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Muslims and Christians in the Bulgarian Rhodopes. by Magdalena Lubanska

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5 The Muslims: ”Adat Islam” and “Salafi Islam”

The religious practices and interpretations of Islam among the Bulgarian-speaking Muslims in the Western Rhodopes are changing, a development often noted and commented on by local Christians and Muslims. Young and middle-aged Muslims are moving away from the Islam of the earlier generation, favoring instead a Wahhabi-influenced model. In describing this transition, I refer to those two representations/ native models of Islam250 as “Adat Islam” and “Salafi Islam”, respectively.

As a concept, “Salafi Islam” (from Arabic salaf, meaning “that which is past” but also “ancestors” or “predecessors”), a class of fundamentalist religious movements rooted in orthodox Islam and seeking to remain faithful to ...

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