Muslims have the same claim to Hagia Sophia or Temple Mount as Columbus had for the Mayan Pyramids.
Opinion. Ezequiel Doiny , 12/10/20 13:34 Share
Christopher Columbus Soliciting Aid Of Isabella Stamp iStock
In honor of Columbus Day, October 12, Mexico has demanded that the Pope apologize for Columbus. Columbus conquered America in 1492 shortly after Muslims conquered Constantinople (in 1453). While the Mexican President demands that Christians apologize for Columbus, Muslims celebrate (and are proud!) of the Conquests of Islam in places like Constantinople’s Hagia Sophia or Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
Muslims have the same claim to Hagia Sophia or Temple Mount as Columbus had of the Mayan Pyramids. If Christians are asked to apologize for Columbus then Christians and Jews should demand an apology for the crimes of Islamic Colonialism
On October 10, 2010 Fox Newsreported “Mexico’s president published an open letter to Pope Francis Saturday calling on the Roman Catholic Church to apologize for abuses of Indigenous peoples during the conquest of Mexico in the 1500s.”
Columbus conquered America in 1492 shortly after Muslims conquered Constantinople (in 1453). Muslims have the same claim to places like Constantinople’s Hagia Sophia or Jerusalem’s Temple Mount as Columbus had of the Mayan Pyramids.
While the Mexican President demands that Christians apologize for Columbus, Muslims celebrate (and are proud!) of the Conquests of Islam. While there are protests condemning Columbus and his statues are being destroyed, there are no protests condemning the crimes of Islamic colonialism… Far from apologizing the crimes of the Islamic colonial past, people like Turkey’s Erdogan are proud of it and continue to celebrate the illegal occupation of Hagia Sophia and its conversion into a Mosque.
On July 10, 2020 Fox News reported “Turkey will convert the Hagia Sophia cultural site back into a functioning mosque. The millenary place of worship was turned into a museum in 1934…”
Brittanica.com explains “Hagia Sophia…also called Church of the Holy Wisdom or Church of the Divine Wisdom,cathedral built at Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) in the 6th century CE (532–537) under the direction of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. By general consensus, it is the most important Byzantine structure and one of the world’s great monuments…’
“After the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453, Mehmed IIhad it repurposed as a mosque, with the addition of a wooden minaret (on the exterior, a tower used for the summons to prayer), a great chandelier, a mihrab (niche indicating the direction of Mecca), and a minbar (pulpit)… In 1934 Turkish Pres. Kemal Atatürksecularized the building, and in 1935 it was made into a museum…”
Erdogan could have chosen to apologize for the crimes of Islamic colonialism and returned Hagia Sophia to the Christians, he preferred to celebrate Islamic conquests and re-dedicated Hagia Sophia as a Mosque.
Erdogan not only reconsecrated Hagia Sophia into a Mosque, he is also calling for the “liberation” of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. On July 12,2020 the Jerusalem Post reported “The resurrection of Hagia Sophia heralds the Liberation of the Al-Aqsa mosque, the Turkish Presidency website says.”
Although Israel allows Muslims to pray in Al Aqsa, Erdogan calls for the “liberation of Al Aqsa”. Muslims did not allow Jews to pray in the Western Wall during the Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem (1948-67), but Jews allow Muslims to pray in Al Aqsa.
The same way Muslims converted Constantinople’s Hagia Sophia into a Mosque, they also built Mosques on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount as a symbol of Islamic supremacy.
For Muslims other cities such as Mecca are holier than Jerusalem, but the same way Muslims changed the name of Constantinople to Istanbul they also want to change the Hebrew name Jerusalem to the Arabic Al-Quds. Jerusalem is to Judaism as Mecca is to Islam.
Jews around the World face Jerusalem when they pray. Muslims face Mecca.
Simon Sebag Montefiore describes, in his book Jerusalem, the Arab Conquest of the Eastern Roman Empire (Chapter 16, page 166) that Arabs built the Al Aqsa Mosque in Temple Mount to make Muslims the legitimate heirs of Jewish sanctity:
“… In 632 Muhammad, aged about sixty-two, died (in Saudi Arabia) and was succeeded by his father in law, Abu Bakr…
“Abu Bakr managed to pacify Arabia. Then he turned to the Bizantine and Persian empires, which Muslims regarded as evanescent, sinful and corrupt. The Commander dispatched contingent of warriors on camels to raid Iraq and Palestine…in Mecca, Abu Bakr died and was succeeded by Omar…
” …Heraclitus dispatched an army to stop the Arabs…After months of skirmishing, the Arabs finally lured the Byzantines to battle amidst the impenetrable gorges of the Yarmuk river between today’s Jordan, Syria and Israeli Golan…and on August 636…
“Khalid cut of their retreat and by the end of the battle, the Christians were so exhausted that the Arabs found them lying down in their cloaks, ripe for the slaughter. Even the emperor’s brother was killed and Heraclitus himself never recovered from this defeat, one of the decisive battles in history, that lost Syria and Palestine. Byzantine rule, weakened by the Persian war, seems to have collapsed like a house of cards…
“The Arabs converged on the city which they called Ilya (Aelia Capitolina, the Roman name (for Jerusalem))… Omar offered Jerusalem a Covenant – dhimma- of Surrender that promised religious tolerance to the Christians in return for payment of jizya tax of submission. Once this was agreed, Omar set out for Jerusalem…
“Omar knew that Muhammad had revered David and Solomon. ‘Take me to the sanctuary of David,’ he ordered Sophronius (Jerusalem’s Christian Patriarch). He and his warriors entered Temple Mount, probably through the Prophet’s Gate in the south, and found it contaminated by ‘a dungheap which the Christians had put there to offend the Jews.
