Pictured above is the Hagia Sophia, one of Christendom's oldest and most revered of churches. The minarets were added when the Ottoman Empire captured Constantinople and convereted the church to a mosque. It is today treated as a museum.
From Germany's most senior Catholic clergyman, commenting on the treatment of Christianity in Muslim countries:
One of Germany's most senior Catholic leaders, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, criticized on Sunday what he described as restrictions on Christians in Islamic nations. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio, Meisner, who is archbishop of Cologne, charged that this led to "an aversion against Muslims" among Germans.
The often outspoken cleric said he had been campaigning for the past two years for the Church of St Paul in Tarsus, Turkey to be permanently opened for worship by any Christian.
The Turkish government which treats the early medieval church at Paul's birthplace as a museum granted access to Christian groups from mid 2008 to mid 2009 to use it, but restrictions are back in force.
"It's a battle that is pointless. And then you get the feeling, this just is not right. And that is one of the reasons for all this aversion towards our Muslim fellow citizens," Meisner said.
"In Muslim countries, we are not allowed to develop as Christians," said Meisner, who also charged that Qatar had allowed a church to be built five years ago for its 100,000 Christian foreign workers, "but with no steeple, no bell and no cross on it." . . .
The senior Catholic clergy have been standing up for their faith and have shown a willingness to take Islam head on, both as prosleytizers and as critics. Indeed, it was only last year at Easter that the Pope held a widley publicized christening cermony for one of Italy's most well known Muslim converts. The Catholic clergy seems to be the only group willing to speak out. The polar opposite is to be found in the Anglican Church, where the odious Rowan Williams leads his flock on the road to dhimmitude.
There is institutionalized mistreatment of Christians and Jews throughout Muslim countries. Indeed, the instances discussed above are the mildest forms of the discrimination practiced therein. See here for more. While we can and must allow freedom of religion in our country, we should be equally as vociferous in pushing for true religious freedom in Muslim countries. Maybe Obama will think to highlight rather than whitewash this issue in his next Cairo speech.