Islamic Studies Islam in the Balkans
by
Amila Buturovic
  • LAST REVIEWED: 10 May 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 15 February 2010
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0012

Introduction

In addition to being a region in southeastern Europe, the Balkans is a geopolitical entity that owes its existence to a turbulent relationship between Europe and the Ottoman Empire over several centuries, especially in the latter part of the Ottoman rule in the region. Derived from the Turkish word balkan, which means “mountain chain,” the term “Balkans” began to connote a troubled space of instability, intolerance, and impenetrability, and more particularly of perpetual wars and killings, brutal expulsions, and political machinations. In this process, Islam, as a distinctly Ottoman reality that was introduced and sustained through Ottoman administrative and religious institutions, culture, and social interaction, became an inextricable dimension of such representations. The Balkan people, in turn, represented everything that Europe was determined to march away from in the name of progress and colonial expansion. The Balkans is thus a product of broader historical and political developments that have less to do with the region and more to do with international and ideological currents, including an increasingly demeaning view of the Ottoman Empire as the “Sick Man of Europe.” As the Ottoman Empire retreated from the Balkans through the advent of the Austro-Hungarian colonizing mission and the wars of succession in the age of nationalism, Islam was perceived as a foreign and regressive force that had to be either eliminated or sufficiently contained to allow the newly formed nation-states to experience full Europeanization and modernization.

General Overviews

Since the late 19th century, writings on the Balkans and its Muslim populations have proliferated in various circles, particularly among scholars, journalists, travel writers, and analysts for whom the religious and ethnic diversity of the Balkans has at times been an exotic and inspirational tapestry of cultures, religions, and peoples, and at other times a chronic open sore at Europe’s southern borders. The term thus became impregnated with assumptions, and since the early years of the 21st century there has been an initiative within and outside of the Balkans to eliminate the term altogether from political discourse and replace it with the more neutral “Southeast Europe.” Furthermore, a new orientation in scholarship aims to situate such representations within a broader critical theory reflecting on this Balkanist discourse. Beginning roughly with Maria Todorova (Todorova 1997), these scholars have opened up space for a better evaluation of the discourse of representation that by and large posits Islam and the Muslims as Europe’s “Other.”

  • Goldsworthy, Vesna. Inventing Ruritania: The Imperialism of the Imagination. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998.

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    Goldsworthy argues that while the Balkan Peninsula has commonly been seen as too similar to Europe to be considered the true Orient and “Other,” it has nevertheless continued to be seen as too polluted by this “otherness” to be considered fully European.

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    • Hupchick, Dennis P., and Harold E. Cox. The Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of the Balkans. New York: Palgrave, 2001.

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      A useful historical atlas that maps out the different political formations in the Balkans, as well as in those regions from which the Balkans were invaded throughout history.

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      • Mazower, Mark. The Balkans: A Short History. New York: Modern Library, 2000.

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        Mazower reassesses the region’s history after the rise of nation-states. He examines the image of the Balkans as the tinderbox of Europe and puts the roots of the past and current conflicts into a sharper historical framework. His insights into the incompatibilities of Western-style nationalism with the region’s demographic complexity evoke a deeper and more complex understanding of the contemporary Balkans.

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        • Norris, David A. In the Wake of the Balkan Myth: Questions of Identity and Modernity. New York: St. Martin’s, 1999.

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          Explores literary counternarratives to the myth of backwardness and darkness that preoccupies the Western imagination about the Balkans.

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          • Sloane, William M. The Balkans: A Laboratory of History. New York: Eaton and Mains, 1914.

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            An early work analyzing the emerging discourse and history of the Balkans as a place of concern for international politics. Reflects the divergent attitudes—political, racial, ideological—that formed the nascent Balkanist discourse.

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            • Todorova, Maria. Imagining the Balkans. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

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              Departing from Edward Said’s Orientalism, which she also challenges, the author discusses various lenses through which the Balkans has been perceived. She argues that Balkanist discourse presents the region as a distorted mirror image of Europe in a much more concrete, defined, and damaging way than the Orientalist discourse did.

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              • Wolf, Larry. Inventing Eastern Europe. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994.

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                Focuses on Eastern Europe in general, not only the Balkans, with the aim of analyzing European geopolitics during the Enlightenment. Wolf examines 18th-century literature, folklore, and other writings, including those of Rousseau and Voltaire, to shed light on the creation of the concepts of Western and Eastern Europe.

