Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 2001/5-1

May 30, 2001

A Report from Kosovska Mitrovica

KFOR Bans Serb Church Bells

Greek Troops Enforce the Ban; An Open Letter to President Kostunica from a Belgrade University Professor



Kosovo                  1. KFOR Bans Serb Church Bells

Phoenix                  2. Some TiM Reader Reactions…  

Belgrade                  3. An Open Letter to President Kostunica from a

                                     Belgrade University ProfessorJune 2, 2001


1. KFOR Bans Serb Church Bells

KOSOVO, May 28 - Thought you may be interested in the enclosed correspondence with a TiM reader from Belgium.  

Happy Memorial Day to all American TiM readers! 

TiM Editor


Subject: Re: FW: [ortho-phoenix] Kosovo - CHURCH BELLS BANNED - Memorial Day

Thanks, Irene.  And the (Orthodox) Greeks, of all people, to impose such a ban!

Bob Dj.


Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 21:01:02 -0400


Glas Javnosti, Belgrade, Yugoslavia

May 27, 2001

KFOR doesn't want to irritate the Albanians

Church bells banned

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA (Tanjug) - Priest Velimir Stojanovic, who lives with his Family in the churchyard of the Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Sava in the southern part of Kosovska Mitrovica, told Tanjug that the Greek soldiers protecting this shrine have forbidden the use of the church bells.

"Representatives of KFOR introduced this ban with the explanation that Orthodox church bells irritate the Albanians," says Father Velimir. "The last time the bells were heard was on Easter Sunday, April 15 of this year," he explained, adding that so far he has not publicized this ban because he thought it was temporary.

"The church bells did not ring on Ascension Day /Spasovdan, May 25/ and I think that this is not good for either the church or the people," said Father Velimir.

Every day, five times a day, the song of the muezzins from the minarets of three mosques in the southern, Albanian part of the town can be heard. A fourth mosque is open and undisturbed in the village of Zabari, near Kosovska Mitrovica.”

Translated by S. Lazovic (May 27, 2001)


2. Some TiM Reader Reactions…

PHOENIX, May 30 - Here are some TiM reader reactions to the above story:

MASSACHUSETTS  - Greek-American: “I Am Outraged!”

Bob, as a Greek Orthodox American, I am appalled that any Greek would go along with preventing the bells from ringing in any Orthodox Church. I am outraged.

Ted Karakostas, MA


 NEW YORK  - “This Matter Is Scandalous!”

Dear TIM, this matter is scandalous. It should be publicized worldwide. It should be taken to the attention of the US Congress and the US State Department.  Best,

Pierre Elias, NY


 ILLINOIS  - “Bells Are Anathema in Islamic-run Societies”

Hi Bob, some locio regarding bells & Islam:


In 1992 Bosnia’s Islamists were hankering for privileged status [cf. the Orangemen of Ireland] that Austria had conferred on the non-Christians of Bosnia, whereas at the time of the Occupation, which was sanctioned in 1878 at the Congress of Berlin, Muslims fought like tigers against the infidel Austrian Christians. Women of Muslim Bosnian towns protested the ringing of church bells, Christian, of course, as bells are anathema in Islamic-run societies, creating a din by beating on their pots and pans. -- jpm

John Peter Maher, Professor Emeritus, Chicago, IL


PHOENIX, June 2 - Here is an additional reader reaction to the TiM story about the Serb church bells being banned in Kosovo:

 NEW YORK - “Communislam” - An Unholy Alliance

It's good to hear from you again.  It's been a long time… People still have not awakened to the fact that Red China has enlisted Islam as a surrogate and ally in its upcoming world power play and that the upcoming conflict will be fought along religious lines of demarcation. It is important to understand this new development and a new vocabulary will be necessary.  That is why I have coined the term "Communislam" to describe this unholy alliance.

Robert Morningstar, NY


3. An Open Letter to President Kostunica from a Belgrade University ProfessorJune 2, 2001

For whom are you really acting?

BELGRADE, June 1 - We received the following open letter to the Yugoslav president Vojislav Kostunica from Dr. Djordje Blagojevic, professor of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University in Belgrade. 

 Honorable Mr. President,

Having in mind all what happen during last few months, and Your reactions to these events, I do not expect any reaction to momentary situation at the Serbian Parliament and to my letter. Nevertheless, I am writing to pacify my scruples, and to ensure that my children and one day my grandchildren, do not to criticize me for having done nothing.

At this moment, decisions are being made, not only regarding the destiny of Kosovo and Metohija, but concerning the whole of Serbia and Yugoslavia. I do not want to comment about a tepid “resolution” which was practically gives up the sovereignty of Serbia and Yugoslavia over Kosovo and Metohija (Metohija was not even mentioned!). I only want to draw your attention to the mdemeanor of Your President of the Parliament which is not only non-democratic, but also absolutistic and magisterial. It seems as if he is afraid of every different opinion.  He is forbidding deputies to speak, switching off microphone, while government-controlled TV network direct telecast fills in the blanks with musical spots.

Yet those (sitting in the Parliament) are our deputies, for whom we voted at the last elections.   They are the people who think and want only the good for this country.  So nobody has the right to interrupt them, with an explanation that they talking about the "wrong topics" (in the opinion of the Parliament’s President!).

Is that the democracy you promised us before elections?  Is that the free media you talked about? Or did you get your education from Hitler and Goebels?  Even if it is (coming to us) from DOS - it is still too much!

For whom are you really acting?

Dr. Djordje Blagojevic, Professor of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University in Belgrade

TiM Ed.: Since this is Prof. Blagojevic’s first contribution to TiM, here’s his short bio… He was born in Belgrade in 1950.  Prof. Blagojevic obtained his undergraduate from the Mechanical Engineering faculty of the University of Belgrade, and earned his PhD at the Military-Techical Academy in Zagreb, Croatia.  He is currently an active professor at the University of Belgrade.

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Also, check out... Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns:  "Christianity Under Siege," "Silence Over Persecuted Christians", "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail,"  "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"

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