Balkan History Didn’t Inspire The Christchurch Terrorist Attack

A deliberately deceptive effort was made to connect the Christchurch terrorist attack to Balkan history.

The Australian terrorist meticulously scrawled the names of many Balkan figures, battles, and slogans onto his guns and gear and even listened to a Serbian song that was popular during the Bosnian Civil War before carrying out his massacre, strongly suggesting to those who don’t know any better that there’s apparently a connection between Balkan history and anti-Muslim terrorism. That’s actually not the case whatsoever but promoting this weaponized narrative was apparently intended to exacerbate the so-called “Clash of Civilizations” narrative – which is mostly a blueprint for dividing and ruling the Eastern Hemisphere in the 21st century – by decontextualizing and misportraying Balkan history in order to frame it as partial inspiration for a modern-day campaign of terrorism against Muslims.

Balkan history is extremely complex and subject to many interpretations depending on which side one speaks to, but the objective facts are that the Muslim Ottoman Empire invaded and then occupied the majority-Orthodox region for nearly half a millennium, during which time it occasionally carried out savage acts of violence against the indigenous mostly Slavic population. It’s easy to see this through ethno-religious dimensions but it’s much more accurate to interpret these events through the classic imperial one of territorial aggrandizement and the attendant suppression of civilizationally dissimilar occupied peoples that wasn’t by any means unique to the Ottoman Empire. Similarly, the resistance to this oppression did have an ethno-religious character, but the resultant actions were driven by anti-imperialist motivations more so than any others.

anti-Muslim terrorism
Floral tributes to those who were gunned down at the two mosques are seen against a wall bordering the Botanical Garden in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 19, 2019

It’s very tempting for some people to interpret Balkan history according to the white supremacist and Islamophobic models, but only if they have a superficial understanding of this ultra-complicated topic and are approaching it with narrow-minded confirmation bias in mind, which is obviously the wrong way to go about it but one which advances a weaponized agenda such as the Australian terrorist’s “Clash of Civilizations” narrative. The killer might have mistakenly thought that he was “glorifying” Balkan history by doing so, but in reality all that he did was manipulate it and defame the tens of millions of people of that region and their innumerable descendants who struggled for half a millennium against imperialism and never had any white supremacist or Islamophobic motivations in doing so.

The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday Mar 22, 2019:

DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.

Reposts are welcomed with the reference to ORIENTAL REVIEW.
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