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                Journals

                Since the breakup of the Eastern Bloc and the rise in regional cooperation and understanding, new disciplinary and cross-cultural studies have begun and more focused journals have emerged. Some useful ones that deal with specifically Balkan manifestations of Islamic belief and praxis within the regional context include Nationalities Papers; Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender, and Culture; and Southeast European and Black Sea Studies. Humanicus does not focus exclusively on the Balkans but offers many relevant articles.

                Travel Literature

                Over the course of history, the Ottoman capital and the Ottoman lands became an important destination for European emissaries and for travelers in general. Crossing the Balkans on their way to the East, these foreigners recorded, often with picturesque and insightful detail, the life of Balkan Muslims. Such travelogues contribute to our understanding of European expectations and value systems in specific political circumstances, as suggested by Jezernik 2004. They also offer an important ethnographic and historiographic repository of knowledge about everyday life in the Balkans. As historical circumstances changed, so did the overall impressions of the Balkans, which by the 20th century became not only an area to traverse but also a destination itself. The Muslims of the region often aroused curiosity, as they were often the first Muslims that European travelers ever encountered. However, given the religious tapestry of the region and the presence of many Orthodox Christians—who were often as exotic to the Catholic or Protestant Christians as the Muslims were—the depictions of Balkan Muslim culture may not always have been separate or accurate, but rather blended with the general impressions of this rugged and generally hostile territory. An exceptionally useful and important work is that of the Ottoman traveler Evliya Celebi, whose 17th-century narrative of the Balkans stands out for its special attention to detail and insight into his fellow Ottomans’ way of life (see Kreiser 1988).

                • Allcock, John B., and Antonia Young, eds. Black Lambs and Grey Falcons: Women Travellers in the Balkans. 2d ed. Oxford: Berghahn, 2001.

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                  Examines travelogues and diaries of 19th-century women travelers in the Balkans. The editors explore the importance of gender differences in the exploration of the Balkan lands and cultures, as well as the expansion of women’s freedom and achievements.

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                  • Blount, H. A Voyage into the Levant. Facsimile ed. Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1977.

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                    An account of an early 17th-century journey through the Balkans by a British aristocrat on the way to Levantine lands. Provides excellent representations of different Balkan religious groups through the lens of an English gentleman who was relatively sympathetic to Ottoman rule. First published in 1636.

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                    • Evans, Arthur. Through Bosnia and the Herzegovina on Foot during the Insurrection, August and September 1875. Rev. ed. New York: Arno, 1971.

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                      A detailed ethnographic record of the customs of Muslims in the western Balkans, with a special focus on Bosnian Muslims.

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                      • Jezernik, Božidar. Wild Europe: The Balkans in the Gaze of Western Travellers. London: Saqi, 2004.

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                        Includes excerpts from European travel writings from the mid-16th until the 20th century. Seeing it sometimes as Asia and at other times as an offshoot of Europe, these travelers were reading into the Balkans much of what Europe feared, rejected, and ridiculed. The author points out that the writings are more about Western Europe than the Balkans, and thus reflect the values of the observers rather than those of the Balkan peoples.

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                        • Kaplan, Robert D. Balkan Ghosts: A Journey through History. New York: St. Martin’s, 1993.

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                          A modern exploration of typical (mis)perceptions of the Balkans as the incorrigible space of chaos and ethnic hatreds.

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                          • Kreiser, Klaus, ed. Evliya Celebi’s Book of Travels: Land and People of the Ottoman Empire in the Seventeenth Century. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1988.

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                            The parts of Celebi’s Seyahatnâme (book of travels) involving the Balkans are especially valuable because the author considers a broader Ottoman-Islamic context when recording the specifics of Balkan places and cultures. The accounts of his travels originally covered ten volumes.

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                            • West, Rebecca. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey through Yugoslavia. New York: Viking, 1941.

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                              Written over several visits in the early 20th century, this work served as a reference point for politicians, visitors, analysts, and all those interested in the future of the “Balkan question.”

