Islamic Statehood in Europe between 1450 and 1950
In the mid-15th century a number of small Islamic states existed on the edges of various parts of Europe. The southern 1 was home to the Nasrid Emirate of , which, however, was in decline in this period. In 1485 the Christian states of and began their systematic conquest of the Emirate, at a time when the Muslims were exhausting their energies in a civil war. In 1492 an army under and took Granada, thus ending nearly eight centuries of Islamic statehood on the Iberian Peninsula. At the other, eastern end of , there were four different Islamic political entities side by side: the on the Middle Volga, which was the most significant military opponent of the during the 15th century; the on the ; the Khanate of , founded in the 1460s on the estuary; and the , which comprised the and the southern steppe region of modern . All these political entities spun off directly or indirectly from the Golden Horde, which had become Muslim in the 14th century.2 While the truncated state of the Golden Horde disappeared once and for all in 1502, the Khanate of Kazan and the Khanate continued into the mid-16th century. In 1552 and 1556, respectively, these two khanates were conquered by and incorporated into the expanding Russian state.3 Within Russia only the Qasim Khanate, which became a vassal of Moscow no later than the 1560s, continued its existence. Whereas Kazan was largely destroyed during the Russian conquest, in Qasim, which enjoyed a large degree of autonomy and had its own administrative organization, two architectural monuments from the 16th century (a mosque and a royal mausoleum) have been preserved which give an idea of the Tatar art of the time. In 1682, however, the Islamic-Tatar vassal principality of Qasim was also dissolved.4 The only Islamic state in to endure beyond the 17th century was the Khanate of Crimea.5
While the Islamic states on the Iberian Peninsula and in eastern Europe declined or became subject to other powers at the beginning of the early modern period, at the same time another Islamic state in Ottoman Empire, with its capital at . By the mid-15th century it already included large swaths of the ( , , , and ) as well as the . This state's expansion into Europe continued almost unabated until the mid-16th century. This pattern of expansion developed a special dynamic under the sultans  and . The conquest of in 1453, which marked the end of the , was followed in 1459 by the subjection of , in 1460 by the incorporation of the , in 1463 by the conquest of Bosnia, in 1478 by the establishment of Ottoman supremacy over the Crimean Khanate, then in 1521 by the conquest of , in 1522 by the capture of , and in 1541–1543 by the annexation of . The end of Ottoman expansion in Europe came in 1669 with the conquest of . Military successes outside of Europe as well, especially the conquest of and and the establishment of dominion over the holy sites in and in 1517, made the the most important Islamic power in the world at the time. Constantinople, located in Europe and since the late 1450s the residence of the Ottoman sultans, was renamed (some documents even refer to it as Islambul!) and became, for more than four centuries, the most important political and intellectual centre of the Muslim world.6 Although substantial Christian and Jewish minorities lived in the Ottoman Empire, power lay almost exclusively in the hands of Muslims. The Islamic nature of the Ottoman political system in this period can be seen not only in the substantial state underwriting of pilgrimage and of the holy cities in Hejaz, the region around Mecca and Medina, but also in the great importance of the ulema, or Muslim religious scholars, in the realms of law and education.7 They were led by the Mufti of Istanbul, who as Scheikh ul-Islam (Master of Islam) represented, beginning in the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire's highest religious authority and at times also served the sultan as a personal advisor.8experienced its military and political rise: the
At the end of the 7th century, the Ottoman Empire began to decline and thus also to retreat from Europe. The Peace of 10 (1718). , which during the 18th century became the Sublime Porte's (i.e., the Ottoman government's) most important adversary in Europe, forced the Ottoman Empire in the Treaty of 11 (1774) to relinquish its dominion over the Crimean Tatars and took all of its territory (until 1792) on the northern coast of the Black Sea. In 1829 , initially reduced to the Peloponnese, , and , withdrew from the Ottoman state. Although in person of  a sultan ascended the throne who pursued new plans for Islamic empire and who laid claim to the caliphate over all Muslims,12 the further erosion of Ottoman power in Europe could not be prevented. After the Russo-Turkish War of 1877/1878 and the Congress of , , Serbia and were given de jure independence, Bulgaria received autonomy, and Bosnia was placed under the administration of Austria-Hungary. After the First Balkan War of 1912/1913, the Turks were forced to withdraw from , Macedonia, , and . Crete, which had enjoyed autonomy under a Greek governor since 1898, was integrated into the Greek state in 1913. From that point on, the European part of has been restricted to the eastern portion of Thrace.(1699) gave , , and to the Habsburg monarchy; and followed with the Treaty of
