|Regions with significant populations|
|Ra?ka District (105,488)|
Zlatibor District (43,220)
Sand?ak / Ra?ka historical regions
|Bosnian and Serbian|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Other South Slavs|
Bosniaks (Serbian: ?, romanized: Bo?njaci) are the fourth largest ethnic group in Serbia after Serbs, Hungarians and Roma, numbering 145,278 or 2.02% of the population according to the 2011 census. They are concentrated in south-western Serbia, and their cultural centre is Novi Pazar.
Bosniaks, as ethnic minority, are primarily the ones living in south-western Serbia, in the region historically known as Sand?ak, which is today divided between the states of Serbia and Montenegro. Colloquially referred to as Sand?aklije by themselves and others, Bosniaks form the majority in three out of six municipalities in the Serbian part of Sand?ak: Novi Pazar (77.1%), Tutin (90%) and Sjenica (73.8%) and comprise an overall majority of 59.6%. The town of Novi Pazar is a cultural center of the Bosniaks in Serbia. Many Bosniaks from the Sand?ak area left after the fall of the Ottoman Empire to continental Turkey. Over the years a large number of Bosniaks from the Sand?ak region left to other countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Germany, Sweden, United States, Canada, Australia, etc. A second group is formed by Bosniaks that came from Bosnia and Herzegovina to the largest cities in Serbia during 20th century as economic migrants and inter-Yugoslav migrations.
Today, the majority of Bosniaks are Sunni Muslim and adhere to the Hanafi school of thought, the largest and oldest school of Islamic law in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. Some in this region who identify as Bosniak do so on account of religious identity as Muslims, but are ethic Albanian by ethnicity and live in villages (Boro?tica, Doli?e, Ugao) located in the Pe?ter region. They have adopted a Bosniak identity in censuses, due to inter-marriage, during the period of SFR Yugoslavia, or due to sociopolitical discrimination against Albanians following the break-up of SFRJ.
Two thirds of Sand?ak Bosniaks trace their ancestry to the regions of Montenegro proper, from Malesia, region inhabited by Albanians. which they started departing first in 1687, after Turkey lost Boka Kotorska. The trend continued in Old Montenegro after 1711 with the extermination of alleged converts to Islam ("istraga poturica"). Another contributing factor that spurred migration to Sand?ak from the Old Montenegro was the fact that the old Orthodox population of Sand?ak moved towards Serbia and Habsburg Monarchy (Vojvodina) in two waves, first after 1687, and then, after 1740, basically leaving Sand?ak depopulated. The advance of increasingly stronger ethnic Serbs of Montenegro caused additional resettlements out of Montenegro proper in 1858 and 1878, when, upon Treaty of Berlin, Montenegro was recognized as an independent state. While only 20 Bosniak families remained in Nik?i? after 1878, the towns like Kola?in, Spu?, Grahovo, and others, completely lost their Bosniak population.
The last segment of Sand?ak Bosniaks arrived from a couple of other places. Some Bosniaks came from Slavonia after 1687, when Turkey lost all the lands north of Sava in the Austro-Turkish war. Many more came from Herzegovina in the post-1876 period, after the Herzegovina Rebellion staged by the Serbs against Austro-Hungary and their Muslim subjects. Another wave followed immediately thereafter from both Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the Treaty of Berlin placed the Vilayet of Bosnia under the effective control of Austria-Hungary in 1878. The last wave from Bosnia followed in 1908, when Austria-Hungary officially annexed Bosnia, thereby cutting off all direct ties of Bosnian Muslims to the Ottoman Empire, their effective protector.
The first major political organising of the Sand?ak Muslims happened at the Sjenica conference, held in August 1917, during the Austrian-Hungarian occupation of the Sanjak of Novi Pazar. The Muslim representatives at the conference decided to ask the Austrian-Hungarian authorities to separate the Sanjak of Novi Pazar from Serbia and Montenegro and merge it with Bosnia and Herzegovina, or at least to give an autonomy to the region.
After the end of the World War I and the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918, the Sand?ak region also become a part of the newly created country. At the Constitutional Assembly election held in 1920, the Sand?ak Muslims voted for the People's Radical Party. The main reason for supporting the radicals was a promise made to several influential Muslims that they would be compensated for losing their lands during the agrarian reform.
In order to protect their interests, the Sand?ak Muslims organised themselves jointly with the Albanians in the D?emijet party, that covered the area of the present-day Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia and Sand?ak. The main goal of the D?emijet was the protection of interests of the Slavic Muslims and Albanians. D?emijet was founded in 1919 in Skopje and was led by Nexhip Draga and later by his brother Ferhat Bey Draga. After it was founded in Skopje, branches of the party were soon founded in Kosovo, Sand?ak and the rest of Macedonia. District and municipal branches in Sand?ak were founded at a meeting of D?emijet held in Novi Pazar in 1922. The meeting was highly attended, and it insisted upon Muslim unity instead of division by various political parties.
According to the 2011 Census, almost all Bosniaks in Serbia are Muslim (99.5%). The remainder is not religious or did not declare their religion.  The Bosniaks make up the basis or 65% of the Muslim community in Serbia, with most other Muslims being ethnic Albanians or a part of the Romani community.