ALI SADUN ENGIN: Good afternoon, dear viewers. Today we have a guest from abroad. His name is Mael David Benoliel. He is coming from i24News TV which is broadcasting in English, Arabic and French in Israel. Welcome.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Thank you. Very honored to be here.
ADNAN OKTAR: And we are both honored and delighted; it is such a beauty for us to welcome you here.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Thank you. Thank you very much. So my first question is like this; what is this place? I understand that we are in your studio, you are running a TV channel. Tell me about that please?
ADNAN OKTAR: A humble but influential, sincere TV channel that strives for the goodness and the wellness of the people, the happiness of the world and for all the religions to be able to live together as brothers. This is a TV channel in which modern, democratic, enlightened people who advocate science and love are putting forth their efforts.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Okay. What kind of programs do you have here in this TV channel?
ADNAN OKTAR: We are making discussions of all sorts of subject matters; scientific, religious, moral and political.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Okay. I understand also that he is like running the shows. Right? He is also directing the channel. He is hosting the channel in this proper house. How does he do it? I know that it is very difficult to run a channel. So my question is how does he do it?
ADNAN OKTAR: It is really very enjoyable. It is very nice. Having guests is a blessing. The Prophet Abraham (pbuh) also had guests. He welcomed them and he enjoyed doing so greatly. He was very happy to host them, he used to treat them beautiful food. And we, as the children of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh), are on his path. We like guests, we love having guests.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Okay. It wasn't my question. My question was; how does he run a channel, direct a channel, host the channel in his house and to run the shows? I mean, it is a lot of work.
ADNAN OKTAR: This is like our house, everywhere we go, the whole world is our home.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Nice, okay. When does it start first? Where did this idea to build a channel come from?
ADNAN OKTAR: Actually, this was like a utopia for us. It did not appear to be something we could have done. We've prayed to God for this and God bestowed that blessing upon us quite easily. We were thinking about this, twenty years ago as well; we were saying "How nice it would be if we had a TV channel" but we thought it was far-fetched. And we thanked God when it finally happened. Actually it was not that difficult, it happened very easily. It actually is a humble TV channel. Because it is founded on thought, ideas, love, goodness and beauty, and because its goal remains solely in these lines, no need for such extensive expenses have occurred.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Alright. But still, you guys need money to run the channel. Where does this money come from?
ADNAN OKTAR: This is not something that I personally am interested in. I mean, this is not a company that I own. This is a company a few of our friends jointly founded. Consequently, because they are businessmen, they are the ones financing this effort. They are the ones organizing this company. I do not inspect these matters in such details. I do not know the details.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: No problem. Okay. My next question is; What is the main goal of the channel? What does he want to achieve with this channel?
ADNAN OKTAR: [Our goal is] To make the whole of humanity happy and live in joy. We want beauties, happiness, abundance and goodness to spread to the whole world. We want the fights and wars to end. We want weapons to turn into beneficial tools, into refrigerators, washing machines for instance. We want no blood to be shed in the world, we want the religious people to live by their religions freely. We want people from all walks of life to be able to live freely. We want irreligious people, atheists to be able to live freely in this world as first class citizens as well. We want a democratic, enlightened, reasonable worldview based on the fear and love of God to prevail in the world.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Okay. It is a really, really good and nice idea and I like it very much, but it seems to me that it is almost impossible to achieve. Is he conscious of that?
ADNAN OKTAR: It is not impossible. The Prophet Moses (pbuh) has foretold this to us four thousand years ago. In the time of Moshiach, the Mahdi, Islam, that is to say those who believe in the Oneness of God, will prevail in the world. Moshiach will appear and we will rebuild the Prayer House of the Prophet Solomon (pbuh). The time for that has come. We are at the End Times of this world. The Last Day is very imminent. This is confirmed by the information given in the Torah and also in the hadiths. We can also understand this from the works of Said Nursi. This is also confirmed when we look into things scientifically. All the portents foretold in the Torah related to the last period of the world have been realized. All of them can be seen now. The world is going towards unity and togetherness. People are very fervent and very zealous for this. Piety has increased among Jews as well. Even the foundation of Israel is a portent of the appearance of the Moshiach. People rushing towards irreligiousness is also a portent of the appearance of the Moshiach. Consequently, the time for this to happen, for Islam to prevail in the world, I mean for all the people to live together happily in unity, for Christians, Jews and Muslims to live together as brothers, is very imminent.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: So, what does he think about Israel and the Jewish people? I want to know if he thinks that the Jewish people can live peacefully in Israel, that the Jewish people deserve to live in Israel?
ADNAN OKTAR: Let us learn about that from the Qur'an, let us ask about this from the Qur'an and see what God says about this. There is a knowledge given by God to us, Muslims here. God says in Surat Al-Isra; verse 104 , - I seek refuge in God from the satan- ; "And We said unto the Children of Israel after him: Dwell in the land; but when the promise of the Hereafter cometh to pass We shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various nations." Here the fact that the Jews will be living in Israel is explicitly stated here, in this verse.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Okay. So alright, I understood. So let us go back to 20 years ago. What happened to him that he actually changed his mind, right? Before, 20 years ago, this is not what he was thinking, right? So, if he can explain me what happened to him?
