How did the Albanians become Muslims?

The newest nation, Kosovo, is ethnically speaking Albanian. Though Albania itself is a sovereign nation of its own, which borders Kosovo.

Albanians are largely Muslim. How did that happen? you ask:

The Albanians are a genuine nation. Their national symbol derives from a seal of their national hero George Kastrioti, alias “Skanderbeg.” He led an independent Albania from 1443 until his death in 1468. After having served in the Turkish Ottoman army, Skanderbeg rebelled in 1443. He choose a Roman/Byzantine eagle as his standard, abjured his Muslim faith and liberated the Roman-Catholic Albanians, thereby halting the advance of Islam into Christian Europe. Ten years after his death, in 1478, Albania was conquered by the Turks who ruled it until 1912 and imposed Islam. Over 400 years of Ottoman rule resulted in a nation that has a 70% Muslim majority, though it proudly displays the Roman eagle and has Skanderbeg, a Muslim apostate and a defender of Christianity, as its national hero. Such are the ironies of history.

The province of Kosovo lies to the northeast of Albania. It, too, was originally inhabited by Illyrians but by 850 it had become the heartland of the Slavic Serbs. In the 14th century it fell to the Ottomans. The Turkish occupation imposed Islam and brought in Muslim Albanians. When the province was reunited with Serbia in 1912, the Muslim Albanians had already begun to replace the Christian (Orthodox) Serbs as the predominant people in the province. Today, owing to their demographic growth, 90% of Kosovo is Muslim and Albanian.


From HERE.

Comments

Johnny said…
Howdy,


I lost your email and was wondering how you and your family were doing. Anywho, I would love to talk to you come by http://arabsforChrist.org/irc/ or arabsforChrist.org and click enter chat when you get a chance...

John
Abu Daoud said…
Hi John, I think I still have your e-mail and will drop you a line soon. Will also check out the website and see what is going on there.

Peace.

Abu Daoud
Ishaq said…
Imposed Islam? If so my dear friend there would not have been a single christian in spain, and Albania and many countries which the muslims ruled, including India, please get your facts right before you write them and the world's largest muslim population is in indonesia, let me know which muslim army went there and occupied them and imposed islam on them, there are millions of Ethnic christians in the arab world , just to prove your point you dont have to pass such remarks on others, its christianity which has spread with sword / guns and bombs and will always do
SSA said…
This is utter bigotry. Looks like the racist, historically incorrect analysis that a Christian is likely to make. Islam was never imposed on anyone in the Balkans by the Ottomans. Rather, the Bosnians, ALbanians, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Austrians all chose to convert to islam. Whether their conversions were sincere is another question. All these countries have muslim converts who are ethnically native. In Bosnia and Albania, these converts were able to establish a majority due to whole-race conversions.
Man, you are biased!
Anonymous said…
Knowledge precedes action,
who ever wrote this is completely ignorant. Albanians whole heartedly accepted Islam because they saw the Honor, freedom and way of life that appealed to them. After sllav and roman invasion Islam freed them. I hope my Albanian brothers come Back to true Islam. NUK KA BESE PA QURAN
Seminari said…
Based on the History that is today Albanians really have accepted Islam by force, but i myself think that`s a lie and the Politic made it up so Muslim Albanians will convert again to their old religion. I think the real think is what my Albanian Brother said before me, the Albanians accepted Islam because they felt better that way. We`ve been here when the man was born, we still are here and we will be until the end. Inshallah Ethnic Albania now.
TZ said…
Islam is an alien religion in Albania. Christianity in Europe was spread out from an Illyrian emperor Constantine the Great.(this is one of the reason why our forefathers adapted christianity)chrisitianity and islam are both semitic ideologies.
Albanians have fallen victimes from the both sides.
Firstly from the Ottoman persecution, till we converted for survival.
After Ottoman empire fell, Albanians became victimes of orthodoxy (Slavs and Greeks) and Christianity as well (Arberesh in south Italy)
Islam is not a natural religion in Albania, whomever admits this is not an Albanian. christianity used to be a natural religion, but due to what happened with post-ottoman empire era Albanians became sceptics about christinaty as well.
We are just fed up with all this religion bullcraps. Than enver Hoxha converted everyone on Atheist.
Albania welcomes only those ones that come with good intentions, the others are notwelcomed. We got our own phylosphies
DonMega said…
Haha. I love Muslim "scholars" . You people judging this piece are obviously well versed on the Balkan region during this time. This was my focus in college years ago. The is from what could be considered a liberal school, not a Christian dogma school. The Muslim version of history is just said from a historian point of view. Islam was spread by the sword just as much, if not more than Christianity. This is a fact. Look at the Turks, they first attempted to convert by the sword but soon learned a far more harsh way to create converts. First they would have people of a controlled region ship their kids to the Turk courts. They also would make Christians send their kids to fight in the turk army. Usually in as a Janissary. They would not give the Christian a weapon unless he converted. Most of these kids started their Islam indoctrination at a very young age. This was by far one of the most cruel practices a religious group can do to another. Be a Muslim and fight your former Christian brothers or die by their swords. The prayed on kids. They also would give trade priority to Muslims. They also created a Muslim Elitist group in Albania. They made it hard to be anything but a Muslim. This is forced conversion or watch your sons die and daughters starve. They were know as Slaves of the Porte. They even would take the kids at around 10 years old and send them to turkish families so they could learn Turkish and Islam. Islam has always been very harsh to children. They would Christian children hostage from other countries. By even Turkish accounts, these kids were tortured if the kids parents didn't appease the Turkish Rulers. Of coarse, unless they convert, then they were treated as members of the court and not as prisoners. This practice led to Albanian Revolt. Also led to a man named Vlad Tepes. Or Vlad the third. Or Vlad the Impaler. He was tortured for years for being Christiana and from the house of Draculesti. Vlad the Impaler repaid the Muslim kindness with some horrific violence. Something he learned in Turkish prisons. Islam has turned into a illiterate conscript religion. They distort history. Which, as a historian, I find unforgivable. That is why the educated world almost never believe Muslim Scholar writings. I will say this though, most Jews did very well under the Turks. They were enslaved or forced into conversion. Actually, during this time in history, the turks treated the Jews very well. Anti-semetism was very prevalent in Europe t this time. Times change I guess haha. I am not against Islam. I just wish they would be honest about history. They constantly try to re-write history. Its sad. Christians werent much better, but the difference is were honest about it. Also, they changed their ways.
Abu Daoud said…
Don's analysis here is correct. The yeniceri (Janisary) systme was brutal and inhumane. Also, non-Muslims were taxed more than Muslims (the jizya), and non-Muslims' children and women could be taken at will. All these amount to forcing people, practically speaking, to become Muslims.

My Muslim readers, I invite you to consider a better way, a way of peace with man and God, the way of Jesus the Son of Mary who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but through me." The invitation is for you and your children and your spouses. Come, taste and see the sweetness of his teaching and the love of God.

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