Other than the Ottoman Empire, no Islamic state was able to hold its own in modern Europe. In 1783, and thus less than ten years after gaining independence from the Ottomans, the Crimean Khanate was already incorporated into the Russian Empire; in 1792 it was officially dissolved.13 Another short-lived Islamic power on European soil was the of the Kazakhs, founded in 1801 by Bokei Khan in the area between the Volga and the . Although subject to the Russian tsars, it managed to retain a large degree of autonomy, with a strong Islamic orientation, until 1845.14 After the First World War and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Albania remained as the lone state in Europe with a Muslim religious majority. When it was recognized by the international community in 1920, about 70 percent of its estimated 800,000 inhabitants were Muslim;15 the state itself, however, was declared afetar (non-religious, secular).
Processes of Islamization and De-Islamization
The establishment of Islamic statehood in certain areas in no way meant that their populations immediately adopted Islam. Nor, in contrast, did the collapse or retreat of Islamic states automatically entail the immediate de-Islamization of the affected areas. Instead, the Islamization and de-Islamization of large regions of Europe were processes that unfolded, usually temporally displaced, over long periods, in part even occurring separately of the Islamic states' history of conquest and retreat. The Lipka Tatars in the region of 16 They were the descendants of an opposition group within the realm of the Golden Horde, which at the end of the 14th century had immigrated to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and had settled in various urban centres ( , , etc.). A Turkish text of the late-16th century gives their number – probably somewhat exaggerated – at 200,000.17- were a European-Muslim minority that arose largely independently of Islamic statehood.
The most extensive process of Islamization in early modern Europe was the one that began in 1450 with the Ottoman conquest of parts of south-eastern Europe. The starting points for this process were the Ottoman administrative centres in the Balkans. Statistics for the decade 1520–1530 show that in this time several cities that functioned as such centres were majority Muslim. In addition to Edirne (82.1 % Muslim), which until the end of the 18th century served as the de facto capital of the European territories, they included 18 Outside of these cities, the religious makeup of the population in most areas changed only slightly at first. Only in Bosnia and , where the existence of an independent "Bosnian Church" gave rise to a special religious situation, did Islam gain a fast foothold, even in rural areas.19 Yet the conversion to Islam was at first a mere formality; only at the end of the 16th century, after Ottoman power had been fully installed in Bosnia, "did a more profound identification with Islam develop, did Muslim converts attempt to hide their Christian ancestry and to distance themselves more clearly from Christians on confessional lines."20 According to the report of a papal legate, in Bosnia in 1624 there were 450,000 Muslims, 150,000 Catholics and 75,000 Orthodox; that is, the Bosnians had already become two-thirds Muslim.21 Whereas the process of formal Islamization in Bosnia had been substantially completed by the middle of the 16th century, hardly anything of the sort had happened in Albania and Kosovo;22 only in the 17th century did these regions experience mass conversions to Islam. A few Ottoman sultans of the time such as were possessed of a missionary spirit and rewarded Christians and Jews who converted to Islam financially, bestowing upon them a sum of money known as kisve bahası (i.e., clothing allowance).23 By the end of the 17th century, Muslims accounted for the majority of the population in Albania and Kosovo.24 Further mass conversions to Islam followed in the early 18th century in the 25 (in what is today Bulgaria), as well as at the end of the century among the Greek population of Crete.26 At the beginning of the 19th century, however, the process of Islamization in south-eastern Europe gradually came to a halt.27(66.4%), (90.2 %) in , (75%) and (74.8%) in Macedonia, and in Bosnia (nearly 100% Muslim).
