History

Two Realties.

The Council of State, Turkey’s highest administrative court, unanimously cancelled a 1934 cabinet decision and said Hagia Sophia was registered as a mosque in its property deeds.

The world is faced with so many juxtapositions that one is left to make judgement and to test its veracity in a wider context. These judgements are further contested by the reality that the world is under immense flux due to the obtuse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic socially, politically, economically, culturally and technologically. In the instant of any decision taken or made, one is left more challenged by the fact that the world was never is such state of uncertainty and in a realm of such a terrain of uncharted territory.

As I stood on the steps of the school’s assembly point my words began to phrase carefully in my mind because, what I had to say came from an encounter with events in an uncharted terrotiry. I looked at the teachers in the school and felt their pain as people in the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. I saw them as unsung heroes. I addressed them on the fact that the school will close until further notice because of rising infections. The despair was palpable and fear became phobic was in itself infectious. It ushered a sudden atmosphere of hopelessness with just a ray of optimism. The Imam’s prayer reinstated assurance and the spiritual feeling soothed the soul. In a sombre yet confident mood, the teachers greeted each uncharacteristically because of the social distance protocol. The school was then empty. The reality of loneliness was stark! It was then that I looked to the sky and wondered at my loneliness. I was not alone in this but, still in a fortunate situation. My heart felt embarrassed in comparison to the utter grief when I recalled the Srebrenica Genocide of 1995. The news of the 25 year commemoration broke around the same time our school closed. My feeling of despair was a striking difference to the deeper despair and relived anguish of the Muslims in Srebrenica.

In this March 29, 1993, file photo, refugees evacuated from the besieged Muslim enclave of Srebrenica, struggle for bread on their arrival in Tuzla, Bosnia. Survivors of the genocide in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, mainly women, will on Saturday July 11, 2020, commemorate the 25th anniversary of the slaughter of their fathers and brothers, husbands and sons. At least 8,000 mostly Muslim men and boys were chased through woods in and around Srebrenica by Serb troops in what is considered the worst carnage of civilians in Europe since World War II. The slaughter was also the only atrocity of the brutal war that has been confirmed an act of genocide.(AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

The reality of the Srebrenica genocide of 1995 came back to me like a cold slap on a cold winter’s morning. Why this reality was so stark for me relates to then fact that I started teaching in 1994 and in 1995 the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was world news. We were alerted to it by the news and the issues around it informed our teaching of creative writing and debates. It was really strange for us in South Africa to see white, blue-eyed and blond men, women and children in situations of despair, deprivation, standing in breadlines and ravaged by civil war. The purgatory submerged the world into the realities of the holocaust and the killing fields of WW1 & 2 and today, we look back into history and realise that the misery and happiness is all the result of what man’s hands have earned. The world is juxtaposed with the good, the bad and the ugly. Prayer seems the only sanity because when the hands are raised in prayer, the gun is at the side.

The prayers in Hagia Sophia stopped when converted into a museum in 1934 and in July this year it re-opened as a mosque and the call to prayers will echo again through the ancient walls. The celebration of its re-opening as a mosque is not to everyones delight and liking but, its the reality. In a time of great strife and despair another public prayer place is not a harbinger of war but of peace. Whilst museums are an attraction of souls, it fills the void of feeding the curiosity but, does not bind a people. Places of worship are binding, still and peaceful; save that today, religion has become a tool in the hands of misplaced zealots who sit on high thrones of leadership causing corruption. The world cries about the reconversion of a museum into a mosque but, has failed to look at the cries of the people of Srebrenica in time to save lives. It failed to look at the howling horrors of the recent genocide in Myanmar in time to save lives. The media houses carved out the siege of Kashmir and Gaza from global media attention in time to ensure it continues unabated. The UN WORLD kept silent on the lie of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq in time to ensure USA accomplishes Operation Desert Shield, but was swift in alerting humanity in time on the bombing of the Bhudda statues in Afghanistan. The Taliban, through this act of statue genocide got the attention of the world to highlight the starvation of its people. They were further maligned as mad Muslims for bombing statues which they told the world they would destroy if food aid was not given. The world turned a deaf ear but, heard the fall of rock when the statues fell but, wept not when innocent blood cursed the soil. These are all indelible imprints of the mixed-up values of powerful war-mongering countries. The timing of the Nakba in May 1948 where 700,000 Palestinians were expelled is no more on our news time; and so silent in time now is the annexation of the West Bank taking place that history books, in time will not bear the name Palestine. These unsavoury realities when placed side by side to the Hagia Sophia conversion, pails in comparison. I compare it to what we remained silent on because, our silence in the main of global issues decimating human life, has made us more vulnerable to the war economy. These are the realities.

