PRESENTER: Talk to us a little about the Turkish Islamic Union. When did it start? Why do we have it and what is its mission?
ADNAN OKTAR: I spoke of the Turkish-Islamic Union two years ago. And after I spoke about it, Turkic countries such as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and Islamic countries began lifting of the visa requirements. What does doing away with visas mean? It means people from these countries being freely able to meet and do business with Turkish people and to enjoy free social relations. Shortly thereafter, after visas have been done away with, passports will be lifted, too. What does the lifting of passports mean? A Turkish-Islamic Union, like an Islamic common market, a Turkic common market will emerge. The aim in this is not a political one based on advantage, but a union dominated by feelings of love, affection, compassion, friendship and brotherhood. Therefore, above them all will be love of Allah, a fervor stemming from love of Allah and fear of Allah. Life will then acquire meaning. Just eating and doing business do not make people happy. Economies are collapsing, as you see. The main reason for the economic crisis is lovelessness, selfishness, egoism and, above all, Darwinism. But the collapse of Darwinism, the increasing elimination of lovelessness, and the world dominion of love, affection and compassion are all spreading rapidly. Therefore, the Turkish-Islamic world will be completely united in one-two decades, insha'Allah.
PRESENTER: So, you separate politics from religion in this organization?
ADNAN OKTAR: Politics, religion, the economy... They are all interconnected. Religions set out moral virtues. Moral virtues are also important in politics. Politics becomes immoral in the absence of moral virtues. You cannot have politics without ethics. You cannot have economics without ethics. Therefore, religion is everywhere. In other words, these are feelings such as love, affection, compassion, friendship and brotherhood. One cannot imagine politics without them. And since these will be present in politics arms will be done away with. Bloodshed will cease. Nobody's nose will even be made to bleed. Our Prophet (saas) says this in the hadith. Wars will come to a total end. Wars arise where oppression exists in politics. Wars arise when there is lovelessness. Wars arise from selfishness and egoism. When moral virtues come, therefore, a climate of peace will emerge. Christians, Jews and Muslims will be brothers. Christians will worship as they wish and will be free. Jews will be free and worship as they wish. And Muslims will be free and worship as they wish. But in addition to that, all beliefs will be free. Freedom, justice, love and peace will literally rule the world. That is why there is a need for moral values. Or an absence of immorality. I am referring to people feeling no need for any kind of ethics. That means collapse and is the reason for the collapse in the world. It is the collapse of morality.
PRESENTER: So, what would be your relationship with the political establishment in Turkey now be, for instance? Is there any restriction on your organization? Any pressure? Are you free to assemble, to bring all these people together and apply the mission of the Union?
ADNAN OKTAR: We are relatively free, of course. Freer than we were. But of course people can easily open legal proceedings. They found some young girls the other day, for instance. They found a few people, one of whom was like a member of the mafia. Someone very sinister. One of the girls was a former satanist, someone well known in Ataköy [a district of Istanbul]. Nicknamed Saxo. She had had relations with most of the boys in the school. Someone known for loose morals. They brought her in as a secret witness against us. Dealing with these things takes up a great deal of time. There have been constant cases regarding alleged criminal enterprises since 2001. We have always been acquitted but the cases have kept coming. Bringing charges is easy. It is also very easy to find false witnesses. What is worse is that the alleged Ergenekon organization was even organized within the judiciary. Alleged Ergenekon was very powerful in the Turkish judiciary. That influence makes me uneasy. One is concerned about them intervening in any matter, putting pressure or telling the judges what to do. The problems are generally of that kind. Otherwise, there is no threat of danger like there used to be.
PRESENTER: Why are they hostile to the union? Why are the political establishment hostile to your union? What threat does the union pose to the political establishment?
ADNAN OKTAR: I have never seen any obvious hostility toward believers from the government. There is no such pressure on us. But the alleged Ergenekon organization is putting pressure on us. Let me say that Adil Serdar Saçan has a major impact in organizing the people who accused us of setting up a criminal enterprise. A concern arose in our minds. They set up an artificial criminal case against us. But the person who prepared the police depositions was a friend of Adil Serdar Saçan's by the name of Serdal Akça. In other words the person who ran the operation was the person who had previously tortured our colleagues, Adil Serdar Saçan. Serdal Akça was his friend, and he is on trial at the moment, isn't he?
