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Old 13.09.2016, 13:49
greenmount greenmount is offline
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Re: All about Muslims (in the wake of terrorist attacks in Europe)

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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.
Yes, the situation is changing because of the Saudi money. Think also of Albania, Bosnia too.
All I was saying is that traditional Muslims from certain regions of the Balkans/Eastern Europe don't (naturally) identify themselves with these Islamic movements, they are rather integrated and modernised. But, with money and propaganda you can achieve almost everything....I guess. Note that Bulgaria has indeed a large Turkish minority and things might be even more different than back home.

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Actually often in the Balkan region, but also in other regions, culture gets confused with ethnicity. The Turks converted some folks to Islam whereas other resisted. The Ottomans on the whole were smart rulers and understood the concepts of carrots and sticks and also of recognizing talent when they saw it and giving people opportunities. And they weren't racist. they didn't discriminate according to ethnicity. So the son of a goat herder from an outlying region could work his way up to high office and then later in life return home, bringing with him Turkish culture and values and Islam. Ethnically there isn't much difference between a Bosnian Mulsim and an Orthodox Serb. Culturally the divide is bigger.
Yeah, that's a very romantic view of the way the Ottomans conducted their business. In reality, it was a lot of bloodshed around the area, tributes to pay etc. And an overall delay in development...;-)

Last edited by greenmount; 13.09.2016 at 14:17.
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