Kosovo and the `Ummah, II

Many Islamic-majority countries will probably end up recognizing Kosovo at some point–although they may also hesitate given the strong emphasis of many Kosovars of their secular, European identity as opposed to an Islamic one. But if and when they do, they may add caveats about possible precedents–not really caring what U.S. and European diplomats once again said at the Brussels Forum last week–that could create headaches for the U.S. down the line and which Washington still seems unprepared to deal with.

— Nikolas K. Gvosdev, “OIC Summit and the Dakar Declaration,” 20 March, 2008.

As I wrote in my previous post about the global Islamic community’s response to Kosovo’s declaration of independence, their hesitation to immediately extend recognition to the Balkan territory has more to do with geopolitical responsibilities than it does with any set of ideational concerns.

There is no evidence to suggest that Kosovo’s emphasis on its European identity will hinder Islamic countries from recognizing it. Thus far, the justifications given by those Muslim states — the overwhelming majority of them — who have not recognized Kosovo have either been that they were concerned with matters of national sovereignty or were entirely indifferent to the matter. Countries such as Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Morocco, Sudan and others all supported the Serbian position outrightly. Some of them did so as a result of obviously Russian (or perhaps even Chinese) leverage, others out of fear of the the application of the “Kosovo precedent” to their own territorial disputes. Various others, such as Jordan and Egypt have not recognized Kosovo’s independence, but will likely do so if a positive resolution is produced by Security Council. Turkey proposed a document that would have called for recognition on the part of the Islamic community, but due to opposition this was watered down to merely supporting the Kosovar people.

None of the discussion in Dakar revolved around how more or less Islamically oriented Kosovo was in relation to the wider Islamic world, and none of it questioned the territory’s identity or fidelity to Islamic civilization. On the contrary, the discussion on Kosovo has been quite upbeat, and has tended to question the legality of the country’s independence and whether or not it conforms to international norms. The OIC’s Secretary General, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu (himself a Turk), said that Kosovo “will be an asset to the Muslim world and will further enhance joint Islamic action,”” and none of the member states seem to disagree. Nevertheless, Muslim countries have national interests aside from being Muslim countries and on many, if not most, occasions act on those interests before acting on their religious prerogatives.

The concerns of Muslim countries are identical to those of much the rest of the international community when it comes to matters of state sovereignty and the preservation of existing borders, two categories into which the Kosovo situation fits snugly. The component relating to the territory’s Islamic identity does make it a more salient affair than it would be if it were a non-Muslim country, but it is still of far less concern to the Muslim world than it is to Europe, and its tangible geopolitical results, in the eyes of Muslim governments, outweigh the religious or civilizational responsibility to recognize it right off the bat.


6 thoughts on “Kosovo and the `Ummah, II

  1. Muslims are beneficiaries of American power, we see this in many areas. This has destroyed progressive forces in Pakistan. America even now continues to provoke Serbia and Russia. We can see that dirty Muslims will beg from America like dogs when they need something.
    Russia must be strong, China must be strong, we should understand that America and Muslims are really working together to destroy serious resistance to the evil of Islam.
    Abkhazia, Trans Dniestr, Darfur, Respublika Serbska, Ossettia- all can now break away, as can Kashmiris from Pakistan\India. America is spreading chaos and using Muslims to do it.

  2. As a woman alone Kosovo is not safe as it is a center of human traficking to Turkey, Gulf and Amsterdam- so I can not go. Rad Fem position on Kosovo is progressive, the women getting trafficked are Muslim, not that that should matter, though in YOUR mind, it probably makes a difference, yet you do not care much cos you got no respect for Muslim women anyhow. NATO in Kosova is part of the problem and NATO is trying to use Muslims against Russian Federation which is NEW ALLY of progressive forces in South Asia cos America is clearly dealining with Islamist facsicst reactionary elements. All this is part of a very big neo imperialist game, Americans and Islam are patriarchal and working against women.

  3. Well Kosovo is pro-American and more European than Muslim (in the traditional sense).

    I’d rather support Kosovo over Serbia anyday of the week. Kosovars were out celebrating with American flags, while Serb fucktards torched our embassy and replaced the Stars and Stripes with their ugly flag.

    What do that tell you?

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