Jul 26, 2020, 2:46 PM
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Reopening Hagia Sophia mosque brave move: Islamic body

Tehran, July 26, IRNA – The secretariat of World Assembly of Islamic Awakening, in a statement on Sunday, described that reopening the historic Hagia Sophia as a working mosque after 88 years is a courageous move and said the move is, in fact, a return to the Islamic heritage and a show of resistance against West’s cultural dominance.

Inviting all Muslims worldwide to support the move, the statement said that Hagia Sophia was an Islamic heritage for five centuries, but English colonizers who suffered wounds by Muslims, changed the worshiping place to a museum in order to remove sign of Islam, dominate over Muslim’s fate, destroy Islamic symbols, and consigning the memory of all the Islamic triumphs and golden age to oblivion.

The statement also praised President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey for the “courageous decision.”

Hagia Sophia is among Turkey’s top tourism destinations for both domestic and foreign visitors. In 1985, when still as a museum, the massive building was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

By the conquest of the byzantine empire, the building had served as a church for 916 years. Then it changed to a mosque and was so from 1453 to 1934. But in 1934 it was turned into a museum.

On July 10, a Turkish court annulled a 1934 Cabinet decree that turned Sophia into a museum, which finally resulted in reopening of the mosque on July 24.

The first prayer in Hagia Sophia mosque was held after 86 years on Friday.

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