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Muslims in Eastern Europe

Egdūnas Račius

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Introduces the centuries-old history of Muslim communities in Eastern Europe

The history and contemporary situation of Muslim communities in Eastern Europe are explored here from three angles. First, survival, telling of the resilience of these Muslim communities in the face of often restrictive state policies and hostile social environments, especially during the Communist period. Next, their subsequent revival in the aftermath of the Cold War, and last, transformation, looking at the profound changes currently taking place in the demographic composition of the communities and in the forms of Islam practised by them. The reader is shown a picture of the general trends common to the Muslim communities of Eastern Europe, and the special characteristics of clusters of states, such as the Baltics, the Balkans, the Višegrad states, and the European states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

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List of tables, boxes and maps

Glossary of Islamic terms

Foreword and acknowledgements

Chapter 1. Autochthonous Islam of Eastern Europe – populations, practices, institutions

Chapter 2. Historical overview

  • Mongol-Tatar invasion of Eastern Europe and its consequences
  • Russian possessions in Eastern Europe and its Muslim population
  • Ottoman possessions in South-Eastern Europe

Chapter 3. North-Eastern Europe

  • The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics and its legacy
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • The Baltic States
  • Belarus
  • Moldova

Chapter 4. Successor states of Yugoslavia

  • The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its legacy
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Montenegro and Serbia
  • Kosovo
  • Macedonia
  • Slovenia and Croatia

Chapter 5. South-Eastern Europe

  • Albania
  • Bulgaria
  • Romania

Chapter 6. Central Europe

  • Poland
  • Hungary
  • The Czech Republic and Slovakia

Chapter 7. Islam in Eastern Europe, Eastern European Islam: new faces, the new challenges

Chapter 8. Considering the other side


About the Author

Egdūnas Račius is a Professor of Islamic studies at Vytautas Magnus University (Kaunas, Lithuania). He is the Reviews Editor of the Journal of Muslims in Europe and a co-editor of the Yearbook of Muslims in Europe.


A long overdue account of a dimension of Islam in Europe which has generally been ignored in western discussions. Providing comprehensive coverage of the subject in a way that is accessible to a university audience, this has the potential to become the foundational text in the subject.

- Jørgen S. Nielsen, University of Copenhagen

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