At about the same time south-eastern Europe was become Islamized, a process of de-Islamization was taking place on the Iberian Peninsula and in eastern Europe. In the mid-15th century, Muslims lived on the Iberian Peninsula not only in the territory of the Emirate of Granada but also as numerically significant minorities in the Christian kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, 28 Special Mudejar status allowed them to continue practicing their religion in closed, self-administered communities, so-called aljamas.29 Even the Muslims living in the Emirate of Granada when it was conquered in 1492 were initially guaranteed religious freedom in the capitulation agreement. After a revolt in 1499, however, they were forced on penalty of death to convert to Christianity.30 Therewith began the period of crypto-Islam in the history of the Iberian Peninsula: Muslims in Granada officially converted to Christianity, but they continued to practice their original religion in secret.31 Following the pattern established in Granada, Muslims in Castile (1501), Navarre (1515), Aragon and Valencia (1526) were in turn forced to convert to Christianity or else to emigrate. Although the crypto-Muslims who remained in Spain (and were now called "Moriscos") redeveloped a modest cultural and religious life in the course of the 16th century, with Arabic and Aljamiado, a form of Spanish written in Arabic letters, as literary languages,32 this too came to an abrupt end when Muslims were expelled from the peninsula for good in the wake of revolts in Granada between 1609 and 1614.33and .
As Poland-Lithuania also moved towards more restrictive religious policies at the end of the 16th century under the influence of the Counter Reformation, the Lipka Tatars, who tended to serve in the Polish army, were put under great pressure to assimilate. Some used the Polish-Ottoman War of 1672 to defect to Islamic territory, while others converted to Catholicism in 1683 under the Tatar-friendly king 34 After the 1680s, the Volga Tatar elite, who lived on estates inhabited by Russian farmers, experienced a large wave of conversions to Christianity. Nevertheless many of these newly christened Tatars, who only converted out of fear that their estates would be confiscated and who continued to adhere to their original religion, converted back to Islam in the early 19th century.35 The reconversion of newly christened Tatars was so widespread in some areas by the mid-19th century that it took on the character of an open rebellion.36 In that period Volga Tatar scholars and sheikhs brought Islam to the Bashkirs and Kazakhs in the neighbouring steppe regions, thus making the late-18th and early-19th century in general an epoch of "secondary Islamization" in eastern Europe.37.
Nevertheless, the 19th century was ultimately one of de-Islamization on the larger European plane, resulting from the mass emigration of Crimean Tatars after the Crimean War, in 1856, and of Balkan Muslims as a result of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, during which hundreds of thousands of Muslims left their homes for areas of Europe and still under Ottoman rule.38 Between 1877 and 1912, 350,000 Muslims emigrated from Bulgaria alone.39 A similar mass-exodus occurred on Crete: continuous emigration caused the Muslim population to decline from 73,000 in 1881 to 28,000 in 1911.40 Further waves of Muslim emigration from south-eastern Europe were sent forth by the Balkan War of 1912/1913 (ca. 1.4 million Muslims)41 and the 1923 convention on population exchange between Greece and Turkey, on which basis ca. 400,000 Muslims were deported from Greece.42 Yet the emigration trend continued thereafter as well. For example, ca. 10,000 Muslims emigrated from Bulgaria to Turkey each year from 1925 to 1930. Emigration statistics fell in the early 1930s, only to rise again by the middle of the decade (with nearly 25,000 emigrants in 1935 alone).43 In total, the Muslim portion of the Bulgarian population sank from 28.8 percent in 1881 to 13.3 percent in 1946.44
It seems to be a constant in the history of European Islam that processes of de-Islamization in one region were correlated with processes of Islamization in others. In the early twentieth century, the de-Islamization of south-eastern Europe corresponded with the rise of the first Muslim communities in western and central Europe. The largest Muslim communities grew in the British port cities of 45 In France, Algerians serving in the French army formed the strongest element of the Muslim population.46 Yet there were also occasional French converts, the most famous of which were the Saint-Simonist , the orientialist painter and the physician and politician , who in 1896 was elected the first Muslim deputy of the French National Assembly.47 In Germany in 1922 the Muslim inhabitants of Berlin, hailing from 41 different countries, formed the Islamische Gemeinde Berlin e.V. (Islamic Community of Berlin).48 In the aftermath an active Muslim community life developed in which German converts also participated. It is still attested today by the Wilmersdorf Mosque, whose construction began in 1924 and which was opened in 1928 (and which then was called the "Berlin Mosque").49and (near ), where Yemeni and Somali sailors settled after the Suez Canal was opened (1869) and they began working on British ships.
