The Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, just received a Pope for the second time, marking only the third time the Papacy has appeared in a mosque in all of history.
Over 400 years old and nicknamed “The Blue Mosque” for the ceramic tiles that adorn its walls, this marvel of modern architecture’s most recent hosting was quite a bit different from the last.
Pope Francis, who is making a name for himself as possibly the most progressive and forward thinking Catholic of all time, actually prayed inside a Muslim place of worship.
It may not seem significant, but it truly is. When Pope Benedict visited in 2006, he closed his eyes for nearly two minutes but made it clear that he did not pray, rather it was a time of “silent meditation.”
Pope Francis stood beside a Muslim Cleric and prayed in what he called a “joint adoration of God.”
Conservatives may have a hard time reconciling with the fact that religious leaders are tiring of all of the hatred towards one-another. Recently, a group of Muslims gathered in prayer at the National Cathedral, and the result was outrage among the gunbilly pseudo-Christian culture of American conservatives.
Cries of, “Do you think a Muslim would ever let a Christian pray in their mosques?” were heard across the molon labe hate-fests of conservative social media.
Why yes, it appears they would.
Pope Benedict was far more conservative a Catholic, but one statement from his visit needs to be put on billboards across the Bible belt to make these people understand:
May all believers identify themselves with the one God and bear witness to true brotherhood.
A favorite argument of the 2nd amendment Christian is that Islam is a religion of Pagans who worship some “Moon-God,” and that “Allah” is the name of that God.
“Allah” is of course the Arabic word for “god,” much as someone speaking Yiddish would call Him “Yahweh.” As the Pope clearly stated, the three religions that have kept the world in a state of perpetual war over who gets to claim God as their own need to bear witness to a true brotherhood.
Ishmael, son of Abraham sent into the wilderness when Isaac was born, was the leader of the Arabic tribe that Mohammed was born to, the same Arabic tribe that kept the traditions of the One God alive until the writing of the Qur’an. They worshiped that God, as an offspring of Judaism, long before there was a Christ or Christianity.
Isaac and Ishmael put their differences aside and came together to say goodbye to their father on his death-bed. Is it possible that many millennia later the leaders of their religions can do the same?
One can only hope.