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                              History

                              Since the late 20th century, a more focused scholarship on Islam in the Balkans has acknowledged that the usual tendency of ignoring the distinctive traits of Islamic belief and praxis in the Balkans, or of treating them simply as an offshoot of Ottoman Islam, is both problematic and counterproductive, especially in light of the post-1989 developments in the regions (see Norris 1993). This tendency was rooted in several explanations. First, because Islam was brought to the region and sustained there by the Ottomans, it was believed that it evolved there as a distinctly Ottoman phenomenon and was therefore not distinguishable from the already studied trends within Ottoman Islam. Second, it was felt that the severance of Balkan Muslims from Muslims elsewhere after the fall of the Ottoman Empire relegated Islam to a private cultural practice rather than an aspect of public life. Third, it was believed that the Balkan Muslims rarely sought self-affirmation on religious grounds, but instead fully embraced European secular standards. Fourth, many felt that the folkloric and syncretic nature of religious praxis in the Balkans rendered Islamic rituals quite unorthodox, and therefore unauthentic. Only recently have such views begun to be challenged, and new studies have started to reveal the true nature of Islamic belief there, as opposed to the narrow political, demographic, and social manifestations noted by earlier observers.

                              • Norris, H. T. Islam in the Balkans: Religion and Society between Europe and the Arab World. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1993.

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                                Viewing Islam as a global network, Norris establishes links between Balkan Muslims and Arab, Persian, and Central Asian cultures, rather than focusing only on the most immediate Ottoman-Turkish connections. He looks at Balkan Muslim arts, literature, architecture, Sufi movements, and many other sources to examine the interactions with the wider Islamic world, and he draw conclusions about the impact of that world on the nature of Balkan Islam.

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                                Ottoman Period

                                For a long time, one of the key issues has been the region’s conversion to Islam and the Islamization/Ottomanization of the Balkan provinces. Although mainly grounded in Ottoman registers, scholars are now also looking to alternative sources, including local (Krstic 2004) and official ones (Minkov 2004). Issues surrounding gender, narratives, and local histories have also begun to emerge (Buturovic and Schick 2007).

                                • Adanir, Fikret, and Suraiya Faroqhi, eds. The Ottomans and the Balkans: A Discussion of Historiography. Boston: Brill, 2002.

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                                  The edited volume focuses on the problem of historiography as it shapes an understanding of the Ottoman Balkans, not only from the perspective of the Ottomanists but also from that of Balkan national histories.

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                                  • Anscombe, Frederick. The Ottoman Balkans, 1750–1830. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener, 2005.

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                                    Examining problems affecting the Balkans and state efforts to fix them, this volume considers issues such as law and justice, centralization and provincial autonomy, taxation and land disputes, and the stresses of war. It offers a clearer picture of the forces of change at work during this era of transition.

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                                    • Buturovic, Amila, and Irvin Schick, eds. Women in the Ottoman Balkans: Gender, Culture, and History. London: I. B.Tauris, 2007.

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                                      Focuses on the lives of women of different religious communities and the contributions they have made to Balkan history. The volume deploys an inclusive and interdisciplinary analysis in which gender takes its place alongside other categories, such as class, culture, religion, ethnicity, and nationhood.

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                                      • Krstic, Tijana. Narrating Conversions to Islam: The Dialogue of Texts and Practices in Early Modern Ottoman Balkans. Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 2004.

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                                        This study bases its arguments on local narrative sources as opposed to administrative registers of conversion to emphasize cultural and family networks in the processes of Islamization and Ottomanization in the Balkans.

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                                        • Minkov, Anton. Conversion to Islam in the Balkans: Kisve Bahası Petitions and Ottoman Social Life, 1670–1730. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 2004.

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                                          Minkov examines the motivations and incentives behind the conversion to Islam by looking at the 17th-century practice of the sultan issuing monetary grants to new Muslims. The approach is interesting in that it traces the different stages of Islamization and looks at the factors underlying them.

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                                          • Sugar, Peter. Southeastern Europe under Ottoman Rule, 1354–1804. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1977.

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                                            One of the more comprehensive and balanced studies of the Balkans under Ottoman rule. Sugar explores the newly formed Islamic community in interaction with both the imperial center and its non-Muslim neighbors. An emphasis is laid on social history rather than religious life per se.

