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Old 13.09.2016, 13:12
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Re: All about Muslims (in the wake of terrorist attacks in Europe)

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In some parts of the Balkans most traditional Muslims are actually of Turkish or Tatar ethnical origins, legacy of the Ottoman Empire.
I don't know what's the situ in ex-Yugoslavia, but back home they identify more with an ethnicity/culture than with a religion. They're proud Turks, not proud Muslims. I don't remember the tiniest conflict in those areas that are indeed very multicultural.
This is generally true. There are two big exceptions, however, worth mentioning. The first is former Christians who were converted to Islam during Ottoman times (called Pomaks). The village neighboring the town where my dad grew up was a Pomak town and they are a noisy, smiling, cheerful and generally friendly bunch. As kids we often cycled there to play football with the Pomak kids. Never, ever had a problem. The other exception is much more troubling. Over the past decade or so substantial resources were invested into converting atheistic gypsies (but not only) into Muslims by mostly Saudi money. These days you can see whole towns who just a decade ago were completely oblivious to religion getting swamped by Burqas and are increasingly intolerant towards Christians. Its getting to the point where in Bulgaria there were a couple of cases, downplayed by international media, where local intelligence were tipped off and captured a few imported radicals preaching aggressive Suni Islam. This created massive consolidation among the newly converted Muslims, who are now convinced the state is their enemy. Given the fact that Bulgaria neighbors with Turkey, another less and less tolerant country, with porous borders both on the south and on the north, its only going to get worse before it gets better.
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