The Turks' war crime against Christianity

 PJ Media:

Last summer, Turkish authorities transformed Hagia Sophia (“Holy Wisdom”) — which was originally built, and for a millennium functioned, as one of Christendom’s greatest cathedrals — into a mosque (again).  On that Friday, July 24, 2020 (which for millions of Eastern Christians is now deemed a “day of mourning“), Muslims met inside the desecrated church, where they were led in prayer by a sword-waving imam, to spasmodic cries of “Allahu akbar.”

The Turks, beginning with their president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have been presenting this bit of cultural appropriation as their “right.”  Imam Ali Erbas, Turkey’s president of religious affairs, has gone one farther, recently claiming that “the goal is for all our mosques and especially Hagia Sophia to become centers of knowledge about Islam.”

So be it.  As the anniversary of the Turkish conquest of Constantinople and its Hagia Sophia recently passed (May 29, 1453), let us revisit what happened on that day — a day that truly does impart much “knowledge about Islam,” not least because we have primary source documents describing exactly what the Turks did, particularly in and around Hagia Sophia.  (All quoted text in the following narrative was derived from contemporary sources, mostly eyewitnesses; exact references can be found in chapter 7 of Sword and Scimitar.)

Once they had penetrated inside Constantinople, the “enraged Turkish soldiers … gave no quarter”:

When they had massacred and there was no longer any resistance, they were intent on pillage and roamed through the town stealing, disrobing, pillaging, killing, raping, taking captive men, women, children, old men, young men, monks, priests, people of all sorts and conditions[.] … There were virgins who awoke from troubled sleep to find those brigands standing over them with bloody hands and faces full of abject fury[.] … [The Turks] dragged them, tore them, forced them, dishonored them, raped them at the cross-roads and made them submit to the most terrible outrages[.] … Tender children were brutally snatched from their mothers’ breasts and girls were pitilessly given up to strange and horrible unions, and a thousand other terrible things happened[.]

Because thousands of citizens had fled to and were holed up in Hagia Sophia, the ancient basilica offered an excellent harvest of slaves once its doors were axed down:

One Turk would look for the captive who seemed the wealthiest, a second would prefer a pretty face among the nuns. … Each rapacious Turk was eager to lead his captive to a safe place, and then return to secure a second and a third prize. … Then long chains of captives could be seen leaving the church and its shrines, being herded along like cattle or flocks of sheep.

The slavers sometimes fought each other to the death over “any well-formed girl,” even as many of the latter “preferred to cast themselves into the wells and drown rather than fall into the hands of the Turks.”

Having taken possession of the Hagia Sophia — which at the time of its capture had served as a cathedral for a thousand years — the invaders “engaged in every kind of vileness within it, making of it a public brothel.”  On “its holy altars” they enacted “perversions with our women, virgins, and children,” including “the Grand Duke’s daughter who was quite beautiful.”  She was forced to “lie on the great altar of Hagia Sophia with a crucifix under her head and then raped.”

Next “they paraded the [Hagia Sophia’s main] Crucifix in mocking procession through their camp, beating drums before it, crucifying the Christ again with spitting and blasphemies and curses.  They placed a Turkish cap … upon His head, and jeeringly cried, ‘Behold the god of the Christians!'”

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There is more.

This is another example of Islam's intolerance toward other religions.  There are many other such examples.  It is also why the mosque built over the Jewish Temple was put in place to make bogus claims about a Jewish holy site.  In India, Muslims destroyed a Hindu temple and put a mosque on the site.  It is part of their religious aggression.

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