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                                            Post-Ottoman Period

                                            There has been a growing interest in the role of religion, including Islam, in the formation of modern identities in the Balkans after the demise of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires. The definition of the religious minority is often conflated with that of ethnicity and race, which has proven to be detrimental for Muslim minorities in the rising nation-states of the Balkans. The consequences of nation building have echoed in contemporary times through displacements, wars, and a lack of human rights. Pulton and Taji-Farouki 1997 offer a thorough introduction to the subject, while others tend to focus on either broader issues surrounding the end of the empires (McCarthy 1995) or more detailed case studies (Donia 1981, Ramet 1985).

                                            • Bougarel, Xavier, and Nathalie Clayer. Le Nouvel Islam balkanique: Les musulmans, acteurs du post-communisme, 1990–2000. Paris: Maisonneuve and Larose, 2001.

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                                              This work is a detailed overview of the different Muslim communities in the Balkans, including the different trajectories of their political engagement within the immediate context and in relation to other players in the region.

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                                              • Donia, Robert J. Islam under the Double Eagle: The Muslims of Bosnia and Hercegovina, 1878–1914. Boulder, CO: East European Monographs, 1981.

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                                                Excellent analysis of the transition from Ottoman to post-Ottoman times of one of the largest Muslim communities in the Balkans, with an emphasis on the shifts in the nature of group identity through national awakenings.

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                                                • McCarthy, Justin. Death and Exile: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821–1922. Princeton, NJ: Darwin, 1995.

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                                                  Discusses the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the tragic fate of Muslims, excluding those in the Balkans, who were caught in the anti-Ottoman struggle of the emerging national movements and states.

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                                                  • Pulton, Hugh, and Suha Taji-Farouki, eds. Muslim Identity and the Balkan State. New York: New York University Press, 1997.

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                                                    A collection of essays examining the conditions affecting Muslim communities across the Balkans and the engagement of these communities with the nation-states in the post-Communist period.

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                                                    • Ramet, Pedro. “Primordial Ethnicity or Modern Nationalism: The Case of Yugoslavia’s Muslims.” Nationalities Papers 13, no. 2 (1985): 165–187.

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                                                      A short but detailed overview of the political processes surrounding the making of Muslim nationhood in Bosnia-Herzegovina within the Yugoslav Federation.

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                                                      Islam as Threat

                                                      Since the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire, the Muslim population of the Balkans has faced different forms of treatment by government and society, ranging from integration to assimilation, and from discrimination to bare tolerance. Often perceived as alien to the essentially Christian environment, they have been variably represented as a residual element that fragments the historical continuity of the Balkans (e.g., Andrić 1990, Nyegosh 1970). In more recent times, an added element of distrust relates to the opening of Islam to foreign influences, including those from more radical Islamic networks, who may have found in the Balkans a receptive ground from which to engage in terrorism against the West (see Deliso 2007, Schindler 2007).

                                                      • Andrić, Ivo. The Development of Spiritual Life in Bosnia under the Influence of Turkish Rule. Edited and Translated by Zelimir Juricic and John Loud. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1990.

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                                                        Written as doctoral dissertation by one of the leading Yugoslav intellectuals and a Nobel laureate for literature, this study presents Islam as an alien and regressive force that has stood in the way of progress and development in Bosnia.

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                                                        • Deliso, Christopher. The Coming Balkan Caliphate: The Threat of Radical Islam to Europe and the West. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2007.

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                                                          In an alarmist tone, Deliso discusses the opening of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo to radical Islamic movements and cells, implicating the Clinton administration in that process.

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                                                          • Nyegosh, P. P. (Petar II) The Mountain Wreath. Translated by James W. Wiles. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1970.

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                                                            Written by the Prince-Bishop of Montenegro, this epic play commemorates a 17th-century event in Montenegro known as the “extermination of the Muslim converts.” At the time, it revived the idea that freedom against foreign rule must be obtained through the elimination of local converts. The play has been highly influential in the Serbian national imagination and is still considered the best example of Serbian/Montenegrin literature. First published in 1847.

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                                                            • Schindler, John R. Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qaʿida and the Rise of Global Jihad. Osceola, WI: Zenith, 2007.

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                                                              Another attempt to implicate the struggle against ethnic cleansing and eradication as radical Islam reinvigorated in Bosnia and sent back to haunt the world. Both al-Qaeda and U.S. leaders are implicated in using Bosnia to unleash a global threat.

