I went to Serbia in June – Below are some thoughts on it.
The old Yugoslavia has been broken into many small countries during last 20 years (see names below). Current day Serbia tried to unite/occupy many of these through military force (for example Bosnia & Kosvo) but failed (or forced to fail). Nato allies (US, UK, etc) attacked it in 1999, some damaged buildings are still visible in the city.
Now Serbia is a small country (77,000 Sq KM) in south-eastern Europe with 9 bordering neighbors (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, & Romania). Population is about 8 million, 92% Christians (85% orthodox) and 3% Muslims concentrated in area adjacent to Bosina. Currency is called Dinar, so for sure area was ruled by Muslims for long.
It was the HQ city for that region under Usmani’s khilfat. It had 273 mosques; none exists now except one. The 400 years old Bajrakli Mosque is still in use for prayers. I went to the mosque and met few Muslims there. An Islamic books & related items shop is also functional alongside.
It is very difficult to distinguish a Muslim by appearance in Serbia because Christians and Muslims look a like. Some Christians keep beard too. Most Muslims have left the place after Bosnian war. The tall person in the photo is a Serb Muslim. He was born and bread there. He lives with his Christian mother. His mother made sure he becomes a good Muslim; dad didn’t care (he was Muslim – how strange!). Are you a Serb, I enquired? No I am a Muslim, he replied spontaneously without hesitation. See, how he does not recognize himself as Serb even though born to a Serb Christian mother. We the Muslims are not nationalists, we belong to an ideology and hence to an ideological nation. Ethnicity is irrelevant.
Serbs look like a mix of Greeks, Russians & eastern Europeans. I did not find them attractive (other than white skin has its charm). They appear peaceful and friendly. I guess it was the evil of Serb nationalism that made them behave like animals in Bosnia & also few mistakes made by Muslims living there. Color, race, language & geographical area based nationalism is an evil, it makes people fight. I did not dare to ask their feelings about Muslims & the war. It was clearly a sensitive issue.