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October 22nd, 2010
10:49 AM ET

Exhibit: Albanian Muslims saved Jews from Nazis

From CNN affilate KSDK:

With rising anti-Muslim sentiment across the country, an untold story is raising greater awareness about the Muslim faith and the teachings of the Quran. That awareness comes from an unlikely source: a small Jewish congregation in Creve Coeur.

Temple Emanuel is premiering a groundbreaking exhibit of photos that reveals Albanian Muslims who saved 2,000 Jews during World War II.

It's a story you've likely never heard. It is a story told through the faces of Albanian Muslims who risked their own lives to live by a code of faith and honor called Besa.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Holocaust • Interfaith issues • Islam • Judaism

soundoff (375 Responses)
  1. PRETENDER

    muslim Ottoman s saved spanish jews after fall of garnada .Jews were first time allowed to pray in Jerusalem in the time of famous Caliph Omar before they were bared to go in jewish temple and pray there.It is not true muslims are intolerant to jews .Most of this problem is due to creation of Israeli state which is more political issue .

    October 24, 2010 at 4:42 am |
  2. Rabin Pradhan

    What happened to the rest of the video?

    October 24, 2010 at 4:35 am |
  3. ALBANIAN AMERICAN (te me hash karin)

    ANYBODY WITH A BRAIN KNOWS THAT ALBANIANS FOUGHT WITH FASCIST ITALY AGAINST THE ALLIES. THEY CALL THEMSELVES ARYANS EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE ARABIC NAMES. THEY ARE TOTALY DELUSIONAL AND THEY THINK ALEXANDER THE GREAT WAS ALBANIAN.

    October 24, 2010 at 4:18 am |
    • Epidamnus

      hahaha you are clearly the lowest denominator in this forum. the only person here who cusses in Albanian – and CLEARLY NOT ALBANIAN, because if you were you would be proud of your people. Grekofil

      November 1, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
  4. Joel Weymouth

    Idiots take and obscure incident and try to make it an exception that overthrows the rules.
    1. FACT: Muslims generally sided with the Nazis. The Bosnian Muslims and the Catholic Croations sided with the Nazis. The Serbs (who were Orthodox fought them.) This is why there is such bad blood between them to this day.
    Fact: the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem left Palestine and resided in Berlin during World War 2.
    Fact: When Israel was granted independence (May 15, 1948): Five Muslim Arab Nations attacked Israel simultaneously. They ordered the Arabs and Palestinians in the Jewish Portions of Israel to leave or they would be "slaughtered with the Jews". The Muslim Battle Cry was "Let us Finish What Hitler Started". OF course we know that the Arab nations were soundly defeated and Israel took that land from the Arabs and Palestinians and Israel was born with the borders they kept until the 6 day war.
    Fact: The Muslims were given a Palestinian State in 1948 alongside Israel. The Muslims immediately tried to wipe out Israel.

    This cute little story is irrelevant and proves nothing except that some people are okay IN SPITE of their beliefs.

    October 24, 2010 at 4:12 am |
  5. I AM OFFENDED, THIS IS VERY RACIST

    Why does the Western media think that a story about ALBANIANS in Eastern Europe saving a couple of thousand jewish lives before the recreation of Israel is relevant as it pertains to the current situation involving the MIDDLE EAST and the war on terror. What exactly do ALBANIANS who you labeled simply as "muslims" have to do with anything? The majority of Americans probably think ALBANIA is next to Pakistan, are you confusing them on purpose?

    October 24, 2010 at 3:10 am |
    • Epidamnus

      Rekax bud. I'm Albanian too, and i am somewhat offended by that generalization, because if anything we are majority Agnostic, and then christian, before being anything even remotely close to muslim. Unfortunately this is what we get for being so lax and letting countries like Serbia and Greece take over the PR war they have against us, and make us look like some backward muslim country, in order to shape western opinion against us to their long term political goal of scaring the West into thinking that they have some muslim country in their midst. When reality is that we are probably the least religious people in the world, and even the tiny minority of Albanians who ARE religious, are amongst the most peoplerant religious people you will ever find. Islam in Albania is a JOKE! It exists for the most part only nominally. maybe 1% of the population even considers itself muslim in practice. Wait that's even less then in the US... lol ohh.... and half of those peole drink alcohol, only pray once a month, go to the mosque once a year, and love to dance and go to parties... lol

      So don;t worry about it bud.. Anyone who has met an Albanian from Albania knows whatsup... lol

      November 1, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
  6. Bremen3011

    A positive news story involving Muslims and Jews during one of the most tragic moments in human history. No, CNN this must be an illusion or maybe I'm just tired, positive stories don't exist in media.