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                                                              • Sells, Michael. The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

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                                                                Sells discusses the nature of ethnic cleansing, the rhetoric of hatred against Muslims in the Bosnian war, and the role of religion in mobilizing Christian ideas of holy war against Muslim neighbors.

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                                                                Albania

                                                                Along with Bosnia, Albania is a Balkan country created in a historically pluralistic religious environment where expressions of internal religious intolerance have been few. Muslims are the majority, followed by the Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Jews, and others. Because of the communist legacy of Enver Hoxha, who in 1968 declared Albania an atheist state, the society has been highly secularized. If and when religious rituals were practiced, they were done surreptitiously. Hence, the study of Albanian Islam became a point of interest only in the past few decades, focusing independently on the Shiʿi Bektashi and Sunni communities. In 1990s the Bektashis gained the status of a separate religious community independent from the Sunnis. Nathalie Clayer has been a long-standing authority on the subject (see Clayer 1990, Clayer 2003). Other studies about the role of Islam and Islamic institutions have been undertaken in several disciplinary directions: sociopolitical (Vickers 1999), historical (Blumi 2003, Clayer 2003), literary (Elsie 2005), ethnographic (Durham 2001), and so on.

                                                                • Blumi, Isa. “Contesting the Edges of the Ottoman Empire: Rethinking Ethnic and Sectarian Boundaries in theMalësore, 1878–1912.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 35, no. 2 (2003): 237–256.

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                                                                  Raises questions on the topic from a historical perspective.

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                                                                  • Clayer, Nathalie. L’Albanie, pays des derviches: Les ordres mystiques musulmans en Albanie à l’epoque post-ottomane, 1912–1967. Wiesbaden, Germany: Otto Harasowitz, 1990.

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                                                                    This work (Albania, the land of dervishes: Islamic mystical orders in Albania in the post-Ottoman period) presents a thorough overview of the formation and main characteristic of Bektashi movement and its role in the society at large.

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                                                                    • Clayer, Nathalie. Religion et nation chez les Albanais XIXe-XXe siècles. Istanbul: Isis, 2003.

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                                                                      Clayer is a specialist in the history of the region, especially of Islamic institutions This text (Religion and nation among the Albanians, 19th–20th centuries) offers a rigorous analysis of the social history of Albania since the beginning of the age of nationalism.

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                                                                      • Durham, Mary Edith. Albania and the Albanians: Selected Articles and Letters, 1903–1944. Edited by Bejtullah Destani. London: I. B.Tauris and the Centre for Albanian Studies, 2001.

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                                                                        The collected letters of an English woman who lived among Albanians and wrote about Albanian customs and culture.

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                                                                        • Elsie, Robert. A Short History of Albanian Literature. London: I. B.Tauris and the Centre for Albanian Studies, 2005.

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                                                                          A masterful overview of the most important trends in Albanian literature, with excerpts from the work of some of the leading Albanian writers.

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                                                                          • Gawrich, George. The Crescent and the Eagle: Ottoman Rule, Islam, and the Albanians, 1874–1913. London: I. B.Tauris, 2006.

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                                                                            Focuses on the late period in Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Albania and provides new data and insights regarding the rise of modern Albania.

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                                                                            • Vickers, Miranda. The Albanians: A Modern History. Rev. ed. London: I. B.Tauris, 1999.

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                                                                              A comprehensive study of the modern history of Albania, paying special attention to the political underpinnings that led to the communist isolation of the country and the removal of religion from public life. The revised edition includes the history of Kosovo in light of its recent political crisis.

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                                                                              Bosnia-Herzegovina

                                                                              Perhaps more than any other Islamic community in the Balkans, the Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina have recently received substantial scholarly attention, locally as well as internationally. Historically, their strong bearing in the Ottoman Empire and beyond has led some of the leading social historians to examine the formation and development of Islamic life in Bosnia (e.g. Pinson 1996). Furthermore, since the 1992–1995 war, more thorough studies have appeared in light of the changing political circumstances (Friedman 1996), as have more in-depth studies of Bosnian Islamic culture (Bringa 1995, Shatzmiller 2002). There have also been more translations of Bosnian Islamic literary works.

                                                                              • Baseskija, Mula Mustafa. Ljetopis. Sarajevo, Yugoslavia: Veselin Maslesa, 1987.

