Kosovo Touts 'Islam Lite'

February 20, 2008


Source: AP


Kastriot Sadiku has a confession: Like a good Muslim, he was near a mosque when Kosovo declared independence. But like a good Kosovar, he was just around the corner, sipping suds at his favorite pub.

As minaret loudspeakers broadcast afternoon prayers, "I was having a beer," said Sadiku, 25. "In the entire Muslim world, I think that's probably something that can only happen here, where our religion doesn't interfere with the rest of our lives."

Much has been made of Kosovo's status as the world's newest mostly Muslim nation. But its secular government, religious leaders and faithful have carefully distanced themselves from the slightest hint of extremism.

The Republic of Kosovo, they insist, embraces a decidedly laid-back version of Islam.