1) Mr. Oktar, we would first like to hear your views on the history and present status of Islam in Turkey.
Ever since becoming Muslim the Turkish nation has been tightly devoted to Allah, the Qur’an, the Prophet (saas) and the laws of Islam. It served as the standard bearer of Islam for 600 years during the time of the Ottoman Empire and strove to spread the moral values and civilization of Islam. After converting to Islam it exhibited an enormous loyalty to the faith and spiritual values, no matter what the prevailing circumstances. There has been significant improvement and development in terms of awareness of this in Turkey as a whole in recent times. For example, in the 1970s the level of believers in Darwinism in Turkey stood at around 80%. Recent surveys now reveal the exact opposite. Turkey has the lowest level of belief in Darwinism in the world. Ninety percent of the population believe in Allah and creation, and absolutely reject Darwinism. This is a very high figure and reveals a most important truth: The Turkish nation is well informed regarding Darwinism--the foundation of irreligion and irreligious ideologies. By Allah’s leave, that awareness will lead to happy times for Turkey and all its neighbors in the region.
2) Some 90% of the population are Muslim, but Turkey is governed under a secular system. Why is that?
The moral values of the Qur’an command people to be understanding, compassionate and patient. As a requirement of those moral values, the Turkish nation is a very moderate and patient one. It is impossible, therefore, for it to go to extremes no matter what is going on. However, it is of course important to establish an environment in which society as a whole can be happier and more at ease, freely able to express its thoughts, and live and think freely. Believers and unbelievers must both be able to say what they think and live as they wish. People from all sections of society must respect one another’s beliefs, thoughts and life styles. When that is brought about a climate of great well-being and prosperity will result. Everyone will be able to make equal use of that freedom. Secularism must be the kind of secularism that brings this about, and this conception of secularism is the guarantee of religious freedom.
I want the best of all things, I want Turkey to be wealthy and its people to be happy. When we go out I want us to greet one another, to eat together and be friends. I do not want a Turkey in which people fear one another, in which they avert their eyes and are ill at ease, pessimistic regarding the future. I desire a wealthy, powerful, great Turkey.
3) The headscarf is a powerful symbol in Turkey. There has been an enormous debate about it. What do you think about it?
Girls who wear the headscarf do so as a requirement of their beliefs. These young girls are honest and innocent believers. No harm can come of their going to school, and no problems can result from it. All kinds of worry must be eliminated in order for social peace to be established. That is a responsibility incumbent upon all of us. Girls who wear the headscarf should not have to worry whether they can study or not, and those who do not wear it should not have worries, either. That is why the tolerance, understanding and love brought with them by Qur’anic moral values need to be fully explained. It must be made clear that there can be no force or compulsion in the religion. The freedom of thought that the religious morality brings with it must be emphasized. In fact, it is the lack of love that lies at the root of all disagreements. There is no matter on which agreement cannot be established if people genuinely love one another and are sympathetic to one another, no matter what their ideas, beliefs and origins.
4) What were the real aims behind the court case brought against the Justice and Development Party (AKP)? The Western media regarded the AKP victory as a triumph for democracy. What do you think?
The Constitutional Court decision was of course a most important one. Prohibition, oppression and the use of force are not the modern way of doing things. Bans of that kind happened during Stalin’s time and Hitler’s time. There is no need to ban any idea so long as it does not involve violence, separatist and harmful acts or encourage terror and the killing of innocent people. All decisions taken are of course auspicious for Muslims. Had the AKP been closed, that would also have been for the best. But Allah ordained it should not be closed, and that was auspicious, inshaAllah.
5) You have called for an Islamic Union. I believe that Muslim countries have more in common than the nations of the EU. Could you set out your blueprint? What does such a union need? What form should it take? What problems are involved in setting up an Islamic Union, and how can these be overcome?
For one thing, it will be a union of love. The basis of the union will be love, altruism, an eagerness to help, compassion, tolerance, understanding and reconciliation. The Qur’an commands that the Islamic world should be as one. Allah describes Muslims as “well-built walls.” Unity among Muslims is the first condition for escaping poverty. The second is the genuine implementation of Islamic moral values. That means love, compassion, affection and mutual aid. A Muslim can have no thirst for material things nor long for the things of this world. Once union and unity are established Muslims will regard one another as brothers, members of the same family. Wealth and prosperity will come about spontaneously when these obligations are put into practice. In other words, there is no need for any special, extra effort. The solution lies in Muslims sincerely loving one another, being one another’s friends and thinking the best of one another. There is no need for Muslims to deal with minor details when their issues can be resolved on a larger scale. It is important for there to be unity among Muslims, and Islamic countries are already rich in oil, mineral and human terms. All they need do is come together, love one another and work in a rational manner. In that event, inshaAllah, things will be as they were in the time of the Prophet Sulayman (as). An age of wealth and abundance will then ensue.
6) What do you think of the Iranian administration and its position in the region as a Muslim country?