ADNAN OKTAR: People improve in time. People mature. God says that people reach maturity at the age of 40. That is to say being 20 and being 40 is not the same for a man. It is evident that I will improve even further, I will go towards becoming even better. When one abides by the Qur'an—and I do—it is seen that such a person would constantly progress towards better. During our childhood we were told that the Jews are the source of all things evil in the world; This is how we were trained. But later on, when I've done my research and when I look into things, I have seen that satan is the enemy of the prophet's descendants and I have understood that it wants the descendants of the prophet to be erased from the face of this world, and I decided to stand up against the work of the satan attempting to erase the children of the Prophet David (pbuh), the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and the Prophet Moses (pbuh) from the face of this world, as a strong movement, as a man of intellect.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Okay. I also understood that you have a lot of supporters but also a lot of haters. What can you tell me about that? Why is it like this?
ADNAN OKTAR: Enemies are of no importance to me, because God is the One Who creates everything. God is the One Who creates my friends. I put my trust in God. God is enough for His servant, if that servant is sincere. In the Qur'an God says—I seek refuge in God from the satan—"Is God not enough for His servant?" (Surah Al-Zumar, 36)
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Okay. So my next question is like this: What he says to me and for the channel? It is not something that we hear a lot from a Muslim like him, from a Muslim believer. I guess jihadist people are not into the same, it is not the same Islam, right? What does he want to do to make them think like he does?
ADNAN OKTAR: For those people to come to our perspective means for them to come to the perspective of the Torah and the Qur'an. Peace and love is demanded in the Torah and in the Qur'an. Doing anything to the contrary means to serve the satan anyway. For instance, I have been threatened by the Al-Qaida terror organization because of my views. Furthermore some individuals are being tried right now because of such attempts. Because I protect and watch over the Jews, because I've been preaching about the truths of the Qur'an, about the fact that the Qur'an is enough to the religious people, I've been threatened. And that is an honor for me; I have felt happy about such a threat, I was pleased about that. The commands of the Torah and the Qur'an will definitely prevail in the world. I mean the world does not operate according to what people say, God is the One Who runs the world. Consequently what God says will come true. For instance in Zechariah 9:10; "I will take away the chariots... and the battle bow will be broken... He [King Messiah] will proclaim peace to the nations…" That means all nations will hear this peace from the mouth of Moshiach. This is from Zechariah 9:10.
Actually you can read from the commands of the Torah from here. You can read until Hoshea 2:18. There are three passages from the Torah.
"Burn them [the weapons] up—the small shields and the large shields, the bows and arrows, the war clubs and the spears... They will use them for fuel... " The Torah tells us that all the weapons will be abolished from the world. This is exactly the same in the hadiths as well. "… declares the Sovereign Lord." Ezekiel 39:9-10.
ALI SADUN ENGIN: "In the last days... He [the Lord]... will settle disputes for many peoples... Nations will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid." [Micah, 4:1-4]
ALI SADUN ENGIN: "Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety." [Hosea, 2:18]
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Okay, I wanted to know. I was asking as myself. How does he define himself? He is like an Imam? He is like a Rabbi? He is like [what exactly]? Cause he uses always the verses of the Qur'an, so he is like an Imam?
ADNAN OKTAR: I am a simple Turkish citizen. I am a simple man.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Funny question? Okay. He has a lot of supporters. We will go back to this question. He has a lot of supporters. Does he know who are his supporters? And how many are they and where are they?
ADNAN OKTAR: I have my friends who love me. I mean, I have always had group of friends consisting of about two or three hundred people. Their number sometimes exceeds and sometimes goes below three hundred, but our group of friends always remain somewhere around three hundred people. They love me and I love them. And in such a sincere friendship, altogether we are striving to serve Islam, to serve the Qur'an and the humanity.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Okay. So let us go back to the Channel. How many people are watching the channel?
ADNAN OKTAR: The number is considerably high. I mean especially among the people known as the elite class, I mean the university youth, let us say the intellectually elite class predominantly follow our channel, the intellectuals are following us. Actually our impact can be observed clearly in the social media and the press.
Of course our impact is not through television only; I also have more than three hundred books published. These books have been translated into seventy- six different foreign languages. The number of the translated languages is about to reach eighty, we are working on that. Thirty million of my books have been sold or distributed within a year. This is the extend of our works. I mean thirty million books have been published. But of course these are not only published in Turkey, they are also published in Arabian countries, in the United States and elsewhere.
For instance in Iran, only my books are allowed as Sunni works. Others are forbidden in Iran. In the same way, only my books are allowed in Russia as Islamic books. Other books are not allowed to be printed but mine are freely published in Russia.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Okay. Did he travel to Israel before?
ADNAN OKTAR: No
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: No? Why not?
ADNAN OKTAR: Because I have never gone abroad.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Yes? Why? Did you not travel to the US? To Paris? Champs Elysee?
ADNAN OKTAR: Because of our intense activities, I never even go on holiday. I have never gone on a holiday for thirty five years.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Okay. My question is, if he thinks Israel is as important as is written in the Qur'an, why doesn't he come and visit us? The Holy Land?
ADNAN OKTAR: There is a time for that as well. We will come. We will come in the very near future. While Moshiach walks down the Mount of Olives, we will be beside him, insha'Allah.
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Okay, that is it. Thank you very much.
ADNAN OKTAR: I thank you. Masha'Allah
MAEL DAVID BENOLIEL: Masha'Allah.