Vlad quotes one of the great lines from The Princess Bride:
“You have taken from me, that which I have rightfully stolen!”
Turks irked, accuse Lego of racism for model resembling mosque
Racism? What race are Muslims again? I keep forgetting. And as for the Hagia Sophia, the Turks in Austria for some reason neglected to mention exactly how it became a mosque. On May 29, 1453, Islamic jihadists broke the siege of Constantinople and entered the city. Historian Steven Runciman notes that the Muslim soldiers “slew everyone that they met in the streets, men, women, and children without discrimination. The blood ran in rivers down the steep streets from the heights of Petra toward the Golden Horn. But soon the lust for slaughter was assuaged. The soldiers realized that captives and precious objects would bring them greater profit.” (The Fall of Constantinople 1453, Cambridge University Press, 1965, p. 145.)
Some jihadists “made for the small but splendid churches by the walls, Saint George by the Charisian Gate, Saint John in Petra, and the lovely church of the monastery of the Holy Saviour in Chora, to strip them of their stores of plate and their vestments and everything else that could be torn from them. In the Chora they left the mosaics and frescoes, but they destroyed the icon of the Mother of God, the Hodigitria, the holiest picture in all Byzantium, painted, so men said, by Saint Luke himself. It had been taken there from its own church beside the Palace at the beginning of the siege, that its beneficient presence might be at hand to inspire the defenders on the walls. It was taken from its setting and hacked into four pieces.” (P. 146.)
The jihadists also entered the Hagia Sophia, which for nearly a thousand years had been the grandest church in Christendom. The faithful had gathered within its hallowed walls to pray during the city’s last agony. The Muslims, according to Runciman, halted the celebration of Orthros (morning prayer); the priests, according to legend, took the sacred vessels and disappeared into the cathedral’s eastern wall, through which they shall return to complete the divine service one day. Muslim men then killed the elderly and weak and led the rest off into slavery. Then the Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror had a muezzin mount the pulpit and proclaim that there was no god but Allah and Muhammad was his prophet. The great church was transformed into a mosque, its gorgeous icons destroyed or covered with huge medallions bearing Islamic declarations of faith.
Once the Muslims had thoroughly subdued the entire city of Constantinople, they set out to Islamize it. According to the Muslim chronicler Hoca Sa’deddin, tutor of the sixteenth-century Sultans Murad III and Mehmet III, “churches which were within the city were emptied of their vile idols and cleansed from the filthy and idolatrous impurities and by the defacement of their images and the erection of Islamic prayer niches and pulpits many monasteries and chapels became the envy of the gardens of Paradise.”
Now the sons and heirs of these bloody conquerors complain because they think a Lego set stereotypes them.
“Lego accused of racism with Star Wars set,” by Matthew Day for the Telegraph, January 23 (thanks to JW):
Lego has been accused of racism by the Turkish community over a Star Wars model that supposedly resembles one of Istanbul’s most revered mosques.