Dear Sir (I do not know how to officially address you.)
My name is Z….. P…….. I am Greek and a man who hopes, that
one day, will claim, that he tried his best to live his life as a
Greek Orthodox Christian.
I have recently “discovered” you through a video with Greek
subtitles, in which you were talking about Hagia Sophia and
Constantinople. You cannot even imagine my surprise. You Sir, were a
paradox to me.
Let me explain myself.
In Greece, we know of Islam from only three different occasions.
The first one is the Turks who committed genocides and oppressed
millions of people in the past, and they are bullying countries
nowadays. The second one is ISIS, which require no further
explanation, and the third and most recent occasion is the turning
of Hagia Sophia into a Mosque. Due to the third reason, we have
learned about the law of conquest, that all scholars of Islam
advertised constantly in all social media.
Constantinople and Hagia Sophia are very dear to the hearts of
Greeks. They are not only symbols of our Orthodoxy, but they are
symbols of Hellenism as well. We Geeks consider the Byzantine empire
as a Greek empire. An empire that started as a Roman one, but later
on was inhabited almost exclusively by Greeks, adopted the Greek
language as the official one, and of course the Greek culture was
the dominant. That is the reason that we do not trust Western Europe
so much. Not only because of their behaviour during the Greek
economic crisis, or because they seem to tolerate Turkey’s
irrational, and against every international law, claims in the
Aegean sea. It is also hard to forget that in the fourth crusade, a
sequence of economic and political events culminated in the Crusader
army’s 1204 Sack of Constantinople, the capital of the Greek
Christian-controlled Byzantine Empire, rather than Egypt as
As you understand our experiences of Islam were not the best. But
even so, we are not naïve people. We know how religion can be
manipulated for political reasons and we can differentiate and
isolate the concepts of Islam, Islamist, extreme Islamist and
Muslim. However, the “law of conquest” in its popular interpretation
hit the spot. The Muslim scholars that called upon that law, on the
occasion of Hagia Sophia, gave to me the impression that in Islam
there is a moral or divine justification for war. Any kind of war.
Every time a Muslim in the social media claimed that Islam is “the
religion of peace” it seemed as an oxymoron to me.
And then, out of nowhere, here you are, saying what you say, and
most importantly, acting on what you say. As I said, you cannot
imagine my surprise. My very, very pleasant surprise. You sir, are
the only one that I know of, that can really claim that his Islam,
is a religion of peace.
You have chosen a path in your life. A hard path that puts a huge
burden on your shoulders. Your obligations are not only to yourself,
but to the rest of the world. Thank you for your views and logic. I
do not know whether you are the exception to the rule, or not. But
if you are the exception, then you have one more obligation. Your
view of Islam should stop being an exception, and become the rule.