Religious affiliation surpasses national feelings in Kosovo

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KIPRED Institute study on “The impact of religion on the ethnic identity in the state-building period” revealed concerning data of the religion’s impact to Kosovo Albanian population. According to the study, 37% of Kosovo Albanians consider being a Muslim their first identity, and national identity second. 57% give preference to their ethnic identity.
According to KIPRED, the after-war period has caused a transformation process of the religion’s position within the Kosovar society.

“The revival of Islam in Kosovo was mainly influenced by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States on the one hand, and Turkey, on the other. As already explained, after the war, numerous and various international faith-based organizations proliferated the country under the guise of the humanitarian aid. While their primary aim was to control the population’s spiritual life, to politicize Islam and to encourage intolerance towards secularism in Kosovo, the specific objective of the most of the Middle East organizations was to introduce and strengthen the radical Islam, which also caused frictions within Islamic Community of Kosovo. Consequently, once a non-disputable issue about the model of Islam in Kosovo, as a unique traditional model, after the war gradually started to change, and with it the secular ethnic identity of Kosovo Albanians and their religious cohabitation.”

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