Assessing Islamic terrorism in the Western Balkans: the state of the debate
Journal of Balkan & Near Eastern Studies
abstract
During the 1990s foreign mujahedin fighters espousing an extreme Islamic ideology fought on Balkan soil. The extent and consequences of their presence in the Western Balkans constitute a controversial issue that has often been subject to partisan manipulations in the service of national political agendas or the protection of personal political legacies. Given the post-9/11 international sensitivities and policy priorities, distortions, exaggerations and stereotyping are tempting ‘weapons’ in an effort to re-interpret the past and thus delineate the parameters of the region’s political future. Significantly, a series of recent serious scholarly efforts have addressed the manifestations of Balkan Islamic fundamentalism in a region that contains 7 –8 million Muslims and in one case, alarmingly, proclaimed The Coming Balkan Caliphate.