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                                                                                A detailed and rich primary source by one of the most prominent Ottoman intellectuals of Bosnia in the late 19th century, this work focuses on multiple aspects of Muslim life in Ottoman Bosnia.

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                                                                                • Bringa, Tone. Being Muslim the Bosnian Way: Identity and Community in a Central Bosnian Village. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995.

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                                                                                  Originally begun as fieldwork in a Catholic-Muslim village in Central Bosnia, this work explores the complexity of being Muslim among non-Muslim neighbors. The work was followed by a poignant documentary, We Are All Neighbors, about Bringa’s return to the now ethnically cleansed village in 1993.

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                                                                                  • Friedman, Francine. Bosnian Muslims: Denial of a Nation. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1996.

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                                                                                    A detailed account of the political and religious developments surrounding Bosnian Muslim identity, with reference to internal and external players, since the age of national awakening among South Slavs.

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                                                                                    • Handzic, Adem. Population of Bosnia in the Ottoman Period: A Historical Overview. Istanbul, Turkey: IRCICA, 1994.

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                                                                                      An invaluable, if short, overview of the social and cultural transformations in Bosnia during the successive waves of conversion to Islam after the mid-15th century.

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                                                                                      • Hickok, Michael Robert. Ottoman Military Administration in Eighteenth-century Bosnia. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1997.

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                                                                                        A study of Ottoman administration, based on Ottoman and Slavic sources and focusing on Bosnian campaigns against the Austrians in the 18th century. Archival material, chronicles, personal letters and journals, and poetry help show how Bosnians and Ottoman officials cooperated to arrive at a shared sense of social order and mutual defense, and to undermine later Balkan nationalist histories, which tend to tell a story of Ottoman administrative incompetence against a backdrop of nascent independent movements.

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                                                                                        • Malcolm, Noel. Bosnia: A Short History. New York: New York University Press, 1994.

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                                                                                          A thorough and nuanced description of the major moments in Bosnian history, emphasizing the complex and rich tapestry of Bosnian culture and the reasons it ought to be salvaged from destruction.

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                                                                                          • Pinson, Mark. The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina: Their Historic Development from the Middle Ages to the Dissolution of Yugoslavia. Rev ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Center for Middle East Studies, 1996.

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                                                                                            Ranging from medieval times to the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1992, this volume concentrates on the internal development of the Muslim community in Bosnia-Herzegovina and its relations with different political systems.

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                                                                                            • Shatzmiller, Maya, ed. Islam and Bosnia: Conflict Resolution and Foreign Policy in Multi-Ethnic States. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                              An interdisciplinary collection of essays geared to providing a better understanding of the complexity of Islam. Blends political and historical with cultural and anthropological perspectives.

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                                                                                              Bulgaria

                                                                                              The Muslims of Bulgaria have a complex ethnic and religious makeup. The two main communities are the Pomaks (Bulgarian Muslims) and the Turks, though there is a substantial Muslim Roma population as well. Because of the nationalist policies of renationalization and assimilation, both communities have suffered oppression and discrimination in modern times. Recent studies by Bulgarian (Eminov 1997, Georgieva 2001) and foreign authors (Neuburger 2004) shed light on these cultural and historical processes and on intercommunal relations.

                                                                                              • Crowe, D. M. “Muslim Roma in the Balkans.” Nationalities Papers 28, no. 1 (2000): 93–128.

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                                                                                                Important for its discussion of Muslim minorities such as the Roma and their historical presence and treatment in various parts of the Balkans. There is a special focus on Bulgaria.

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                                                                                                • Eminov, Ali. Turkish and Other Muslim Minorities in Bulgaria. New York: Routledge, 1997.

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                                                                                                  Focuses on the three distinct Muslim communities—the Turks, Pomaks, and Roma—and details their history, including their experience of forced assimilation under the Communist regime and the developments after the fall of Communism.

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                                                                                                  • Georgieva, Tsvetana. “Pomaks: Muslim Bulgarians.” Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 12, no. 3 (2001): 303–316.

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                                                                                                    A short but useful overview of the development of Pomak identity as both an ethnic and religious minority in Bulgaria.

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                                                                                                    • Neuburger, Mary. The Orient Within: Muslim Minorities and the Negotiation of Nationhood in Modern Bulgaria. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004.