Two realities: Srebrenica and Hagia Sophia in juxtaposition reflecting our human condition. Realities of hope and fear. Srebrenica is our fear and Hagia Sophia is our hope. In the remembrance of the 8000 men and boys who were chased and killed in the forests we come face to face with the devil within man doomed in the abyss of hate. The lust for power entices man further in the political quagmire of a war economy and racism. This is the gruesome reality masked as regime change or the Green fear (Islam).

FILE- In this Tuesday, April 2, 1996, file photo, the remains of two bodies and pieces of clothing lie in a field at a suspected mass grave site in the village of Konjevic Polje, approximately 20km (12 miles), north west of Srebrenica. Survivors of the genocide in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, mainly women, will on Saturday July 11, 2020, commemorate the 25th anniversary of the slaughter of their fathers and brothers, husbands and sons. At least 8,000 mostly Muslim men and boys were chased through woods in and around Srebrenica by Serb troops in what is considered the worst carnage of civilians in Europe since World War II. The slaughter was also the only atrocity of the brutal war that has been confirmed an act of genocide.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)

The reality of the Hagia Sophia reflects the side of humanity that speaks of peace and how humanity will not engage in war, but will be gentle in taking ownership of what is legally their own. To keep the peace they have made an open call for unity in diversity. We still see this as a problem because every decision has a trade off, a bias or a prejudice. The question that begs the mind is: ” Would you, 25 years from today want to pray in a mosque that was once a museum or, walk through a grave site that cradles victims of genocide?” At the present moment with our world engulfed in so many wars, tribal conflicts, land expropriation, forced land grabs, sieges, refugee camps, influx of refugees, deforestation, ocean pollution, air pollution and the globalisation of poverty; there is little harm in a peaceful transition of a museum into a mosque. If the neo-cons want a destabilisation of Turkey then rest assured it would be clandestine politics branded with the clash of civilisations mantra which would create a means to disagreement that can escalate into civil strife or war. Lord save our souls.

There thousands of mosques in Spain that have lost its right to open because of the end of Muslim rule is history telling us of the rise and fall of empires. In fact, mosques in Spain have been turned into churches, bars, and night clubs. The fact that very, few mosques in the main are maintained for posterity, dignity and historical value, indicates tolerance and human kindness. The Alhambra Palace Mosque in Granada was converted to the Santa Maria cathedral and many others too. Hagia Sophia has never been desecrated or left to ruin and this tells a story that humans can rebuild their lives and land. People don’t like further destruction of infrastructure. However, the destruction of the Babri Mosque on 6 December 1992 in India speaks the reality of human beings lack of desire for dialogue and the inability to be proactive with over religious zealots who are given a free hand. The destruction had catastrophic consequences that continue to disrupt lives up to date. How does one pray on the ground that witnessed a martyrdom of a holy place for the establishment of a another holy place in it’s place? Prayer soaked in blood is satanic to say the least. The irony is frightening because it reflects the nature of man – racial superiority is an innate desire. It figures out then, that the Roman Empire is dead, but the desire for an empire is still alive and real. This empire realisation is a vision on the grounds of Masjid-al-Aqsa for the Zionist State’s capital. In the chase of an empire, nations fall.

Empires rise and fall. These two realities cannot be separated. In my visit to Turkey I realised how empires rise and fall, how rulers are dismissed by history or deified by history. How the triumph of the human spirit always prevails making heroes of people who had valour and courage. When I walked into the Hagia Sophia museum and learnt its history and knowing then that I was actually standing in a mosque, gave me a sense of sadness. Sadness that the place I was standing on, was, once alive with worshippers. I looked around and felt that one can still pray here and still have a museum too. Congregational prayers are five times day and not relentless like the waves of the ocean. Many huge mosques in Turkey are open to the public and the pristine maintenance gives them all a museum touch and feel. The Tokpai Palace museum and the Panorama 1453 Museum are historical grandeurs signifying great human victories and defeats but, showing that human beings have the relentless desire to rise from the ashes again and again and again. Therefore, in opinion, the Hagia Sophia reversion to a mosque is just and indication of the rise of people who once ruled the world and are reclaiming their history in a way where no lives are lost or, where there is no drumbeat for a war or no sinister plot to brew ethnic violence like that of the destruction of the Babri Mosque. Humanity, I believe should have a reality check on what they prefer: war or peace. In the absence of justice in this world, peace will remain in a museum as an artefact for special viewing.