“Omar asked to be shown the Holy of Holies. A Jewish convert, Kaab al Ahbar, known as the Rabbi, replied that if the Commander preserved ‘the wall'(perhaps referring to the last Herodian remains, including the Western Wall), ‘I will reveal to him where are the ruins of the Temple.’
“Kaab showed Omar the foundation stone of the Temple, the rock which the Arabs called the Sakhra.Aided by his troops, Omar began to clear the debris to create somewhere to pray.
“Kaab sugested he place this north of the foundation stone ‘so you will face make two qiblas, that of Moses and that of Muhammad.’
“’You still lean towards the Jews,’ Omar supposedly told Kaab, placing his first prayer house south of the rock, roughly where the al-Aqsa Mosque stands today, so that it clearly faced Mecca.
“Omar had followed Muhammad’s wish to reach past Christianity to restore and co-opt this place of ancient holiness, to make Muslims the legitimate heirs of Jewish sanctity and outflank the Christians.” (Simon Sebag Montefiore “Jerusalem” page 166-184)
Until 1948 Jews were a majority of the population in Jerusalem. On December 11, 2017 Amb. Dore Gold wrote in the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs “By the mid-19th century, the British Consulate in Jerusalem made the following determination, according to this report, which I found in the Public Record Office in Kew, it states that Jews were a majority in Jerusalem, when? already in 1863 – that’s long before Theodor Herzl, before the Britt’s arrived, or Lord Balfour.
William Seward, was Secretary of State of the United States during the American civil war, under President Abraham Lincoln. When Seward’s term ended, he visited the holy land, he visited Jerusalem. And he wrote a memoir. And in his memoir, it is written, “There is a Jewish majority in Jerusalem.”(see William Seward, Travels Around the World (1873))
The Jewish Virtual Library reports “Before the United Nations voted in favor of the Patition Plan on November 29, 1947, the Arab Legion of Jordan attacked Jerusalem.
Their forces blocked Jerusalem’s roads and cut off the city’s access to water.
After bitter fighting, the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City fell to the vastly superior arms and numbers of the Arab Legion. The surviving Jewish inhabitants fled to the “New City,” the four-fifths of the capital that Israel successfully held.
… All but one of the thirty five synagogues within the Old City were destroyed; those note completely devastated had been used as hen houses and stables filled with dung-heaps, garbage and carcasses.
The revered Jewish graveyard on the Mount of Olives was in complete disarray with tens of thousands of tombstones broken into pieces to be used as building materials and large areas of the cemetery leveled to provide a short-cut to a new hotel.
Hundreds of Torah scrolls and thousands of holy books…plundered and burned to ashes…”
According to the Palestinians themselves most “Palestinians” are migrants from other Arab Countries. On March 23, 2012 MEMRI reported “Hamas Minister of the Interior and of National Security Fathi Hammad Slams Egypt over Fuel Shortage in Gaza Strip, and Says: “Half of the Palestinians Are Egyptians and the Other Half Are Saudis”
Lyn Julius comments about George Bensoussan’ book Juifs en pays arabes: le grand deracinement 1850 – 1975:
“…Bensoussan, threatens to stand the notion of ”Jewish colonialism” on its head: it is the Jews who lived under Muslim rule who were the true victims of colonialism…By the time the Arab conquerors had swept over the Middle East and North Africa, the Jews had been living in the region for 1,000 years…Under Islam, according to the eighth-century Pact of Omar, indigenous Jews and Christians were permitted to practise as long as they acquiesced to the ”dhimmi” condition of inferiority and institutionalised humiliation…”
“…Bensoussan”s great achievement is not just to blow out of the water the myth of Arab-Jewish coexistence predating the creation of Israel, but unfashionably to place the colonial boot on the Arab foot…A sovereign Jewish state in the land of Israel begins to look like the liberation of a colonized, indigenous people from 14 centuries of subjugation…”
Perhaps Israel’s president can take his cue from Mexico’s. It doesn’t even demand chutzpa on his part because it is the truth.
Ezequiel Doiny is an Engineer and writer based in Maryland, USA.