Kosovo je Srbija
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. It is still only considered a “semi-recognized” state, as many states refuse to accept its independence decree. Still, you sometimes hear from ethnic Serbs: Kosovo is Serbia!
When looking at just the demographics, it seems that Kosovo independence is only fair. The CIA world factbook declares that 92% of the entire population is of Albanian heritage. Only 1.5% of Kosovo’s population is Serbian. So, looking at only these numbers we would come to an obvious conclusion that Serbs are not dominate here, and should not be able to consider that territory as Serbian, if the constituents do not wish it to be.
But how did Kosovo get to this situation? Why would I still state that Kosovo is Serbia? And what lessons can we learn from this ordeal?
Well, as with most things, we must look at history to answer our questions.
The History of The Kosovo Region
We’ll be starting with the Bulgarian period. Kosovo was under Bulgarian rule during the reign of Khan Presian in the year 836.
A few decades later, the Christianization of the Bulgarian empire began to occur widespread. Many churches and monasteries were built in the region, and mass converting occurred.
Toward the end of their rule, most constituents of the territory of Serbia were Christian.
By 1216, the Byzantines had taken over. They controlled a large sum of land, incorporating most of modern-day Serbia, Kosovo, and Montenegro.
Byzantines were heavily Christianized. The vast majority of Serbia (and Kosovo) had already converted to Christianity during the Byzantine reign.
Finally, the territory became under the control of the Serbian Empire in 1346. This meant that the Serbs controlled Kosovo at this time entirely. It also meant that most of the region’s population was ethnic Serbs and Christians (from the Bulgarian and Byzantine influences).
However, it didn’t last long until the Ottoman Turks waged war and captured the territory in 1455.
The Ottoman Rule
So why am I telling you all of this? Because the region of Kosovo was majority Serbian, and majority Christian, all the way back since the Bulgarian empire. And continued through the Byzantine Empire, all the way until the Fall of Byzantine Empire.
When the Ottomans came to power, they brought the beginning of Islamization of Kosovo.
The rise of Islam in this region had strange effects on the inhabitants. The Albanians eventually adopted Islam (As Albania was under the control of the Ottomans as well), while the Serbs did not. Albanians are some of the only white Europeans that actually converted to the false religion en masse.
Considering that Kosovo was a predominately Serb territory, this was problematic to the Ottoman Empire.
They began doing some pretty harsh campaigns to destroy the Christian influence in the region. Even going so far as to abolishing the Serbian Patriarch. The Patriarch, which existed for over 400 years and its downfall greatly hurt Christianity in the region.
Similarly, the Orthodox and Roman churches faced heavy tax in the face of the Ottoman’s.
Life was not great to be a Christian Serb under the Ottoman rule.
And it did not get any better.
Up until the late 17th century, Serbs were the clear ethnic majority in the country. They were still the predominate Kosovo residents and constituents under Ottoman rule. In short, unlike the Albanians, Serbs had refused to convert en masse to Islam while under domination by them.
Starting in the early 18th century, many Albanians (the ones that converted to Islam) began to mass migrate into Kosovo. They mainly resided in the southern regions. This impact caused the slow, centuries-long process of demographic annihilation of the Serbs in Kosovo.
With the rise of more Albanians in Kosovo, problems began occurring. The Albanian National Movement was a rising nationalist movement to fight against the Ottoman’s. They intended to create an Albanian villa-yet within the Ottoman empire.
They did so because many Albanians were being deported from Kosovo by Serbs, for fear of this exact thing from happening (a rise of ethnic nationalism looking to overtake the region). Their fears were not misguided, as we can obviously see the effects now (Serbia has lost Kosovo).
Likewise, there were many other small rebellion and violent movements by the Albanians in Kosovo. They started a rebellion in 1912, which was the pre-text for the First Balkan Wars which pitted the Balkan regions against the Ottoman Empire.
During this time, most of Kosovo (3 out of 4 parts) were integrated into the newly formed Kingdom of Serbia (Serbian Empire round 2).
The Kingdom did not last long, as in 1929 the country was renamed Serbia, Kosovo, and many other territories “Yugoslavia”.
After the axis-invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, most of Kosovo was handed over to Albania.
The Prime Minister of Albania (Mustafa Kruja) did not take a liking to Serbs in Kosovo. He even stated the following:
“We should endeavor to ensure that the Serb population of Kosovo should be removed as soon as possible … All indigenous Serbs who have been living here for centuries should be termed colonialists and as such, via the Albanian and Italian governments, should be sent to concentration camps in Albania. Serbian settlers should be killed.”
As you can imagine, this caused mass migration and the deaths of tens of thousands of Serbs. In a territory that has been their home since before the conception of Christianity.
