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1st Muslim call to prayer inside Hagia Sophia since 1931

July 05, 2016

For the first time in 85 years, a Muslim call to prayer has taken place inside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

Completed in 537, Hagia Sophia served as the basilica of the Patriarch of Constantinople until the Byzantine Empire’s fall to Ottoman Turks in 1453. Hagia Sophia was then used as a mosque until 1931 and reopened in 1935 as a museum under the secularizing Turkish President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

For the past four years, the Turkish government has permitted calls for prayer from Hagia Sophia’s minarets. The call to worship from inside Hagia Sophia on July 1 was broadcast on television the following day, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

A Greek government spokesman expressed “intense concern and discomfort at yet another step that undermines the nature of Hagia Sophia as a monument of global cultural heritage and that obviously is not compatible with the principles that should govern a modern, secular state.”

 
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  • Posted by: rfr46 - Jul. 05, 2016 5:18 PM ET USA

    Western observers including our good Pope grossly misunderstand the intentions of ALL Muslim countries and civilizations: to dominate and ultimately destroy competing civilizations. We need political and religious leaders who can see and act on this fundamental truth. At the moment, we have none, and we will all pay for their arrogant and pious negligence.