In the war museums we lament the heroes of WW1 & 2 and our anthem is that for a doomed youth because their stories remain untold and their sufferings are masked by the generals who are clad in medals glorifying King and country. The women of Srebrenica looked at their sons graves and one wonders what goes through their minds for their sorrows are not captured in museums rather, they seek solace in the sanctity of a mosque and in prayer. Two realities knock at the heart and two judgments emerge. Which is a better future – a museum reverted into a mosque or a walk among tombstones to recall a genocide? History will judge us on actions. Let it be that historians write a textbook on how in July 2020, a museum was reverted to a mosque in peace whilst in Srebrenica in July 2020, the world mourned the loss of 8000 victims of a 1995 genocide and; in the main the killers walked free. Two realities…

Mejra Djogaz, a survivor of Srebrenica, kisses her son’s gravestone

Two realities in the mind accompany the two histories above. The two accompanying mindsets are remorse or racism. Remorse will enable the deepening of regret and the seeking for truth and reconciliation whilst, racism will anchor the whole episode on an empire narrative then; all is lost. What is lost is the chance for justice as means to peace. The dawning of the new realities of the consequences of the war in Syria and Yemen is yet to be understood because the drums of war are still beating. It is reaching a crescendo and it appears to the world that the rhythm is mesmerising and sadistically enjoyed among the writers of the New World Order. The world is tired of war but, economies that are dependent on wars will continue to present realities that show the need to have wars. Therefore, we need to look at history with a trained eye and discern truth from fabrication because, we need to leave a better world for the future generations to inherit.

Perhaps the reading of the conclusion from BBC.Com online newspaper will make you understand why we must be grounded into reality with the big picture of the world in front of us.

The effects of that massacre still reverberate to this day. 

New mass graves and bodies of victims are still being discovered, 25 years after the genocide.

A 2002 report blamed the Dutch government and military officials for failing to prevent the killings. The entire government resigned in the wake of the report. In 2019, the country’s supreme court upheld a ruling that the Netherlands was partially responsible for 350 deaths at Srebrenica.

In 2017, a UN tribunal in The Hague convicted Mladic of genocide and other atrocities. The commander had gone into hiding after the end of the war in 1995 and was not found until 2011, in his cousin’s home in northern Serbia.

Serbia has since apologised for the crime but still refuses to accept this was a genocide. 

In the juxtaposition of the two realities discussed above look at it like walk in the forest, where two roads emerge and you take the one less traveled all because it allows for a new realisation. A realisation of truth. One life; two realties: Heaven or Hell. These realities have to draw you closer to know the greater reality: Allah, the High the Great.

Abdullah Sujee

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3 thoughts on “Two Realties.”

  1. ON BEHALF OF THE WHATSAPP GROUP CALLED ” THE PAGE TURNERS”

    These are some historical points that are critical in understanding the history of the Ayasofya Mosque, historically called the Hagia Sophia. We’ll start with points from the antiquity of Hagia Sophia.

    • Muslims didn’t erase the mosaics! Iconoclasm, a Christian ideology that decried the use of images of sacred figures, rose in various times throughout history, such as their rise in the 8th and 9th centuries, when the images of the iconodules, those who favored images; were plastered over. Again, Muslims had not even gotten anywhere near Constantinople in the 8th and 9th centuries. This was all done by Christians themselves! So if you’re soooo concerned about restoring the Hagia Sophia to its originally intended design and purpose, you need to be calling fo the Christian mosaics and frescoes to be wiped out. I’ll wait.

    • The mosaics were all still visible well into the 16th century according to historical testimony from Christians themselves. So, while Christian factions themselves plastered over the mosaics and frescoes of Christ and his mother, the Muslims did not do that.

