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. sikandr

    why is my comment "I have a dear friend..." awaiting moderation. Was there something offensive?

    October 22, 2010 at 10:59 pm |
    • @sikandr


      "why is my comment "I have a dear friend..." awaiting moderation. Was there something offensive?"

      The inane auto-filter on this blog flags some otherwise innocent words... like superst-ition, consti-tution, doc-ument and some others. Look over your post and see if you can fix it, then repost. A real pain that CNN won't remedy. Good luck.

      October 22, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
  2. Sparky

    and the Nazis were funnelled through the Vatican to South America...................christianity is such a peaceful religion

    October 22, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  3. Shawn

    Albanian Muslims have always been more tolerant and peaceful than Muslims of other cultures. It's the other parts of the Middle East that you need to worry about.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  4. Li

    This is totally misleading. The Albanians did this out of a Nationalistic sense. Sharia never became a prevailing customary code of Albanians. Even back in the 30s they passed a law banning women from wearing veils. Many Albanians practiced both Christianity and Islam at the same time for a few hundred years. This is not "TRUE ISLAM." True Islam (Sharia law which is practiced in about every major Muslim country and including: Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Sudan, Iraq (prior to 2003), Egypt, Bahrain, Azerbaijan etc...) says to kill all non-believers of Islam if they do not convert or accept paying a tax and to be treated as a 2nd-class citizen.

    True Islam is evil.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
    • Amrullah Yousafzai, Margalla Hills

      What idiot told you Iraq had Sharia before 2003. That's why answers.com is a bad source.

      October 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
    • Gabriel K

      You are dead wrong! first of all why would 2003 be the deciding factor ? just because U.S invaded Iraq the rest of those countries removed sharia law?(some of the countries you mentioned actually don't even have sharia law even prior to 2003). Iraq was not a country based on sharia law. Just because the women there wore hi-jabs doesn't mean they were forced to by law. Iraq had many clubs were women went dressed the same as American women do here(thats where one of Sadams sons would go and find women).

      ie..Only a handful of Muslim majority countries actually have sharia law in place.

      October 24, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  5. Patrick A

    We all know that the Filthy ZIONIST will not report such a thing,these Khazar PIGS are not even Jewish to begin with.
    Just like they keep bashing the Iranian government but they fail to inform the world that Iran has the largest population of JEWS in the middle east living in peace.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  6. George in Toronto

    Things have changed in the last 7 decades. Albania today is NOTHING like it used to be. Go ask Albanians who've spread about the EU the last decade or so .... what is their priority. Go ask the Albanians who shifted to Greece, for example .... en masse ... to build their Olympic facilities, and who never left after its completion. Go ask them what they cherish more ... their religion or making sure they can score their next meal ...and at what cost. Religion 99% of the time takes a back seat to the need to survive. So don't go bring up prized memories when it basically means nothing today. Thank you.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  7. Cavemansgreatgrandson

    Why you people are even arguing about religion, when some rouges, during stone ages, created out of greed. I am telling you fools there is no god and all religions are manmade myths.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
  8. rationalperson

    The Pope was for ed into the Hitler Youth. he was a little kid. Dont be naive and act like he knew what was really going in. He actually deserted later in the war when he realized what was going on. most of you are really stupid arrogant people. ps i have a phd in euro history.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
    • Sweet Gender Switch Potato Fry From Transs[e]xual Transylvania

      "most of you are really stupid arrogant people."

      I concur.

      October 22, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
    • capnjammer

      Ratzinger is also the head of the modern-day council of the Inquisition, and he is continuing on with John Paul's protection of criminal pe-doph-iles within his church. On top of that, he is continuing to allow people to believe in a rel-igion which makes them feel comfortable leaving the care of their sick, diseased, and injured to touching statues and praying to a nonexistant force rather than seeking medical attention. The crimes of the Pope are countless, his part in Hit-ler youth notwithstanding. He still needs to be tried for crimes against humanity.

      October 22, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  9. Sweet Gender Switch Potato Fry From Transs[e]xual Transylvania

    I wish this site had an 'ignore' feature like on the IMDb. Makes it so much easier.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  10. Average American

    That muslim would be killed by another muslim, today.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  11. George

    Muslims are desperately looking for any scrap of history that shows them in a favorable light, because right now they are the scourge of mankind.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
    • capnjammer

      Just like during the Middle Ages, Chris-tians are using the Mus-lim scourge to draw attention away from themselves. All rel-igion is equally at fault for the downfall of modern society. Chris-tianity is smiling and pointing while they do their best to take away our Const-itutional freedoms by illegally and unconst-itutionally butting rel-igion into legislature that takes away the freedoms of some so the whole country has to emulate what they believe is "right" and "moral." Countless people are being hurt, LGBT children are dying, children of rel-igious parents are growing up with only one viewpoint in their mind before they have a chance to formulate them on their own, and as such are continuing the iron-fis-ted reign of their forbears, or are being ejected from the rel-igious community due to the revelation of the repressed feelings they may have about any number of "sins."

