Can you please introduce your organisation to us?
The Albanian Islamic Society was established six years ago, due to the presence of an Albanian Islamic Community in Britain. The Society is involved in the field of calling to Islam and educating the Muslims about their religion. It also aims at reflecting the conditions of the Muslims in the Balkans.
What is the current state of affairs in Kosova? And what led to the people's uprising against the Serb crusaders?
It is important to realise that the Serbian campaign of oppression and persecution against the Muslims of Kosova has not seized since its start in 1912, following the retreat of the Ottoman Turks from the Balkans, and after the Albanian Muslims were shattered into 5 countries as a result of the London Conference in 1913. The Albanian land was also divided into: 1- Albania, 2- Kosova, 3- A part in the Montenegro, 4- A part in Macedonia, 5- And a part in Greece. The goal behind this division was to prevent the Muslims from having any strength in the Balkans, despite the fact that they are the original inhabitants of the region. It is evident that the ethnical cleansing of the Muslims is the goal behind the Serb policies. This is because, since 1989, the Albanian Muslim people have been subjected to continuous pressures from the Serbian army and police, who do not spare any effort to try and wipe the Islamic roots of the region. The latest massacres warn of a new genocide targeting about 2 million Muslims in this country, who committed no crime. They had simply strove to achieve their independent identity and practice their rights in their own homeland, and to rid themselves of the Serbian occupation which has been imposed on the people for a long period of time. The Albanian Muslim people in Kosova declared their independence from Yugoslavia in 1992, at the same time that the other states declared their independence, such as Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Macedonia. The Albanian people have decided to gain independence, and they are heading towards it, and they will not settle for any other solution, no matter what the price will be.
Can you please detail the recent massacres which were reported in the Muslim villages in the centre of the country?
Hundreds of tanks, armoured vehicles and helicopters, as well as thousands of soldiers and police forces sieged the region of Drenica and its surrounding suburbs, and began the killing of unarmed Muslims. They killed the children, the women and the elderly. They destroyed houses and forced many to flee their land. They would enter the Muslim household, drink alcohol and sketch the crucifix on the walls. They also looted all the property of the Muslims.
What is the "Kosova Liberation Army"? And what are its aims?
The "Kosova Liberation Army" is an Albanian Islamic organisation which is determined to defend itself, its people, its homeland, and its religion with all its capabilities and by all means. It therefore aims at liberating the homeland from the enemy, and achieving independence.
How influential is the Islamic movement in Kosova? And what measures does it take to stress on the reality of this conflict, that it is a religious one?
98% of the Albanians in Kosova are Muslims, and their organisations are spread in all parts of the country; they have their Islamic Mashiyakha (religious board) which represent them. They also have numerous schools and a college for Islamic Studies. The Islamic Mashiyakha plays an effective and important role in the current critical conditions, and it does not spare any effort to achieve the will of the Albanian Muslim people who seek independence, and this is the only solution. No matter what the enemies of Islam strive in order to eliminate Islam and Muslims, only the opposite of what they plan will occur, because Islam has the strength, and everything else is falsehood.
What are the latest news of the uprising, and how far did it spread?
The uprising in Kosova is developing. The Albanian Muslim people in Kosova have passed through critical times and were subjected to pressures, sieges and tight control. This is why they were not able to prepare for resisting the enemy which possesses all sorts of modern weaponry.
Do the Muslim people receive any effective help from Albania, both the government and the people?
Albania has declared that it will not abandon Kosova. A large number of demonstrations, in fact a flood of them, erupted in all parts of Albania to show their alliance with their brothers in Kosova. Macedonia too witnessed such demonstrations, and so did Turkey. In fact, these demonstrations reached all parts of the world where Albanians reside, and this is a clear message to the whole world that the Albanians will not abandon their brethren in Kosova.
What role does Greece play in the Kosova conflict?
Greece's role in paving the way for the Serb genocide is apparent, since it was behind the collapse of the Albanian government last year, which was later replaced by a government which is loyal to Greece, and which is weak and is not able, therefore, to take any serious measures towards the Kosova conflict. The Greeks, therefore, encourage the Serbs to invoke in their genocide against the Muslims. The Greeks have always been the helping hand for the Serbs, and still provide them with continuous aid, just as they did during the Bosnian war. In fact, they were the only nation which did not respect the arms embargo in the former Yugoslavia. They kept on smuggling arms and weapons to the Serbs in order to uproot the Muslims from the Balkans.
How do the Muslim people of Albania confront the occupying forces?
During the last few years, the Serbian police carried out search campaigns in all homes in search for arms, and they have stripped the people of their weapons. That is why they are now beingsubjected to genocide and massacres. The people, however, will never surrender to the enemy, and they will resist with all their ability.
Did the Muslims in Kosova learn from the Bosnian experience?
The Muslim people realise the nature of the Serbs and their brutal goals, and what occurred in Bosnia Herzegovina is not new, in fact, the Serbs committed the same crimes during World War One and World War Two, and they are just repeating them at our time.
Are there any final comments you wish to make?
The Albanian Muslim People in the state of Kosova are in urgent need for materialistic and moral support. However wishes to provide them with any aid can do so by transferring them to the account of the Albanian Islamic Society in Britain, and we will then forward them to the concerned parties.