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Europe’s Balkan Muslims. A New History

Europe’s Balkan Muslims. A New History Since the establishment of Al-Baghdadi’s Caliphate in the Middle East in June 2014, international media outlets have frequently reported on foreign fighters flocking there from all parts of the world, including the Balkans. This poignant theme has once more drawn the attention of scholars, researchers, and policymakers to the understudied topic of Islam in Southeastern Europe and the Muslim communities who live there. The constant instability and precariousness of the western Balkans, characterised by economic woes, pervasive corruption, and the meddling of foreign actors in the internal sociopolitical affairs of this part of Europe, are part of a worrisome dynamic that can potentially further destabilise these fragile states.It is virtually impossible to understand the place of Islam and the Muslim communities in the Balkans without careful, indepth study of these populations’ history and culture. The current Islamic mosaic in the Balkans is indeed very complex. For example, whilst some of the Muslim communities can be clearly defined ethnically (such as the ethnic Turks in Macedonia), many groups of Muslims display quite fluid ethnic identities, such as the Slav Muslims in Montenegro, the Pomaks in Bulgaria, and the Goranis in Kosovo, among others. A fascinating, nuanced account, Clayer and Bougarel’s http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Südosteuropa de Gruyter

Europe’s Balkan Muslims. A New History

Südosteuropa , Volume 65 (3): 2 – Sep 26, 2017

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
ISSN
0722-480X
eISSN
2364-933X
DOI
10.1515/soeu-2017-0037
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Since the establishment of Al-Baghdadi’s Caliphate in the Middle East in June 2014, international media outlets have frequently reported on foreign fighters flocking there from all parts of the world, including the Balkans. This poignant theme has once more drawn the attention of scholars, researchers, and policymakers to the understudied topic of Islam in Southeastern Europe and the Muslim communities who live there. The constant instability and precariousness of the western Balkans, characterised by economic woes, pervasive corruption, and the meddling of foreign actors in the internal sociopolitical affairs of this part of Europe, are part of a worrisome dynamic that can potentially further destabilise these fragile states.It is virtually impossible to understand the place of Islam and the Muslim communities in the Balkans without careful, indepth study of these populations’ history and culture. The current Islamic mosaic in the Balkans is indeed very complex. For example, whilst some of the Muslim communities can be clearly defined ethnically (such as the ethnic Turks in Macedonia), many groups of Muslims display quite fluid ethnic identities, such as the Slav Muslims in Montenegro, the Pomaks in Bulgaria, and the Goranis in Kosovo, among others. A fascinating, nuanced account, Clayer and Bougarel’s

Journal

Südosteuropade Gruyter

Published: Sep 26, 2017

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