|The contributors to this special issue about Muslims in the Balkans make clear that the importance of Islam in the process of national identity formation is of fundamental importance but its exact role has been complex, indeed almost contradictory. The first part of the volume outlines a broad historical narrative of the Balkan Muslim population. The piece by Florian Bieber provides an overview of the context in which the Muslims operated before the nineteenth century. Justin McCarthy reviews the experiences of the Muslim populations as the Balkan national states were being established, and Hugh Poulton surveys their experiences in the independent Balkan nation states. The second part examines the Balkan Muslim minorities in detail. Aydin Babuna’s essay concentrates on the Albanians of Kosovo and Macedonia. David Crowe addresses the complicated issue of the national identity of the Muslim Gypsies. Ali Eminov writes on the Turkish and Tatar populations. Francine Friedman examines the Muslim Slavs of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Sandzak. Finally, Mary Neuburger concentrates on the Bulgarian-speaking Pomaks.