OKTAR BABUNA: Yes, on trial for torture.
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes, he is facing charges of torture and the prosecutor asks a sentence of around a thousand years for them. If we win this case, we will be acquitted in the other case. Because we will have proved that torture was used, and we have 16 forensic medicine reports confirming torture was used against us. Sixteen reports obtained from official state institutions. Yet they still had a police officer by the name of Serdal Akça to prepare the deposition against us. And of course that person used the kind of language that suggested we were a criminal enterprise. Yet they four times decided not to proceed. The prosecutor decided not to proceed on four occasions. That is proved in a telephone conversation involving Adil Serdar Saçan. That was established but the police investigating the alleged Ergenekon organization. At the moment Adil Serdar Saçan is inside. In prison. In prison charged with membership of the alleged Ergenekon organization. This person called the Kadıköy Justice Department where the case which it had been decided not to proceed with was to go next. He rang someone. He gave that person the impression he knew the judge. He said he could put them in touch. And the decision not to proceed was reversed. Of course I am not saying that he spoke to the judge and obtained such an outcome. But such an incident happened. Many similar things happen. These are the things we are concerned about.
PRESENTER: In most of these cases he was cleared, right? There was no sentence or prosecution?
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes, so far, yes. But there is one case from '99. I was sentenced to 3 years in that. That is now with the Supreme Court. It is continuing but there are various reasons for halting it. I am waiting for that.
PRESENTER: Do you feel personally threatened at all as of now? Personally threatened by the police?
ADNAN OKTAR: I have given a petition to the court in order to defend myself. My colleagues have also submitted petitions. They brought charges on the grounds that my complaints and those of my colleagues constituted a criminal offence, that we were a criminal enterprise, in other words. They complained in their turn and brought the proceedings. In other words, the police brought the proceedings against us. As if to say, "Why are you complaining?" But who should we complain to if not to the state?
PRESENTER: Well. Let's move away from this dark and really tragic way we look at our intellectual and our thinker. Always a threat. But let's move to... I would like, if you don't mind, you to talk about yourself little bit. I want to get your endorsement and agreement first. I want to know you little bit. A lot of people don't know much about the man, the person.
ADNAN OKTAR: Do you mean about how my life began? Or my character? What kind of thing?
OKTAR BABUNA: Like a biography or personality?
PRESENTER: I'm just going to see your opinions on certain things? I'd be interested how did you make the transition from being a student of fine arts to philosophy and then get into religion and all. Yes, in a way, a biography.
ADNAN OKTAR: I attended primary, middle and high school in Ankara. After that I won a place at the Academy in Istanbul in 1979, the Fındıklı Academy of Fine Arts. The interior design department. I came third in a picture competition there. I came third in the whole school, out of thousands of people. I draw very well. I still make good pictures. And from '79 to '83 I studied philosophy. I transferred to the Istanbul University Philosophy Department in 1983. I carried on studying there. But there was terrible anarchy and terror at that time. The school was under the control of the communists. It was a very tense and harsh climate. I could not carry on there after that. I then began working on my books. CDs and magazines and, thanks be to Allah, they were very successful. That is still going on, as you see. In terms of character, I am affectionate and compassionate. I love people. I want peace, brotherhood and goodness. Tension and conflict disturb me. I think it is good for people to be pleasant and watch out for one another. I want weapons to be abolished and peace to be built. I want Armenians, our Christian brothers, the Orthodox, Jews, Muslims and everyone to live together in peace. I want no fighting in the world.
PRESENTER: That's very nice. As you know, you were a student of art and studying art, and then now we're talking about intelligent design and the religions, interpreting the world around that. Do you see God in the way He designed the world, the way He designed the universe? Is there an artistic way of how God put it all together? Do you feel there is a some kind of creative way, a beautiful way how God put the universe together and how He created the universe, the relationship, human beings, animals? How He put it together. Do you see an artistic way of doing this?
