Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Other Albania

We received an email this morning from a reader in Albania. With his permission, I’m posting it below:

Baron and Dymphna,

Let me introduce myself:

I’m “Albkrist” from Albania, 28 years old, Catholic descendant. I have been a reader of your site Gates of Vienna. I congratulate you for the great work on supporting our Christian identity.

One thing to clarify with you, then afterwards you can verify it.

We Albanians have had a bad presentation in Europe. Europe identifies us as an Muslim nation! This is not true. This label is given to us by Serbian and Greek propaganda, and because we are a small uninfluential voice in Europe.

Myself, I am Catholic and hate Islam, and anything that has to do with it. I’d rather fight against this threat to Europe. I consider myself a European citizen.

SkanderbegI just want to clarify that the majority in Albania, more than 90%, are pro-European. We lived under the Turks for more than 600 years and thus these damn invaders left their sign on this nation. But now that they are gone all of Albania wants to turn its face toward Europe. We are ashamed of being converted to Islam and now everybody (the majority, and after some decades all of Albanians) wants to turn the page.

Don’t confuse Albanians of Albania, Albanians of Kosovo, and Albanians of Macedonia. Albanians of Albania are 90% pro-European and pro-Christian. In Kosovo it’s 50%. In contrast, the Albanians of Macedonia — I can say they are all Muslims!! And maybe they (pure Talibans) hate Christianity, too.

Albania is the motherland of all of them so now or later they will be with us or against us.

The two most well-known personalities of Albania are both Catholics:
- - - - - - - - -
1) Skanderbeg (Gjergj Kastrioti), National Hero
2) Mother Theresa. Our Pride.

Skanderbeg protected Europe from the Ottoman threat; just read about it if you don’t know.

Check this site financed by Austrian Foundations: Official Website of the Commune of Kelmend, North Albania.

This zone has 100% Catholic descendants; they never submitted to Islam even after 600 years..

What I intended with this letter is to say that Skanderbeg the protector of Christianity is not mentioned in your site.

I think that he deserves this.

Hope to see his contribution to Christianity in your site.

Regards,
Albkrist

I’m glad that Albkrist brought this matter to our attention, and I hope that his email will help repair our lack of information about Albania’s Christians.

If any other Albanians want to supply additional material, please feel free to leave it in the comments.

23 comments:

bryan said...

Very interesting post and perspective.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that we non-Albanians see idiots like this who apparently are not representative examples of average Albanians. Albkrist, I was interested and pleased to hear what you had to say about Islam. I hope you are right about what you said.

One thing I took exception to: your mention of so-called "Serbian propaganda." Albanians (they may have been of Kosovo, not necessarily of Albania proper) committed terrible atrocities against the Serbs during the 1990s.

Sagunto said...

Welcome @Albkrist,

And thank you so much for that important piece of info about your country and heritage. We will prevail in the long run, Deus Vult!

Kind regs from Amsterdam,
Sag.

Homophobic Horse said...

I understand Albanians of this variety were terrorised as "Collaborators"during the 90s.

Robin Shadowes said...

My hometown has been plagued with gang related crimes for years now of varying kinds from murder and bankrobbing to assault and gangrapes. The two main G.A.T.U.= Gangsta Albanian Thug Unit and La Bloodz (La is short for my town Landskrona). We know they are from Kosovo originally. I'm not completely sure of their faith though, since it's 50-50 chance according to you, they could as well be christians. However, a fair guess is that they are muslim since they openly state that they hate us swedes. One of them said in an interview: "I want swedes to bow down and kiss my feet!" Another thug said in court: "It's not forbidden for me to commit crimes!" Perhaps these two quotes tells something about their mindsets.

Btw, welcome to GoV, Albkrist.

Anonymous said...

Albkrist

Interesting post.

The one question I have, seeing the demographic threat that Islam poses Europe, will Albanians abandon Islam and become Christians, before or after Albania's entry to the EU.

Albanian said...

