TURKEY: By the Beard of the Prophet!

A shudder passed through the Moslem world last week: three sacred hairs from the beard of the Prophet Mohamed were missing from each of two Istanbul mosques.

Carefully preserved in 40 bags, one within the other, and locked securely in jeweled boxes, the hairs have been preserved in the mosques for generations. Each year, on Kadir night, at the end of the feast of Ramadan, the bags are opened and the hairs displayed to the faithful. Last week when the muezzins went as usual to find the relics, they had disappeared.

Disconsolate Istanbul Moslems could take some comfort in the...

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