Islamic Terrorism Threatens Kosovo’s Security

This is a very crucial and important time for the Kosovo government to protect its national interests by building a security defense strategy to fight any type of Islamic extremism, which recently is becoming a big threat not only for vital state interests but also to all citizens of Kosovo as a multiethnic, multicultural, and democratic society.

Political officials and all Albanians in Kosovo should not forget the fact that the United States of America and its European allies did not liberate Kosovo from Serbia so that Kosovo could become an Islamic state in the heart of Europe but to be an independent, sovereign, multiethnic, democratic, and developed country with the intention that some day Kosovo will be integrated in the European Union and NATO like the other Balkan states.

The future and perspective of the new state of Kosovo will be dark with many question marks if this issue is not taken seriously and eradicated swiftly. Otherwise, Kosovo faces the risk of losing international support from its savior allies in the US and Western Europe.

How Did Islamic Extremism Evolve in Kosovo and Who Was Behind It?

These negative and dangerous elements for Kosovo’s multiethnic and multi religious society appeared more than two decades ago in 1989, when Kosovo was still under Serbian colonial rule. The foreign Islamic extremists and radicals infiltrated Kosovo and its religious institutions from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Egypt, Libya, Syria, etc. Their goal was indoctrination of the Islamic community in Kosovo by giving humanitarian aid to Albanians or sponsoring Albanian students to study Islamic studies abroad while manipulating their agenda by taking advantage of the desperate political situation the Albanian population faced under the Serbian regime imposed by dictator Slobodan Milosevic.

Despite their continued efforts to turn Kosovo into another Iraq or Libya, this aim can never be achieved in Kosovo given that the Albanian nation consists of three religions: Islam, Catholicism, and Orthodox Christianity. In addition, throughout Albanian history, Albanians have never had inter-religious frictions, disputes, and conflicts, but have lived in harmony, good faith, and lasting peace together.

This dangerous phenomenon threatens the stability and security of Albanians in the Balkans and has been condemned by Kosovo’s President, Atifete Jahjaga, Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, and the head of Kosovo’s Islamic Community, Naim Ternava.

The battle to preserve and protect Kosovo from the threat of Islamic extreme elements should be relentless and continuous until eliminated. Moreover, this war against Islamic extremism should be supported by the United States of America and its Western European allies. Otherwise, not only Kosovo, but all of Balkans will be implicated in similar crises in the near future.

Mehdi Hyseni is an Albanian Ph.D. in International Political Relations, residing in Boston.