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Haghia Sophia, Christendom’s Greatest Cathedral, to Become a Mosque

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Here is an important article on events that show how Turkey returns to a muslim-jihadi past, ready now to cover again the Holy Icons of Haghia Sophia (what remained of them), to turn the Great Church into a mosque. Raymond Ibrahim is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians. He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum. For this publication the article is edited by Ellopos Blog.
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While unrest in Turkey continues to capture attention, more subtle and more telling events concerning the Islamification of Turkey—and not just at the hands of Prime Minister Erdogan but majorities of Turks—are quietly transpiring.  These include the fact that Hagia Sophia, so far a museum, is on its way to becoming a mosque.

Hagia Sophia (Greek for “Holy Wisdom” of God) was for a thousand years Christianity’s greatest cathedral. Built in 537 in Constantinople, the heart of the Christian empire, it was also a stalwart symbol of defiance against an ever encroaching Islam from the east.

After parrying centuries of jihadi thrusts, Constantinople was finally sacked by Ottoman Turks in 1453. Its crosses desecrated and icons defaced, Hagia Sophia—as well as thousands of other churches—was immediately converted into a mosque, the tall minarets of Islam surrounding it in triumph.

Then, after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, as part of several reforms, secularist Ataturk transformed Hagia Sophia into a “neutral” museum in 1934—a gesture of goodwill to a then triumphant West from a then crestfallen Turkey.

Thus the fate of this ancient building is full of portents. And according to Hurriyet Daily News, “A parliamentary commission is considering an application by citizens to turn the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque…”

Even lesser known is the fact that other historic churches are currently being transformed into mosques, such as  a 13th century church building—portentously also named Hagia Sophia—in Trabzon. After the Islamic conquest, it was turned into a mosque.  But because of its “great historical and cultural significance” for Christians, it too, during Turkey’s secular age, was turned into a museum and its frescoes restored. Yet local authorities recently decreed that its Christian frescoes would again be covered and the church/museum turned into a mosque.

Similarly, the 5th century Studios Monastery, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is set to become an active mosque.  And the existence of the oldest functioning Christian monastery in the world, 5th century Mor Gabriel Monastery is at risk. Inhabited today by only a few dozen Christians dedicated to learning the monastery’s teachings, the ancient Aramaic language spoken by Jesus and the Orthodox Syriac tradition, neighboring Muslims filed a lawsuit accusing the monks of practicing “anti-Turkish activities” and of illegally occupying land which belongs to Muslim villagers.

The highest appeals court in Ankara ruled in favor of the Muslim villagers, saying the land that had been part of the monastery for 1,600 years is not its property, absurdly claiming that the monastery was built over the ruins of a mosque—even though Muhammad was born 170 years after the monastery was built.

Turkey’s Christian minority, including the Orthodox Patriarch, are naturally protesting this renewed Islamic onslaught against what remains of their cultural heritage—to deaf ears.

The Muslim populace’s role in transforming once Christian sites into mosques is a reminder of all those other Turks not protesting the Islamization of Turkey, and who if anything consider Erdogan’s government too “secular.” Their numbers are telling.  In May 2012, Reuters reported that

“Thousands of devout Muslims prayed outside Turkey’s historic Hagia Sophia museum on Saturday [May 23] to protest a 1934 law that bars religious services at the former church and mosque. Worshippers shouted, “Break the chains, let Hagia Sophia Mosque open,” and “God is great” [the notorious “Allahu Akbar”] before kneeling in prayer as tourists looked on. Turkey’s secular laws prevent Muslims and Christians from formal worship within the 6th-century monument, the world’s greatest cathedral for almost a millennium before invading Ottomans converted it into a mosque in the 15th century.”

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