    “Mosaics and paintings were still visible inside Hagia Sophia until the sixteenth century, its central dome being adorned by an enormous Christ Pantokrator who would have dwarfed any person looking at it from the ground. When three centuries later, the Fossati brothers restored the church, they originated lithographs that illustrate the impression of petitesse one feels when inside the church. In their rendering of the building, minuscule men appear swallowed by the convex domes above them.”
    [French Encounters with the Ottomans, 1510-1560, By Pascale Barthe]

    The Fossati brothers mentioned here reveal another fascinating detail. In 1847, Sultan Abdülmecid appointed the Swiss brothers who were skilled architects to renovate the Hagia Sophia. They completed the restoration in two years, utilizing more than eight hundred workers. They were able to document a larger number of Byzantine mosaics whose precise location within the Hagia Sophia today have not been fully documented since many were either painted over or destroyed often without recording their original location. The drawings of the Hagia Sophia mosaics are kept in the Cantonal Archive of Ticino. Sultan Abdülmecid allowed the brothers to also document any mosaics they might discover during this process which were later archived in Swiss libraries.

    So, even as late as the 19th Century, the Ottoman Sultans were showing reverence and respect for the historical Christian icons and artifacts remaining in the Hagia Sophia. This concern of Sultan Abdülmecid ensured that many unknown mosaics and frescoes discovered during the Fossati brother’s works would be documented and preserved for posterity. This would have never happened otherwise.

    • Hagia Sophia rests on a historically restless fault-line. It’s first collapse was in 558 which happens to be the year the latest archaeological research postulates is the actual “Year of the Elephant” which happens to be the birth year of the Prophet Muhammad (‎ﷺ). It suffered numerous earthquakes, of the most devastating was an earthquake in 1344 which saw the church’s capacity irreparably diminished as will be displayed with copious evidence herein.

    • Often these earthquakes were followed by massive tsunamis that further wrecked the cities of Greece. On September 23, 1065 an earthquake rocked and leveled Constantinople only to be followed by a Tsunami that destroyed Nicolidea, the Princes Islands, Constantinople, and Nicaea. In 1332, twelve years before the major earthquake of October 1344, another massive earthquake struck Constantinople and was followed by a huge tsunami which further devastated the city. According to a description by Nicephoros Gregoras, “Sea waves higher than mountains flooded the eastern walls of Byzantium and forced them from the earth; waves went under the city gate and opened it; they flooded and overturned houses inside the city walls.”
    [Tsunamis in the Mediterranean Sea 2000 B.C.-2000 A.D, Sergeĭ Leonidovich Solovʹev, Sergey L. Soloviev, Olga N. Solovieva, Chan N. Go, Khen S. Kim, Nikolay A. Shchetnikov]

    • Frequent political turmoil also hampered the building’s use as a functioning church. The Second Palaiologan Civil War, also known as the Byzantine Civil War, of 1341-1347 was one such example. In the middle of this civil war, catastrophic damage was sustained not only from the battles between factions, but due to a tremendous earthquake in October of 1344. This was followed by another massive earthquake in 1354.

    • The constant devastation the cathedral experienced led people to believe that it was an omen of God’s displeasure and a sign of His purpose no longer being in their favor. This led people to believe the place had become cursed.

    “But Gregoras also felt that much of their misfortune was due to the corruption of Christian principles caused by the war. A sure sign of this was the fact that the cathedral of St. Sophia was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair until, on the night of 19 May 1346, a part of the eastern end of the building collapsed altogether. It was a memorable tragedy and a terrible omen. Repairs were soon carried out by willing armies of workers, rich and poor, men and women alike. But it was the kind of event that often signaled a change in God’s purpose to the Byzantine mind. “
    [The Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261-1453, By Donald M. Nicol, p. 106]

    • Aside from being caught in the crossfire between internally warring Byzantine factions, in 1204, the Latin Crusaders attacked and sacked the cathedral during the Fourth Crusade, completely looting it of all artifacts and treasures, and laying waste to the building and setting it on fire. So the extensive damage that the Hagia Sophia has suffered over the centuries was not by Muslims but by hundreds of years of Christian onslaught against the cathedral and natural disasters for which only God can be attributed as responsible.

    • The destruction of major churches in Constantinople was obviously not limited to the Hagia Sophia. The second most significant church in Constantinople, the Church of the Holy Apostles, had also been destroyed and, like the Hagia Sophia, all but abandoned.

