if these barbed wires come down it's the last hour for the Serbians!
"Why have we seen constantly UN Peace Keeping forces in these same said regions, because if they leave at the hour, again it's the last hour for the Serbians!
"Why have soup kitchens been set up in these regions? Because the Serbians cannot go about getting food, because once they go beyond a certain border, rocks and gun fire occurs at the hour, and the lost of lives which no one really hears about in the media.
"Why does no one care or pay attention to the fact that more then 150 Serbian Orthodox Churches and Monasteries have been destroyed, and that one or two are repaired just to make someone look good?
"Why is it that the Serbian population has pre-fabricated homes, while other non-Serbian homes have beautiful three story brick houses!
"Why is it that the Serbian population cannot simply come home, and live in their homes, and on their farms that belonged to them in the first place?
"Why is that so many refuse to hear the truth of the Serbian Orthodox Cemeteries that have been destroyed? Is it because of how truly tearful we would be reeling in shock as the number keeps rising and rising? I saw these graves myself. The number I was quoted by a local Bishop was 126 cemeteries."
..."Is this the type of independent Kosovo that should currently exist?"
Is it, indeed? Why, indeed, have we so shabbily treated our valiant World War II ally, the Serbian people, who saved the lives of more than 500 American pilots who were shot down when Yugoslavia was occupied by the Nazis? Who are we listening to? Could it be we are listening to the wrong people — those who burn down churches and behead Christians?
How can we get so upset over one Shiite Mosque and totally ignore 150 Serbian Christian Churches and monasteries that have been bombed?
For pictures of some of the destroyed churches, which never appeared in the US media, go to http://www.kosovo.com/churchdamaged1.html
Mary Mostert is a nationally-respected political writer. She was one of the first female political commentators to be published in a major metropolitan newspaper in the 1960s. After working in President Lyndon Johnson's failed War on Poverty programs in New York state, she became a Republican. She ran, unsuccessfully, for the New York State Senate and became campaign manager for a number of candidates. She once served as the secretary of "Positive Action NOW!"--a South African women's group that sought to reduce the hostility among South Africa's various racial, religious, and political groups.
In recent years, Mary has researched, written, and edited articles for national talk show host Michael Reagan's Information Interchange on the Internet, and for The REAGAN MONITOR, a monthly newsletter that provides in-depth information on key issues. Her book, COMING HOME - Families Can Stop the Unraveling of America," was published in 1996 by Gold Leaf Press. Mary maintains a political media site, Banner of Liberty. She can be contacted at mary@