They were physically removed while mass replacement migration occurred.
After the war, the communist government of Yugoslavia expelled even more Serbs and did not allow hundreds of thousands of them to return to their homes.
But what they did do was allow mass Albanian migration into the region to “make up” for the lost Serbian population.
Over 70,000 Albanians migrated to Kosovo during this time.
And not only this, but the birth rates of Albanians trumped the Serbians in huge numbers. Albanians had a birth rate of 34/1000 residents – the highest in all of Europe.
And thus, Kosovo became majority Albanian sometime in the 19th or 20th century.
Today Kosovo is home to only 1.5% Serbs. The once majority is now not even their largest minority group.
This happened through three primary reasons stated above:
- Kosovo/Albania was overtaken by the Ottomans, which began a widespread Islamization of the region, splintering the Serbs and Albanians into two separate religious beliefs. The Ottoman’s also pushed harsh taxes and other means to terrorize the Christian population, in an attempt to get them to convert or emigrate.
- Yugoslavia deported tens of thousands of Serbs and replaced them with Albanians. This caused further relocation of additional Serbs to be with their families that had been deported, and continued to reduce the population throughout the years.
- Albanians have a birth rate of 34/1000 residents, which is the highest in all of Europe throughout this (and current) time period. While the Serbs had a dwindling percentage compared to the Albanians. This caused the Albanians to out-breed the Serbs in Kosovo to increase their majority.
All of this occurred in a region that Serbia claims is the “cradle of its civilization” IE: Kosovo.
Serb rights are under constant threat in Serbia now.
After the War of Kosovo, the terrible and utterly incompetent UN even stated that they are worried about Serb rights.
The Human Rights Watch has also voiced concern over the slow progress on human rights for Serbs in Kosovo.
Many police simply ignore crimes committed against Serbs, because they aren’t Albanian/Muslim.
Hundreds of churches and monasteries dating back to the 13th-14th century have been destroyed or desecrated.
Even in 2004, large-scale violence against the (now) minority Serb population broke out. Civilians were murdered, thousands had to leave their homes, churches were torched, and it was even considered by the (then) Serbian president as ethnic cleansing.
When the Serbs tried to request partitioning off Kosovo so the Serbs living in their home region could live in peace, the Kosovo parliamentary speaker (Jakup Krasniqi) had this to say:
“All of those who aim to divide Kosovo, I want to say, it will end in nothing. Serbs lost their right to Kosovo with the unjust war against the Albanian majority.”
And my response to him is: The Albanian majority is unjust to begin with.
Lessons We Can Learn: Kosovo is Serbia
While Kosovo may be lost to the Serbs (for now), we can still learn from their intriguing history.
Once upon a time, the territory known as Kosovo was a strong ethnic Serb majority with unbelievably hard-strung ties to Orthodox Christianity.
Now, it is a majority Albanian and Muslim state.
This occurred primarily because of the out-numbering of the ethnic Serbs by the converted Muslim Albanians.
They did this through three primary ways:
- Mass migration
- Much higher birth rates
- Violence against the native Serbs
In a way, it’s not much different from how the USA was formed. We outnumbered the Native Americans, we had higher birth rates, and we committed violence against the natives.
Likewise, with China and Taiwan. Same example of what happened in Egypt. And a very similar story to Israel.
This isn’t some onetime example. It’s what has happened throughout all of human history. Every nation has utilized these tactics. And every nation should put in steps to avoid this from happening in the future.
But we can learn from this, and we can start tracing these patterns of behavior.
When mass migration occurs in our countries, with people that have a much higher birth rate as our own, it creates massive problems. Violence goes up. Ethnic problems rise. And our values and society diminish with it. The exact situation that happened in Kosovo.
And it is what is happening in many Western nations right now.
Do we honestly believe that just because the year is (current year), that this won’t happen? That these tales of history no longer apply to us because we’re “modern” year?
Integration of Albanians in Kosovo did not work. In fact, it did the opposite.
It drove the Serbs out completely. And they lost a region they once called their cradle of civilization.
We have to learn from these examples, or we too shall become the Kosovo Serbs. Destroyed and evicted from our own home.
The lesson to take away from this is that integration and immigration are not always what they seem. It does not always produce a rose-tinted view of everyone happily singing songs and getting along.
Sometimes, it involves loss of your country, her values, and its identity.
What happened to the Serbian people in Kosovo is a tragedy. But we must utilize this knowledge to make sure it never happens again. Or, as the saying goes, “history will repeat itself”.
If you support “Kosovo is Serbia” or “Kosovo je Srbija” – share this article. Get the information out so everyone will know how (and why) Serbia lost Kosovo.