Religion in the Aftermath of Conflict

By: Gjylbehare Murati   Sabiha Shala  

The revival of religion in post-war Kosovo has shaken traditional forms of religious practice. The challenge comes in the form of conflict between customary law, state laws and religious norms. Religion, as traditionally practiced, has become weakened and gradually transformed into religious extremism. The state-building actors opted for a democratic state, with a strong civil society that balances state authority. The aim was to establish rule of law and promote a culture of respect for human rights within a worn-torn society. Set of practices are designed to establish the institutional and foundational elements of „state” and rebuild political culture of the new nations. Yet the post-conflict reconstruction agenda failed to take into account the religious awaking of the local communities. The unwillingness to take this sudden “religious excitement” seriously, led to the rise of extremism that threaten to destabilize already fragile state. The article explores and analyses the role of religion in post-conflict state building process. It explores advantages and problems the new religious practices create for the state-building actors. To this extent, it will analyse the place of religious discussions in public debate in a post conflict society and the emergence of views that insist on imposing new practices in relation to matters of religious belief, views that exclude moderate (traditional) beliefs from the realm of religion. In addition, the article attempts to see to what extent this new trend of practising religion provides an alternative moral structure to the transitional justice system, particularly to the reconciliation process.

Freedom of Religion, Norms, Peace
The Politics of Religion
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Gjylbehare Murati

Professor, Law Faculty, University Haxhi Zeka/Peje/Kosovo, Albania
Kosovo, Albania

Gjylbehare Bella Murati holds PhD in Law from University of Ghent, Belgium LLM from Essex University in UK and B.A from University of Prishtina, Kosovo and Utrecht University , the Netherlands. She currently teaches international law at the Law Faculty of the University of Haxhi Zeka in Peje, Kosovo. Her research interest lies in human rights law, peace-building , rule of law and transitional justice.

Dr. Sabiha Shala

Professor, Haxhi Zeka University, Albania