The growth of radical Islam in the Western Balkans
Analysis Conflict and Fragility

The growth of radical Islam in the Western Balkans

25 Oct 2017 - 15:10
Photo: Dennis Jarvis / Flickr
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The violent disintegration of Yugoslavia provided an opportunity to radical Islam to gain a foothold in the Western Balkans. Religious activists, mainly from Saudi Arabia, used the chaotic situation of the 1990s to increase their political and religious presence. Money flowed to the region to finance schools that propagate Wahhabism, a rigid anti-Western form of Islam. Radical Islam is thus not new to the region. More recently alarm bells started to ring after it became known that approximately one thousand fighters from the Western Balkans had joined the ranks of Islamic State (IS). Immediately questions were asked whether the region has a serious problem with radical Islam and whether this could be a threat to Europe.

Read the full article in our dossier: 'The Western Balkans at the edge?'


Danijel Tadić
Project manager for South East Europe at the Max van der Stoel Foundation in The Hague