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Aferdita Emini, Staff Reporter

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Some of the Albanians in Tirana, the capital of Albania, have a lot to say about the mosque that is being built and finished in 2019. It has room for 5,000 worshippers. Not a lot of people have room to pray in the mosque’s they already have.

This mosque is soon to be the biggest in the Balkans. Even though that’s a good thing, some Albanians believe it’s a bad thing.

The mosque was funded by the Turkish government at a cost of $34 million. Some Albanians believe that Turkey only built it so they can force the religion Islam on to Albanians. That wasn’t the reason the Turkish government funded the mosque, they did it to help us. They knew the Albanian government couldn’t afford it so they built it instead.

They are still hurt by the Ottoman Empire and try using every reason they can to have the Turks look like bad people. Yes, I understand where they come from, they are scared. Back in the days during the Ottoman, that’s what the Turks did to us. They forced Islam upon us. Some Albanians converted and some stayed Catholic.

Today the Turks aren’t forcing anything upon us, we have a free will to believe in any religion we want. Personally, I think that the Turks are helping us out, they are being kind enough to fund a $34 million Mosque. We asked for a mosque but didn’t have money for it, now that Turkey funded it for us, Albanians became high alert thinking something big out of it when it’s not.

Dorian Shatku, a local said, “Turkey’s not a big brother.” He thinks that we shouldn’t accept what Turkey gives us.

The opposing Albanians don’t look at the bigger picture. They don’t understand that every Friday religious Albanian-Muslims pray, they don’t have enough room in the mosques there so they pray on the streets facing Mecca. This also happens during Eid, a holiday Muslims celebrate (Muslim Holiday).

When the Orthodox churches were built people hushed up and didn’t say anything. Now that a mosque is being built so many Albanians have something to say.

Just because Turkey built the mosque doesn’t mean that the Turks are forcing the religion upon us. People who think so have a free will to convert back to Catholicism; no one is forcing them to follow Islam. The protestors are both Muslim and Catholic Albanians. Even though some Muslims think it’s a good thing, others think it isn’t.

People who think that they are being forced to follow a religion they don’t like are Islamophobic.

The Turkish aren’t just building that one Mosque. They are also investing their money to fix up the other mosques in Tirana.

So many Albanians were posting up on Social Media like Twitter, for example, saying three Mosques in Tirana is enough. Tirana has a population of about 421,000 people. 60% are Muslims, 20% Christian, and another 20% are Catholic or Atheist.

Others had different thoughts; they believed that three weren’t enough. They either needed more or a big one that was able to fit a lot of people.

It is really smart to add mosques in Albania, it is only fair that Muslims get a big mosque that is able to fit 5,000 people so that those 5,000+ people don’t have to pray on the street or parks.

If the Catholics have Orthodox Churches, why can’t Muslims have mosques without causing a problem?

When Albania was cleaning up after the Ottoman Empire, the first thing they did was rebuild churches. They were all burned down.

The idea of building a mosque was there but the people did nothing about it. They didn’t pursue it because they didn’t care as much, building the churches was the main priority.

Excited isn’t even the word for the Muslims that are happy about this Mosque being built and finished next year. It wouldn’t even be possible if it weren’t for the Turkish Government funding it.

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Aferdita Emini, Staff Reporter


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This mosque is a beautiful gift