On September 20, 2012, the leading Serbian daily newspaper Politika published a prominently positioned op-ed article in the "Outside Views" section by Dimitrije Vojnov [L.], hitherto known as a minor actor and film critic. The article is criminally slanderous of Srdja Trifkovic.
Dr. Trifkovic, Executive Director of The Lord Byron Foundation, is Foreign Affairs Editor of Chronicles, university professor, and a regular contributor to major global media outlets. The facts of the case are disturbing in the extreme, and are indicative of the diseased condition of the media scene in Serbia.
The title of the Politika article is "Mothers and Step-Mothers": www.politika.rs/rubrike/Pogledi-sa-strane/Majke-i-macehe-Dimitrije-Vojnov.sr.html . Here is the integral translation of the opening paragraphs:
"The latest tensions caused by the movie which has blasphemously presented Prophet Muhammad lead us to re-examine the position of Islamic fundamentalism as the Holy Grail of the contemporary American policy, which conceals its true intentions behind the a-political formulae such as democracy, human rights, and global security.
"Some time ago in America, a story strongly resonated about the affair involving an interest group of political analysts gathered around certain companies and foundations whose members were given jobs to lecture on global politics at American military schools. It was subsequently established that they told the students that a war of civilizations was inevitable, that Christians will have to rise against Muslims, and that in that war the rules of warfare inevitably will have to be violated, that the massacres like Hiroshima and Dresden will be necessary, and that Islam needs to be cut at the root, with the demolition of Mecca included. When certain information about these lectures reached the public, the very top of the American state structure reacted and most of these lecturers were removed from their teaching posts.
"This story has been made particularly spicy by one detail, that as a guest-lecturer working together with them was a Serb, Srdja Trifkovic, thus establishing an interesting coalition between the Serbian Right and the American neoconservatives, which – having in mind recent experiences – seems perfectly natural…"
[The rest of the article is largely irrelevant to the incriminating introductory part.]
There are many questions which the author and Politika will have to answer:
Dr. Srdja Trifkovic stands accused of belonging to some unnamed influential group, financed by unnamed corporations and foundations, which is actively advocating mass murder and genocide, and actively indoctrinating American military officers to act accordingly. This is the most serious accusation possible against any person. It is potentially ruinous of the accused party's personal and professional standing and reputation. It is an invitation to lynching, figuratively and literally. It is an attempt at character assassination that may result in personal assassination. Politika is practicing the journalistic equivalent of terrorism.
This matter will need to be resolved by the Serbian courts.
Politika has stooped to yellow journalism at its worst, combining conspiracy theorizing, lies, innuendo, and an invitation to Theo van Gogh-like execution. What makes the matter particularly sad is that Politika used to be a serious paper, commissioning articles from responsible authors, and being read by respectable people. This once-venerable Serbian institution has now sunk into the gutter. The slanderous attack on Dr. Trifkovic, based on outright fabrications, should be a long-overdue wake-up call to the shareholders who still hope that something may be salvaged from the ruins of "Politika's" reputation.
The facts of the case are simple:
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An afterthought: Why is the author referring to the video matter-of-factly as “blasphemous” (which authority has established it as such?) and to “the Prophet Muhammad” without qualification, rather than “the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad”? Is Muhammad’s status as a “prophet” an established fact for "Politika's" editors, beyond rational questioning, thus rendering any further qualification superfluous?