@Natalie, we are not discussing politics here you don`t even know the atrocities done by Serbs, so let it go.
Serbs always wanted to invade lands, ask people in Vojvodina if they are still there cause they pushed them into Hungary and filled the lands with Serbs.

@Homophobic Horse, Collaborators of what, sorry?!


@ DP111, i can say for sure and ensure you that albania belongs to europe and albanian people belongs to it.
It means that they will turn back to european faith and culture that is christianity
Nowdays many albanians are atheists. Why? because they are ashamed of being muslims. After some decades they all will convert to europe whatever it will be there.

Anonymous said...

No Albanian, you don't know the atrocities done by Albanians against Serbs. The Serbs have not "always wanted to invade lands". The Serbs have been continuously vilified for decades now, and it gets really old. The same rubbish propaganda is levelled at them by people like you, people who can't see past their hatred the Serb people simply for being Serbs. You are blind to your country's role in the Holocaust and its role in the Ballkan wars of the 1990s.

And why would you ever say we are not discussing politics here? Last time I checked, most of the discussion on this blog focused on politics, so yes, we are discussing politics here. Politics and revisionist historical propaganda.

Czechmade said...

Albanian,

you said "In contrast, the Albanians of Macedonia — I can say they are all Muslims!! And maybe they (pure Talibans) hate Christianity, too."

I met three Macedonian students last week claiming many of their Albanians are Christians and the problem is Kosovo.

Serbian Kosovo received many refugees from Albania during communist times. So blaming "Kosovo" Albanians sounds weird. Who is who?

Albanians and Somalis are the toughest criminels in Europe. For ex. in London the prostitution is run by Albanians - they managed to force other ethnicities (also rough) out of business.

So protecting your image you should provide a solution for this all-European problem. Payed by our Czech police the Albanian translator helps the Albanian detainee
- this is a tribal solidarity which is unacceptable for Europeans.

It would be interesting to know the image of Kosovo Albanians in Albania propre. Do they need a visa? Do they spread their criminal activities in Albania as well? Does the Albanian police work with Serbia fighting the criminals? How do you recognize the Kosovo Albanian? Is not your Christian Albania just the North Albania and you have no insight in the rest of your country? Do the Christians have also tribal structure (clans)?

The Kosovo autonomy in Yugoslavia was largely abused by Albanians they slowly pushed the Serbs out. This slow process was not interesting for the media. In the sixties they were both 50% and the relation was not bad.

Unknown is also the relation between the Albanian state and Kosovo. Why they use your national flagg?

Albanian said...

Ok. I wrote what i had to write. That was my intention, to show you our national hero that was a protector of Christianity. If you don't read about him, don`t discus with me. I`m not going that far with the discussion.

Albanian said...

This was what I intended:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgPO3jRbaeo&feature=related

Any comment would be appreciated.

Armance said...

Albanian,
I have a few questions:

How many Albanians from Albania consider themselves Muslims?
Do you consider the Kosovo Albanians to be a part of your nation?
What is the general attitude of the non-Muslim Albanians towards the Muslim Albanians from Kosovo?
Are the Albanian Muslims aware that they are former Christian forced by the Ottomans to convert to Islam?
What is the opinion of the Muslim Albanians about Skanderbeg? Do they celebrate him as a national hero too?

Thank you for your answers.

Afonso Henriques said...

First of all, I wanted to clearly state that I do not hate Albanians nor this "Albanian". Second, I wanted also to highlight that it was Albanian who "apeared" here "presenting us information" so my reaction is exactly that: Reactionary.

Probabily it would be rude for me to express my opinion and as such I won't do it directly.