    October 24, 2010 at 2:38 am |
  7. mdamone

    CNN guilty of their 1 millionth use of the classic "fallacy of selection." Oh, look...what do you know? There is a single reportable event in history when Muslims stood up for and took a risk to protect Jews! See, Liberal America? Muslims like Jews! Yes – it's true, bases on one historical example! CNN – post more about all the good Muslims are doing for Jewish people – we don't hear enough about it!
    Don't mind the anti-Semetic comments countless Muslim LEADERS make about Jews. Nothing to see here. When the "President" of Iran says that the Holocaust never happened, or that Iran should blast the Jews into the sea, he's just kidding. When countless Muslims are videotaped ranting anti-Semetic rhetoric, no need to pay attention. The Muslims LOVE the Jews – just read the story here!
    Step up to the big barrel sitting there – go ahead and take a big drink. Poison?? No way! It's Koolaid – you like Koolaid, don't you? The people lying nearby, vomiting and rolling in pain? Don't mind them – they're non-believers. Serves them right! Let CNN wave its hand in front of your computer-reading eyes – these aren't the droids you are looking for!
    Feel warm and fuzzy yet? Good! Repeat after us: Muslims LOVE Jews. Muslims LOVE Jews. Our story proves it!

    October 24, 2010 at 2:31 am |
  8. Frank Rizzo

    There are countless stories of Muslims coming to the assistance of non-muslims during the last 1400 years, the problem is there is not effort made to make them public, Muslims I believe are Honorable God Fearing People who like every other religious group has had their Good and Bad moments. I believe that one day, we as Americans and others from lands far away will find common ground in making this World a much better place for all of God's Creations. And for all those hard working, honest law honoring Muslims I extend my hand to you in seeking love, compassion and mercy for all of us to live in Peace. And why not?

    October 24, 2010 at 1:14 am |
    • us

      Thanks Frank, May God bless you with His guidance!!

      October 24, 2010 at 10:03 am |
    • Skanderbeg

      Frank tell that to the 60 Million Hindu's murdered by Muslim invaders or to the 100 Million Africans murdered by Muslim invaders long before Europeans went there, they learned of taking black slaves from the Muslim slave traders...

      let anyone google Muslims slavery of Blacks in African you will learn something many people don't know in the west we all like to think slavery was a white European evil act, learn so truth for a change..

      October 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  9. Mr. Zippt

    Pleeeeze

    October 24, 2010 at 12:52 am |
  10. russel

    news is nothing new. when all the jews were prosecuted in europe they found refuse only in muslim ruled areas. such as spain iraq and other areas. people need to study history. if you look at history of jews in israel, only becuz of muslim they survived. every time christian ruled that area, jews were expelled or and under very dare situation. if you read time magazine special edition on religion or see this video called muslim in europe or empire of faith you will get better look.

    October 24, 2010 at 12:50 am |
    • Skanderbeg

      You say Jews found refugee in Spain you mean the same Spain that was invaded by Muslims in the 8th century ? the one where Christians were slaves in their own country forced to obey Islamic shaira law by Islamic moors,,..

      And I thought Muslims were not crusaders ? yet case after case shows it was the Muslims who were always the ones who invaded Christians countries starting from inception of Islam and not the other way around .westerns have a lot to learn about Muslims and real Islam all you guy know are lies about crusades, and even that one was in response to Muslims invasion and occupation of the Christian holy city of Jerusalem, Muslims have been invading countries since Mohammed's time..time for liberals in the west stop lying to defend the crusading Mohammedan's jihadist.

      October 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
    • Joe Wade

      What about all the millions of Jews who were kicked out of Arab countries after 1948? You seem to insinuate that Muslims are the defenders of Jews and Christians. This is nothing but whitewashing the 1400 years of Muslim conquest when approximately 270 million people perished in Europe (Moors and Ottoman Turks), North Africa (Arabs) the Middle East (Arabs), Central Asia (Arabs and the Ottoman Turks), the Indian subcontinent (Arabs) and the land as far as Indonesia and the Philippines (Arab traders and their armies). You need to learn history. You maybe citing Christian principles but the Muslims with their Sharia Law are far from it. Their motto in the past: I either convert you or kill you (of course now they have to have different tactiscs, they call themselves the oppressed – just wait until they get in majority in one country, look at what is happening in Lebanon which used to be a Christian majority country). It is not by mistake that one of their main symbol is the sword. You can see that everywhere in Islamic culture, flags and statues. One more thing: do not forget that slavery was rampant in their 1400 years of conquest and in fact there is still slavery in some Islamic countries. In Arabic the word for Black (human being) is the same as the word for dirt. The modern day Blacks know very little about their history and the people who sold them to the white slave owners' agents. Nuff said!

      November 14, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  11. Gary Salmon

    So CNN we should be thankful to all Muslims??

    October 24, 2010 at 12:44 am |
  12. Edi

    This is a great story that is being misused for religious purposes. Besa is an Albanian signature and has nothing to do with Islam. People in Albania don't do things for religion of any kind, for us the religion of Albanians is Albanian-ism. Also, it has nothing to do with the Jews either we would have protected the gypsies if they were in danger. As long as you are not an Albanian, you would be king in any Albanian family no mater what.

