Skip to comments.Holy Wisdom: Why the Pope should call for the return of the Hagia Sophia.
Posted on 12/07/2006 10:26:19 AM PST by ZeitgeistSurfer
Many in the West are congratulating Pope Benedict XVIs recent trip to Turkey, where in the Blue Mosque he prayed facing Mecca and made other gestures meant to salve the wounds raised by his references to Islams history of violence. Personally, I found the whole scene a depressing exhibit of the Wests terminal failure of nerve, one particularly distressing given this Popes documented understanding that what we call the war on terror is in fact the latest episode in the centuries-long struggle with a militant Islam.
(Excerpt) Read more at victorhanson.com ...
And the response from the Imam of Hagia Sophia, which has been a mosque since FOURTEEN FIFTY THREE --- "We'll give you Hagia Sophia, when you give us the Alhambra and the pagans the Pantheon." If Christians have a claim over Hagia Sophia, then the entire territory of the United States should be restored to the Indians, as the conquest of the United States happened hundreds of years later.
Hagia Sophia is a museum today, and doesn't have an Imam.
Sort of like hate crimes in America. The concept only applies in one direction.
I recall in the news recently that many in Turkey are calling for the Hagia Sophia to be converted from it's current use as a museum back to a mosque.
He is going to suggest building three places of worship in Jerusalem - a temple, church and a mosque. A year or so from now.
The point you make is valid, and in fact the writer doesn't dispute it. His point is that for the muslims, history is a one-way ratchet. They actually believe that the Alhambra should be returned. And that they should keep Hagia Sophia and Jerusalem.
For us, there is give and take. Al Aqsa was not taken from them, and they are permitted to build mosques in every country in the west unmolested, while the Saudi church must hide in the shadows.
My mistake. But my point remains the same. If you want to resurrect property disputes from 560 years ago, then there's really no end to the number of potential -- and ludicrous -- claims. Americans, whose continent hadn't even been discovered then, should be the first to realize that.
The current leadership of Turkey are pushing an islamic agenda and working to destroy the modern constitution that made Turkey a more secular country.
Won't be long before they push to have it re-labeled a mosque.
Hanson's point is that if the Muslims bring up historical grievances, then so should the West. I actually think that's nuts -- because nobody can win a grievance-off. The problem with the world is too much history, not a forgetting of it. There are many people -- Arabs (still obsessed with 12th century crusades), Serbs (still obsessed with the Battle of Kosovo in 1389) and the French (still obsessed with their own revolution) who are prisoners of their own history. America's strength is freedom from that historical baggage.
From your comment I can only surmise that you, sir, are high on drugs .
The United States was once a vast wilderness of forest, mountain and meadow. The indians here did little or nothing to develop it, and in fact their nomadic existence was oftentimes a mandatory act of survival due to their utter, irresponsible depletion of resources in a given area.
The Hagia Sophia is a beautiful work of art devoted to the glory of a Christian God. It took a lot of time, effort, and willpower to create. To compare the two is apples and oranges.
And I know you're not high on drugs, it's way too early for that. I apologize.
The entire moslem world would consider the return of the Hagia Sophia as a huge defeat of islam to its core. It would be WWIII, which is what the author is attempting to communicate.... the total one-sided nature of the tolerance issue between islam and the west.
The Alhambra is a beautiful work of art devoted to the glory of an Islamic God. It took a lot of time, effort and willpower to create. Should al-Andalus be returned to the Caliphate? After all, before the Muslims, Spain was a vast wilderness of forest, mountain and meadow, ruled by backwards, feuding bands of Visigoth barbarians.
Note that I'm not seriously suggesting that Spain be returned to Islamic rule, but I am saying that when you start with this line of thinking, there's no limit to the lunacy you get yourself into.
If I were the pope, I would have bowed 180 degrees away from Mecca, and then let one rip!
I guess I consider "my side" to posess the moral high ground in this matter because the muslims fought wars of aggression to get the lands they now posess, whereas the Christians tended to yield territory. The Alhambra is located in territory that was historically Christian, and was won back by them. It's not the same as if we invaded Saudi Arabia and occupied Mecca.
The Muslims conquered the Sassanids, who conquered the Parthians, and the Byzantines, who descended from the Romans, and who conquered the Seleucids, the Attalids, the Antigonids and the Ptolemids, who were in turn descended from Alexander the Great, who conquered the Achaemenids, who conquered the Medes, etc.
Nobody has the moral ground, because every piece of land was conquered from somebody else if you look back far enough.
No one, not even Thornton, is saying that the Turks have any legal obligation to return Hagia Sophia. Spoils of war. But there is a one-way-ratchet-mentality involved here. Al Aqsa was left in muslim hands, as well it should be. In return, what? Saudi-funded mosques are welcomed in every country in the west, and in return, what?
If there is no legal obligation to "return" Hagia Sophia, or to vacate Constantinople and return it to the Greeks, or for the Turks to return to the steppes from which they came, they could still allow the orthodox to hold the occasional mass there. It probably should remain a museum. But there would be nothing wrong with allowing Christians to hold an occasional service there. Hagia Sophia is probably as important to orthodox as Al Aqsa is to arabs.
In a way, we prove the writer's point when we accept that muslims have the right to build mosques where ever they go, but to press for the right to build churches in Saudi Arabia, for example, or to hold mass in Hagia Sophia, is considered radical and unrealistic. Unrealistic it is, but radical it is not.
This westerner is made sick by this kind of crap. Makes me glad I'm not a Catholic. After this, I'd have to leave the church anyway.