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Incitement of Hatred

Incitement of Hatred

On June 2, 2014, members of the Red-Black Alliance held a demonstration in Tirana, protesting the opening of a Serbian Orthodox temple in the capital. Activists criticised Prime Minister Edi Rama for inviting Serbian Orthodox Church representatives to this important event, calling it “unprecedented”. Nationalists displayed banners, saying “Serbian Patriarch is anti-Albania”. The demonstration was dispersed by police.

On January 17, the Red-Black Alliance held a rally in Tirana dedicated to the memory of Prince Skanderbeg, who united the Albanians in the 15th century. During the action, nationalist appeals were heard. However, in the 2013 elections the party received 0.59% of the vote, after which its activity gradually began to wane. In 2017, the party did not take part in the parliamentary elections.

Since 2012 and through 2019, there has been a trend of radicalized youth in Albania traveling to Syria to join Islamist groups. Given that the presence of radical Islamist groups in Albania has not been recorded by observers, experts believe that this is the result of personal radicalization of citizens via the Internet. One factor is that the country's rather poor infrastructure makes it difficult to access rural and remote areas. Some of the main reasons people find radicalization and extremism tempting are desperation and lack of opportunity. Life in Albania tends to be highly centralized in the capital, Tirana. The capital has many language schools, sports clubs, extracurricular activities and libraries, but other cities and towns cannot boast this. Lacking opportunities, many young people spend a lot of time using technology and social media, making them vulnerable to organizations that are now well versed in using social media to radicalize youth.

The second reason is corruption, which has spread in society to the point where people openly talk about "price tag" to get certain jobs. All this leads young people to seek the truth in Islam, including in its most radical forms, such as the "Islamic State," where everything will be organized according to "fair", as they believe, Sharia law. However, police action and ISIS failures in the Middle East have led to a near zero number of potential fighters by 2019.

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