Albanians have always been intensely pro-American. Kosovars deeply appreciate the US-led NATO intervention in 1999, which put Kosovo on the path to independence. They are grateful to the US for coordinating Kosovo’s recognition by the international community. Given the strong affinity between Albanians and the United States, the recent rise of Islamism in Kosovo is deeply troubling.
Approximately 95 percent of Kosovo’s two million inhabitants are ethnic Albanians. Of the Albanians, 97 percent are Muslim and 3 percent are Catholic. Kosovo was always a secular state with a liberal Muslim majority.
However, Kosovo’s secular character is changing.