Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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Speeches, Speeches

Remarks by the President of the Republic of Albania, H.E.Mr. Bajram Begaj held at the ceremony of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Muslim Community of Albania

Honorable Chairman of the Muslim Community of Albania, H. Bujar Spahiu!


Distinguished heads of religious communities!

Distinguished heads of Muslim religious communities in the region!

Distinguished ambassadors!

Dear participants!

I gladly welcomed the invitation to attend in this meeting, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Muslim Community of Albania.

In these 100 years of its activity, the Muslim Community has proven that service to the nation and faith are a value and a mission.

Anyone who knows the history of the Albanian Muslim Community is affected by the essence and patriotic character underlying the formation of this institution.

Today is the occasion to recall the fact that religious communities, among them the Islamic Community of Albania, are important contributors to the Independence of Albania and a consolidating stone of the Albanian state.

The organization of Muslim believers, who made up the majority of the country’s population, in an institution on national basis, completely Albanian and independent of foreign religious institutions, is an indication of how important and sacred independence and sovereignty was for Albanian clergymen and Muslims, even in the religious framework.

As fruit of the long-standing efforts of Albanian Muslim clergymen, the Muslim Community of Albania has proven over the years that religion and nation for them were and are inseparable as two notions that do not exclude each other.

In their activity, they took care of maintaining social cohesion with other religions, aware that maintaining harmony within the population with many religions in a “fragile” state was a vital necessity for the nation.

The Muslim community, as the largest community, had the responsibility, but also the credit for this imperative of the time.

National brotherhood among all Albanians, was another mission that the Community set itself as a goal from its birth.

Since the first Congress of the Albanian Muslim Community, the words of the first Grand Mufti of Albania, Haxhi Vehbi Dibra, remain relevant and meaningful. He left the position of the head of the Eldership of Albania (the first Albanian Senate of that time), to devote himself to his new mission emphasizing brotherhood among the three religious communities, in the service of the nation’s interests.

Undoubtedly, the coexistence and religious harmony among different religious communities in Albania is a precious and rare asset, and the Albanian Muslim community has contributed for this harmony since its foundation.

Another important aspect of the commitment of this community over the years, has been helping the needy, as a deed that brings them closer to God. The emblematic case is that of Mr. Zyber Hallulli, Mufti and Mayor of the Municipality of Tirana in 1913-1914, who opened the orphanage, which still bears his name today.

As an integral part of society, clergymen, but also the members of the Muslim Community of Albania, have shown high responsibility for the destinies of society and the country.

Muslim intellectuals, educated in the best schools of the time, did not offer their capacities only within the “walls of religious institutions” but on the contrary, they felt the responsibility that the country should be helped in all fields, being open minded to different opinions.

A good model of this commitment and respect for the opposing opinion, can be found in the pages of the official magazine of the Community “Zani i Naltë”, which gave space to retorts and opinions against, within the national debates of the time about reforms and philosophical currents.

Following the start of this rich legacy left by previous clergymen, today’s clergymen have a great responsibility to preserve, cultivate and advance this legacy.

They must continue to cultivate religious harmony among believers, which we have the right to be proud of, as well as encourage believers to take up their civic responsibilities in fulfilling social obligations.

On this anniversary, it is our moral and patriotic duty to honor the memory of those Muslim clergymen, some of whom were the founders and leaders of this institution, who were persecuted for exercising their faith, a fundamental human right denied by the dictatorial regime.

Albanian Muslim clergymen, Hafiz Ali Korça, Hafiz Abdullah Zemblaku, Hafiz Kraja, etc., were steadfast fighters against the communist dictatorship in our country.

Their firm stance against the regime that attempted to destroy the spiritual constitution was a model of devotion to God, the Homeland and the believers.

After the 90s, religious communities benefited from their rights enshrined in Article 10 and 24 of the Constitution of Albania, the application of human rights according to the principles of the Council of Europe in our Constitution for religious rights.

I am confident that today’s Albanian Muslim clergymen, as well as those of other communities, as spiritual leaders, will continue to work together to inspire Albanians to engage with each other, regardless of their religious belief, for the progress and prosperity of the country, for the well-being of our common home, Albania.

I want to assure you, that as the President of the Republic, I will continue to be a strong partner of yours and of the believers of every faith; I will continue to be a supporter and defender of freedom of belief; promoter of religious harmony and coexistence as an outstanding national value.
Thank you!