Thursday, January 26, 2006

Sad farewell for 'Gandhi of Kosovo'

GARENTINA KRAJA IN PRISTINA, SERBIA-MONTENEGRO
TENS of thousands of ethnic Albanians threw flowers and wept as Ibrahim Rugova's flag-draped coffin made its way to his final resting place yesterday.

The Kosovo president who embodied ethnic Albanians' quest for an independent state was laid to rest in a white marble tomb, his name engraved in gold.


Mr Rugova's family, colleagues and dignitaries gathered at the grave, some bowing, others stroking the plaque or leaning to kiss it as they paid their last respects. Some cried, others hugged each other. The president's wife, Fana, clutched the flag that draped the coffin. A 21-gun salute was fired.

Mr Rugova died on Saturday of lung cancer at the age of 61 after 16 years as the leader of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians, who want independence from Serbia.

"You fulfilled your dream, you laid the foundation for Kosovo to become a free and independent state," the head of the province's parliament, Nexhat Daci, said.

With no-one in line to take over, Kosovo's political scene has been thrown into disarray as the province prepares for talks on its final status. The talks have been postponed.

"It is a cruel irony of history that he left at the moment he was most needed, the very moment he was expected to provide leadership in helping to settle the future status of Kosovo," Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief, told the crowd.

Gani Shahini, 77, from the town of Shtimje, said Mr Rugova's death was "a great loss in these moments when we need him. He has built our path and now we need to finish what he has started."

Thousands of people lined the streets of Pristina as the coffin was driven to the tomb overlooking the capital at the Martyrs' Cemetery, initially dedicated to the victims of the Second World War.

It has since become a graveyard for members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, the rebel force that fought Serb troops in Kosovo's 1998-9 war.

Mr Rugova's grave is near his official residence, where he met western leaders and insisted they recognise the tiny province of two million as a state.

His peaceful way of confronting repression came to be seen as a rarity in the Balkans and earned him the nickname "Kosovo's Gandhi".

45 comments:

Kristian said...

Now to all Albanians:

DO YOU THINK THIS IS TRUE?


AND WOULD IT MATTER THAT IF TRUE, YOUR VIEWS TOWARDS HIM WOULD CHANGE?


http://balkanupdate.blogspot.com/2006/01/rugova-died-christian.html


Rugova died a Christian?
Speculations continue that the Former President had converted to Catholicism prior to his death. Nothing official yet, but Don Gjergji is considered to be serious personality, so I am tempted to believe him. Here it is:

ALBANIAN Roman Catholic priest Don Lush Gjergji, in a statement for Italian media ( 3 days ago), said that the late Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova died a Christian but he could not publicize his conversion to Christianity due to political opportunism.

"Rugova was culturally and spiritually a Christian. His conscience and heart were deeply Christian; however, he could not publicize this because we must not forget that Kosovo is inhabited by Albanians, the great majority of whom declare themselves as Muslims," said Don Gjergji.

Rugova's personal confessor indirectly admitted that he gave confession to the converted former president of Kosovo prior to his death.

"Let us say he offered his suffering to God and Mother Teresa. In any case, he began his journey of return to his roots far earlier. Many Albanian intellectuals are discovering their Christian roots and saying, we are the descendants of Skenderbeg and Mother Teresa; if we negate them, we negate ourselves," said the Albanian Catholic priest.

" Rugova never wanted to define his position with respect to Islam, in either the positive or the negative sense."

Gjergji also told the story of Rugova's meeting last week with Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice.

"The only person whom Rugova wished to receive in the end because of his weakness was Cardinal Scola. At one point Rugova tried to stand up and kneel before him but he did not succeed. Then he kissed his ring and said, I do this as a sign of devotion to Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI and the Kosovo bishop who died a few days ago. We were all touched by his statement," Don Gjergji said at the end of his eyewitness account.



And why was the article about him being Christian deleted from Kosovareport.com ?

Kristian said...

This is not to offend anyone, but to see if ppls views would change and if they would think of him differently.

And why did officials say that he would not be given any funeral rights?

Did they do this to suppress the fact that he did convert or most importantly not to cause commotion amongst the ppl?

Please honest opinions!

AGAIN THIS IS IF IT'S TRUE! IF BEING THE KEY WORD!

And foremost, NO DISRESPECT TO ANYONE!

Kristian said...

http://balkanupdate.blogspot.com/2006/01/ibragim-rugova-video-docum_113815431737937066.html


Anyone wanting to watch a 12 minute video on the life of Ibrahim Rugova in Albanian should visit the site. Almost brought tears seeing him in his last days
:(

heku said...

For my personnal account, I'm about to change my religion. This is not a religious step but an intellectual and patriotic step. If our president chenged his religion this does not mean anything but the will to go back to the roots of the firsts.

I really do understand him, we kosova albanians are much closer to the christian meaning of the life than the muslim one. We have to be in harmony with our way of life and what we actually think about it. My grand-father was an imam and my grand, grand, grand, grand father was a priest. By saying so, it means that we had another religion which has been stolen to us or which we alienated for the muslim one.

Personnaly I feel much more christian than muslim. Even if beeing christian is not reductible to this: I eat pork and I drink a lot so what muslim am I??? And that constatation is the same for the huge majority of the albanians living in Kosova/o.
I don't either want my woman to wear a burka or even to obey me religiously like a robot. theese meanings are incompatible with the strict muslim concept of the life by pairs. And I'm quite sure that if you ask people in Kosova/o if they are religious, some of them may make you the cross sign (head, heart, shoulders = cross) and saying at the same time, la velah e ilallah...
Albanians are closer to christianity but most part of them don't even know it.

Ana from Albania said...

Could any of you guys explain me what this site is? I just entered and have no idea.
Condoliances for the beloved president Rugova

Ana from Albania said...

