Memorie.al publishes an archival document extracted from the fund of the former Central Committee of the ALP that belongs to 1965, when the communist regime of Enver Hoxha began the action for the mass demolition of various religious buildings such as churches, mosques, monasteries, tombs, tekkes, etc., but that action had a strong reaction, not only from some clerics, mainly those of the Catholic faith who served in the Shkodra region but also from many believers from different districts of the country. Such a reaction came from the believers of Elbasan, who sent two letters to Enver Hoxha, asking him to intervene as soon as possible to stop the demolition of the mosque of Ballija, because otherwise, they would go to Tirana… ?!
Although Enver Hoxha’s communist regime had launched a crackdown on religious institutions and various clerics of three faiths since his coming to power in December 1944, when executions or imprisonment and mass deportations of hundreds of hundreds of clerics began, the ban of religion and the demolition of various cult objects began only in 1965. To the decision taken by the senior leadership of the ALP and personally Enver Hoxha at the time, to ban religion and destroy and destroy all religious institutions of various cult objects, which was initially camouflaged, attributed to it as an initiative and request of some school youth organizations of high schools in Tirana and Durres, there were many strong objections and reactions from both believers and senior clerics of the three religious faiths, who practiced their religious activity in our country. But the reactions of various clerics and believers were further exacerbated when the directive of the senior leadership of the ALP, for the demolition of cult objects, was becoming a reality by senior party and government leaders in various districts of the country, who launched attacks on churches and mosques, initially targeting schoolchildren, military units and fanatical youth activists. One of these reactions was that of some believers from the city of Elbasan, who sent two letters to Enver Hoxha, where not only did they ask for his intervention so that the Ballije mosque would not be demolished, but they also threatened him in their letter. telling the communist dictator that if the ban on that mosque was not banned, they would go to Tirana. For more information, let us know the two letters that Memorie.al is publishing in full in this article.
Letter from the believers of Elbasan to Enver Hoxha
Comrade Enver Hoxha Tirana
This is the second letter we are sending to you, Comrade Enver, and for a while the workers for the demolition of the Ballje mosque were stopped, well, but today on it. 27. X. 1965 began the demolition of the mosque in Jamiat and the Sunni believers were saddened and demanded that the mosque in question not be demolished and stay in place. We know that religion is free and we enjoy all religious rights and therefore we demand that the Ballje mosque be historic, but if we do not accept it historically, we should decorate and arrange it but only let the mosque stay in place and not be destroyed. From the religious, from Jamiat, and the believers of the city of Elbasan. Only your command forbids every action.
We remain hopeful.
27. X. 1965
Comrade Enver Hoxha
This is the third letter we send you and nothing was done about the Ballje mosque in Elbasan, but they continue to destroy it. It is a great sin to demolish a mosque like this, which is very good and which is in the middle of the city.
I also tell the Chairman of the City Committee that what is ruined is the mosque, if it was a church, it would not end like this and the Mufti of the city of Elbasan together with the head of the religion in Tirana, look to get money and did not ask about the mosques. , but they look to fill their pockets, and for the mosques, they have no galley but one thing is that the mosques have been hit by the people and the people ask how bad it is that the mosques are being demolished today and that they have made depots many of them that stand out because they are home in the city.
As for the Mufti of the city, the Aja has done it as he pleases, the imams of the city and the village are afraid that they will do the same with kobure in the belt and do as the Aja says out of fear that he will threaten them, therefore all that has come with The Mufti of the City has become, so we ask that the mosque not be demolished until it is too late, if we as religious people enjoy all the rights as those who do not believe, to see our rights, or order the demolition of all mosques so that we may know that we as believers do not enjoy the same rights as everyone else, but are spoiled, together with the Mufti of the City, who has delenized religion to this state.
We ask that the mosque not be demolished until it is too late and that the Mufti be removed from our religion altogether. If the demolition is not stopped and the mosque is repaired, on Tuesday the 2nd we will come a part of the believers to meet with you to clarify.
With respect, Xhemiati, and the believers of the city and villages of Elbasan.
With confidence with full hope.
30. X. 65
(A.Q.Sh. p.14 / A.P. S.T.R. V.1965 D.1014 p.76)