The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Greece issued a press statement on Tuesday expressing its sadness over the conversion of the Hagia Sophia by the Turkish government into a Muslim mosque.
“It is reported that Agia Sophia will be converted to a Mosque. This move has hurt the feelings of millions of Christians in Greece and those living across the globe. This step is very harmful for interfaith dialogue.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Greece shares this feeling of sadness with all the Christians of the world.
This building can, as it has been for decades, remain a museum considering and respecting the feelings of our Christian brothers and sisters. This was also the reason in 1934 why the then Turkish government decided to keep Agia Sophia as a museum.
The second caliph of Islam, Umar, was once offered to offer his prayers in the grand church of Jerusalem. He respectfully declined the offer stating that if he prays in the church then he fears after he is gone, Muslims might take possession of the church and convert it into a Mosque. In this way he protected the rights of Christians.
It is essential for peace in society that we consider the feelings of other religious or non-religious communities. All such steps should be avoided which can create distance and misunderstandings between the communities.”
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Greece