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Taliban Flag Unfurled Inside Hagia Sophia Mosque

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Taliban Flag Unfurled Inside Hagia Sophia Mosque

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On August 3rd, a Taliban flag was unfurled inside Turkey’s newly re-opened Hagia Sophia mosque.

“The conversion of Hagia Sophia was a motivational message of #MuslimBrotherhood to the world’s Islamist extremists and terrorists.

Soon, pro ISIS activists will raise their flag too,” said Noor Dahri, the executive director of the Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism think tank.

In the footage, you can see a group of men with the group’s flag unfurled. This is a white cloth that depicts the Shahadah (evidence of faith in Islam).

The unidentified individuals changed their location several times, they stood with the flag first at the entrance to the Mosque, and then in the center of the prayer hall.

They were shouting “Allahu Akbar” with their right index finger raised, a gesture that has been identified with Islamic extremism.

Immediately after, Afghanistan called on Turkey to take action against the propaganda of the Taliban group after the unfurling of the flag, Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Gran Hewad said.

“The peace process is supported by the Afghan government and the Afghan people, [They] should support it too and get rid of movements that can harm this process and that appear in these countries,” Hewad said.

The Afghan government said it is going to consider such actions in support of the Taliban as meddling in the country’s internal affairs.

A video was also uploaded sharing locals’ response to what happened.

“I certainly don’t think it’s right. Since this is the territory of Turkey and the territory of Turkey, no other flag should be raised here. Our homeland and our flag are forever in the forefront, for the whole of the Muslim community. I didn’t find it right,” said Gulay Sertkaya.

Another resident condemned the action, saying it “goes against Islam.”

On July 10th, Turkey’s Council of State ruled that the Hagia Sophia museum had to be turned back into a Muslim place of worship, overturning a 1934 decree. The site had also previously housed a church.

UNESCO expressed concerns about the impact it may have on the universal value of the World Heritage Site, while the EU has called on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to reverse the decision.

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