Skanderbeg: The Albanian Freedom Fighter Who Defied the OttomansNote: This essay was written for RaymondIbrahim.com by André Masséna.
Albania is ranked as one of the least religious countries in the world, with only 30% of the population stating they consider religion to be important, according to Gallup. Yet, roughly 60% of the population state they belong to Sunni Islam, with only a 17% minority Christians. Such statistics seem to create a contrast between Albania today and the historical Albania. Centuries ago, Albania was one of the main battlegrounds between the Christian Europe and the armies of the Ottoman Empire. With a tiny population, rivalling feudal families and poor finances, the Albanians demonstrated some of the fiercest and most enduring resistances against the Eastern Muslim conquerors– especially under the leadership of the iconic figure and one of the founding fathers of Albania, Skanderberg (here spelled Scanderbeg). His remarkable story, outstanding talent and brave resistance would ignite the strong national identity of the Albanians, as well as inspire European soldiers in their long-lasting struggle with the Ottoman Empire....
Scanderbeg’s significance may be summed up in the resolution issued by the United States Congress in 2005, which was: “honouring the 600th anniversary of the birth of Gjergj Kastrioti (Scanderbeg), statesman, diplomat, and military genius, for his role in saving Western Europe from Ottoman occupation.”