    “As the empire entered its final decline, Hagia Sophia became progressively more neglected. A few years after the coronation of Manuel II Palaeologus – third from the end of the imperial line – in 1391, the Spanish ambassador Gonzalez de Clavijo wrote that “the outer gates by which the church was approached are broken and fallen.” In the last years of the emperor’s reign, the Florentine traveler Cristiforo Buondelmonti got the impression that “only the dome of the Church remained, as everything is fallen down and in ruins.” By the fifteenth century, Constantinople was a sadly diminished city. One foreign traveler was astonished to find it so full of ruins, another aghast at its emptiness, and a third remarked on its sparse and impoverished population. The great bazaars were almost devoid of produce, the great warehouses derelict and infested with rats. Many quarters of the city, once buit-up and prosperous, had reverted to nature, with birds singing and wildflowers blooming in orchards and hedgerows. Such were the last stages of a decline that had its roots in the Latin conquest.”
    [Hagia Sophia: A History, Richard Winston]

    The Latin conquests referenced at the end of this citation being none other than the Christian Crusader conquests of 1204 that saw the entire city ravaged and the Hagia Sophia pillaged and destroyed.

    • These disasters dramatically decreased, and on their previous scale and frequency simply ceased to occur. Whatever the otherworldly reason may be, it is observable historical fact.

    • So with the Hagia Sophia being a collapsing structure, much of which had already been reduced to rubble, what was Sultan Mehmet Fatih to do when he conquered Constantinople? Should he have spent an exorbitant amount, causing great economic stress upon the Ottoman economy, to restore it as a Church for a sparse Christian population which had already been rapidly dwindling according to the testimony of travelers in the 15th Century? To imagine he should do this isn’t altruism but just plain stupidity. Let’s just be real and stop being stupid for a moment if that’s not too much to ask for. What nation in this history of planet earth has taken on a huge financial burden to restore a dilapidated and nearly completely collapsed house of worship belonging to the people who warred with them for centuries whom they eventually conquered? The closest thing to it would be how the Ottomans preserved the Christian icons and artifacts of the Hagia Sophia!

    • Also, the perspective of Islamic law that necessitates that non-Muslim populations sustain their houses of worship by themselves must be taken into account. There is agreement between the four canonical schools of Sunni Islamic law that the People of the Book be free to worship, frequent their houses of worship, and maintain, sustain, and repair their houses of worship. However, their houses of worship remain their responsibility, not the Muslim state’s. Meaning, they are responsible for their own houses of worship. There are exceptions according to some Islamic scholars that aid can be provided to the People of the Book for the restoration of their places of worship if those places of worship predate the arrival of Islam into antiquity. However, that aid can not be a huge and primary expense of the Muslim state. The fundamental principle behind this is the verse of the Qur’an:

    (وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ)
    “Cooperate with one another in goodness and righteousness, and do not cooperate in sin and transgression.”
    [The Qur’an 5:2]

    And it is clear that there is no transgression in Islam greater than worship of other than God.

    • There are numerous examples of Mosques and places of worship turned into Churches following conquest: Grand Mosque of Cordoba, The Sveti Sedmochislenitsi (Seven Saints) Church in Sofia, Bulgaria, and a multitude of other examples. And it’s not just Mosques that the Christians converted to Churches. The Buddhist Bao Thien Tower temple of Hanoi, Vietnam became Saint Joseph’s Cathedral by the conquering French. So unless they are ready to revert these back to their original intended houses of worship, they need to shut up.

    It is simply an unfortunate historical inevitability that when one nation conquers another, their most venerated monuments will be claimed by the conquerors. Masjid al-Aqsa itself was turned into a church with a cross hoisted atop it for 100 years during Crusader rule and was only restored to a Masjid after Saladin’s victory at Hattin. This is acknowledged as an unfortunate reality and occurrence in the Qur’an that, without God using military deterrence between nations, churches, monasteries, and temples would be razed.

    (وَلَوْلَا دَفْعُ اللَّهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُم بِبَعْضٍ لَّهُدِّمَتْ صَوَامِعُ وَبِيَعٌ وَصَلَوَاتٌ وَمَسَاجِدُ يُذْكَرُ فِيهَا اسْمُ اللَّهِ كَثِيرًا)
    “If God did not repel some people by means of others, many monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, where God’s name is much invoked, would have been destroyed.”
    [The Qur’an 22:40]

    And this is what happened when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk gained power in Turkey, he converted the Hagia Sophia, which had been a Mosque for over half a millennium, into a museum. And now that there is a new government, it is reverted back to the Mosque it had been for hundreds upon hundreds of years. This is the nature of what happens to iconic monuments during power shifts, even when those shifts are unfortunate.

