Turkey Converts Hagia Sophia to Mosque by Robert Jones

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  • This is how the minds of Islamic supremacists seem to work: If you want churches to remain churches, it means you are “disturbed by the Koran or Islamic prayers,” and you disrespect or “insult” Islam. According to Islamic scriptures, those who “insult” Islam or its prophet Muhammad are to be executed.

  • So if one wants to survive under Islamic rule, one has to submit to Islam and accept one’s own inferior status. There is apparently no place for diversity or civilized, equal coexistence of Muslims and non-Muslims in Islamic nations.
  • “I can only think of one reason [to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque]. As a shout of Islamic triumphalism. What a mistake that would be. Christians would rightly consider it an intentional insult. The international community would see it as an open rejection of its diversity agenda. Moreover, I think that a relatively secular Turkey acting so radically would demonstrate to the world that despite moderate Muslims’ many assurances to the contrary, contemporary Islam is intolerant in outlook, belligerent toward non-believers, and dangerously hegemonist in its intentions.” — Wesley J. Smith, author.
  • The West did not protect Anatolian Christians during the 1914-1923 genocide. It does not seem as if the West will protect Europe against what seems to be the current bloodless Muslim invasion, either.

The process of converting the historic Hagia Sophia church-then-museum in Istanbul into a mosque, in the works for the past three years, now seems to have been finalized.

In 2013, the deputy prime minister of Turkey Bulent Arinc at the time, while speaking to reporters, signaled that Hagia Sophia Museum would be used as a mosque.

“We currently stand next to the Hagia Sophia Mosque … we are looking at a sad Hagia Sophia, but hopefully we will see it smiling again soon,” Arinc said during the opening ceremony of a new Carpet Museum, located next to the ancient Hagia Sophia, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet had reported.

The pro-government Turkish newspaper Sabah ran a story on June 1, 2016 entitled, “Historic Moments at Hagia Sophia. The longing is about to be over!… The mosque of Hagia Sophia will witness historic moments in the month of Ramadan…”

The Greek Foreign Ministry reacted with a written statement: “Obsessions, verging on bigotry, with Muslim rituals in a monument of world cultural heritage are incomprehensible and reveal a lack of respect for and connection with reality.” The ministry added that the practice contradicted the values of modern, democratic and secular societies.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Tanju Bilgic, responded in a written statement on June 8:

“The Greek Foreign Ministry’s statement with regards to TRT Diyanet TV’s suhur program entitled ‘Hagia Sophia at the time of abundance,’ which will be broadcast throughout the month of Ramadan, is unacceptable”.

Pro-government Turkish media interpreted the criticism of the Greek ministry of foreign ministry as follows: “They have been disturbed by the reciting of the Koran at Hagia Sophia.”

This is how the minds of Islamic supremacists seem to work: If you want churches to remain churches, it means you are “disturbed by the Koran or Islamic prayers”, and in so doing, you disrespect or “insult” Islam — and according to Islamic scriptures, those who “insult” Islam or its prophet Muhammad are to be executed.

So if one wants to survive under Islamic rule, one has to submit to Islam and accept one’s own inferior status. There is apparently no place for diversity or civilized, equal coexistence of Muslims and non-Muslims in Islamic nations.

In the meantime, the Hellenic American Leadership Council has begun a campaign to ask the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to issue a statement against the creeping conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, writing:

In 2014, USCIRF condemned attempts by Turkey’s parliament to change the status of Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque. In its statement at the time, USCIRF said “…opening Hagia Sophia as a mosque would clearly be a divisive and provocative move. It would send the message that the current government sees the sensitivities of Turkey’s religious minority communities, particularly its ancient Christian community, as being of little or no consequence.”

Instead of following USCIRF’s recommendations, Turkey ignores them, apparently now choosing a path of “creeping conversion” to alter the status of this historic site.

However, all of the criticisms, calls and campaigns do not seem to have worked. A few months after a decision by Turkish authorities to allow readings from the Koran to be broadcast from Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey has now decided to appoint a permanent imam for the site.

According to the state-funded Anadolu News Agency, Turkey’s Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet), and the mufti of the Fatih district, have agreed to assign a permanent imam who will lead five daily Islamic prayers at the Hagia Sophia, instead of the current two.

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was the grandest cathedral in the Christian world, until it was captured and converted to a mosque by the Muslim Ottoman Turks in 1453. The Turkish Republic converted the Hagia Sophia to a museum in 1935, and Turkey’s current Islamist government is now converting it into a mosque. (Image source: Antoine Taveneaux/Wikimedia Commons)

According to the 2015 statistics of Diyanet, there are 3317 mosques in Istanbul and 86,762 in Turkey. There is no shortage of mosques in the country. So why is the Turkish government converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque?

“I can only think of one reason,” writes the author Wesley J. Smith.

“As a shout of Islamic triumphalism. What a mistake that would be. Christians would rightly consider it an intentional insult. The international community would see it as an open rejection of its diversity agenda. Moreover, I think that a relatively secular Turkey acting so radically would demonstrate to the world that despite moderate Muslims’ many assurances to the contrary, contemporary Islam is intolerant in outlook, belligerent toward non-believers, and dangerously hegemonist in its intentions.”

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