To put it less kindly they are ill informed, paranoid conspiracy theorists who have developed a counter factual fantasy about the wars in the former Yugoslavia in which the principle perpetrators of genocide and ethnic cleansing, particulary the Bosnian Serb army and to a lesser extent the Belgrade government, are portrayed as innocent victims who were caught up in islamist plots to turn Bosnia into an Islamic state. The victims of the genocide are dismissed as either non existant or as having brought their fate upon themselves.
Having once had an unproductive discussion with one Israpundit contributer (Felix Quigley, on another blog), in the wake of Slobadon Milosevic's death last year, I feel obliged to warn Oliver Kamm that things like facts, evidence or logic will be of little use if he is planning on changing the minds of the hardcore genocide deniers but as I am at a loose end I shall take some time to nail a few of the more obvious lies spread by Israpundit's contributers.
President Alija Izetbegovic Was An Islamofascist.
This is a claim that has been made frequently by various Israpundit contributers. One frequently cited out of context quote (or often a misquote) of Izetbegovic's recurs repeatedly:
there is no peace between the islamic faith and non islamic social and political institutions.This was from a book he wrote in the 1960s called the 'islamic declaration', which as Noel Malcolm explains in 'Bosnia- A Short History' was specifically referring to countries where an absolute majority of practisin muslims existed, it plainly could not apply to Bosnia wher only 43% of the population were even nominally islamic and of those, according to a 1985 survey, only 17% actually practiced the religion. So only 7% of the total Bosnian population were practicing muslims. As someone who does not not like what Islam itself very much, I must say the vision Izetbegovic wanted, in the 1960s, for islamic societies does not appeal to me at all but he clearly did not think it could be imposed on a society by force and Bosnia was a non starter as Islam was not widely practiced in any case. He explicitly rejects the creation of such a state by physical force.
By the 1980s the views Izetbegovic was expressing was even further removed from those held by islamist extremists, explicitly praising Christianity as a 'near union of supreme religion and supreme ethics' and praising Anglo American culture and philosophy, in a time where the USA was being regularly denounced as the Great Satan in Iran.
Ironically given the fondness of Israpundit for the epiphat 'islamofascist', the man who coined the word, Stephen Schwartz, is an unabashed admirer of Izetbegovic, who during the 1990s was being even more explicit in his condemnation of the islamic chauvinism of the Wahabbis and ayatollahs, telling an islamic meeting in Iran that:
The West is neither corrupted nor degenerate. It is strong, well educated, and organized. Their schools are better than ours. Their cities are cleaner than ours. The level of respect for human rights in the West is higher, and the care for the poor and less capable is better organized. Westerners are usually responsible and accurate in their words. Instead of hating the West, let us proclaim cooperation instead of confrontationIs it even imaginable that the genuine breeds of islamofascism in Saudi Arabia or Iran could utter such words? It would be unthinkable.
The other claim about Izetbegovic is that he recruited for the SS during WW2, this is based on essentially no evidence whatsoever, so I shall not spend any time refuting it, but suffice to say if the people who make the claim had any evidence I am sure it would have been produced long ago.