We had settled onto a raised dais that once contained the altar of a church. Turks had re-built it as a mosque. Unlike the Hagia Sophia, the queen of Turkey’s re-purposed churches, this structure had no other visitors save our tour group. We had entered a silent hall, we women wrapped in scarves and long skirts, everyone barefoot. Overhead, iron bars pierced the marble Byzantine columns, reinforcing the stone. Across the floor, two men knelt in prayer. At our side, Mehmet concluded his brief introduction to the religion of Islam and invited questions.
In the silence that followed, I clarified my query: “How do Muslims get to Paradise?” Read the rest of this entry