The Muslims in southeastern Europe

From Ottoman subjects to European citizens

Authored by: Nathalie Clayer

Routledge Handbook of Islam in the West

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415691321
eBook ISBN: 9781315794273
Adobe ISBN: 9781317744023


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When one speaks about Islam in Europe, one generally has in mind the presence of Muslims migrants in Western Europe or the ancient past of al-Andalus. One refers rarely to the long-lasting presence of Muslims in the southeastern part of the continent since the fourteenth century and the beginning of the Ottoman conquest of the region. Yet, today three Balkan states have a (relative or absolute) Muslim majority: Albania (with 1,950,000, that is, 70 percent of the total population), Bosnia-Herzegovina (1,800,000, 45 percent), and Kosovo, which proclaimed its independence in 2008 (1,600,000, 90 percent). There are also sizeable groups of Muslims in Macedonia (700,000, 30 percent), Bulgaria (900,000, 12 percent), and Montenegro (100,000, 16 percent), and less sizeable but significant groups in Greece (450,000, 4 percent), Serbia (250,000, 4 percent), Slovenia (50,000, 2.5 percent), Croatia (60,000, 1.5 percent), and Romania (70,000, 0.3 percent), all these figures being only estimates.

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