An investigation into the Muslim communities of Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia, which focuses especially on their religious and historical links with the Arab world, Persia and Central Asia. Norris argues that the Arabs and Persians and the Balkan peoples, especially after the Ottoman conquest, had much in their history in common, and were linked by their art, architecture and literature. Sufism encouraged direct contact between Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo, parts of Bulgaria and Thrace, the Arab world, Iran and Central Asia. And from the earliest times, many Balkan Muslim scholars, poets, bureaucrats and soldiers made an impact on the wider Islamic world. The religious resurgence in the Muslim areas of Bosnias and Kosovo has partly been in reaction to Serbian nationalism; it is also a legacy of the region's links with the Middle East, now supplemented by practical assistance in the wake of Serbian attempts to "cleanse" Sarajevo and other cities of the Muslim inhabitants. The book thus analyzes at a deep cultural level the centuries-old phenomenon of which the wider world has become aware recently for the first time in several generations.
It should be thus of value to students of the present conflict.
The Arabs, the Slavs and the Arnauts; Muslim scholars of Bosnia, Macedonia and Albania; Sufi movements and orders in the Balkans and their links with Central Asia; Muslim heroes of Bosnia and Albania; Albanian Sufi poets of the 18th and 19th centuries; Albanians in the Arab world; the Arab East and North Africa and the Balkans.