Monday, July 27, 2020

Hagia Sophia Really Doesn't Interest the NYTimes

Following an editorial published by the New York Times, I sent the newspaper the following letter:

Your editorial, "The Hagia Sophia Is Converted Again" (July 23, 2020), informs that Turkey's President R.T. Erdogan indicated that when not being used for Moslem prayer, the Hagia Sophia, built to surpass Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem as you note, would remain open to the public. This is a welcome sign that Islam can tolerate shared space for holy sites of two different religions.

I hope that this spirit will move the Moslem Waqf authorities in Jerusalem, supported incidentally by Erdogan, to find a compromise whereby Jews can be present within the Haram A-Sharif, originally the Temple Mount, without discrimination or prohibition so they can express respect for our holy site.

It was not published.

Was I being outlandish?

In 2006, Spanish Muslims wrote to then Pope Benedict XVI and ask for hs permission to hold Islamic prayer in Córdoba Cathedral.

In part, it read:

"We invite you to create a new example, to send a message of hope to the world...[it would create a] unique ecumenical space...Do not fear. Together we can show the violent, the intolerant, the anti-Semites, the Islamophobes and also those who believe that only Islam has a right to remain in the world, that prayer is the strongest weapon imaginable..."

Whether or not one assumes that letter was an honest expression of shared place conflict resolution, nevertheless, Moslems should no be allowed to make an unequal claim in Jerusalem, denying Jews a change in the status quo and freed access and the right to worship, while they claim they be afforded those same rights in  Cordoba.



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