If he’s such a national hero, shouldn’t Albanians be converting to Catholicism en masse rather than Islamifying?

Or is Skanderbeg invoked by Albanians to keep one foot in each camp: anti-Ottoman and pro-Ottoman, the Christian world and the Muslim world, buttressing the truest Albanian religion of opportunism.

Albania: 300 years later, Vivaldi’s Scanderberg back to life
On stage in Tirana, thanks to collaboration with Italian Opera

(ANSAmed) - ROME, NOVEMBER 15 - They had been lost in the mists of time, but between them, the Tirana Opera and Ballet Theater and the Verona Academy for Italian Opera recovered the notes of Antonio Vivaldi’s opera ‘Scanderberg, the Knight in Love’. The opera centering on Skanderbeg, the 15th-century Albanian national hero, premieres at the Tirana Opera House on Sunday as part of the celebrations of Albania’s 100th year of independence from Ottoman rule. The Italian embassy in Tirana is also participating with a series of events.

…Tirana Opera Theater director, Zhani Ciko. ‘’The role of George Kastrioti Skanderbeg (1405-1468) was decisive in the fight against Turkish expansionism. In defending his land, he defended Christian, civilized Europe.'’ Unifying the Christian principalities of Epirus and Albania, Skanderberg fought the Turks for 25 years, a feat for which Pope Calixtus III called him ‘’the athlete of Christ'’ and ‘’defender of the faith.'’ ‘’The opera will re-cross the sea that divides and unites us, returning to its birthplace in time for the next Florentine Musical May,'’ Ciko said…

******UPDATE******

While productions about “Albanian” heroes are being staged, the Serbian ethnicity of the Albanian hero is ignored. (I myself hadn’t known that Skanderbeg was ethnically Serb.) Below is a translation of a news item (I’m not sure of its origins), making the rounds currently in Serbia, which I’ve had corroborated by historian Srdja Trifkovic ( “Medieval nobility were interrelated; Skanderbeg’s roots are well known”), and by self-respecting Serb Nebojsa Malic:

About 10 days ago an interesting event occurred in Albania in the Skenderbeg Museum in Kruji.

A friend of mine had told me that he was traveling to Albania on a business trip. I told him to be sure to visit the Skenderbeg Museum and I explained to him who Skenderbeg was.

And so he went off to Albania and visited the Skenderbeg Museum. And the museum curator was explaining who Skenderbeg was, this and that, and this friend of mine asked him that which I had taught him:

“And where are Skenderbeg’s father and brother buried?”

And the curator swallowed hard and said: “in the Serbian monastery Hilandar”.

My friend asked again: “Why there?”

And the curator said: “Well, you know, Skenderbeg and his family were great statesmen and they had good relations with other peoples”.

And the people in the tour group including a Swiss, a German and a Montenegrin listened in astonishment to what the curator was saying and then they asked my friend: “How is it that they are buried in the Serbian monastery?”

And my friend replied: “They were Serbs and Orthodox monks”.

The men in the group were shocked, as was my friend, because he could not believe that the entire nation of Albania exists on the basis of falsified history, on lies. It’s nothing new!

Malic’s take:

He was definitely a Serb on both sides of his family. I mean, look at his coat of arms: it’s the exact same as the sigil of the Serbian Imperial House, with the color of the eagle reversed. It’s not just a Christian symbol, but an Orthodox Christian symbol (it was a Byzantine adaptation of the Roman eagle, with the two heads symbolizing the union of Church and State under the Emperor). Russia’s Imperial Eagle is also derived from Byzantium, and also black.

There’s a common pattern of usurpation here: the Austrian “anthropologists” write up national templates for “Albanians” and “Bosnians” (in fact, I’ve even argued that Starcevic’s conception of Croats — Starcevic was the guy who formulated the Croat identity in crude anti-Serb terms as vicious as his anti-Semitism — was backed by Vienna as a way to create a Catholic Slav identity hostile to Serbs), then cherry-pick entirely inappropriate medieval symbolism, which is then fortified by atrocities. [i.e. Decimate the foundational people, so as to stake a claim to nationhood or identity of one’s own.]

Thus Skanderbeg is made into an Albanian hero (which he wasn’t), his colors become the flag of Albanian terror, and even a Waffen-SS division is named after him. This is like Gideon or Joshua being appropriated by the “Palestinians”… or if they adopted a red-on-black Star of David as their flag (instead of blue-on-white, that is).

It hasn’t been enough to just murder and expel the Serbs; the point was to steal their history, culture and identity as well.

Skanderbeg actually converted to Catholicism during the exile in Italy (the Catholics always made it a priority to convert people threatened by Islam; yet they never actually got around to saving them from Islamic conquest). So no wonder the Pope praised him.
Believing the official Albanian history requires so much cognitive dissonance, no wonder so many of them are insane.