Wednesday, August 18, 2010
IN AN article entitled, The Mosques of War, Victor Sharpe wrote:
And it is in one abiding respect that this endless spiritual and temporal conflict is seen in its most practical and historical context — the conversion of places of worship into mosques.
The result has been that since the time of Muhammad, synagogues, churches, Hindu temples, Zoroastrian temples, and pagan shrines have been all too often violently converted into mosques.
After the conquest of Mecca in the year 630, Muhammad transformed the Black Stone in the Ka'aba, which ancient pagan Arabs had worshiped, into the paramount Islamic holy place. It became known as the Masjid al-Haram, or Sacred Mosque.
During the Arab invasions of neighboring lands in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond, under the new banner of Islam, numerous synagogues and churches were converted into mosques. In Damascus, Syria, the church of St. John is now known as the Umayyad Mosque. Also in Syria, the mosque of Job was originally a church.
The Islamic tide swept into Egypt, and many Christian Coptic churches were converted into mosques. From North Africa, the conquests continued into Spain and Portugal, where again churches were converted into mosques. Interestingly, many churches had been built upon the sites of earlier Roman temples. But during the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula by Christian armies — the Reconquista — these same mosques were reconverted into churches.
In Gaza, the Great Mosque of Gaza was originally a Christian church. In Turkey, the Hagia Sophia Church was converted in 1453 into a mosque and remained so until 1935, when it became a museum. Indeed, the Ottoman Turks converted into mosques practically all churches and monasteries in the territories they conquered.
The most well-known mosques, built upon previous non-Muslim holy sites, are the Al-Aqsa mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock, also built upon the site of the two biblical Jewish Temples.
There are four holy cities of Judaism: Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed, and Tiberias. Hebron is the second-holiest city, and in it is the burial place of the Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs, known as the Cave of Machpela, where Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Leah are buried.
Herod the Great constructed an enclosure for the burial site. During the later Christian Byzantine period, a church was built upon the site, but this was destroyed in 614 by the Persians. Later, the Arab-Muslim invaders built a mosque in its place.
Jews were not permitted to worship at their nearly-four-thousand-year-old holy place by the Muslim Arabs. They could only ascend to the seventh step leading to the tombs. Indeed, they were refused this right as a place of worship from the 7th century until 1967, when Israel liberated the territory from the Jordanian occupiers. Even before the Israeli liberation, a horrifying massacre of Jewish residents in Hebron by their Arab Moslem neighbors took place in 1929 while under the British Mandate of the geographical territory known as Palestine.
Prior to the present-day Palestinian Authority assuming control of the city of Nablus, which was the ancient biblical Jewish city of Shechem, the Tomb of Joseph, the biblical figure, was a place of Jewish pilgrimage. When it was handed over to the PA, as one of seemingly endless Israeli concessions, the tomb was desecrated by a Moslem mob, which proceeded to convert it into a mosque.
On the Indian subcontinent, Hindu temples were similarly converted into mosques. Lately, Hindu nationalists have reconverted some mosques into temples, and, as in so many other parts of the world, considerable bitterness exists between Moslems and members of other faiths or those of no faith.
Mosques now occupy vast numbers of places of worship for other faiths. In Algeria, the Great Synagogue of Oran is now a mosque after the Jewish population was driven from Algeria. Many other synagogues throughout the Arab world are now mosques from after the Jewish inhabitants were expelled.
In the 1974 invasion of Cyprus by Turkey, many Greek Orthodox churches in northern Cyprus were converted into mosques. And the process continues.
Saudi Arabia invests endless billions of dollars to build mosques throughout the world. The international blanketing of cities with mosques is just another expression of jihad.
Read the whole article: The Mosques of War.