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ly that one day the Muslim corruption of Montenegrin Christian souls would have to be stopped. That day came when the Pasha of Scutari promised him safe conduct to Podgorica, where he was to consecrate a new church. Da- nilo did not trust Turkish promises but felt that “for the sake of my faith, i have to go, though it may be my fate not to return.” He saddled his best horse and departed. On his way back Bishop Danilo was blackmailed. The pasha de- manded 3,000 ducats for his release to the Montenegrins. as he was being marched back to Cetinje, he must have thought of a suitable revenge. The ransom was somehow paid, and Danilo summoned his flock to agree on the day when the traitorous Turks would be massacred all over the country. The executioners were merciless; all those who refused baptism were executed, and Montenegrins have ever since sung about this feat of “purification.” Traitors were no more in their ranks. and the neighboring alba- nians, if of Muslim faith, never lost sight of the bloody message.
Bishop Danilo’s type of solution, regardless of how drastic and effective in Montenegro, could not stop the process of islamization in the Balkans. The only viable op- position was in the fortitude of the Christian people them- selves, in their resolution to oppose islam and to “die for the Christian faith” if necessary. albanians obviously felt that choosing death would be impractical. Once they found that conversion to islam was a valuable asset, they could not be stopped. By the end of the 17th century, two-thirds of them were Muslims. The Turks were at the peak of their
Serbs and albanians under Ottoman Rule
might, and their corruptive policy of granting favors and privileges to individuals and tribes that accepted islam prevented all attempts to solidify any meaningful mass resistance.
in a sense, albanians
found the special treat-
ment they got from the
Turks, once they convert-
ed to islam, not unusual.
They were treated as a sep-
arate category in Byzantine
and in Serbian times. Their
warriors were in great de-
mand, and one of the ablest
generals that emperor Du-
šan had at the time of his
Greek campaign was an albanian by origin. Dušan settled many albanians in conquered lands as a reward for their services. Not only as mercenaries, but as a sheep and other livestock-raising ethnic group, the albanians enjoyed a spe- cial and separate status.
By the 19th century, in areas where Serbs and albanians were interrelating, something more critical than ethnic or religious differences was becoming evident as an impedi- ment to communication between them. This was the dis- parity in political outlook or concepts. The Serbs had a very
 Christian manuscript illustration of a Christian and a Muslim in the non-violent confrontation of a chess game, 13th century
  Left: The 1600 berat of Sultan Mehmed III guaranteeing protection to the Monastery of Dečani Middle: Murad I (1362–1389) Right: Bayazid I (1389–1402)

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