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Islam in the Balkan States


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The Muslim population of the Balkan states, including Hungary, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, and the former Yugoslavia, consists of a variety of ethnic groups speaking about ten different languages. Social and political conditions vary according to the size of the population and the ideology professed by successive regimes of each state. Most are Sunnis following the Hanafi school of Islamic law. Populations can be traced to three origins: Turkish-speaking settlers who arrived in the wake of Ottoman invasion or later, Muslim settlers from other parts of the Islamic world who were established in the region by Ottoman power, and indigenous people who converted to Islam. Conversion was most common in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, and Crete. During the Ottoman era, Muslims enjoyed privileged status, since non-Muslims were denied full citizenship. After the Christian reconquest, Muslims were reduced everywhere but in Albania to the status of an inferior religious and/or ethnic minority in predominantly Eastern Orthodox or Catholic societies.

Subjects: Islam.


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