Extremists step up rhetoric against Serbians, Orthodox Church in Kosovo & Metohija
In spite a recent agreement signed in the White House between the Serbian president and representatives of Kosovo’s Albanians, which includes the continued protection of Orthodox heritage and sites in the province, extremists continue to spread ethnic and religious hatred towards the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija, while attempting to appropriate the latter’s spiritual and cultural heritage, an announcement by the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren underlined this week.
The latest provocation comes from an obscure Kosovo Albanian history professor, identified as Bedri Muhadri, who penned an article in an Albanian-language daily, «Koha», laying claims to renowned Serbian Orthodox shrines. The author’s primary – and baseless – assertion is that the sites were usurped in the Middle Ages from the Roman Catholic church.
He also claimed that the Kosovo Albanians must “liberate” these centuries-old shrines, and turn them into so-called Albanian monuments, the Diocese of Raska and Prizren warned.
In addition to the ethnic cleansing of some 200,000 Serbs and non-Albanians in 1999 and afterwards, an increasingly active denial and whitewashing of the Serbian people’s cultural identity and Church is underway in the province.
In a related development, the Patriarch of Serbia, His Holiness Irinej, was briefed over the Kosovo issue by Serbian President Alexander Vucic, especially his talks with the Kosovo Albanian leadership in Washington and Brussels.