Memorie.al publishes an unknown document extracted from the fund of the former Central Committee of the ALP that belongs to April 1967 and is a conversation of Enver Hoxha with the first secretary of the Party Committee of the Dibra district, Sul Baholli, regarding the great action undertaken at that time by the communist regime for the prohibition of religion and the demolition of places of worship, such as churches, mosques, monasteries, tekkes, tombs, etc., where the district of Dibra came out “flagship” and sent a telegram to the Central Committee of the Albanian People’s Party with 41 names of clerics of the Islamic faith of that district, who after “supporting” that great action of the Party and considered religious customs as: “issues of the past that came because of the deep backwardness of the people, they vowed to shave their beards and work happily wherever the party assigned them to build socialism ”. Enver’s messages and instructions in the meeting with Sul Baholli, not approving what the Dibra Party Committee demanded taking administrative measures, against those who opposed and prevented the fight against religion, “because that work required a lot of time and it was necessary solved only by political work”
In the years 1965-’66, when the communist regime of Enver Hoxha started the big action for the legal prohibition of religious beliefs and the demolition of various cult objects, such as churches, mosques, monasteries, tombs, tekkes, etc., that thing aroused a great reaction, not only from various clerics, mainly of the Catholic faith who exercised their religious activity in the region of Shkodra and other districts in Northern Albania, but also from various believers who sent letters and telegrams to the Central Committee of The ALP, and personally Enver Hoxha, where they demanded that their cult objects not be destroyed. But besides them, in that great action that was burdened by the committees of the district party, an event took place that surprised immensely, not only the many believers but also the senior leadership and personally Enver Hoxha. This event, which caused a great commotion at that time (after it was published in the newspaper “Zeri I Popullit”), was a telegram that 41 clerics of the Islamic faith of the Dibra district sent to the Central Committee of the ALP, who after “supporting” that great action of the Party and considering religious customs as “issues of the past” that came because of the deep backwardness of the people, they vowed to shave their beards and work happily wherever they were assigned. the party for building socialism ”. This telegram, which had no signature, was nothing but a deception and fabrication of Sul Baholli, to appear and make a fuss in front of the high leadership and personally of Enver Hoxha so that his circle would come out. “Flagship” in the great action taken by the communist regime. But it seems that this did not work completely as Sul Baholli and his “comrades” of the Party Committee of Dibra district thought, as he encountered reactions and a considerable resistance, both from the clerics of the Islamic faith and the believers. of many of that district. Based on this fact, Sul Baholli and the District Party Committee repeatedly asked the Central Committee to take administrative measures and convict those clerics and believers who opposed that great act of banning religion and destroying places of worship. However, this was not approved by Enver Hoxha, who called Sul Baholli to a meeting but did not approve the request for administrative measures. For more about that meeting, we are familiar with the document in question that Memorie. al publishes in full in this article.
Conversation with comrade Sulë Baholli
The problem of religion and customs
You are the first friends of Dibra, who were set on fire by statements, clerics, mosques, tekkes, Eid, the sheikhs guarded their beards, removed their heads and heads, you are the ones who cover us with telegrams from the measures that you will not fast, Eid, etc. Now come and say that you have fanaticism and indirectness there, ask us to take administrative measures as I said.
No, we will not give them this permission, because it is not fair, we will not allow administrative measures. For these things there is only one measure, political work, ideological and persuasive. We are constantly telling you that these do not disappear immediately, it takes time and all the time, we need to work in this direction, and the work should consist of various forms, and suitable not only for each district but for each family. and individuals separately.
Do not allow exalted people to provoke the people, for the top of a minaret, which if it does not collapse today, let the weather collapse.
I would advise you one thing: if we want religion and customs to disappear, our generation, and from future generations, the party, must seize the work from women, and rely heavily on women, on this issue. , than men.
The problem of women, I have emphasized, and I will emphasize it constantly, is one of the key problems of the Party and of socialism.
The party and the working class must be clear that after youth, women are that part of the most progressive people, more connected to life, to work, to the land, to the Party. Despite the fact that she is currently more backward than her husband, despite the customs, traditions, and religion she maintains in the family, she is their depositor, she is more able to throw them away, kick them, consume.
We need to understand that these habits, in the family, have been imposed by the husband, the wife suffers from them, or thinking that in him he finds the alleviation of suffering in the hope of healing her wounds upon the wife, he is disposed to save, why with these plexus habits, the atavization of “his superiority,” his “ability, his intelligence.”
Why, then, should the party be content with supporting its work only with men to eradicate these habits, why through the husband, we want to liberate the woman, and we do not enter properly, the liberation of the woman, with the women, especially without neglecting and men. Through women we will liberate men as well.
We talk a lot about “raising a woman’s personality”, we are doing little, and what little we do, we do as “charity for the woman”, as a favor we do to the woman. We find it natural to introduce 20 men to the party, and satisfying why we introduce a woman. This without wanting to, and without realizing it, means thinking like a butler.
There are many reasons without any basis. No man is more elevated, etc., etc. This is not true for peers up to 35 years old. Until this age there is no difference between a girl and a boy, because both are equally grown up in our socialist regime, but our patriarchal minds have not made a difference in this matter. It is absolutely necessary to make this turn in the work of the party, on the issue of women. Rely heavily on women in your work, and you will see how many excellent and quick results you will have, especially in eradicating heavy habits and religion.
The issue of religious beliefs in us, both in men and in women, is not an issue rooted in studies and philosophical convictions, it is more of a pragmatic problem, a habit problem, inherited. This habit has of course undergone great changes towards extinction, even without doing dense atheistic work. Let us throw religious practices into practice even before our socialist regime, even though they still exist, if we equate them with religious beliefs, and its practices in other countries have been weaker.
Let us also take the Catholic faith, which was served by learned clergy, and again we will prove that even these could not penetrate, outside the practice of liturgy, developed in a “pale” way, compared to other countries.
Prayers in mosques and Orthodox churches, on the other hand, became relatively rare and more restricted to religious days and holidays. Fasting and fasting lost their effect, both in young people and in the past from old age in cities.
Magic and mascots and they were weakening and maintaining such a primitive character that their credit disappeared to the masses. Magicians, fortune tellers, mascot people, of course, became anachronists, they remained among the most ignorant of the ignorant, before the development of our society.
With the establishment of the popular regime, with the great educational, cultural progress, with the raising of the living standard of the people, all that backwardness in customs, and in religion, ate a further heavy blow.
Some friends attach more importance to the “influence” of a hodja, or an ignorant priest of the village, who in reality has no credit, rather than clarifying the measure, on this issue which is very shaky, faint and without bases, and with a more careful puppy, it shakes them even more, until we eliminate them at all./Memorie.al