Pragmatic Conversions: Mixed marriage and flexibility of Shari'a in interwar Yugoslavia
Title: Pragmatic Conversions: Mixed marriage and flexibility of Shari'a in interwar Yugoslavia
Author: BURIC, Fedja
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2012/33
The paper discusses the cases of pragmatic conversions to, and out of, Islam in interwar Yugoslavia. It analyzes these cases in the context of Sharia law, which, in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Kingdom of Yugoslavia from 1929), regulated the family affairs of the country’s Muslim population. Through these cases, the paper seeks to understand the complicated interaction between the Yugoslav state law and the Sharia, arguing that contrary to common perception, Sharia allowed for flexibility for those individuals who wished to move between the categories of official identity. The waning influence of state law over Sharia during the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the late 1930s, in the lead-up to the Second World War, made it easier for individuals to game the system. The discussion shows that despite being based on the integrationist ideology of Yugoslavism, the Yugoslav interwar state was straddled with an unwieldy legal system, which made the movement of individuals between categories extremely cumbersome.
Subject: Kingdom of Yugoslavia; Sharia; Conversion; Mixed marriage; Identity
Type of Access: openAccess