Policies of Non-Islamic European States toward Islam
The disappearance of Islamic states from various regions of Europe – from the Iberian Peninsula by 1492, from eastern Europe in the 16th to 18th centuries, and from south-eastern Europe between 1829 and 1913 – brought numerous Muslims under the rule of non-Islamic states. The policies pursued to deal with these Muslim minorities were quite disparate and underwent various phases in each individual state. The policy of forced conversion in the Christian states of the Iberian Peninsula, which began in 1499 and involved the abolition of Mudejar status, as well as the expulsion of the crypto-Muslims remaining there between 1609 and 1614, represent clear high-points of intolerance towards Muslims in European history. Repression and forced measures, however, also largely characterized the Islam policy of Russia into the second half of the 18th century. As early as the conquest of Kazan in 1552, mosques were destroyed and Tatars were banned from the city.50 The Russian legal code Sobornoye Ulozheniye, which appeared in 1649, stipulated that a Muslim who attempted to convert a Russian to Islam was to be burned at the stake.51 Conversions to Islam were strictly forbidden.52 The Russo-Turkish wars of the late-17th and early-18th century strengthened hostility to Islam in the country.53 In the 1740s direct action was taken against Islam: in 1742 it was ordered that all mosques built after the conquest of the Khanate of Kazan were to be destroyed, and the construction of new mosques was forbidden. Only two years later it was reported that 418 of the 536 mosques in and around Kazan alone had been destroyed.54
With the Edict of Toleration issued by in 1773, the Russian state abandoned its anti-Islam policy, adopting instead a stance influenced by the Enlightenment and pragmatically guided by raison d'état and the elimination of conflicts.55 In the wake of the annexation of the Crimean peninsula, all Muslims in Russia were permitted to rebuild destroyed mosques and at the same time charged with selecting their own religious leaders.56 Central tools of the new Islam policy were the mufti, installed in 1782 as the religious head of the Muslims of European Russia and , and the "Spiritual Assembly" of , established in 1788 and placed under the oversight of the regional authorities. The duties of this "Spiritual Assembly" consisted above all in the examination of mullahs, in the oversight of Muslim schools and in the adjudication of civil disputes according to Islamic law.57 The creation of these state-controlled institutions was aimed at rolling back the influence of foreign Muslim scholars (especially from ), sponsoring Muslim scholarship that was loyal to the state, and facilitating the integration of the Muslim population into the Russian empire. The greater intellectual latitude that the government now granted to the Muslim Tatars (in 1801 the first Tatar-Arab printer even opened for business in Kazan) led in general to a Renaissance of Islamic culture and of traditional religious thought in Russia,58 but also to the wave of apostasy on the part of baptized Tatars referred to above. This movement away from Christianity caused the Russian government in the mid-19th century to reconsider its liberal Islam policies; it placed Muslim schools under direct state control and imposed censorship measures.59
When Bosnia came under the control of 60 The next step, taken in 1883, was the establishment of a commission that subdued the family-run Islamic foundations (waqf) responsible for financing the upkeep of mosques, schools and tekkes (hospices run by religious orders) and worked out a plan for their central financing and administration.61 For the training of kadis, a state institute for sharia law was founded in Sarajevo in 1887.62 The annexation of Bosnia in 1908 necessitated a fundamental redefinition of the relationship between Muslims and the state. This was effected with the autonomy statue of 1909 and the so-called Islam Law of 1912. The latter officially recognized Muslims for the first time as a religious community in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, thereby granting them the right to their own hospitals, religious education in schools, and military chaplains.63in 1878, the government there decided to deal with Muslims as Russia had previously, working, however, even harder to effect their integration into the state. In order to have a reliable liaison to this population group, in 1882 it installed a state-funded Muslim spiritual leader with the newly coined Arabic title reis-ul-ulema (chief scholar). He was accompanied by a council, consisting of four Muslim scholars of law and theology, entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing religious education and examining qadis (judges). The creation of these institutions was intended to undermine Bosnian Muslims' ties to the Ottoman Sheikh-ul-Islam.