I have heard that pr. Rugova had converted to Catholicism. If this is the case I don’t see cause for concern. He has exercised a right, and as such should be respected.
We have been told, since the birth, that we are Muslim or Christians. How many of us have chosen consciously the religion they want to belong to? Or, have chosen to become, let say, Agnostics? This topic must be subject of a personal search, both spiritual and intellectual.

heku said...

Dear Ana,
This is a site about people who are interseted in finding practical and honest solutions for the problems that we have in the Balkans, some of theese people are from Serbia, from Kosova, Albania and from the Diaspora (in Yiddish: dispersion).

But don't be disappointed when you hear some people still asking if we are sure we had massacres in Kosova or if the serb government was a criminal one (it reminds me that guy, Maurice Bardèche, who denyied the existence of the concentration camps and the execution camps during WWII, or even Jean-Marie Lepen).

Do strictly not insult theese guys, oterwise they'll think they hurted you whereas you don't give a shit coz some of their fellow citizens killed, created rape camps and so on...

They are also able to ask you stupid questions when it's not the time for (c.f. Can someone explain me bla bla bla bla a source prior to 67th century, bla bla bla) whereas we're all talking about the death of our beloved president!!!

Merre vetën me të mirë me këto lopa të serrbisë se po mendojn se e kan kap zotin për koqe.

Vancouver said...

Hi ;
Kristian and Heku ;

what does it matter if our President died as a muslim or christian ?
Isn't Albanianism the religion of the Albanians " Mos shiqoni....se feja e Shqiptarit eshte shqiptaria"
And do not speak in the name of the majority of Albanians,if they don't practice Islam that doesn't mean they're ashamed to be a muslim.
Religion is a personal value, so you can do with it what you want,and you can choose the one you want.
But before coming up with a statement such as our ancestors were chatolics, go and read some more history then you'll realize that the 3 religions which Albanians belong to ,have been granted by their occupiers,(Romans,Byzantine and Ottoman).

So don't get me wrong and belive what yo want, but please do not speak in the name of all Albanians, at the end of the day we all belive the same God each in own way.

Mos shiqoni kisha e gjamia se feja e Shqiptarit eshte Shqiptaria.

rrnoft Kosova

WARchild said...

I don't think that's a big loss to people for organized religion has been one of the most destructive forces in the history of humanity.
We Albanians are one of the big losers of such power struggles between the Western Christians, Muslims and Orthodox.

I'm not sure that Albanians practice any religion right. Even among Catholics, there are still curses and prayers from the pagan Illyrian times. And Kanun among Catholics most definitely overules anything Bible or the Pope says.
As for Rugova's religion, he got a state funeral. His personal beliefs are between him and God.

Balkan Update said...

Personally I do think he converted to Catholicism and the reason was that he didn't feel very comfortable who he was. This is another reason why he spent most of his leisure time drinking alcohol and chain smoking.

As far as whether this would change my opinion, I have to say no. Despite the fact that he deserves a good deal of credit for internationalizing the Kosovo issue, his contribution is overly exaggerated. The fact of the matter is that if Kosovars hadn't started the war in 1998, NATO would have never intervened (It didn't intervene for 8 years 1990-1998 while Rugova was in charge), and Kosovo would have still been ruled by Serbia today (believe you me).

What lowers my opinion of Mr. Rugova even more is the fact that he didn't have the courage to say that he had converted to Christianity (if he in fact had done so). He knew this would have lowered his popularity a great deal-and God didn't he love to be at the center of attention.

Overall I think most people of Kosovo would have held Rugova in a lower regard if they had known he had converted to another religion. This is not because Kosovars are very devout Muslims- It’s because most people would have not understood his reasoning for doing so. He lived 60 years as a Muslim and then all the sudden he became a Christian? Why?

In any case, we are just speculating here. We don't know for sure if he had indeed converted. If he had indeed converted it was because he wanted to be “adored” in the western world, not because he believed in Catholicism more the Islam. Based in the Information we know about him, he didn't truly believe in Good at all!

Kristian said...

To: Vancouver

I'm confused, I never spoke in the name of all albanians, I just posed a few questions. None were derrogatory or put down or favored any religion. Just curious what ppl think.

"go and read some more history then you'll realize that the 3 religions which Albanians belong to ,have been granted by their occupiers,(Romans,Byzantine and Ottoman)."

I disagree on this point. Christianity arrived in the balkans and it was practiced prior to the romans ever accepting it. And constantine finally made it the official religion of rome after ppl were practicing it for some time. That is why most of the churches that serbs always claim are most likely built on dardanian/illyrian/albanian church sites. (great possibility)!

One thing I would add that our ppl were pegan's and did practice their rituals even when christianity entered the region. Which "warchild" mentioned briefly.

"what does it matter if our President died as a muslim or christian ?"

It does bc it will be upto the Albanian and world historians to write about him. As the serbs - /communists censored our history, will albanian historians censor info about him? And if true, a minority was the first President of Kosova.

Its like the question of Gjergj Kastrioti-aka Skenderbeg. Biased historians rarely mention the fact that he was catholic and had the title of: "the champion of christ" (only 3 ppl have this title in history) and faught not to just protect the ppl but their way of life and RELIGION. A lot of albanians believed him to be muslim bc they were never given info about his religious background. I blame the Communist Era for not properly educating ppl about him.

"Isn't Albanianism the religion of the Albanians "

Don't exactly know! This is really a recent concept, since the rise of nationalism, but not the case prior to this.

People always mention albanianism but how many trully mean it or believe it? Majority of albanians don't practice their religion as it should and only affiliate themselves by title so why would they treat albanianism any different?

"And do not speak in the name of the majority of Albanians,if they don't practice Islam that doesn't mean they're ashamed to be a muslim."

I never spoke in the name of Albanians, (JUST TO MAKE THAT CLEAR) And they should never be ashamed period for being muslim! But ppl should know how they became muslim and how the Osmans forced ppl and coerced ppl to convert to Islam. Ppl should also know what religion they practiced prior to the Ottoman occupation. "The more you educate the less you hate!" That's been my philosophy.