      Rel-igion... ALL rel-igion... is the scourge of mankind

      October 22, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  12. Clark1b

    good that the Albanians helped the Jews ... so did Americans ... and Christians ... and French ....etc.

    but the big time Mullahs in the Mideast supported Hitler.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
    • sam kohen

      Wasn't Hitler Christian?

      October 24, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  13. ray gibbs

    Thank you such a beautiful, moving story. Poet's peace.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  14. ramrod

    @Muneef: Thanks for shariing. I got the jest of what you're saying but it would be nice if someone could edit your remarks before posting. No offense. Just think it would be helpful for more of us to get a"handle" on what you are saying. We all need as many viewpoints as possible. Sincerely, thank you.

    October 22, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
  15. santiago

    Religion is One Of Many Reasons For WAR

    October 22, 2010 at 9:50 pm |
    • kjcube

      Oh no Santiago you appear to be a suffering Heavy Thinker.Your raising to much of a ruckus with your notions of "common sense." Please read this; you can be saved just like Skippy here. Don't lose hope! 😉

      The Heavy Thinker
      It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then to loosen up. Inevitably though, one though led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.
      I began to think alone – “to relax,” I told myself – but I know it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.
      I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking “What is it exactly we are doing here?”
      Things weren’t going so great at home either. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother’s.
      I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in. He said “Skippy, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another job.” This gave me a lot to think about.
      I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confessed, “I’ve been thinking…” “I know you’ve been thinking,” She said, “and I want a divorce!”
      “But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.” “It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver. “You think as much as college professors, and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won’t have any money!”
      “That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently, and she began to cry. I’d had enough. “I’m going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche, with a PBS station on the radio. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors… they didn’t open. The library was closed. To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.
      As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker’s Anonymous poster.
      Which is why I am what I am today, a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle.” Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.
      I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed… easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.


      October 23, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      lol...a good one. 😛

      October 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  16. Trilliate


    October 22, 2010 at 9:49 pm |
    • capnjammer

      Ummmm, sorry, but there is a difference between Mus-lim and the Ottoman Empire. Regardless, it was war – no one was not at fault. Everyone who took part in it was responsible. The Chris-tians created a common enemy by inserting Moh-am-med into the Ottoman empire to sack the temple and throw out all of their go-ds except the Moon god, who became Al-lah, and the Cat-holics then went around saying "Look, other Chri-stians, we have a common enemy, let's mobilize against them!"

      The Cru-sades were evil on Chri-stianity's part, and no poorly written and poorly researched web page should make anyone believe any differently. No one was innocent, but the Cat-holics / Chris-tians least of all so. Reli-gion is the root cause of war in this world. If only everyone had the sense to stop believing in the native fairy tales of their people, there would be 99% less war in the world.

      October 22, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
    • Sweet Gender Switch Potato Fry From Transs[e]xual Transylvania

      "Reli-gion is the root cause of war in this world. If only everyone had the sense to stop believing in the native fairy tales of their people, there would be 99% less war in the world."

      WRONG. Greed is the cause of almost all war in the world. Religion is just a useful smokescreen. It's just rich ba$tards in their suits and offices telling the 'little people' to fight, kill and die so they can topple the government, steal the land and its resources and enslave the people under a puppet government.
      But I know you want to blame religion for everything so badly since that's where all of your blind hatred is directed.

      October 22, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
    • capnjammer

      WRONG. Greed is the root cause of war. Relig-ion is a smokescreen. Just because I didn't word it exactly like you did doesn't mean that I'm hateful toward rel-igion or rel-igionists. If it were not for rel-igion, there would be nothing to make little people want to go to war for those greedy folks you are talking about. You can't get someone to die for you unless you promise them something nicer than this present life. So, while we seem to be on the same page here, you really should take your head out of your a$$ and stop as-suming you are better than me because of an issue of semantics. Reli-gion IS the root cause of war, because without it the greedy ba$tards would have no sheep to die for them. End of story.