ADNAN OKTAR: Of course. In the structure of living things, in their appearances and even in the structure of the cell. There is a glorious symmetry, art and beauty in chromosomes, vacuoles, the atom and the cell. This can be seen everywhere in the world and in the universe. We can see it everywhere, especially the symmetry and the golden ratio.
PRESENTER: I was told... Feel free to answer or not to answer. You're not married?
ADNAN OKTAR: No, I am not.
PRESENTER: No, OK. You know, I am just curious. Someone as handsome and stylish one like you. Is there a reason why you are not married? What is your attitude to women and marriage and all that?
ADNAN OKTAR: Women are of course a great blessing. The greatest blessing in the world. They are wonderful beings that have a huge influence on people. They are perfect manifestations of Allah. But I see marriage as something that takes up a lot of time and would hinder my work and activities regarding my causes. If I were married -I imagine- I would be unable to do 80% or 90% of what I am doing. That is why I am for now unmarried.
PRESENTER: The prophet did more than that and he was married to probably more than one woman. And he did it. And he still had the energy to run a marriage.
ADNAN OKTAR: But he was a prophet.
PRESENTER: Yes. He is a modern prophet. But you know...
OKTAR BABUNA: What was the last thing you said?
PRESENTER: He is a modern prophet.
ADNAN OKTAR: I am just a servant of Allah striving on the path of His Prophet (saas).
PRESENTER: It's wonderful. Even if you are not married, they say marriage is a building the family is based on and society is based on women. And you said that women are really the source of all this. The West always looks at Islam as oppressive of women. Can you tell us a little bit about how Islam looks at women and what is that all women are building in society as Islam sees it?
ADNAN OKTAR: Woman is protected under Islam. They are not made to do difficult work. Hard work is the responsibility of men. Men have to look after women. So woman is an entity protected with love and affection, literally like a delicate flower. Allah says He raised Hazrat Maryam (as) like a flower and made her "superior to the worlds." He says that Hazrat Maryam (as) is the ideal woman, the most perfect in the world.
PRESENTER: I am sure a lot of Western women, American women will be probably offended by being described by him as protected or like a flower. But in general what do you think of American women or Western women as you understood them and compared to Muslim women?
ADNAN OKTAR: Women become rebellious, aggressive, harsh, masculine and unbending as a result of not being protected. But protected women are more affectionate, modest, good natured and woman-like; they behave better and are more restful to be with. In other words, to involve a woman in conflict and struggle, to wear her down physically and emotionally, is oppression, not freedom, something very bad for her.
PRESENTER: And how does he look on Western women?
ADNAN OKTAR: Western women are generally high-quality and pleasant. I like them very much.
PRESENTER: I know. Some Western women want to have the same equal rights as men. You know they don't want to be protected. They can protect themselves. And they want to make their choices on their own. Not providing protection when it is not needed or asked for. So not imposing protection on women. They want to protect themselves and they do the same thing as men do. They want to join the army, they want to marry whoever they want. So that's the issue of Western women. Having the same equal rights as men. But you say women are different and they need to be protected, so they have different rights.
ADNAN OKTAR: Of course equal rights should be given. They should even be given more rights. That is another matter. But I see what happens to European women as a result of not being protected. I see it in famous artists or writers or others. Before the age of 30 even they become very masculine and are headed in the direction of harshness and collapse. They lose their feminine appearance, all their attractive feminine aspects. This mindset therefore ruins them. But they do not end up like that if they are protected and watched over, not placed into difficulties but cared for, and not made to live under hard and harsh conditions. But they force them into these hard and harsh environments. And since a woman becomes hard and aggressive she stops resembling one. She looks like something else. So we have really done her no good at all. We have done her wrong.
PRESENTER: Obama. President Obama. President of America won a Nobel Prize. But he is launching two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Launching a war in Iraq and Afghanistan. And he won the Nobel Peace Prize. And some people say that it should have been a Nobel ‘War' price. Not a peace prize. What is your take on Obama's winning the Nobel Peace Prize?
