Kosovo, a Muslim area which has been part of Serbia until NATO and American forces intervened to prevent ethnic cleansing in the 1990s, is preparing to declare its independence and assume control over its own destiny. The vast majority of people in Kosovo are of Albanian Muslim background while about 100,000 are Serbian Christians. There are reports that thousands of Kosovo Serbians are prepared to flee to Serbia amidst fears they will be attacked once Kosovo is an independent nation. Although there are about 15,000 NATO troops in the nation, it is expected they will withdraw if the declaration of independence is issues this coming week. Serbian leaders warn the West that an independent Kosovo will anger their people and drive them into the arms of extreme nationalists who seek war with the new nation. They also point out Serbia will turn toward Putin’s Russia for support and end close relations with the European Union. A common statement heard on the streets of Serbia is that their nation is defending Europe against Muslim aggression.
Once rhetoric is cast aside, there is no evidence the Muslims of Kosovo have any connection with terrorism nor are they fundamentalist in feeling. They are moderate Muslims who do not adhere to the type of fundamentalism that is practiced in nations like America’s ally, Saudi Arabia. An independent Kosovo brings to the world another government in which moderate Muslims are in leadership and who can assist in the fight against radical fundamentalists.