(Silence)

"I’m “Albkrist”"

Xanana Gusmão and Ramos Horta. Two Timorese Catholic men who suffered harshly and kept fighting continuosly (even, in one of the cases, only through "peacefull actions") for the independence of Timor.
Catholic Timor was invaded in 1974 by muslim Indonesia and Indonesia ocuppied Timor for more than 15 years. Here, I'll leave a link to remember the Massacre that happened in the Catholic Cemetery of the Holly Cross (Santa Cruz in Portuguese), Dili, Timor, 12th November 1991 (Please, see the link I just presented and hear the Timorese simply praying to God when the muslims start shooting). In that massacre alone, close to five hundred defensless unarmed people perished. During the years of the Timoerese occupation of Timor, ONE THIRD OF THE TIMORESE POPULATION LOST THEIR LIVES, AMOUNTING TO TWO HUNDRED THOUSANDS LIVES.
Timor has a 97% Catholic Population of roughly ONE MILLION.
Indonesia, on the other hand, as a population of about TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY MILLIONS, of which, roughly 86% are muslims.
I think these men are also worth being mentioned, right? As great modern anti-Jihadists, right? Xanana Gusmão and Ramos Horta anyone? And then I have to read here that some people think the Indonesians are muslim little...

"We Albanians have had a bad presentation in Europe. Europe identifies us as an Muslim nation! This is not true. This label is given to us by Serbian and Greek propaganda, and because we are a small uninfluential voice in Europe."

65% to 70% of Albanians identify with islam
Estimates reveal that 70% of Albanians are muslims.
Serbian and Greek propaganda, also?

"We lived under the Turks for more than 600 years and thus these damn invaders left their sign on this nation."

Indeed. "One of the major legacies of nearly five centuries of Ottoman rule was that the majority of Albanians, according to Ottoman data, had converted to Islam. Therefore, the nation emerged as nominally Muslim-majority after Albania's independence in November 1912."

I rest my case.
Nowadays, the majority of the people in the West cannot diferentiate individuals from groups. The Albania I know, is not European. Imagine a Troyan Horse is in your garden, will you open the door of your Home to it once it is already in your garden?

Be aware people, be aware...

Albanian said...

If this is true, that you see us as the horse of troy, I see this as a betrayal of Europe toward us.
When you needed us, we fought for you. After that nobody helped us but left us in the misery of turks that raped, killed, beheaded us.

Don`t forget that me that is writing all this is a catholic descendant, me, my family, my predecessors, lived conserving our christian identity for 600 hundred years under ottoman misery.
Instead you preserved it without any thread of this kind.

Czechmade said...

You can easily fight for us without a shot: you can infiltrate muslim circles in EU and supply valuable infos.

I agree with you that in Albania propre not much is left of islam due to the unimaginable harshness of communism. And even before it was rather shallow.

But again you cannot speak so easily for all of you. And we need to absorb lot of facts about Albania first. It is a matter of patience. For me I dislike and distrust your clan structures. Vendetta has an Arabic name and is still in practice.

islam o' phobe said...

But again you cannot speak so easily for all of you. And we need to absorb lot of facts about Albania first.

I second that. Albania is a closed society and I've only ever heard bad things about it but I'll keep an open mind.

Afonso Henriques said...

Albanian,

First of all, you are being very unfair. You forget that Europe was not only invaded by Turks but also by Hunns and Mongols, for instance. Nobody helped Russia neither, and they also suffered a lot. The thing is, they did not capitulated. And if they did, they did not became a minority.

And then compare the behaviour of the Albanian State (Albanians) with that of Greece, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, etecetra...

Why do you believe you are more victims then they? This may be offensive but it seems to me that "Albania" did not met the quality standards of these "European Nations" when facing the same treath.

And while you say what you say, you reveal that you don't know to whom you are talking to. You claim to have been under brutal occupation for 600 years and that "When you needed us, we fought for you"; and that "Albania" has "lived conserving our christian identity for 600 hundred years under ottoman misery.
Instead you preserved it without any thread of this kind."

I find this pretty ridiculous once I am Portuguese. The Arabs and muslims occupied parts of our National territory for 500 years. In Southern Spain, it was 850 years. 850 years!

Yet, we did "lived conserving our christian identity" much better than Albania, if I may tell you that. And our treath was probabily as great.

However, I understand that your difficlt episodes are much more recent. I also see that Albania has not behaved as well as the norm.

