More than one identity again. More than one community again. Things aren’t quite that simple again. Take a closer look again.

But speaking of a “Muslim community” is as misleading in the Balkans as it is in Western Europe…In Albania — declared the world’s first atheist state in 1967 – Islam is the dominant religion, but the majority of the population is secular…Kosovo, apart from the Serb minority and a few pockets of Roman Catholicism, is almost completely Muslim, but pronouncedly secular.

But there are people who would like to change that.

Wahhabism, a fundamentalist form of Islam prevalent in Saudi Arabia, has been actively promoted within the region’s Islamic communities over the past 15 years, both by (mainly Saudi) humanitarian groups and by locals returning from religious studies in the Middle East.

An unhappy development.

But while these streams may be radical, they’re also marginal. In Albania, as well as in Macedonia, the overwhelming majority of Muslims practice their faith in a peaceful and tolerant manner. Perhaps due to the communist heritage, religion for many is more a matter of preserving their tradition than devotion with political implications.

Read the rest. It’s a long and interesting article.

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