ADNAN OKTAR: Obama is of course much better in comparison to previous administrations. He is more humane and reasonable. Obama's positive aspects should be encouraged. We need to encourage his good and excellent aspects, rather than talking against and upsetting him. That is why the peace prize was appropriate. But the people around him have to fully support those positive aspects. And the whole of the public.
PRESENTER: A Nobel Prize. And two wars in Iraq and Iran. Obama is sending more troops to Afghanistan. He is continuing with the wars and not changing the policy of the last president. Our former President Bush. So in a way he is launching the same war Bush did, but still talks about international peace and winning the peace prize.
ADNAN OKTAR: There can be no solution like that. It is a tragedy for the American troops, and for the Muslim troops there. American soldiers are being killed there at a young age. And Muslims. They are being martyred in great numbers and a very sad picture is emerging. The solution to this is Hazrat Mahdi (as). It is the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) and the Messiah. We need to prepare the groundwork for the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as). No other solution than Hazrat Mahdi (as) can bring peace and salvation.
PRESENTER: What do you personally think of the Taliban?
ADNAN OKTAR: I am strongly opposed to violence. My style is based on the Qur'an and the hadith. I favor winning people over with love, affection, science, ideology and art, of respecting people, of embracing Muslims, Christians and Jews and of their living together as brothers. That is the activity I favor. I do not approve of any other attitude. That is why the Jews are also our brothers, as they believe in the one Allah. Many Christians also believe in the oneness of Allah. That belief in the trinity is gradually disappearing. We also believe in the other prophets in the same way. We also believe in the prophets Moses (as), Abraham (as), Ishaq (as) and Jacob (as). We believe we will be resurrected in the Hereafter. We have much in common in terms of belief. The aspects that divide us will be resolved in the best way in the time of Hazrat Mahdi (as), insha'Allah.
PRESENTER: A lot of Christians in the West do not know, do not understand the role Islam has for Jesus peace be upon him. Can you talk to us little bit about the Islamic Jesus and his status or position in Islam?
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes, the Prophet Jesus (as) is praised at length in the Qur'an. He is a worthy and holy prophet. He performed a great many miracles. Those miracles are also described. We are told in the Qur'an he ascended into the sky, into another dimension, and we see from the hadith that he will return to Earth in the End Times, the times we are living in now. But according to the Qur'an his coming is also a portent of Doomsday. It tells us that everyone will be Muslims in his time, and that those who believe in and love him will rule the world. Hazrat Maryam (as) is also praised at length. She is described as a model for all the women in the world, the one woman of very high degree. Therefore, Christians and Muslims have much in common in terms of belief.
PRESENTER: Speaking of the Virgin Mary, I was reading that in Egypt now the Virgin Mary has appears in 4-5 different places in Cairo at the same time. Do you believe in this? Sightings of the Virgin Mary? Because it's every 10-20 years it happens in Cairo and Egypt and thousands of people, most Christians, go and actually believe in this. Yes. They visit the places.
ADNAN OKTAR: Maybe. It is not impossible. Since she is a holy person, that is since she is someone who Allah loves, her soul may appear to people in that form.
PRESENTER: I do appreciate all your time and I know you are busy and probably get tired. But a lot of people do not understand your union bringing all Muslims together, to work together. And I don't know how this is possible in the context of the Shiite and Sunni conflict which is happening now in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere. Can you shed some light on the nature of the conflict between Shiism and Sunnism?
ADNAN OKTAR: The hadith make it quite clear these things will be eliminated in the time of Hazrat Mahdi (as). They say that such a climate will exist before Hazrat Mahdi (as), that there will be sectarian divisions, that Muslims will struggle against one another, and that there will be war and bloodshed. But sects will disappear in the time of Hazrat Mahdi (as). Both Shiites and Sunnis believe that, and the time for it has come. Hazrat Mahdi (as) has come. We have therefore entered an excellent age.
PRESENTER: Is there anything we can do until Mahdi comes to deal with this conflict?
ADNAN OKTAR: They will be increasingly on the retreat from now on. Because the shadow of the system of Hazrat Mahdi (as) has now fallen over the world. The light of the Mahdi (as) is on the world. They will now be declining all the time.
