The Mufti of Komotini, Khalil Jihad, said that Ankara’s decision to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque was provocative and wrong, fearing that it could cause tension in Thrace. He stressed that Hagia Sophia was a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Speaking to the radio station Flash 99.4, the mufti of Komotini explained that “in Greece, of course, we live in this democratic country, here in our area our mosques are open and we pray every day, there is no problem, but with this decision, I fear that there will be hatred between Christians and Muslims from now on… There may be fanatics among us who will do harm to society. In other words, this decision was not right.”
He stressed that Hagia Sophia was a Christian church, was founded as a Christian church as its name suggested, and had served Christians for more than 1,000 years. “Now what is the point of making this decision? A mosque can be built in another place, if necessary, and near the Hagia Sophia there is the Blue Mosque called Sultan Ahmet Mosque. It was not the right decision. “Converting churches into mosques is not in line with the principles of Islam,” he said.
The Mufti of Komotini underlined that the conversion of Christian temples into mosques is contrary to the principles of Islam. “It is not in line with the principle of Islam of the Quran, nor did the followers of the Prophet converted churches into mosques. “That did not happen,” he said.
The Mufti considered that Hagia Sophia should remain a museum as a neutral site, as he said. “Since it is also registered in UNESCO, it is a world heritage. “Beyond that, this decision brings us nothing but hatred, it is a provocative decision.
“Everyone must respect other’s religion and there must be a harmonious coexistence and we must go on this way,” said the Mufti of Komotini.