[South Slav stock] that embraced Islam’ (Sells 1996 : xiv–xv). Their pseudoscience connected the genocidal project with European rationality and modernity. 3
More ‘new antagonisms’ in post-Yugoslav racisms evolved away from the frontlines and after wars' end. The most linkages between xenophobia based on post-Yugoslav ethnicised identity boundaries and xenophobia against racialised immigrants from outside the region have been found for Slovenia. Slovenian campaigners for multi-party democracy in late state socialism had framed
What does race have to do with the Yugoslav region?
line against Islam shifted from the Spanish Reconquista to the Habsburg–Ottoman wars and even taken up by the USA after 9/11 (Todorova 2005a : 76). The antemurale myth predates both Atlantic slavery and the Spanish exclusion of indigenous people in the Americas from European humanity, Mills's and Mignolo's respective origin points for ‘race’; yoking nationhood with Christianity, it was, once Europeans started dividing the globe into ‘civilised’ and ‘uncivilised’ territories according to inhabitants' skin colour, implicitly racialised long before today's West
religious structures, from the late fourteenth century, shaped its migration history in many ways (Sugar 1977 ; Hoare 2007 ; Wachtel 2008 ). Authorities directly settled Anatolian Turkish cavalrymen on conquered land as ‘timariots’ who taxed local peasants and raised troops, while Ottoman trade-routes developed towns like Sarajevo and Thessaloniki into provincial capitals, refuges for many Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain in 1492. The Ottoman politics of conversion to Islam, necessary for South Slavs and other Catholic/Orthodox Christians seeking bureaucratic
aimed to strengthen the Yugoslav republics against the federal centre and to align Slovenia with ‘Europe’ in general and the late-Cold-War imaginary of ‘central Europe’ in particular, within a reformed Yugoslavia or, as this programme clashed in 1989–90 with Milošević's authoritarian re-centralisation, outside. Within south-east European symbolic geographies, situating an ethnonational identity and its associated polity within central Europe detached it from ‘the Balkans’, the ‘Orient’, the Ottoman legacy, Islam and the civilisational hierarchies projected on to these
( Boston, MA :
Beacon Press , 1995 ).
Asad , Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in
Christianity and Islam ( Baltimore,
MD : Johns Hopkins University
Press , 1993 ); Zygmunt
Bauman , Intimations of
distinct intermeshing(s) of religion and
politics in Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism, in Afghanistan or India or
Mexico, in modern times usually appear as figures of absence, lack, and
failure, imperfect images in the mirror of an immaculate secular West.
Such projections insinuate once more the abiding enchantments of
There are weighty elisions at stake here. Let us briefly