    • However, in spite of the aforementioned historical reality, Sultan Mehmet I actually paid the Christians of Constantinople to have the building repurposed. There are some amusingly senseless assertions I’ve seen on social media that this purchase was under “duress”. What conqueror needs to purchase anything in the land he’s conquered? If it’s a matter of duress, he can simply take whatever he wants for himself. It makes absolutely no sense for a conqueror to PAY for anything in his conquered territories unless the intent is goodwill and even-handedness. The documents for this purchase still exist today. And historical scholars agree that had the Ottomans not taken control of the Hagia Sophia and repurposed it, thereby, spending exorbitant amounts in restoring it for posterity, the building would have completely collapsed within a decade to the point of irreparability.

    The modern history of Hagia Sophia.

    • So after being a Mosque for over 500 years, following the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, and the rise of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a rabid form of liberal secularism came to power in Turkey. They engaged in efforts to remove all semblances of Islam from society by banning the call to pray from Mosques over loud speaker, banning women from wearing Hijabs, banning men from growing their beards, and other draconian measures to rob the Turkish people of their freedom of religion. Among these measures was taking the most significant symbol of Islamic life in Turkey, the Ayasofya Masjid, historically called the Hagia Sophia, and transforming it into a museum in 1935. This wasn’t to do Christians any favors. The Ottoman Sultans had already been preserving relics of the Christian history of the Mosque for centuries. This was merely a slap in the face to the Islamic oriented politicians who contested them and whom they largely had executed and/or assassinated.

    • Now, in 2020, it is being reverted, not converted, but REVERTED to the Mosque it had already been for over 500 years before the less than 70 years as a museum. The legal ruling maintains that all Christian icons and artefacts will be preserved just as the Ottoman Sultans did consistently throughout their history. There is no threat to the historical heritage of the Mosque, neither to it’s Christian nor Muslim history. In light of ALL the historical details shared here, such outrage is wholly ridiculous not to mention completely manufactured by clandestine Islamophobic elements in society by whom “woke” Muslims are way too easily swayed and herded like bleating sheep.

    The fact that such spineless Muslims are in an outrage over the Hagia Sophia being reverted to the Mosque it has been for over half a millennium is nauseating and revolting. What makes it all the more worse is that they’re doing this on the eve of the Srebrenica genocide of Bosnian Muslims by Serbian nationalist “Chetniks” in 1995. What’s the correlation? The Hagia Sophia has always been a symbol of anti-Muslim Serbian nationalism. The Church of Saint Sava in Belgrade was built as a copy of the Hagia Sophia and as close to its dimensions as possible in order to commemorate their constant call to drive the Muslims out of the Hagia Sophia and all of Eastern Europe.

    “The mother of all these projects of religious nationalism is the massive cathedral of St. Sava in Belgrade, built in imitation of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul that was lost to Christianity in 1453. The cathedral was financed by nationalist Serb expatriates from the same countries as the Croat expatriate communities. The project and the fund drive were tied to the emotionally charged preparations for the 1989 600th anniversary of the death of Lazar. The same Serbian religious publications that pleaded for more contributions stoked Orthodox nationalism with false charges of genocide against Serbs in Kosovo and manipulation of World War II history and the Lazar story. The cathedral is named for the patron saint of the ideology of “Saint-Savaism” that is based upon the call for a greater Serbia, purified of non-Serbs and dominated by the Serb Orthodox religious establishment.”
    [Religion and the Creation of Race and Ethnicity: An Introduction, Craig R. Prentiss, pp. 224-225]

    The fact that so many Muslims are so unwittingly bleating the causes and slogans of their enemies like sheep unknowingly herded to the slaughter simply sickens me. Learn from this, or don’t. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. As for me, I proudly say “Allahu Akbar” and look forward to praying Salah in the Hagia Sophia one day soon, insha’ Allah. To those enraged I recall the verse of the Qur’an:

    (وَإِذَا لَقُوكُمْ قَالُوا آمَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَوْا عَضُّوا عَلَيْكُمُ الْأَنَامِلَ مِنَ الْغَيْظِ ۚ قُلْ مُوتُوا بِغَيْظِكُمْ)
    “And when they meet you, they say ‘We have believed,’ but when they are alone they bite the tips of their fingers in rage. Say: ‘Perish in your rage.’”
    [The Qur’an 3:118]

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