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                                                                                                      A well-written study of the relationship between the Turks and Bulgarians since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, focusing on the policies of assimilation.

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                                                                                                      Kosovo

                                                                                                      Plagued by political tensions and economic deprivation over the past hundred or so years, Kosovo has been a problematic region in both the Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav periods. Lying at the center of religious and nationalist imaginings of the Serbian people as their heartland, yet inhabited by mainly ethnic Albanians (most of them Muslim), Kosovo has had a fair share of open conflict and war driven by strong religious undercurrents, which have increasingly become the subject of academic and journalistic interests. Islam in Kosovo is primarily of Sunni orientation, but there is an important Bektashi minority. Malcolm 1998 is an excellent source for a historical overview of the region. Kadere 2000 provides fictional voices from the region, writing narrative depictions of life there. Duijzings 2000 and Vickers 1998 attempt to locate the troubled history in specific regional and intraregional problems.

                                                                                                      • Duijzings, Gerlachlus. Religion and the Politics of Identity in Kosovo. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.

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                                                                                                        A collection of interesting ethnographic and interdisciplinary essays, providing analytical reflections on different aspects of Kosovar identity and interethnic and interreligious relations. The introduction is a thorough and insightful analysis of the discourse and politics surrounding Kosovo’s religious and political mosaic.

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                                                                                                        • Kadere, Ismail. Elegy for Kosovo. Translated by P. Constantine. New York: Arcade, 2000.

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                                                                                                          Kadere explores the political, ideological, cultural, and psychological resonance of the 1389 Kosovo battle that became the centerpiece of Serbian nationalist ideology and the main driving force behind ethnic cleansing and the pursuit of Greater Serbia in the region.

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                                                                                                          • Malcolm, Noel. Kosovo: A Short History. New York: New York University Press, 1998.

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                                                                                                            In a follow-up to his book on Bosnia (Malcolm 1994, cited in Bosnia-Herzegovina), Malcolm presents a thorough and analytical narrative of the rich yet troubled history of Kosovo.

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                                                                                                            • Vickers, Miranda. Between Serb and Albanian: A History of Kosovo. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

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                                                                                                              An excellent and thorough analysis of the precarious position Kosovo has found itself in in modern history, including the political and social factors that have affected its regional standing.

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                                                                                                              Sufism

                                                                                                              The diversity and distribution of Sufi orders in the Balkans attest to the receptivity of Sufi ideas and practices during the spread of Islam, as well as their attractiveness to both rural and town populations. Alas, no comprehensive historical or sociological study of all Sufi movements in the Balkans has yet been done, but there are valuable and thorough studies of specific Sufi orders, most notably the Bektashis of Kosovo and Albania. Birge 1994 is perhaps the most comprehensive single introduction. Biegman 2009 offers interesting visual material, while Clayer covers a single order in depth in each of his works (Clayer 1990 and Clayer 2003, cited in Albania).

                                                                                                              • Biegman, Nicolaas. Living Sufism: Sufi Rituals in the Middle East and the Balkans. Cairo, Egypt: American University in Cairo Press, 2009.

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                                                                                                                A photographic journey through Sufi expressions of devotion in different Muslim lands, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Macedonia. Accompanying texts explain the rituals and different aspects of Sufi life.

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                                                                                                                • Bilici, Faruk, Nathalie Clayer, Jean-Louis Thombie, and Jacques Baque-Grammont, eds. Derviches des Balkans, disparitions et renaissances. Paris: Maisonneuve, 1992.

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                                                                                                                  (The Dervishes of the Balkans, their disappearance and revival.) A useful overview of a different order, but now out of date given the post-1992 insight into Muslim devotional expressions in the region.

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                                                                                                                  • Birge, John Kingsley. The Bektashi Order of Dervishes. Rev. ed. London: Luzac Oriental, 1994.

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                                                                                                                    The pioneer study of the subject, first published in 1937, and probably the most authoritative to date.

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                                                                                                                    • Buturovic, Amila. “Sufi Orders and Movements: The Balkans.” In Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. Vol. 1. Edited by Suad Joseph, 761–763. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 2003.

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                                                                                                                      A short entry about the role of women in the Sufi way of life, mainly in the Ottoman Balkans.

