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Islamic invaders learned from each other --Constantinople 1453 and Delhi 1398--

Reader comment on item: Florida Museum Celebrates the Loss of Hagia Sophia

Submitted by Prashant, May 29, 2017 at 19:09

Dear Dr Pipes,

The only purpose that reciting history serves is that we can learn lessons from it so bad parts of history do not repeat and good parts do. Your citations describing the May 29, 1453 siege of Constantinople painted a horrifying picture in which attackers mercilessly killed anyone who came in their way and finally reached Hagia Sophia and also killed the people who took refuge in the church.

One would like to believe that it was just one incidence perpetrated by one army on one group of unfortunate people who believed in God's angels and did not fight ruthless fire with ruthless fire. But that is not true. It seems the invaders of Constantinople learned from what the invader of Delhi had done just 55 years prior. On 17 December 1398, Uzbek barbarian Timurlane killed 100,000 citizens of Delhi in one night. That was thousands of miles form Uzbekistan and Timurlane was not defending himself. It is said that on that day Delhi residents started to believe that the God was on the side of the attacker. Did the invaders of Constantinople take a leaf from the book of the attacker of Delhi? (Incidentally, the Boston marathon bomber shared his name with this Delhi attacker).

I have written many times on your site that just 60 or 70 odd years of the death of Muhammad, Islam had reached thousands of miles to the east into Sindh and, with an uncanny symmetry, it had reached thousands of miles to the west into Spain. One would like to believe that the attack on Sindh and Spain were unrelated campaigns in which random warriors attacked random lands but, more likely than that, they were coordinated campaigns in which the attackers shared know how and resources. And they did so in the name of a religion and toward the cause of God.

But what good is history if we do not learn from it? No one can prove that last week's killings in Cairo and London are continuation of the same legacy. Nor should anyone prove. But we can demand that Islamic countries bring democracy and freedom of thought to the lands controlled by them because till just few decades or centuries ago, those lands were not Islamic and who knows which other lands will Muslim capture in the next few decades.

So, thank you, for writing about the plight of Hagia Sophia. No one can prove who did anything wrong and who was pious. But we know that Hagia Sophia once was a Christian church. And we should demand today that Syria, by way of just one example, that is exporting people all over the world become a democracy today and now. Amen, as some would say.

Submitting....

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