An especially unique chapter in the history of how European states dealt with Islam is the construction of the 64 The Wünsdorf mosque was part of a camp for Muslim prisoners of war from Russia, French North-Africa, and . The idea was to use propaganda and (often artificial) displays of friendship toward Islam to convince the prisoners to defect to the Central Powers.65 Another mosque created as part of the international politics of a Western power was the one opened in in 1926. This construction project, financed mostly by the French government, was supposed to demonstrate to the Muslim inhabitants of the French colonies the state's positive stance towards Islam. In addition, it was hoped that the support of a loyal form of Islam might take the wind out of the sails of revolutionary groups in .66mosque (near Berlin) in 1914/1915. It must be understood in the historical context of German political propaganda during the First World War, which sought to mobilize Muslims the world over to the side of the Central Powers and the Ottoman Empire to carry out a "holy war" (jihad) against the Entente Powers.
Whereas 67 the policy of the Communist Party of the was from the very beginning aimed at shattering the religious institutions of Muslims (sharia courts, mosques, religious schools, social services, etc.). This policy was only pursued consistently, however, starting in 1928.68 The Communist takeovers in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania at the end of the Second World War meant that most Muslim religious institutions were also closed there by 1950.69and Bulgaria sought to integrate their Muslim minorities into the state after the First World War by setting up central training schools for Muslim clerics,
Islamic Positions towards Non-Islamic Europe
In the realm of Islamic jurisprudence, a theory was developed quite early according to which the world is essentially divided into two zones: one under Islamic rule (Dar al-Islam), in which the norms of sharia are in force, and a "house of war" (Dar al-Harb), ruled by non-Muslims, which is viewed as hostile and as lacking a legitimate legal system.70 As a basic principle, the Islamic community (ummah) is duty-bound to expand the realm of Islamic rule through military struggle (jihad) and in this way to contribute to the spread of the religion. Enduring peace agreements with states ruled by non-Muslims are not permitted by classical Islamic law; only temporary ceasefires are allowed if necessitated by one's own inferiority.71 Those who convert to Islam in non-Islamic territory should follow the example of the prophet , who in 622 undertook a migration (Hijra) from pagan Mecca, and leave the Dar al-Harb as soon as possible.72 This theory of international law, which can be described here in only highly simplified form, also shaped the Islamic view of relations with Christian or secularized Europe throughout the entire modern period. Thus the Ottomans, for example, could declare their wars in south-eastern Europe a jihad, despite the fact that they were undertaken primarily for profit, and thus earn for themselves, thanks to their conquests, a high reputation in the Muslim world as religious warriors.73
More often, however, Muslims in modern Europe were confronted with a shrinking Dar al-Islam and with the problems this situation entailed. Thus the question arose whether only converts in Dar al-Harb must emigrate to Dar al-Islam, or whether Muslims who remained there, such as the Mudejars, should also do so. Muslim legal scholars took different positions on this issue. The legal opinion (fatwa) of the Maghrebi scholar 74 Such calls on the part of Muslim religious authorities to undertake a hijra from areas conquered by Christian European states were still being made to Tatars in Crimea and Bosnia in the 19th and early 20th centuries,75 and they were responsible for giving the waves of emigration that occurred in this period a religious character. Only the Tatars in the were free of such calls to hijra, as this area had been considered part of Dar al-Islam since the 17th century. In the mid-19th century, this view could be justified by the fact that the Muslims had their own leader in the person of the mufti.76, dating to shortly before the fall of Granada, has become especially well-known. In his view, religious observances (prayer, alms, fasting) performed in Christian territory have no validity, and thus Muslims living there should emigrate to the north-African Dar al-Islam as fast as possible.