And by the way, you are being ungratefull. When you fought the Turks, you were the ones under attack, not me, or Europe as a whole. As such, you fought immediateley for you, not for me.
At the same time, many European States went to war with the Turks many, many times. And I bet (I know) that the liberation of the Christians and the spreading of Civilisation (European) was one of the motivations to attack the Turks.

In fact, I can remember at least two episodes when Portugal sent ships to the East to help the surpressed Christians in the Balkans by fighting the Turks.
I can't remember one warrior East of Germany and Italy that came here help us with the moors during the 850 years we were under occupation.

For instance, Greece borders Turkey. How come that it is Albania on the other side of the Peninsula that became muslim?

I feel sorry for you, you maybe one of the last (true) Albanians, but, truth is that current "true Albania" is not that "European".

Afonso Henriques said...

"... but I'll keep an open mind."

Unforunetely I cannot stand other than with an opened mind but a step back.

Albanian said...

@ Armance

Please consider the responses as true, i`ll respond them truly.

>>How many Albanians from Albania consider themselves Muslims?

At the moment let`s say 30 - 40 % (including moderated Muslims)

>>Do you consider the Kosovo Albanians to be a part of your nation?

Hmmmm, you know the relations between Germany people and Austria people? Our relations are quite of the same nature.

>>What is the general attitude of the non-Muslim Albanians towards the Muslim Albanians from Kosovo?

Ok, we Christians of Albania see each Muslim here as the reason of our backwardness and decline. But many of them are accepting it, and are ashamed, also want to turn page. The Muslims of Kosovo are more numerous and more religious.
Many times we are in a open conflict with them you can check in youtube for this.

>>Are the Albanian Muslims aware that they are former Christian forced by the Ottomans to convert to Islam?

Many of them Yes 90%, another 10 % we can say that loves their religion. For the moment we can`t do nothing to them.

>>What is the opinion of the Muslim Albanians about Skanderbeg? Do they celebrate him as a national hero too?

Sure, if not they will be traitors.
There are some Muslims radicals that want to change the history, to lower his myth, but there are many other ex-Muslims or moderate ones that are fighting to higher his Myth cause they love Him and his bravery, history, etc.
Ismail Kadare for example is an Albanian writer. He is totally pro European pro-Christian, etc. He is fighting in literature and diplomatic ways to higher skanderbeg figure, and our christian identity. He was muslim descendant, but now...

Armance said...

Albanian,

I don't question your honesty, I just want to clarify some things for myself.
As far as I understand, in spite of the majority of the Albanians from Albania being Muslims, only 30-40% of them identify themselves as such - most of them were secularised by Communism. In the part of Romania where I was born, a few percents of the population are formed by Turks and Tatars. Most of them are secularised too - to the point of drinking alcohol and eating pork, partially by Communism, partially because they were surrounded by a majority of nationalist Christian Romanians. Yet the danger to be radicalised by Arab propaganda, religious TV channels, etc. still exists, particularly after we joined the EU which encourages the minorities to hate the majority. The EU, with all the rhetoric about strenghtening the cultural rights of minorities, has the property to radicalise even those tiny minority groups which otherwise are peaceful.

As a Christian, you are part of a minority in the larger Albanian nation, including the Albanians from the neighboring countries - Kosovo, Macedonia, etc. That's why you have to pay attention where you place your national solidarity. Distance yourself as much as possible from the Muslims belonging to your nation. The EU won't help you to do this, on the contrary, it is a catalyst of radical Islam everywhere in Europe. The European Union is an entity which ignored the history of the Balkans siding with the Kosovar Albanian Muslims (former Christians forcibly converted to Islam) against the Serbs. It would be wonderful if all the Muslim Albanians would find their way out of Islam. Otherwise, you cannot form a viable nation with them. And don't fall into the trap of the anti-Serbian and anti-Greek propaganda, otherwise you might become like those naive and suicidal Islamo-Christians from Lebanon who developed a Stockholm syndrome, placing their loialty rather to the Arab Muslims who destroyed them than to the Christians around them.

