Islamic Leadership in the European Lands of the Former Ottoman and Russian Empires

Legacy, Challenges and Change


In Islamic Leadership in the European Lands of the Former Ottoman and Russian Empires the history and contemporary development of Islamic leadership in over a dozen of Eastern European countries is analysed. The studies are presented through a double prism: the institutional structures of the Muslim communities and the place of the muftiates in the current national constellations on one hand, and the dimension of the spiritual guidance emanating from the muftiates on the other. The latter includes aspects such as the muftiates’ powers and role in supervision of mosques and other religious institutions, production, dissemination and control of religious knowledge and discussions on traditional and non-traditional forms of Islam engaged in by the muftiates.

This is the first comprehensive edited volume on the subject.

Contributors are: Srđan Barišić, Ayder Bulatov, Marko Hadjdinjak, Olsi Jazexhi, Memli Sh. Krasniqi, Armend Mehmeti, Dino Mujadžević, Agata S. Nalborczyk, Egdūnas Račius, Aziz Nazmi Shakir, Vitalii Shchepanskyi, Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, Daša Slabčanka, Aid Smajić, Irina Vainovski-Mihai, Mykhaylo Yakubovych, and Galina Yemelianova.

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Egdūnas Račius, Ph.D. (2004), University of Helsinki, Finland, is Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania. He has published several dozen articles on Muslims in Europe and the monograph Muslims in Eastern Europe (Edinburgh University Press, 2018).

Antonina Zhelyazkova, Ph.D. (1983), is Chairperson of the Board of Directors at the International Centre for Minority Studies and Intercultural Relations, Sofia, Bulgaria. She is Associate Professor of Urgent Anthropology and Ethnology at the Faculty of History of St. Kliment Ohridski University in Sofia. She has published monographs and many articles on minorities in the Balkans. She is author and editor of the three-volume series on urgent anthropology Problems of Multiethnicity in the Western Balkans.
List of Contributors

1 Introduction: Rationale of the Book
Antonina Zhelyazkova and Egdūnas Račius
2 Historical Retrospective on Muftiship: Muftis, State Muftis and Official Muftis
Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen

Part 1

3 Ottoman and Yugoslav Legacy
Dino Mujadžević
4 Albania
Olsi Jazexhi

5 Bosnia and Hercegovina
Aid Smajić

6 Bulgaria
Aziz Shakir

7 Croatia
Dino Mujadžević

8 Kosovo
Armend Mehmeti and Memli Sh. Krasniqi

9 Romania
Irina Vainovski-Mihai

10 Serbia
Srđan Barišić

11 Slovenia
Marko Hajdinjak

Part 2

12 Islamic Leadership: The Russian and Soviet Legacy
Galina M. Yemelianova

13 Belarus
Daša Slabčanka

14 Lithuania
Egdūnas Račius

15 Poland
Agata S. Nalborczyk

16 Ukraine
Mykhaylo Yakubovych, Vitalii Shchepanskyi and Ayder Bulatov

17 Epilogue: Drawing Parallels
Egdūnas Račius and Antonina Zhelyazkova

All those in social sciences and humanities interested in the history and contemporary development of Muslim communities, and particularly their Islamic leadership (in the person of muftiates), in Eastern Europe.
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