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Written by SOT.COM.AL 18 Shtator 2023
Analyst Ervis Iljazaj was invited this Monday to the show "Now with Erla Mëhillin" to talk about the housing and population census in Albania. In the studio, he asked the Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Delina Ibrahimaj, why questions about religion and ethnicity were included in the census.
According to him, these questions do not make sense to be placed in the census because according to him "the state has no business what religion the people have".
The minister replied that the questions are not without meaning, but still in the census there are other very important data to be obtained and so much attention should not be paid to the questions which are not mandatory.
Ervis Iljazaj: What does the state have to do with religion? I do not understand. This serves as a debate here in Albania. It is not for nothing that international law has no obligation at all to include international and even ethnic questions in the census. Greece, for example, has no ethnicity, no language, no nation, and nothing of its own. I have the impression that we are adding fuel to the fire, I cannot take this answer back. What does the state have to do with religion?
Minister Delina Ibrahimaj: Other countries such as Greece, Italy and other countries are countries that have very detailed data and statistical registers for each element, such as religion, language or ethnicity. They are in statistical registers.
Ervis Iljazaj: You still didn't answer me what the state has to do with religion and who do Albanians believe. This has no philosophical, sociological, political meaning. It doesn't make sense.
Minister Delina Ibrahimaj: It definitely has a sociological meaning. However, it is very important that the debate does not focus on these questions which are not even necessary.