    October 24, 2010 at 12:21 am |
  13. blahh

    Islam is not necessarily a twisted religion. people are twisted.

    October 24, 2010 at 12:06 am |
  14. Rabbi David

    I'm done with it.I don't get it.The Holocaust is not THE defining moment in Jewish history and its ALL I ever hear or see on CNN. If its not somemthing on some Jewish person hunting some guy on a walker for war crimes its now Muslims saving Jews from the holocaust. This is just another back door diversity attempt by CNN to drag Muslims into the "light of day" as a part of main stream American culture. You can't have it all America.You can't invade their countries, kill their people and think its all ok cause we celebrate "diversity" in the USA. Your guilt conscience is begining to show.One more crack in the foundation of your empire.That noise your hearing is the clock ticking on your ability for people to see through your fake contrived propaganda you peddle as "NEWS". The difference in CNN and the Soviet & German Propaganda Masters is they called themselves PROPAGNDISTS-CNN calls itself JOURNALISTS.

    October 23, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
    • Epidamnus

      Rabbi David,
      Even though I think you are a bit too religiously bias for my taste, you are absolutely right about one thing – This CNN article is spinning the story to whitewash Islam's recent bad rep.
      I am Albanian, and my grandfather saved a Jewish couple in 1943 by hiding them in his home. My grandfather was not religious at all... and could care less about Islam or any religion for that matter. In other words, he was a typical Albanian, who did this purely out of moral conviction. They identified with these Jews who were being persecuted, and helped them out of humanity NOT religious obligation.

      Other then that Mr. Rabbi, this is where I stop agreeing with you. You should be thankful and not cynical towards the US. They made a homeland for you, and in your religious terms, they were a tool of God to make "the promised land" a reality for your and your people... You should be thankful to the US, instead of predicting its demise... because after-all, God most likely appreciates a meek heart, which is thankful in the face of grace...

      Mr. Albanian

      November 2, 2010 at 12:28 am |
  15. AlbanianAmerican

    This is true. I am Albanian and i grew up in a Jewish family. My Mother went to school with their daughter and they took care of us, the little kids. I have the highest regards for that family and when they moved to Israel I missed them a lot.

    October 23, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
  16. Thomas Koshy

    Galatians 1:8
    look it up at biblegateway

    October 23, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  17. Frank Rotiroti

    Whether it was Muslims or any one else, it was the right thing to do to help out others in need.

    October 23, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  18. ilir

    It wasn't only Albanian Muslims there was catholic and orthodox Albanians who saved jews also, and the word besa origin can be traced to the Kanun of Lekë Dukagjini, a collection of Albanian traditional customs and cultural practices. Besa is an important part of personal and familial standing and is often used as an example of "Albanianism". Someone who breaks his besa may even be banished from his community.The roots of this code sprouted from the Code of Leke Dukagjini, an Albanian cultural code which was developed during the ancient times but was put together by Albanias national hero George Kastrioti "Skanderbeg" who fought the Ottoman Empire for 25 years after the fall of the Byzantine empire.

    October 23, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  19. Peter

    Fools. What kind of terrorist attacked the towers on 9-11? What kind of terrorist blow up buildings and their own people, almost daily? Are they Christian terrorist? Are they Jewish terrorist? Are they Mormon terrorist? No, they are/were MUSLIM terrorist. Sure, they were terrorist, but they were MUSLIM terrorist. Stop this nonsense already about them not being Muslim. How naive and foolish does one have to be to actually believe they weren't Muslims as they shout out confessions to the koran and allah.

    I tell you what, if they weren't Muslims, then it wasn't the Christian who bombed an abortion clinic; it wasn't a Christian who shot an abortion doctor; it wasn't Christians who killed in the crusades; it wasn't Christians who were responsible for the witch trials, it wasn't...

    In fact, based on this reasoning, religion is NOT the cause of wars and suffering as many people claim. Instead it is only terrorist.

    Is the Muslim who says that the 9-11 Islamic Terrorists who were attacking in the name of allah were not Muslim also going to now say that the Christians are not responsible for the crusades and invading their country as infidels? Or, does this political correctness ONLY apply to Muslims.

    And by the way, the majority of those who SAVED Jews in WW2 were CHRISTIANS, from America. Yet, another source of information you won't hear on The View, CNN, or anywhere else. Back then, America actually had values, Christian values. Many of those who died to save the Jews were Christian.

    October 23, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  20. Sulejmoney

    Good job Shqiptart tani nuk jeni Sqhiptarte meshume tani jeni MUSLIMS!!!! hahahaha per Amerike jeni te njejt si Arabt edhe Somalia! beni te fala Turcis.

    Salam Elekum.
    Google Albanian SS

    October 23, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
    • AlbanianAmerican

      Poor Serbs. You sound like a rusted vehicle. What a bunch of losers! BTW your Albanian sucks.

      October 24, 2010 at 3:51 am |
    • AlbanianAmerican

      Btw, Google serbian SS. What do you think??

      October 24, 2010 at 3:54 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.