In the end doesn't matter bc its the SAME GOD! as you mentioned :)


Warchild

I totally agree with you on your 1st paragraph except the order of the religions. Your chronology is incorrect.

"Even among Catholics,there are still curses and prayers from the pagan Illyrian times."

Can you give an example, Please! And in english please. Seriously please!

Racially maybe that is why we're different from everyone else?

"Kanun among Catholics most definitely overules anything Bible or the Pope says."

Are we talking about present day or in the past?

Fewer and fewer ppl are in the honor/blood getting business. Civility has become a norm in resolving disputes such as honor, blood, etc. Not to mention the LAW and the consequences. And this is a trend among all Albanians. (vancouver this I can generalize)

"His personal beliefs are between him and God."

---TRUE--- But IF he did convert his religion requires he be buried according to its customs.

The article that was deleted here at kosovareport.com earlier this month stated that Rugova wanted to be buried as a Catholic. Now if this was his last wish (IF BEING THE KEY WORD FOR NOONE KNOWS THIS TO BE TRUE) should it have been fulfilled?

And going back to one of my original questions: did politicians make it a state funeral bc they didn't want ppl to cause a commotion over his religion?

Kosovar2006 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kosovar2006 said...

Well as Im reading along.I do understand most of the points made.I respect the views expressed. For individuals such as heku well I Congratulate him with the descion to choosing christianity, If you eat pork and drink alot might as well be anything else but muslim,that way you dont pollute the religion. As to the argument that we should go back to our firsts well thats simply nonsense and very unintelegent, if you believe it that way. We should go back to the romans then peganistic illirians then who else knows where you end up. You shouldnt generailise on the state of islam in Kosova there is a lot of Albanians that follow strict or should I say clean islam, Mosques do actually fill up on fridays to say at least. More people interested in clean islam now then ever before but that is of course rivaled with the opposite extreme side of drugs,prostituation, alcohol etc people do find a safe heaven in islam from these at least .

------
As for the case of Rugova he was never a real muslim anyway(only his name) actually a major part of the cause of his death was alcohol, He did have quite alot of those whiskies with his Belgrade collegues and thats why they actually do have alot of respect for him.Rungova not making his 'conversion' or as I should put it entry to christianity official or public is purely political. There are 'rumours' he entered christianity in 1994 believe you me he wouldn't have been the president if he announced his 'conversion' publicly.Purily because someone that has a major change of heart like that is not trutworthy and shouldnt be a leader.

On the other hand he did play apart in winning the heart of the Holy See in VAtican by accepting christianity hence as VAtican and 'Zionist' are the most influencial parties in Todays world politics Rugova managed to gather alot of support for Kosovars.

As to the question if my views about Rugova has changed, not at all. I always thought of him as well to put bluntly 'dodgy' in every sense. A man that goes on TV with a letter on his hand like a school boy reading a peom in front of a class, probably cant even answer direct questions from journalists or member of public, stubbles through his words looks drunk(im thinking ten years ago) everytime you see him. Well I always new that he shouldn't have lead us.

I would just like to ask, would KLA and the war (resistence or what ever you want to call it) went ahead if it was for Rugova. In some sense I do hear that he was an obstacle in the actually war well for some who are invovled in Kosovar politics they are fimiliar with FARK.

Well I do send my condolonces to family of Dr. Ibrahim Rugova or Pjeter (Uke) Rugova.

P.S. Again religion is being brought into kosovareport.com which im particularly not happy with. People converting to christianity being our first ,albanianism,americanism,europism(yeah alot of isms but they all are and ideology,filozofi,like a religion is) need to get some more facts right and not be brainwashed open your mind and stop offending other believes. Im a strong believer that islamophobia has reached the highest levels in albanian society at the moment which is a shame

Kosovar2006 said...

i just have to bring this is in.With the argument abour Romans and Christianity i would suggestion reading The Da Vinci Code, which has alot of facts,then follow them with further reading and you'll see how christianity and Romans merged and became the christianity we know

ALBANIAN said...

We had sad days in our Albanian homes for days!

We have physically lost the brightest Albanian figure of the century!

Dardania lost the greatest man! We lost the greatest Ambasador of ourn identity and our national interests and purposes! We lost the historical leader of Dardania!

We have lost the Father of our Nation!

A man of high national, moral and human qualities; a man that was a source of wisdom, patience, unity, persistance, maturity, loyalty, patriotism, dignity, love, endurance, hope, insipiration, respect, devotion and optimism!

We lost the committed fighter for freedom, democracy and independence of Dardania!

My condolences to the family, relatives, friends!

My condolences to LDK officials and members!

My condolences to Dardania!

My condolences to all Albanian nation!

My condolences to our international friends!

We will continue your national vision, our eternal President! We will continue our path to offical recognision of Dardania's independence! We will continue to build a Europian' strong, democratic and intergrated country!

May God bless ALBANIAN nation!

Rest in peace dear First President of Dardania!

Vancouver said...

To Kristian.

We are claming that the ilyrians are our ancestors,which is a stemp of our History, so were they catholics then ?

And to Kosovar2006;
I do agrre with you in many points,except the point when you're critisize our president.
Didn't all European and US politicans great him as the most moderate politician of Ballkans, I think you're going a bit to far when you interfere into his personal life.

Kristian said...

To: Vancouver

"We are claming that the ilyrians are our ancestors,which is a stemp of our History, so were they catholics then ?"

My previous statement should answer your question:

"One thing I would add that our ppl were pegan's and did practice their rituals even when christianity entered the region. Which "warchild" mentioned briefly."

Pegan rituals were our original religion. Then Christianity. I NEVER SAID THEY WERE "CATHOLIC". They practiced Christianity prior to it ever being a religion accepted by rome.

If you think about it, some Illyrian tribes were one of the original practitioners of Christianity.

Please don't think that I'm trying to promote Catholosism, but I do hope ppl are educated and made aware of their past. The more you educate the less you hate/assume/
mistrust/ and generalize.