For the Muslims who remained under non-Islamic rule, the question arose how they should behave towards the Christian European culture that surrounded them. The temptation to adopt the customs of Christians in everyday life was clearly great. The Volga Tatar preacher Abd ar- Rahim al-Bulgari (1754–1834) complained that the Muslims in his time drank alcohol and, instead of following the example of the Prophet and eating at a tablecloth spread on the floor, imitated Christian practices and sat on chairs. Arabic texts of the Islamic tradition, which continued to be read during the diaspora in learning circles and madrasas (schools), required Muslims in contrast to distance themselves in their behaviour as much as possible from the followers of the "infidels." Al-Bulgari warned his fellow Muslims not to imitate the Russian lifestyle and reminded them that whoever adopted the conventions of the infidels would himself become one of them.77 In the twentieth century, Muslim scholars in Bosnia still used the same argument to reject the wearing of hats, which was widespread in Europe at the time.78
Reservations of this kind against assimilation to the non-Islamic environment also had to be met by all Muslim scholars who advocated the modernisation of the educational canon in Muslim schools. In 1818 the mufti of Ufa, Muhammadjan, told the Russian Minister of Public Enlightenment that traditional Muslim madrasas did not offer sufficient education in the sciences and suggested the establishment of two academies in Kazan und 79 In the second half of the 19th century, however, the idea of assimilation to the Russian-European educational system found more supporters among Tatar scholars. This was in part due to the Kazan imam und scholar Shihab al-Din Marjani (1818–1887), who in his writings radically questioned the religious and national traditions of the Tatars and sought to overcome the isolation of Muslim scholars.80 One of the most radical of the Tatar religious reform thinkers was , who taught at a madrasa in Orenburg and was a student of the Egyptian modernist theologian .81 In a writing of 1912, Bigi attributed the progressiveness of Christian Europe to the Reformation begun by and called on Muslims to likewise liberate themselves from the paternalism of their clergy. Bigi's books were read by Muslims not only in Russia but also in the Ottoman Empire. After complaints against them were lodged by the office of the Sheikh-ul-Islam, however, they were banned there by the interior ministry on account of their "dangerous and heretical content."82to provide European learning to Muslims. Yet when the Russian authorities proposed this issue to the Muslim clergy, the latter opposed the plan and declared the mufti a heretic, thus killing the project.
Modernisers also sprang up among the Balkan Muslims.83 One of the most important was , who acted as reis-ul-ulema from 1914 to 1930.84 He was also a student of Muhammad Abduh and wanted, like him, to bring Islam into harmony with contemporary European ideas and values and to win Muslims to side of progress and secular education. His innovations, however, including the declaration that women should be allowed to leave their faces unveiled, were strongly rejected by the Muslim community of Sarajevo and invited demands for his resignation. Meanwhile, the mood was very different in Albania, where secularist intellectuals, in part members of the liberal Bektashi brotherhood, controlled the discourse about Islam. In their view, only radical reforms of the kind instituted by in Turkey could guarantee Islam's survival in modern Europe. As a sign that Muslims belonged to European civilization, in 1929 the Islamic community, with support of the state, forbid women there to veil their faces.85 In order to promote the development of an Islam compatible with Europe, it worked together with missionaries from the Lahori Ahmadiyya Community operating from Berlin and . In 1930 the Albanian ambassador proudly announced in the Paris Mosque that his country was "a bastion of Muslim traditions in Europe."86 In that moment, the movement toward the idea of a European Islam was enunciated, an idea that would be formulated most clearly at the "European Muslim Congress." This congress, which was organized by of Lebanon and held in in September of 1935, witnessed the participation of nearly 70 Muslim delegates from various European countries.87