Egypt’s Dar Al-Iftaa on Sunday attacked the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the conquest of Constantinople (now known as Istanbul), describing the over 500 years old Islamic conquest led by Sultan Muhammed Fateh as ‘an occupation’!
This unfortunate statement directed at Sultan Muhammed Fatel was released by the Egyptian authority responsible for issuing religious edicts and it contradicted traditions of the Prophet (SAW), which says:
“You will conquer Constantinople. Its commander is the best, and its army (that will conquer it) is the best.”
Observers described the gaffe by Dar Al-Iftaa over Constantinople as an extension of President Abdul Fatah El-Sisi’s hatred and envy for Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
It is viewed as a frantic attempt to satisfy the whims of his paymasters as well as his Western backers who assisted him to power, in an unfortunate coup d’etat when he criminally overthrew Egypt’s first constitutionally elected government just before it clocked a year in office,
Dar Al-Iftaa later admitted it erred after global condemnations and criticisms from Muslims across the world, who further faulted the credibility of the scholars that constitute the Cairo Fatwa Council.
On Tuesday, another statement – a sort of damage control measure, apparently an afterthought, was issued, changing ‘OCCUPIED’ in the first statement to ‘GREAT ISLAMIC CONQUEST’.
First statement reads in part:
“The Hagia Sophia was built as a church during the Byzantine period in AD537, and it remained for 916 years UNTIL THE OTTOMANS OCCUPIED ISTANBUL (CONSTANTINOPLE) in 1453, turning the building into a mosque….”
The latest correction reads…
“….As for the CONQUEST OF CONSTANTINOPLE, it is a great Islamic conquest that was preached by The Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, and it was carried out by the great Ottoman Sufi Sultan Mohammed al-Fateh.”
In the “damage-control” statement, Dar Al-Iftaa could still not hide its hatred as it described the Great Sultan as “Sufi Sultan”.
Many wonder, why add such a needless and superfluous prefix for a great hero of Islam, thereby further depleting the ranks of the Muslims, particularly the ignorant youths?. “Must the statement describe Sultan Al-Fateh as Sufi? Or, what did they mean by Ottoman Sufi Sultan?”, many critics queried.
Muslims and historians however took consolation in the fact that the critical correction, in an unfortunate attempt to rewrite the history, has been made albeit reluctantly.
However, the religious institution, which many believe to be greatly influenced by the military leader, turned President didn’t reverse its earlier controversial remark on President Erdogan, who is considered by millions globally, as the leader of the Muslim world.
The institution allegedly accused Erdogan of using religion to impose Turkish hegemony on Arab countries that were previously ‘colonised’ by the Ottoman Empire, saying;
“Erdogan is not and has no connection to Mohammed al-Fateh.”
The relations between Turkey and Egypt, as succinctly captured by Al-Jazeera, have been virtually non-existent since the Egyptian military, then led by Gen. Sisi, overthrew the first and only democratically elected Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi – a close ally of Erdogan – in 2013. Sadly, Morsi was unjustly incarcerated for almost 6 years until he died exactly this time last year, 2019.
Consequently, Turkey has no Ambassador in Egypt since then. In fact, Erdogan said he would never talk to someone like Sisi, who he said operates an authoritarian and totalitarian system, under the guise of democracy. Evidently, it’s not only Erdogan that described Sisi as an authoritarian, this is also the view of millions of Egyptians, many of whom are in dungeons for exercising their fundamental rights while others are now on self-imposed exiled in different parts of the world.
By Rasheed Abubakar
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