After 1000a.d. you can debate if they were catholic or orthodox. I personly think the majority were orthodox bc of the Byzantine empire. Again that is debatable.

During Gjergj Kastrioti's time, I believe the majority of the ppl of northern albania and the valley of Dukagjini were Catholic. All other areas were mostly Orthodox and bc of this, serbs claim sites that are probably older and built prior to the slav invasions.

A religious site always remains in the same place (unless forgotten) and the victor erects their church, mosk, etc. Its always considered sacred. Only administrations change over time. Just like political ones have throught the history of present day kosovo/a.

I hope that answered your question.


To: Kosovar2006

"If you eat pork and drink alot might as well be anything else but muslim,.......

(this section below)

...that way you dont pollute the religion."

I think that statement is bordering the line of hate for those that don't follow the rules of islam. Or a PRELUDE to resentment against those that don't believe in Islam or its teachings.

"...people do find a safe heaven in islam from these at least ."

Any religion creates a "safe haven"! Being a good person is preached in all religions.

Alcohol/ism is a problem in all societies not just the practioners of Islam.

Drugs are as well.

"....actually a major part of the cause of his death was alcohol, "

Last time I checked I don't think alcohol causes cancer, it does destroy your liver though. You can consume alcohol and live a long life. And moderation is believed to be good for you and your heart.

"...I always thought of him as well to put bluntly 'dodgy' in every sense."

You think you could of led better or any other politician or KLA leader? And rallied support of the majority, as he did without violence. And even after the whiskies get re-elected twice?

I think the war was inevidable bc the serbs planned it well ahead of '98. When they started getting an influx of serbs from other republics they saw Kosovo/a as they always have: "a colony to be colonized."

Also remember Rugova was a politician. His stance was peaceful. And he knew that his opposition would resist his approach. The more you resist a view, the more radical the opponent gets to prove his view. He played his cards right.

"....need to get some more facts right and not be brainwashed open your mind and stop offending other believes."

May I ask how I offended anyones beliefs especially the Koran or Islam or any other belief?

I don't believe I offended any religious belief, for one my of majors is Asian Studies and had to read the Torah, the Bible, and Koran,and many other religious books all the way to Japan, but if I offended you PERSONALLY, then I do apologize for it was not my intention.

Lastly,

"...The Da Vinci Code, which has alot of facts,...."

The Da vinci Code is a novel!

I do appreciate everyones viewpoint but the main question is still:

If true, WOULD IT CHANGE YOUR VIEWS TOWARDS RUGOVA?

And thanks to everyone for expressing their opinions and giving honest answers to the question. Eveyones viewpoint is their right and should always be respected, even if you don't agree.

Ana from Albania said...

I read the comments and I have to admit, again and again, that "The truth is not the daughter of Sympathy, it is instead the daughter of discussions".
The discussion is always healthy. That being said, I don't want to ad more arguments to those you have expressed. Yet, I have difficulties to understand some of the views expresed. My first impression is that we have rigid concepts about Identity. Find things that can unite us and not separate. Can't we be more flexible in that? Should we always go back to the ancient times to find references. Isn't that a complex? Of the denial we have experienced by our neighbours and other manipulators? why can't we live freely and wth pride our diversity, which is wonderful and unique?

To heku,

faleminderit per shpjegimet :))

fauna said...

I wish I had time to read all of this but unfortunately I don't. But you know, I always like to throw something in there:)

Balkan Update's comments made the most sense to me

As far as Rugova's funeral, I think that it was legitimate to have a state funeral. I don't see why there's a need to bring religion into this whole thing

And if he did convert, who cares really. Although, if this was made public, who would not have enjoyed that popularity, that's for sure!

Kristian,
"But ppl should know how they became muslim and how the Osmans forced ppl and coerced ppl to convert to Islam. Ppl should also know what religion they practiced prior to the Ottoman occupation."

Are you trying to inspire people or something? We all know why we became muslim and I think people are comfortable with it. The influence of the 500 year Ottoman rule will stick around (Not only Kosova, but a big part of the Balkans).

As far as historians distorting history, why does it really matter if or not it's noted that Rugova died as a Catholic? Maybe it's more important to you because you're a Catholic. Makes no difference to me.
Religion is and should be a private affair.

I think we all know that Skenderbeg was a Catholic and that's what he fought for. But I guess if you say that there's people that don't know, maybe true.

to Albanian:
yes, we have a lost a leader, but we have new blood. Don't be so saddened.

peace

WARchild said...

Kristian,

Keeping religion out of state functions is actually a good thing, especially for religiuos minorities like you. As I understood from news noise, presties and hoxhas both made their prayers by his grave afterwards.

But Kristian, you shouldn't be surprised if there are such ambivalent feeling about a possible change of heart. Both Islam and Christianity are proselytizing relgions adamant in their sense of superiority. And then come the different sects in both.
Let me ask you this, how would America or Italy react if their presidents announced that they had turned Catholic, Protestant respectively?

My grandma (who became devout Muslim at her old age) woud say: gurit e drunit (to wood and stone), pasha toke e pasha qill (for sky and land), t'shitoft Zana (may Zana curse you), pasha Kanunin (for Kanun), t'marrshin ata t'Ures Shejte (may those of Saint Bridge take you) etc.

Vancouver said...

Thank you Kristian , and do not forget you are still my brother.


What Rugova concerns, there's nothing in this world could change my respect for him.

Kosovar2006 said...

To Kristian

First of all I was not directing any of my comments to you. but the readers in general.About alcohol well if you read some of the studies that are published they all have flaws. there is the one that say alcohol has benefits in moderation which no human can keep to. also that moderation always lead to addiction. I have read numerous medical studies in this case there is more anti- then pro - alcohol
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4232703.stm
just of the links to articles but as ai said there are articles published that do say alcohols advantages.Anyway I would be wrightin an essay if I had to explain the links between liver diseas and lunng cancer. Im really busy with my studying at the moment so PEACE I just gave my views thats all no offence. With the Da vinci code the story line is the fiction but its based in alot of facts as a isad further reading on those points will help.