PRESENTER: So when you say the Mahdi (as), is it just an era or idea, message or just a new prophet, single prophet? Or just a way of enlightening, a way of changing the way we think.
ADNAN OKTAR: He is not a prophet, but rather a guide. He will have followers. The hadith say they will be 313 in number. He will act together with them. They will have an intellectual system, and they will establish world peace, justice and brotherhood with him.
PRESENTER: I just find it very hard to believe the Mahdi and 300 others and some will go through the clutter of the media 24/7, commercial and material life, people are so busy with the internet and shopping malls and I just can't see how magnificent the Mahdi might and his 300 followers might be. There are breakthroughs in all these new technologies that we have that people are using on a daily basis. And the message of materialism, consumerism is the dominant one. The average American receives three thousand commercials a day. And I don't know how the Mahdi can fit into this?
ADNAN OKTAR: Think of it this way. We are the vanguard of Hazrat Mahdi (as), for instance, and we have a small group of colleagues. But we have demolished Darwinism. All of Europe and America is now living with the shock of that. And enthusiasm for the Turkish-Islamic Union has now seized Turkey, and just about all countries are taking measures every day to strengthen their relations with Turkey. Visa requirements are being lifted, trade links are forming and social links are being established. This is happening in Turkic and Islamic countries, though the majority of Turkic countries are in any case Muslim. A more loving, tolerant and affectionate policy is being pursued with regard to Christians and Jews. This is happening through the shadow of Mahdism, and is happening non-stop.
PRESENTER: I know. You know, as a Muslim myself living in the west in the USA after 9/11 and bin Laden and all that... I see the people who define Islam and Muslims are usually the wrong people and they hijack Islam from us. What do you think of how the West and Europe treats Islam and Muslims? You know some of the countries prevent the building of mosques, the hijab and Islamic dress. So in general, what do you think of how the West and Europe treat Muslims and Islam?
ADNAN OKTAR: When the West learns about Islam as described by Hazrat Mahdi (as), they will approach it with a great love and enthusiasm. The shadow of the Mahdi (as) is the reason why Islam is spreading so fast in Europe. The influence of the system of Mahdism can be felt all over Europe. A perception of Islam as fanatical, bigoted and hostile to art, beauty and science is being eliminated, and being replaced by an idea that Islam espouses love, peace, beauty and science. That is the Islam espoused by the system of Mahdism. That is the true Islam espoused by the Qur'an.
PRESENTER: I know you invited the British atheist Richard Dawkins to a debate. What do you personally think of him as an intellectual, as somebody who talks about you and about your thinking on so many occasions? What do you think of him personally? What about his ideas and his famous book 'The God Delusion'?
ADNAN OKTAR: I think the masons are managing Dawkins. He generally seems to be a happy, fun kind of person. His picture sometimes appears on our web site, but he hides from the facts. He has recently adopted a childish language. He has begun saying that proteins, chromosomes and the first cell were all made by an entity from outer space. That shows he accepts the existence of Allah. He is holding out for no reason. He has to be rational. When he looks rationally, he will see that Allah created these structures. Because in order for a protein to come into being, it needs another protein, chromosomes and the cell. It is impossible for a protein to exist right at the beginning. Dawkins is therefore on the ropes and placing all his hopes in beings from outer space. But that shows that he admits the existence of Allah.
PRESENTER: Bankruptcy. One last thing, Mr. Oktar. Would you be interested if you were invited to come and visit the USA? Would you be interested in coming and visiting and talking to the American people directly without any filter?
ADNAN OKTAR: I would like that very much. I like the Americans more than you can imagine. They are very high-quality and joyous and genuine people who delight in beauty and favor peace. They are the adornment of the world and I like them very much. Of course I would like to see them.
PRESENTER: Well, I'll take this into account. May be we'll send you an invitation to come and talk to America. Thank you so much for meeting me and for all your time. Asselamun aleykum.
ADNAN OKTAR: Insha'Allah. I am forbidden to leave the country, as you know. If that ban is lifted, we can think about it, insha'Allah.
PRESENTER: Thank you so much. I'll remember that. I appreciate it. And good luck with your mission. I appreciate that.
ADNAN OKTAR: Insha'Allah.