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                                                                                                                      • Clayer, Nathalie. L’Albanie, pays des derviches: Les ordres mystiques musulmans en Albanie de l’epoque post-ottomane (1912–1967). Wiesbaden, Germany: Otto Harasowitz, 1990.

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                                                                                                                        (Albania, the land of Dervishes: Islamic mystical orders in Albania in the post-Ottoman Era [1912–1967].) An insightful study of Sufi trends and practices in Albania from the end of Ottoman rule until the proclamation of Albania as an atheist state.

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                                                                                                                        • Norris, H. T. Popular Sufism in Eastern Europe: Sufi Brotherhood and the Dialogue with Chrsitianity and “Heterodoxy.” London: Routledge, 2006.

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                                                                                                                          A detailed exposé of the different Sufi orders that entered the Balkans after the Ottoman conquests, including their associations with indigenous Christian beliefs and praxis.

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                                                                                                                          Arts, Literature, Culture

                                                                                                                          Important studies have been published demonstrating the rich cultural, literary, and artistic production of Balkan Muslims, both historically and regionally. These works often deal with themes that intertwine questions of identity, history, and religion, both in regional and transregional contexts. For decades, this creative production has been an important way of addressing topical issues that have otherwise been difficult or impossible to address in political discourse. The citations listed in this section include both primary sources, especially literary ones, and secondary studies. Andrić 1977 is probably best known for its ambitious historical narrative, which focuses on the long-term predicament of the community, whereas Kadere 1991 explores the realities of a specific cultural practice. Mehmedinović 2003 provides a voice from the diaspora, poeticizing the experience of hyphenated identities in the aftermath of 9/11. Elsie 2005 and Mulahalilović 2005 are studies of a literary and anthropological nature, respectively, that reveal the complexities of the creative life of the region.

                                                                                                                          • Andrić, Ivo. The Bridge on the Drina. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977.

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                                                                                                                            A long historical novel, written in 1959 by the Yugoslav Nobel laureate, about the long and difficult years of Ottoman rule as experienced by local residents.

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                                                                                                                            • Elsie, Robert. Albanian Literature: A Short History. London: I. B.Tauris, 2005.

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                                                                                                                              A masterful overview of the most important trends in Albanian literature, with excerpts by some of the leading Albanian writers.

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                                                                                                                              • Kadere, Ismail. Broken April. New York: New Amsterdam Books, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                A novel by the Nobel Prize nominee about the complexities and ruthlessness of the kanun, or customary law, still so prevalent in Albanian society.

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                                                                                                                                • Kiel, Machiel. Studies on the Ottoman Architecture of the Balkans. Aldershot, UK: Variorum, 1990.

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                                                                                                                                  An overview of the Ottoman Islamic architecture of the Balkans in the context of the larger Balkan architectural traditions.

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                                                                                                                                  • Mehmedinović, Semezdin. Nine Alexandrias. Translated by Ammiel Alcalay. San Francisco: City Light, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                    A Bosnian poet residing in the United States tackles the themes of identity and diaspora.

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                                                                                                                                    • Mulahalilović, Enver. Vjerski običaji Muslimana/Bošnjaka. 3d ed. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: El-Kalem, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                      (Religious practices of Muslims/Bosniaks.) A thorough overview of religious rites and rituals in Bosnia, as practiced historically by both men and women. Folklore, dress, cuisine, music, and literature are examined.

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                                                                                                                                      • Selimović, Meša. Death and the Dervish. Translated by Bogdan Rakić and Stephen M. Dickey. Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                        A translation of Selimović’s poignant 1969 novel Dervis i smrt. Set in Bosnia in the late Ottoman times, it tells the story of Sheikh Nurudin, who seeks to find a way of reconciling his Sufi pacifism and inwardness with the demands of a political scandal that has claimed the life of his brother.

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                                                                                                                                        • Shakir-Tash, Aziz. Poems and Short Stories. Iowa City: University of Iowa International Writing Program, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                          A selection of poetry and short stories by a Turkish Bulgarian poet whose work addresses the themes of renewal and salvation after the long years of denial, assimilation, and oppression.

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                                                                                                                                          • Suljkič, Hifzija. Islam u bošnjačkoj usmenoj poeziji. Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bemust, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                            (Islam in Bosnian oral poetry.) An exploration of folk poetry by Bosnian Muslims that deploys religious themes and imagery.

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