For every leader that dies a new one is born. Thats the moto i go with at the moment. Lets finish this job proparly so that we can call ourselfs KOSOVAR IN 2006.

illyrianboy said...

Hi everyone,

(so glad this is just an Albanian discussion, whew!)

Kristian, since it was not made public we can only speculate about his conversion. But I believe he converted. IF HE CONVERTED AND HE DIDNT MAKE IT PUBLIC, THAT WAS BECAUSE HE WOULD LOSE POPULARITY. WHY? NOT BECAUSE OF MUSLIM FANATICISM BUT BECAUSE PEOPLE TEND TO DISBELIEVE PEOPLE WHO CHANGE THEIR POSITIONS. AND RELIGIOUS CONVERSION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CHANGE THAT YOU CAN MAKE IN YOUR LIFE.

Everyone

I believe Albanians are more superstitious then religious no matter what their religion is. And most Kosovars would describe themselves as "secular muslims" or "non-practising muslims". Personally I tell people I am a Muslim (I am in the US now) even though I am far from being a "good muslim" and not really a religious person.

NO MATTER IF HE CONVERTED OR NOT THE CEREMONY SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN RELIGIOUS. Kosova is a secular state and society. And it will remain so. Religion can't be mixed with politics. Most people would protest such a thing, and personally I would do anything I can to stop it.

In the time of Skenderbeg people identified with religion everywhere in Europe. During our National Renaissance they came up with the succesful idea of 'Albanianism'. Nationalism is the main source if identity for Albanians. And even that is disappearing. Cosmopolitanism is taking its place, as we move towards the EU.

We should be careful with generalizing about religion since we dont actually know how many people identify with which religion (or none at all). No census on that so far.

Read Religion and Politics in Kosovo by Ger Duijzings. Also, most of the books about Kosovo talk about religion and how it doesnt play a big role in Kosovars' lives.

Ju pershdes dhe suksese!

Kristian said...

Thanks to everyone for your views :) And thank God that it was an Albanian discussion as Illyrianboy pointed out :)

"Let me ask you this, how would America or Italy react if their presidents announced that they had turned Catholic, Protestant respectively?"

You have the right of choice in both those countries. And ppl respect an individuals choice. I can't say the same in other countries nor the balkans.

"Keeping religion out of state functions is actually a good thing, especially for religiuos minorities like you. "

Warchild the latter part of the sentence is that an attack on minorites? or some resentment towards them? Or towards "my kind"
as it seems your implying.

I hope you meant that seperation of "religion(church/mosk) and state" should be applied across all religious groups and not just a minority group. Religion should be seperate from the state period!

Doesn't matter who's the majority or the minority or what religion either of them practices.

And I hope everyone believes that each Kosovar has the right to "freedom of religion."

And I hope that right is in the Constitution (don't know if there is one already or will be drafted in the future). With no restrictions as there are in "Albania".

illyrianboy said...

Kristian

I am a little surprised by what you said. Of course everyone believes in the freedom of religion. I think that is not even an issue. Remember Kosova's constitution incorporates all international agreements on human rights etc. So of course freedom of religion is included.

I think warchild meant that religious minorities are better off when the religion (of the majority obviously) doesnt interfere with politics (like in Iran e.g.). But i would say everyone is much better off if religion is kept outside of politics.

Kristian said...

Illyrianboy


point well taken. thnx for the clarification!

heku said...

To Kosovar2006,

"As to the argument that we should go back to our firsts well thats simply nonsense and very unintelegent, if you believe it that way. We should go back to the romans then peganistic illirians then who else knows where you end up"

By the religion of the firsts it means by the religion of the firsts who used manuscripts and were able to read and write. which excludes de facto the paganistic or even the anemistic meanings (we cannot call theese two flows as religions). So you don't have to go to reach for the very first religion ad nauseam, just stop to the first lettration of ancient albanians (illyrians).

"hat follow strict or should I say clean islam, Mosques do actually fill up on fridays to say at least. More people interested in clean islam"
I think that we're entering in a slippy curve over here. Talking about clean islam or stict islam is a neologism. Islam, when correctly practiced, is clean or strict or whatever. Don't fall in the ratzelian theories of pure, clean and so on coz we all know where it lead. (Jean-Paul SARTRE: words are loaded guns)


Accept it or not, it was by christendom that we had any legitimity in European continent. Since the conversion or the Constantine emperor in 312 and the "right of communication" (Vittoria) christendom spread its ideas by proselitism to whom we were "invited" by the roman envasion of illyria after the piracy attacks of the illyrian kings.

"He did have quite alot of those whiskies with his Belgrade collegues and thats why they actually do have alot of respect for him."

Do strictly not confuse collaboration with pure policits. If Belgrade politicians were so stupid to pay any attention to Rugova just because he probably or in the hypothetic case where he had a drink with some representatives of the serbian governement, we would have already won our independance. The diplomatic manners of president Rugova are not understandable if you did not take any course about it. To my opinion, he has done the right job by not allowing us to enter the first yougoslav war, otherwise Srebrenica would have been a playground compared to Prishtina. Then second, the fact that he allways was prone to peace gave him a legitimity to occidental countries who prefer much more dealing with pacifists instead of UCK. Even if I respect the decision of people who fought for our liberty, I can not say this was the absolut point which decided the Nato forces to launch the offensive. UCK forces were completely disproportionate compared to the yougoslav army and we should take away of our mind that idea that we could even have had a tiny little chance against them. People who make war are good at it and should stay in their field and not claim to any political legitimity, talking about çeku, haradinaj and so on. Theese guys never studied at a high level and we want to compare them to Rugova which was a highly skilled politician. Don't mix towels and tissues...

