Islam has a long historical tradition in the Balkans. In the course of the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century various Muslim currents also took root in Southeast Europe. One of them is Salafism, considered an ultraconservative fundamentalist strand of the Islamic faith and which is currently above all associated with terrorism motivated by an Islamicist outlook. In a project supported by the Gerda Henkel Foundation, Islamic scholar Prof. Simeon Evstatiev from Sofia University is researching the ambiguous forms of Salafism in the Balkans and in particular in his native Bulgaria. He is interested in how Salafism justifies the jihad, which religious sources it cites, and how the Koran is interpreted. His research trip initially takes him to a town on the edge of Bulgarian society that is settled by Roma.
Academic Project Manager
Prof Dr Simeon Evstatiev
Overall Planning Teams
Gisela Graichen and Peter Prestel