Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Silent Crusade

Check out Against All Heresies for an article on the recent sale of a Roman Catholic Church to be used as a mosque... for the handsome sum of $150,000. (Who can buy anything for that these days?) After reading her post, I tried to find a Church in Turkey that Islamist say Mohammed turned around with his thumb to make it into a mosque. I couldn't find any information on that... but I did find the historical precedent for changing churches into mosques. It usually happened right after a battle that the Christian Crusaders lost:

Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, one of the first churches converted into mosques
According to the early Muslim historians, the towns that surrendered without resistance and made treaties with the Muslims received permission to retain their
churches and synagogues, while in the towns taken by conquest Jewish and Christian places of worship were seized by the Muslims. Modern historians do not consider the process of transformation of churches into mosques to be as regular as the Muslim historians describe it, but in the course of time, the Muslims appropriated many churches to themselves.[1] From the beginning of the Muslim conquests, the Christians had ceded (sounds so innocent, and unbloody) to the Muslims half of their churches, which were turned into mosques.[4] One of the earliest examples of this kind was in Damascus, where in 705 Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik took the church of St. John from the Christians and had it rebuilt as a mosque, which is now known as Umayyad Mosque; overall, Abd al-Malik is said to have transformed ten churches in Damascus into mosques. The process of turning churches into mosques was especially intensive (you mean, like the villagers were whipped and beaten into submission to do it?) in the villages, with the gradual conversion (that's nice) of the people to Islam. During his persecution of the Copts, Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun turned many churches into mosques, both in Cairo and in Egyptian villages, which had no mosques in the earlier generations of Islam. Fatimid caliph al-Hakim converted numerous churches and synagogues into mosques. During the Reconquista christian warriors would just as often appropiate and convert mosques to churches as the Muslims would convert them to their capture.[5] The chief mosque in Palermo was previously a church. After the Crusades, several churches were turned into mosques in Palestine.[1] Ottoman Turks converted into mosques nearly all churches, monasteries, and chapels in Constantinople, including the famous St. Sophia cathedral, immediately after capturing the city in 1453.

Since we are following tradition here, I wonder how they'll ceremonially accomplish the following:

To make the buildings fit for the mosques, the Turks destroyed the icons, plundering their precious plating in the process, and defaced the frescoes.[6] The Ottoman sultan Mehmet II was the first to perform a Muslim prayer in what had previously been the St. Sophia cathedral.[7]


Anonymous said...

At 5:20 in the morning! Whoah--
Pet--well done! Its 8:30 now and I still can't compose a complete sentence, let alone crusade. Real response later but I was just blogging around babies so I thought I'd check in. X and T send love, A

Flag Gazer said...


I see you are a new memer of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll - welcome to our group! I'm so glad you joinged - so I could find you site!!! I will visit often!

Louie said...

Welcome to Wednesday Hero...you have a nice blog and will be back here and there to check in!

Coach Mark said...

Great post. Very interesting. It confirms a lot of history I sort of knew, but never read through enough to prove. I'll be linking it in on this evening's post.

By the way, welcome to Wednesday Heroes.

tania said...

El otro día vi una sinopsis del documental y trate de buscarlo, pero no se si lo estaran dando en Chile.
Me quede con todas las ganas de verlo.
Muy bueno tu post.