"I would just like to ask, would KLA and the war (resistence or what ever you want to call it) went ahead if it was for Rugova."
Of course not, they did not understand the message of our president, when you do not have your proper forces, the only way to win a war is by protestation and by pacifistic ways as Gandhi lead his people to independance even if he had english people in front of him who were way much brutal and violent than have been serbs with us (even if pain is not quantifiable or measurable).

And, honestly, avoid talking about Da Vinci Code when we're talking about true facts. If you really wanna read something read Zenon and Cleanthe (From the duties) or Machiavelli or Ciceron, Saluste, Tite-live, Polybe and so on...if you want to deepen your knowledge or Christendom and Rome..

Thanks for the remarks.

heku said...

To Vancuver:

My assertion starts with: "For my personnal account"

This includes my, myself and I... (hohoho). and this could never be taken for a general assumption over kosova albanian thought of religion. Anyways, I love you guys, even if you insult me, or hate me (I didn't say you did it), I have a very high opinion of our youth and people. Whatever anybody says, our people has been let along the road towards industrialisation and it's time now for us tu wake up and show to theese cowards out there of what are we made. No heroin, even less prostitution, those who do theese things are the garabage of the society. Those who say to you that we are the niggers of europe just tell them to go to hell and have a look at Thomas and Znanjecki studies about integration and emmigration. All of theese bithces will be very surprised to know that nationality has nothing to do with integration or behaviour.

To all my fellow citizens, with love.

Kristian said...

What's the coined term:

"the pen is mightier then the fist"


Which is totally true in the 21st century.

heku said...

Excuse me, this had nothing to do with our purpose launched by Sir Kristian but I was reading the other articles and got mad about the ignorance and the "préjugés" of certain people.

Again, hugs and kisses.

Kristian said...

"Fatmir Sejdiu to replace Rugova as Kosovo President"

Lad&Gents could someone elaborate abit about this guy for me. I'm not familiar with him only that he's a moderate and a realist.

much appreciated!

Kosovar2006 said...

Its all well AS heku said hags and kisses. Arguments are good and healthy.
Can i just say though

'UCK forces were completely disproportionate compared to the yougoslav army.'

Albanian were the backbone of Yugoslav Army just dont forget that. Maybe lets say KLA didnt have the materials,The brains (sometimes overrun with brainless komandants) and the foot soldiers were always there very strong against 'Yugoslav Army'

Mir said...

"Albanian were the backbone of Yugoslav Army "

LOL

Albanians rarely even went in to the army because they said raising arms would be against their religion (Islam I believe?). However there were quite a few that were damn good. Its known well that the backbone (AND MAIN PROBLEM) was the Serbs. We had too much power in the army and by the time Milosevic came around... civil war could be seen years ahead.

illyrianboy said...

Hey Heku,

I think you are not very familiar with the spread of Christianity among
Illyrians. Illyria was occupied by Rome Before Christ. And by the time
Constantine converted, there were established churches all over
Illyria.
Apostle Paul himself was one of the missionaries of Chrisitanity in
Illyria.
So Christianity among Albanians is apostolic. The idea that it was
imposed by
Romans is a misconception.

Kristian

Fatmir Sejdiu is not a bad optioni. He was my professor in Prishtina
Uni. He
tries to speak English (I dont know if he has improved a lot or no). He
is
pretty open minded. But he is still one of the "older generation" guys
who
have communist era work ethics. I think it was the best LDK could offer
in
this situation.

It is good that it is being decided fast!

Tung njerez e suksese

Illyrianboy

Kristian said...

thanks Illyrian boy!


With the Apostle Paul, appreciate that too. I mentioned that christianity was practiced before the ROMANS did.

Much success to the ppl of Kosovo/a indeed!

ivan said...

"Albanian were the backbone of Yugoslav Army just dont forget that. Maybe lets say KLA didnt have the materials,The brains (sometimes overrun with brainless komandants) and the foot soldiers were always there very strong against 'Yugoslav Army'"

thats why you had to go and hide to Albania, and then change your tactics to hit-run-hide.

Kotradiq said...

Strange how we all forget the people who gave their lives and lost their families fighting for the freedom of Kosova.

Many would be politicians were very active from the early 90's to the ultimate war in 97-99, yet they have all been surpassed and don't even get a mention. President Rugova (the late) did nothing more than what was expected of him, have meetings and meet with foreign diplomats that visited to see the status of play in Kosova.

If he really had the support of the western powers and was so great then he would have settled the Kosova issue long ago, yet here we are still today heading down the path of status talks. If we really look at the historical timetable you will not find it difficult to see that the real turning point in our history (with prospects for independence) was brought to the international arena once armed KLA members started their military campaign against the barbaric occupying forces.

I mean no disrespect nor insult for (late) Mr. Rugova nor his family but would only like people to keep things in perspective, its usually hard as we are such a euphoric people. The role that he had played was positive even though at times very indecisive and without real leadership.

I feel that the lives of even the simplest villagers, that took up armed resistance and endangered themselves and their families were far more valuable than that of any politician and aspiring national leader(s).

Just how much public awareness is there in Kosova for the simple individuals that fought the war and suffered, many that have died and those that are incapacitated with missing limbs and in poor health? Are these not the true liberators of what we hope will one day be an independent and democratic kosova!

But history has shown that we have very short and selective memories and I suppose that's why we are in the position that we are in today. I can only hope that the emerging generations of young and educated people will start to grasp reality and understand that there is a price for everything and the price for freedom has always been blood.

I will never understand just how we differentiate between the value of one life against that of another, yet I cannot imagine how someone who dies of a self inflicted illness (cancer-smoking) as opposed to another who dies a barbaric death whilst fighting for the freedom of his people is paid so much tribute and has virtually brought Kosova to a standstill (15 or so days of mourning). Never the less I suppose these are the great unanswered questions and the type of scenarios that myths and fairy tales are usually based on.

God bless all those who gave their lives defending the people so that we may one day live in an independent and democratic KOSOVA. You shall never be forgotten, even though many have not visited your graves, your weaping families nor paid any official tribute recognising your existence!

