This is Unfortunate

The final climax of my next EDGE book takes place in Turkey because Ataturk seemed like a perfect candidate to have known about my Prometheus figure and be affected by him.  I loved the fact that Hagia Sophia in Istanbul had begun as a church, became a mosque, and was turned into a museum by Ataturk.  It was such a sane and sensible solution to the clash of religions and cultures, a celebration of art and people rather than competing gods.  But now there is a move afoot to turn Hagia Sophia back into a mosque.  So will people be permitted to view the magnificent mosaic’s set high in the arches of the ceilings?  When I visited I was permitted to wander through the magnificent structure.  As a woman I will be limited if the structure is once again a mosque.  Considering that one of the most beautiful mosques in the world — The Blue Mosque — is almost directly across the street from Hagia Sophia why take this divisive action?  Does Istanbul really need another mosque instead of a museum where people of many faiths and many cultures can come together and explore?  I have been longing to return to Turkey, but I guess I better hurry if I want to see Hagia Sophia again.

You can find the full article here.  Museum to Mosque?  I just find the entire conversation horribly depressing.  It’s the twenty-first century and we’re still obsessed with measuring the relative power of the various Sky Daddies.

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DailyQuote

I suspect that religion was some random by-product of mammalian reproduction… a necessary evil in the childhood of our species… but why was it more evil than necessary? Isn’t killing people in the name of God a pretty good definition of insanity? — Arthur C. Clarke (1917 – 2008)

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