Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 11:51 GMT

World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Slovenia : Bosniaks and Muslims

Publisher Minority Rights Group International
Publication Date 2008
Cite as Minority Rights Group International, World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Slovenia : Bosniaks and Muslims, 2008, available at: [accessed 24 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


According to the 2002 census, there were 21,542 Bosniaks and 10,476 Muslims in Slovenia. Muslims, in the ethnic sense, are Slavs who converted to Islam during the period of Ottoman rule. Most Muslims began to identify as Bosniaks during the break-up of former Yugoslavia. Over the years fewer and fewer self-identify as Muslim. Bosniaks speak Bosnian.

Similarly to other not ethnic Slovenes from former Yugoslavia, Muslims and Bosniaks face discrimination and exclusion from all spheres of life.

Historical context

Many Muslims and Bosniaks came to Slovenia to work during communist rule, as Slovenia was much more developed than Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Current issues

Bosniaks and Muslims are not recognised as a minority by the authorities of Slovenia, and face problems with exercising their rights, including as regards language use, education of mother tongue, participation in public affairs. They also face economic and social exclusion, partly because of widespread prejudice and hidden discrimination, and partly because some remain without residence papers, and as such have no access to basic services such as health care and pensions. There is no mosque in Ljubljana and facilities to practice Islam are insufficient and inadequate.

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