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Looking at the architectures of governance that have characterized the Islamic Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), this essay explores the ways in which imperial inventories of colonial institutions come to influence and arbitrate contemporary debates over what constitutes legitimate practices of Islam in Bosnia–Herzegovina and Austria. Examining the larger political context in which these debates emerge, including the criminalization of Muslim communities that refuse to submit to the authority of state-sanctioned Islamic religious institutions, I detail the ways in which colonial histories are recruited to curate a homogenized, continuous representational mandate for Muslim communities and practices in Austria and BiH. Attending to nostalgic invocations of the late Habsburg governance of Islam and Muslims, I argue that these discourses serve to legitimate specific Muslim institutions and actors in Austria and BiH that privilege the Habsburg legacy through the exclusion of outlawed/illegal Muslim communities and practices in both countries.
Rexhepi, P. (2019). Imperial inventories, “illegal mosques” and institutionalized Islam: Coloniality and the Islamic Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina. History and Anthropology, 30(4), 477–489. https://doi.org/10.1080/02757206.2019.1611575