I love my Iranian brothers, and I regard Iran as a powerful country with a deep-rooted civilization. The Iranian people are true believers, who live that faith with great joy and verve. Let me also say that I am descended from the blessed Ali (ra) and the blessed Hasan (ra). I am a Sayyid; I am descended from the Prophet’s (saas) line. My ancestors fled the corruption of the time of Hulagu and sought refuge in the hills, reaching as far as the Caucasus. They then moved to Bala in the province of Ankara, Turkey. In other words, I am descended from the blessed Ali (ra). I love him with all my heart, of course. He was a most blessed and glorious individual. We must see the goodness and wisdom in everything these people did. We must respect the behavior of both the blessed Aisha (ra), and the blessed Ali (ra). By Allah’s leave, they are all in Paradise.
The distinction between Shiite and Sunni is a Masonic ruse, and no such thing in fact exists. No Muslim can fall into such a trap. Shiites are pure, devout and spotless Muslims. Sunnis are also very sound, immaculate Muslims. There is no difference between them. They all face the same Qibla, and all believe in Allah. They love the same Prophet. I feel profound and deep affection for them all. Any distinction is artificial and unacceptable. On his recent visit to Istanbul Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personally showed that the distinction between Shias and Sunnis is unfounded and unnecessary. By praying in the same mosque as Sunni Muslims, behind a Sunni imam, he declared to the world that there is no difference between us.
7) What is your opinion of the ties between Iran and Turkey, and how can these be improved?
There has recently been excellent progress between Iran and Turkey. Everything is heading in the right, most excellent direction, inshaAllah. President Ahmadinejad’s recent visit to Istanbul is of great importance in that regard. In a recent interview I called on all Muslims, Shiites and Sunnis, to act as one, and said that the message that “We are brothers, we are together, we are one” being given was highly significant. From that perspective, the President’s visit to Turkey was most auspicious, inshaAllah.
He gave important messages encouraging the union and brotherhood of the Islamic world. The way he performed the prayer behind a Sunni imam in public in Sultanahmet together with the Sunnis was a wonderful thing. It resulted in an increase in Muslims’ love for one another. The constant emphasis on union among Muslims, whether they be Shiites, Jafaris, Alevis or Sunnis, and believers having compassion for and protecting one another are all very important. It is vitally important, inshaAllah, that everyone should gather together in a single body around the Qur’an and the Sunnah of our Prophet (saas).
8) One cannot say that Muslims are without enemies. Who are our common foes? What are their aims? And what can we do about them?
The real subject that Muslims must concentrate on is Darwinism--the source of all suffering, irreligion and godlessness. Once Darwinism is eradicated, religious moral values can be preached with ease. Islam can spread most splendidly. Once Darwinism has been eradicated the idol will have been destroyed. The destruction of that idol will result in an immaculate environment. It will be easy for people to believe. The human soul and body abhor a vacuum. People want to believe in something. If they cannot be atheists or Darwinists, they will hold religious beliefs and be Muslims. There can be no other solution.
However, the current troubles will continue unabated so long as there is no union and unity among Muslims, so long as they fail to choose a leader, so long as they have no bonds of brotherhood and so long as they fail to live by the moral values of the Qur’an. One problem will rise up after another, and there will be no solving them. There will be no end to anarchy, want, poverty and cultural and social degeneration. The important thing is to determine what lies at the root of the problems in Islamic lands. First we need to identify the reasons for them, and then the solution. The answer lies in the full implementation of Qur’anic moral values--union, unity and brotherhood. Muslims will achieve great power when they approach one another with love and compassion, when they wish to be one another’s friends, and avoid dealing with details. No division between Muslims is acceptable. We are all brothers. All Muslims are brothers and sisters.
9) I would also like to learn your views regarding contemporary Western ideology, liberal democracy, for instance, and its aims and principles, and the consequences of its world dominion.
The ideologies based on irreligion and atheism that emerged with the so-called “Enlightenment” have to date brought mankind nothing but disaster. People are only newly becoming aware of the damage inflicted by materialist ideologies that regard human beings as animals and reject the soul and spiritual matters. They are now rapidly turning their backs on materialism, inshaAllah. There is a constant stream of reports indicating that the 21st century will be the “century of faith,” which means that, by Allah’s leave, Islamic moral values will rule the world in the 21st century. People who adopt religious moral values can only find peace and satisfy their hearts’ yearning through Islam, the final true faith.
10) Would you like to add anything?
May the hearts of all my Muslim brothers and sisters be happy and rejoice. Within 10 or 20 years Islamic moral values will rule the whole world. By Allah’s leave, that cannot be prevented. The words of the Prophet (saas) have one by one come true, and are continuing to do so. Around a hundred hadiths have come true. Our beloved Prophet (saas) is the Mukhbir-i sadiq, he who always tells the truth. He acted in the light of the Almighty’s revelation. It is through Allah’s revelation that he spoke these words. And they have all come true. There will be great union and unity in Islam. Never before will there have been such a global union. And the Islamic Union will for the first time rule the world with such majesty. Never before has it been such wide-ranging. Not even in the time of the Prophet Sulayman (as). This is the first time there will be such dominion. The distinction between Shiites and Sunnis, and between the different schools, will be eradicated. Things will be as they were in the time of the Messenger of Allah (saas). Within 10 to 20 years, inshaAllah, we will all bear witness that I am speaking the truth.