Michael Nazir Ali is right: There is no justification for turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
For 1000 years Turkey’s Hagia Sophia was the world’s largest cathedral. Its painful subsequent history – which reflects well on no-one – is a sobering reminder how sacred buildings can be used as symbols of power and subjugation.
Whether it’s Christian churches being razed to the ground in Nigeria, mosques, temples and churches appropriated by atheistic Communists in China, or synagogues targeted by anti-Semites, it all amounts to the same thing: a hatred of those who refuse to conform to your beliefs.
Putting Hagia Sophia into the hands of people who did not build it and who will desecrate its Christian iconography, is provocative and divisive – just the reverse of what the world needs.
In better times, Turkey signed up to Article 18 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights – which guarantees the right to believe, not to believe or to change your belief. Seizing Hagia Sophia symbolises a repudiation of Article 18 and unnecesarily opens old wounds.
Michael Nazir Ali is right: ” There is no justification for turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque.”
Read his article in full here: https://www.spectator.com.au/2020/07/beyond-belief-3/