In the year 2020, Muslim countries have faced major reforms and revamp. Some were utterly disappointing like the bold photoshoot which took place on the holy lands of Saudi Arabia, and the second was the conversion of Hagia Sofia Museum into Mosque by Turkish Government, which was a moment of celebration for most of the Muslims around the world
On Friday, the Council of State, the highest administrative court in Turkey announced the cancellation of the 1934 cabinet decision saying that the Hagia Sophia is registered as a mosque in its property deed, and hence it was unlawful to convert it into the museum.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who always defend Islam and religious affairs during his 17-year rule, has immediately signed the decree to open Hagia Sophia for Muslim worshipers. Despite the extreme global pressure, Erdogan fought on the front line to revive the statue of Hagia Sophia.
The history of Hagia Sophia:
Hagia Sophia or Aya Sophia, literally meaning as “Divine Wisdom” in Greek was originally built as a Christian Cathedral Church in the 6th century ( 532-537AD) during the reign of the Roman emperor Justinian I. It was the first church built in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) having the largest interior space and was considered as an epitome of the Byzantine architecture in the world. The history of Hagia Sophia is pretty complexed yet interesting. It was an ancient worship place that served as Byzantine Christian Cathedral, Greek Orthodox Cathedral, and Roman Catholic Cathedral until the Constantinople collapsed by the Great Ottomans. Sultan Mehmed II, under a young age of 21-years old lead an army of estd 94,000 soldiers in 1454 and conquest Constantinople after besieging the land for 55 days. This act does not do only displayed the world the power of the Ottomans but also put an end to the Byzantine era. After the fall of Constantinople, the Ottoman Empire converted Hagia Sophia cathedral into the mosque, and it remained the same until 1935 when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk became the president of Turkey. On this point, we should keep that in mind that Mehmet II bought this place with his own money and hand over to Turk Muslim to use it as a Mosque
The rise of Atatürk’s “Modern Turkey”
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk also is known as the founding father of the Republic of Turkey, was a Turkish field marshal and came into prominence after securing the Ottoman Turkish victory at the Battle of Gallipoli in World War I. Following the defeat of Ottoman Empire, he led a Turkish national movement and claimed the sovereignty of Turkey from the aligned forces. After coming into the form of an independent state, Ataturk introduced several reforms to the country in order to westernize and modernize the state. He converts Turkey’s Muslim approach into secular one and converting Hagia Sophia Mosque to Museum was a part of his ideology.
However, since the Recep Tayyip Erdogan held the chair of a big office, things have begun to change.
Global rage arose on the decision of Hagia Sophia:
Despite the global pressure, Erdogan was determined to do what is right and what Turks want. The day this decision has been made, Erdogan made an inspirational speech, in which he said that ” the conversion of Aya Sophia is the first step towards the liberation of Masjid Al Aqsa. He also said that “those who do not take a step against Islamophobia in their own countries, are attacking Turkey’s will to use its sovereign rights”
However, where this decision brought happiness to the Muslims around the world, the rest of the world is watching this decision as a slap on the face of unity and peace
UNESCO, who declared the site as World Heritage says that “UNESCO is concerned and deeply regrets the decision of Turkish authorities, made without prior discussion to change the status of Hagia Sophia and calls for the universal value of World Heritage to be preserved”
Russia and The US, the NATO ally of Turkey, with whom turkey forged close ties in the recent years are furious over the decision President Erdogan made despite their requests to look over. Many more threats and warnings Turkey got, on which the Erdogan replied bravely that “Turkey doesn’t resort to seek anyone’s permission or consent to make the decision on our land, do we rule here or you”?
India Is Seeking The Chance To Use The Decision Of Hagia Sophia Against The Mosques Situated In India:
The all-time rival of Muslim Countries and the biggest beneficiary of this situation, India, is apparently trying to use this as a chance against the Muslims and their worship places quietly. As we all know that the cases against Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi are already processing under the courts, following by the mosques of Kashi and Mathura. The Hindu Supremacist of BJP, after vandalizing Babri Masjid, is now brazenly exposing their plans against the Muslim Community of India and seeking a chance to destroy all the big mosques around the state and build Temples there. Now after the conversion of Hagia Sophia, they got the chance to justify their act of vandalizing Mosques to create temples.
To execute their ugly plans, India is discreetly using the anger of the world against Turkey and seeking ways to tarnish Erdogan’s image. India is drawing similarities between Erdogan and Modi, convincing the world that both leaders use repression of the minorities and religious nationalism to consolidate political support. Though they are insisting that Erdogan is a more ruthless leader than Modi in curbing civil liberties and confining free journalism. The Indian right-wing, who doesn’t need any reason to spit venom against the Muslims, are also chiming into this matter “What international precedence Hagia Sophia is setting for Kashi, Mathura? Shouldn’t parliament pass a law for reclamation of sacred Hindu Sites and rebuild the temples demolished by Muslim Rulers?” An extremist Professor of Delhi university tweeted. Similarly, the fire that the Hindutva arsonists ignite has embraced entire India in its arms. The people of India are full of hatred against the Muslims, and talking about how their decision of demolishing Babri Masjid was right and now approved by Muslim’s act of converting Hagia Sophia.
Indian media who was already enraged because of the impediment of the construction of the temple in Islamabad, is now seeking ways to harm Muslim society by any means.
This act is undoubtedly a major step in the history of Turkey. Where it appeared to be a milestone for Muslim Community around the world, it also opened some historical wounds along with giving some fresh scars. We hope that the decision would not effect the existence of Masjid Al Aqsa, or many other Mosques situated on the land of Hindustan.