Kosova wake UP!

Kotradiq said...

Strange how we all forget the people who gave their lives and lost their families fighting for the freedom of Kosova.

Many would be politicians were very active from the early 90's to the ultimate war in 97-99, yet they have all been surpassed and don't even get a mention. President Rugova (the late) did nothing more than what was expected of him, have meetings and meet with foreign diplomats that visited to see the status of play in Kosova.

If he really had the support of the western powers and was so great then he would have settled the Kosova issue long ago, yet here we are still today heading down the path of status talks. If we really look at the historical timetable you will not find it difficult to see that the real turning point in our history (with prospects for independence) was brought to the international arena once armed KLA members started their military campaign against the barbaric occupying forces.

I mean no disrespect nor insult for (late) Mr. Rugova nor his family but would only like people to keep things in perspective, its usually hard as we are such a euphoric people. The role that he had played was positive even though at times very indecisive and without real leadership.

I feel that the lives of even the simplest villagers, that took up armed resistance and endangered themselves and their families were far more valuable than that of any politician and aspiring national leader(s).

Just how much public awareness is there in Kosova for the simple individuals that fought the war and suffered, many that have died and those that are incapacitated with missing limbs and in poor health? Are these not the true liberators of what we hope will one day be an independent and democratic kosova!

But history has shown that we have very short and selective memories and I suppose that's why we are in the position that we are in today. I can only hope that the emerging generations of young and educated people will start to grasp reality and understand that there is a price for everything and the price for freedom has always been blood.

I will never understand just how we differentiate between the value of one life against that of another, yet I cannot imagine how someone who dies of a self inflicted illness (cancer-smoking) as opposed to another who dies a barbaric death whilst fighting for the freedom of his people is paid so much tribute and has virtually brought Kosova to a standstill (15 or so days of mourning). Never the less I suppose these are the great unanswered questions and the type of scenarios that myths and fairy tales are usually based on.

God bless all those who gave their lives defending the people so that we may one day live in an independent and democratic KOSOVA. You shall never be forgotten, even though many have not visited your graves, your weaping families nor paid any official tribute recognising your existence!

Kosova wake UP!

Kotradiq said...

Strange how we all forget the people who gave their lives and lost their families fighting for the freedom of Kosova.

Many would be politicians were very active from the early 90's to the ultimate war in 97-99, yet they have all been surpassed and don't even get a mention. President Rugova (the late) did nothing more than what was expected of him, have meetings and meet with foreign diplomats that visited to see the status of play in Kosova.

If he really had the support of the western powers and was so great then he would have settled the Kosova issue long ago, yet here we are still today heading down the path of status talks. If we really look at the historical timetable you will not find it difficult to see that the real turning point in our history (with prospects for independence) was brought to the international arena once armed KLA members started their military campaign against the barbaric occupying forces.

I mean no disrespect nor insult for (late) Mr. Rugova nor his family but would only like people to keep things in perspective, its usually hard as we are such a euphoric people. The role that he had played was positive even though at times very indecisive and without real leadership.

I feel that the lives of even the simplest villagers, that took up armed resistance and endangered themselves and their families were far more valuable than that of any politician and aspiring national leader(s).

Just how much public awareness is there in Kosova for the simple individuals that fought the war and suffered, many that have died and those that are incapacitated with missing limbs and in poor health? Are these not the true liberators of what we hope will one day be an independent and democratic kosova!

But history has shown that we have very short and selective memories and I suppose that's why we are in the position that we are in today. I can only hope that the emerging generations of young and educated people will start to grasp reality and understand that there is a price for everything and the price for freedom has always been blood.

I will never understand just how we differentiate between the value of one life against that of another, yet I cannot imagine how someone who dies of a self inflicted illness (cancer-smoking) as opposed to another who dies a barbaric death whilst fighting for the freedom of his people is paid so much tribute and has virtually brought Kosova to a standstill (15 or so days of mourning). Never the less I suppose these are the great unanswered questions and the type of scenarios that myths and fairy tales are usually based on.

God bless all those who gave their lives defending the people so that we may one day live in an independent and democratic KOSOVA. You shall never be forgotten, even though many have not visited your graves, your weaping families nor paid any official tribute recognising your existence!

Kosova wake UP!

Kotradiq said...

Strange how we all forget the people who gave their lives and lost their families fighting for the freedom of Kosova.

Many would be politicians were very active from the early 90's to the ultimate war in 97-99, yet they have all been surpassed and don't even get a mention. President Rugova (the late) did nothing more than what was expected of him, have meetings and meet with foreign diplomats that visited to see the status of play in Kosova.

If he really had the support of the western powers and was so great then he would have settled the Kosova issue long ago, yet here we are still today heading down the path of status talks. If we really look at the historical timetable you will not find it difficult to see that the real turning point in our history (with prospects for independence) was brought to the international arena once armed KLA members started their military campaign against the barbaric occupying forces.

I mean no disrespect nor insult for (late) Mr. Rugova nor his family but would only like people to keep things in perspective, its usually hard as we are such a euphoric people. The role that he had played was positive even though at times very indecisive and without real leadership.

I feel that the lives of even the simplest villagers, that took up armed resistance and endangered themselves and their families were far more valuable than that of any politician and aspiring national leader(s).

Just how much public awareness is there in Kosova for the simple individuals that fought the war and suffered, many that have died and those that are incapacitated with missing limbs and in poor health? Are these not the true liberators of what we hope will one day be an independent and democratic kosova!

But history has shown that we have very short and selective memories and I suppose that's why we are in the position that we are in today. I can only hope that the emerging generations of young and educated people will start to grasp reality and understand that there is a price for everything and the price for freedom has always been blood.

I will never understand just how we differentiate between the value of one life against that of another, yet I cannot imagine how someone who dies of a self inflicted illness (cancer-smoking) as opposed to another who dies a barbaric death whilst fighting for the freedom of his people is paid so much tribute and has virtually brought Kosova to a standstill (15 or so days of mourning). Never the less I suppose these are the great unanswered questions and the type of scenarios that myths and fairy tales are usually based on.

