Hagia Sophia appeals to the long memories and emotions of both Christianity and Islam. One of the greatest churches and architectural wonders of Christianity for almost 1,100 years, it was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, and 481 years later Atatürk converted it into a museum. Hagia Sophia has faced yet another vicissitude in its almost 1,500-year history as Turkey’s highest court annulled its status as a museum, and President Erdogan declared it once more a mosque in July 2020, thus challenging Turkey’s secular history and nature. This article challenges President Erdogan’s decision not on the basis of western secularity, but rather on the basis of a critical reading of the treatment of minorities, especially Christians, in the sources of Islamic jurisprudence, namely the Quran, the hadith and sunnah of the Prophet, and in the practices of the Rightly Guided Caliphs (al-Khulafa’ ar-Rashidun).

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