PS: I know who Ismail Kadare is. By coincidence, last week I read "The General of the Dead Army". Actually Kadare and Skanderbeg are the only Albanians I know and from this viewpoint they are both good representatives of your nation.

Albanian said...

I`m pro-Greek (although i`m catholic not Orthodox). I`m anti-Turk. I hate them to death for the misery they left us.
I`m not pro-Serb. Why? Cause Serbs hate Croatians too that are 100 % Catholics. They Hate Slovenians that are wonderful (Catholic) people.

So.. They hate Albanians not cause of the religion but cause of the politics.

AlbKrist said...

Afonso Henriques,

You are right on your thoughts, but think that many greeks and serbs and bulgars converted too, not as much as Albanians in % but they converted..
I mean it was just mater of % not of desire..Let`s say 30 % of albanians around 1.2 million are Christians, so do they deserve to be part of Europe?

Adam1 said...

History that always will leave Ballcan states at a very high nerves.

I was born as a muslim, my parents were muslim, my grandparents were muslims, my great grandparents were ....CHRISTIANS from an area around Postrribe, Shkoder.I was courios and last year when i was on holiday i went to visit my grandmother, still alive at 94 years old, very strong woman though.I asked her if she can recall something of her parents and grandparents.Lucky me she did. It is a long story to say everything that she's told me but i am going to make it short......

Her grandfather, a man with a high reputation at that time was called by Efendi in Shkodra and given 2 options: 1) convert to islam 2) face the worst for the entire village.
I am simply going to stop here her true story.She is a woman with principles and would never lie.

In my personal view people in different situation and times will do anything to survive and to protect. Here people talk as Europe was born christian from the begining. Its a diversity. Christians, Protestans, Jehova whitness, Muslims,etj etj.
In many events in Albania, people celebrate with albanian flag, usa flag, EU flag and NOT with an arab or pakistani flag.

How about an europian group will form ,The Pagans, and say europe was Pagan, before any other religion came to EU, and try their best for this religion to be spred?
How does it look like for the rest of europe?
Another extreme question, how about China invade EU in the future in a very long term and give to the europian people 2 options as the Efendi gave to my ancestors? Do you people understand how hard is for someone to see his people or entire village sloughtered only because of a belief?
Its just a Belief , and you don't have to practice ,..... only to save your own people.

Politicaly many albs at the war times before 1912, found out that turks at that time ,in a lupe hole, to be protector of our identity ( not religios though).Identity of us beeing Albs.
If they weren't there , personally, i think Albs would have been assimilated by greeks and serbs in a very brutal way.In this case there would not be albania at all, and perhapes to europe its better no albania than an albania with an muslim majority.Am i correct?
It has never been important to us religion before national points.
Important to us is IDENTITY, religion comes second.
If we were turks, Greeks are egyptians as well from Phoenix Tribes unhappy with their Faraons and migrated to Greece , copied the alphabet, stole all history,myths,legends,etc of Illyrians,Hittite Tribes, and the rest of ancient people who were in ballcans at that time and created their great nation,Greece. Of course they were clever, brought the alphabet with them , while others never had it.Wrote whatever they wanted as the others couldn't.
But yet becuase they are orthodox ,they are not arabs but europians. And guess what, it was the Great Constantine ( another alb origin) who gave them this religon).

It was Sulltan's dream to go to Viena, and we and the rest of europian people fought for it.
It was Sulltan's dream to jump to Italy, but yet only albs fought them and they never made through Otranto Channel.Pope Clement ( of an albanian origin) helped our warrior Scanderbeg on this war ( not much though). Somehow Albania was an europes shield at a different times. Yet we get blamed , or we are called non europians because majority in albania are muslims.

Personally i don't give a damn if people want to call us europians or not, becuase to me as long as i am an ALB i know were my roots are and i can see the map myself where do we stand.

Religion? Just a great and powerful political institution in a belief form and shape which can be used in different moments as a peace or as a war form. Nothing else more than that.

---------------------
I will be open to any questions of you guys have and i will try to answer with correct manners and with my personal views.

Illyrians