God bless all those who gave their lives defending the people so that we may one day live in an independent and democratic KOSOVA. You shall never be forgotten, even though many have not visited your graves, your weaping families nor paid any official tribute recognising your existence!

Kosova wake UP!

Kotradiq said...

Strange how we all forget the people who gave their lives and lost their families fighting for the freedom of Kosova.

Many would be politicians were very active from the early 90's to the ultimate war in 97-99, yet they have all been surpassed and don't even get a mention. President Rugova (the late) did nothing more than what was expected of him, have meetings and meet with foreign diplomats that visited to see the status of play in Kosova.

If he really had the support of the western powers and was so great then he would have settled the Kosova issue long ago, yet here we are still today heading down the path of status talks. If we really look at the historical timetable you will not find it difficult to see that the real turning point in our history (with prospects for independence) was brought to the international arena once armed KLA members started their military campaign against the barbaric occupying forces.

I mean no disrespect nor insult for (late) Mr. Rugova nor his family but would only like people to keep things in perspective, its usually hard as we are such a euphoric people. The role that he had played was positive even though at times very indecisive and without real leadership.

I feel that the lives of even the simplest villagers, that took up armed resistance and endangered themselves and their families were far more valuable than that of any politician and aspiring national leader(s).

Just how much public awareness is there in Kosova for the simple individuals that fought the war and suffered, many that have died and those that are incapacitated with missing limbs and in poor health? Are these not the true liberators of what we hope will one day be an independent and democratic kosova!

But history has shown that we have very short and selective memories and I suppose that's why we are in the position that we are in today. I can only hope that the emerging generations of young and educated people will start to grasp reality and understand that there is a price for everything and the price for freedom has always been blood.

I will never understand just how we differentiate between the value of one life against that of another, yet I cannot imagine how someone who dies of a self inflicted illness (cancer-smoking) as opposed to another who dies a barbaric death whilst fighting for the freedom of his people is paid so much tribute and has virtually brought Kosova to a standstill (15 or so days of mourning). Never the less I suppose these are the great unanswered questions and the type of scenarios that myths and fairy tales are usually based on.

God bless all those who gave their lives defending the people so that we may one day live in an independent and democratic KOSOVA. You shall never be forgotten, even though many have not visited your graves, your weaping families nor paid any official tribute recognising your existence!

Kosova wake UP!

Prince of Albania said...

Religion divides people, while a common belief in something unites them. That is why I am not at all religious, but I am totally spiritual. I believe in God and the Afterlife. I believe in Heaven and Hell. However I do not believe that God sees a difference between us. To him we are not Christians or Muslims, Jews or Buddhists. To him we are his children. And I believe he recognizes us as either good or bad people. Good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell, simple as that.

That being said, I think that people have the right to determine their religion if they do not feel represented by the one they are born into.

I am a strong believer of the saying "Leave these churches and these mosques, because the faith of the Albanians is Albanianism"

I have also seen very little, if any, affinity amongst Albanians for any religion, Catholic, Orthodox or Muslim. Most Albanians seem content in believing in God, being free, having money, and having the national soccer team of Albania beating the national Greek team...LOL.

Nonetheless, everyone has their beliefs and convictions, and so long as they don't advocate the demise of another, I am OK with them.

Peace, Prince of Albania.

Balkan Update said...

Kotradiq,
You are right on target with your thoughtful comments (C my comment above). If it wasn't for the KLA starting the war, we would have still been living under Serbia's rule. I just fail to understand how some other people don't c this. Rugova has his merits but most people exaggerate his contribution. He was the leader of Kosovo for 8 years (1990-1998), and nothing positive happen to Kosovo during this time. Some people claim that he Internationalized the Kosovo issue but there is scant evidence to support that conclusion (If you lived outside Kosovo you would have known this). Until 1998 most people in the world had never heard of Kosovo and let alone the abuses done by the Milosevic regime. The fact is that the KLA came into being at a perfect timing. If you didn't agree with some of the things that the KLA leadership did, you got to give them credit for staring the war at the perfect time.

The reason some international leaders gave Rugova so much credit for "liberating" Kosovo is because they didn't want to be seen as having supported an armed insurgency, which is what they did. Another thing people should remember is that the KLA managed to get the support of the most powerful military alliance in the world: NATO. Keep in mind that Rugova was not supporting the KLA when the rest of world, including the US and NATO, was dealing with them.

Most security analysts describe the KLA as the most successful guerrilla force in recent times. Some say that the KLA achieved most of the things it fought for by not fight a whole a lot. ISI says that the KLA dragged NATO in Kosovo. To me it doesn’t matter who actually did the fighting. I just have to be honest with myself and acknowledge that the KLA triggered the event that lead to the Liberation of Kosovo. People who don’t accept this obvious fact are living in fantasy land.

Cheers,
Ferik. F

Kristian said...

To: Balkan Update


I agree with some points but you can't say that 100% of the reason why this whole process started is bc of the KLA. That would be biased. The west had plans for Kosovo/a even before the war started.

My condolences to all those that parished during the war and are suffering even after the war ended.

Balkan Update said...

Kristian,
The west had no plans for Kosovo! I don't know why you would say that. There is no single shred of evidence to support that claim. In fact Kosovo was not considered to be a big issue until 1998(See R. Holbrook). I assure you that NATO would have never intervened if it were not for the armed conflict.

In any case, I don’t want to bash Rugova because he is now dead and because he did have his own merits. The fact is that Rugova was not a great politician (this does not exclude the possibility of him having been a good man) cuz he was an idealist, and there is no room for such people in politics. I am convinced someone else, e.i Fatmir Sejdiu, Daci ,Agani etc, would have achieved more results than Rugova. In any case, the History will judge him and KLA and everyone else. The truth does need to be spoken though – even if you disagree with it.

Take care,
Balkan Update