      October 22, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
    • Sum Dude


      You both fail to consider deeper causes. As a troll, I feel the need to correct your misapprehensions in this subject. 😀

      I could say something like, "group identi'ty and projection of same cause a great deal of the violence and war in this world.", but that is not the root of the problem.
      I am just defining the problem a bit closer to the truth – and your conclusions both fit into mine.

      What we consider as problems is more or less defined by our perceptions, value judgements, etc. – it's all in the mind.

      If you are deluded into going to war or into doing violence against another human being, your motivation remains one of delusion. If you use reason and logic or self-defense, that is sometimes different.

      Religion is a delusional belief system that has evolved throughout history in conjunction with our lack of perception and our lack of control over our brains. That it is used by people to control others is often the "elephant in the room".

      Greed is a primitive thing and can be used by religion, it can even BE a sort of religion, as we can see in the financial world or in the students of the Ayn Rand school of thought.

      It boils down to personal action, the motives for doing so, and the reasons why our brains are not within our control quite as much as we would like.

      I think we are little better than animals sitting around a fire and typing responses on computers.
      Violence is always a danger and the universe is an extremely dangerous place.
      We are fairly intelligent organisms living on a planet in a very big universe.

      But we are uncontrolled, prone to delusional thinking, irrational about many things, and both vicious and nice.

      Simplistic answers just make me sick.
      Any simple action by a complex organism is likely to have a multltude of complex causes.
      All too often searching for answers just leads to more questions.
      Do not stop looking for the answers or be prepared for posts like mine.

      October 24, 2010 at 4:25 am |

    There is no such thing as "belief". You are either right or you are wrong.
    My respect to my Jewish brethren coming to the aid of our Islamic cousins.
    After being rescued by them in the first place.


    October 22, 2010 at 9:48 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Accepting for the moment that you are correct about "beliefs", please do us the favour of explaining the discrepancies between judaism, christianity and islam? How can they all be all right or all wrong?

      October 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
    • Not a flappy head canadian

      The word favor doesn't have a u canad

      October 22, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
    • Saran Ghetti

      That kind of intolerance is how you become part of the problem.

      October 23, 2010 at 12:27 am |
  18. Mark from Middle River

    Ever wonder what the state of Muslim american relations would be if in days after 9/11 some Muslims would have led a peaceful or even screaming their heads off march to ground zero to denounce vocally and loudly the attacks?

    Silence is sadly all that many Americans heard from the Muslim communities post 9/11. There were leaders on the talking heads Sunday morning shows that voiced outrage but were these few voices enough.

    I do agree with the ones posting that CNN seems to doing all they can to put one pro Islam story up after another. Same time we are getting more negative stories about Christians. From bankruptcy to Eddie long to blaming us for sucide deaths in the LGBT community. I wonder, how islam handles LGBT issues? I wish CNN would give me news on that so I can match my opinions to what ever liberal think tank such ideas come from.

    October 22, 2010 at 9:47 pm |
    • capnjammer

      I-slam, Ju-daism, and Chris-tianity all say the same thing about hom-os-exuality. Although, technically, Je-ws and Chris-tians have no room to speak since David, Jonathan, Daniel, and Ruth were all g a y. But they can shift around words and even misuse the original language to say that it wasn't so, even though hom-ose-xuality was a common part of life back then (in the law, it doesn't say stone a man for sleeping with a man, it says stone a man for sleeping with a man the same way he sleeps with a woman, ie. don't have g a y s e x if you are, in fact, naturally he-teros-exual). Jesus even said that a Roman centurion who was asking for his underage male s-ex slave to be healed had more faith than anyone in all of Judea.

      Go figure.

      October 22, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  19. Dave

    Religion is the root of all evil...

    October 22, 2010 at 9:46 pm |
  20. Hahahaha

    I love how people on this board try so so hard to somehow connect Islam and the Holocaust. But the truth is the Holocaust happened in the deep of Europe...very very far away from an Muslim countries. A bunch of ruthless Christians murdered and killed the Jews while no other European countries sat and watched it like it was a Super Bowl event. Do I need to show all the US athletes that saluted Hitler at the 1934 Olympics held in Berlin. If the world hated the Nazis so much back then why would they award the OIlympics to Nazi Germany? Fact is a lot of people in the world worked with the Nazis and could care less about the Jews. Read up on Prescott Bush's business dealings. On another note over 60+million people died in WWII –

    October 22, 2010 at 9:40 pm |
    • Skanderbeg

      Mohammed the prophet of Islam murdered Jews cutting off their heads including young boys and throwing them in mass graves, what do you call Mohammed ? This is the man Muslims follow as the greatest man to ever live and their holy prophet.

      October 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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.