Excerpt from Mr. Adnan Oktar's Live Interview on A9 TV dated November 24th, 2011
ADNAN OKTAR:As-salamun Aleykom, good day.
PROF. ROBERT S. WISTRICH: Good morning, and shalom to you
ADNAN OKTAR:How are you?
PROF. ROBERT S. WISTRICH: I can hear you fine and we can just go ahead if you wish. My question is, what can we do, and when I say "we", I don't just mean Israelis or Turkish people, but what can we do, all of us who live in the Middle East today to prevent the present instability and chaos which is developing among many of our neighboring countries, what can we do to prevent this from completely coming out of control to a point which we might be in danger of a general war in the Middle East, which I believe nobody, in their right mind, would wish to happen. That would be my first question: what can we do, and why is this happening now?
ADNAN OKTAR:If he could first say which countries he is referring to, I can then set it out part by part accordingly.
PROF. ROBERT S. WISTRICH: OK. What I see around us today, first of all we see in Syria a government which almost every day is firing at and killing its own peaceful demonstrators, and there's a danger of civil war occurring in Syria as a result of this cruel policy. We see in Egypt that the people, once again, are rising up. For the moment, it's a peaceful mass protest because they feel that the results of their revolutionary aspirations are not being met by the military regime. And then we see that in Iran, there's now tremendous tension between and much of the rest of the world over its nuclear ambitions, and obviously we, in Israel, are very concerned about what the aims and objectives of Iran are, particularly in view of the many repeated threats of the Iranian government to wipe out the state of Israel.
ADNAN OKTAR:Yes, the regime in Syria has Marxist tendencies, in other words, it supports the PKK [Kurdish Terrorist Organization] and is backed by Russia. Because of that Russian support, it looks quite unlikely the Syrian regime will be brought down in a civil war. Because Russia did not adopt a clear position in Libya. It was left alone, which is why the final result was so definitive. The same with Iraq. Russia did not adopt a firm position then, but it has adopted a firm position on Syria. That is why it looks unlikely. For one thing the regime in Syria is quite ferocious. It has a fanatical furious regime that from time to time perpetrates massacres against its own people. They have on occasion put down uprisings by killing 5,000 or 10,000 or 20,000 people. They have a lot of experience on that. But the people there are fond of their self-esteem, the Syrian people are proud. They will not wish to be kept down by that approach. I think that more powerful moves will continue to be made against Syria. But I do not think it will be like in other countries. I think Syria will hold out much longer.
There is the problem of the Mahdi in Iran, and also among some Sunni Muslims. There is this belief in a destructive, bloodthirsty Mahdi. That is a grave danger. There is a belief in a metaphysical Mahdi who is invisible and can walk through walls. That is very powerful in Iran in particular. The danger is this: they believe that the Mahdi can appear in any environment as light, or as a voice, or in human form, like a hallucination. And they believe they will receive commands from him. This is of course a huge threat to the whole region. I mean, it is a grave danger if they are telling the truth and not just talking by rote.
PROF. ROBERT S. WISTRICH:Yes. I would like to follow up on this point concerning the ideology and the beliefs of the Iranian leadership, because as you know, I am, among other things, a scholar of the history of anti-Semitism, a subject about which I've written extensively. And I've been struck by the fact that in Iran today, even in the official media, and the statements of the President, Ahmadinejad and other leaders, you have the claim that the Holocaust, the mass murder of the Jews of Europe, did not take place, or in any case, it's something that we have to question and in general, this is a deeply offensive as well as false belief, and I don't think it has any basis whatsoever in Muslim belief or teaching. So I'd be interested to hear what Mr. Oktar thinks about that.
ADNAN OKTAR:Genocide was clearly and openly committed against the Jews, and that was devilish work. It was a ruthless plan by the way of the dajjal [anti-christ] to eliminate the line of the Prophets, the line of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh). And thousand, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of Jews were horribly and ruthlessly slaughtered. That is a fact, and there can be no logical denial of it. There is no need to reply to such things, either. It is not that kind of subject, in my opinion. In fact that is not the problem anyway. I mean, there is still a desire for slaughter out there. There is this claim that "Israel will be obliterated, that this imaginary Mahdi will turn Israel into a sea of blood". That is the really terrible thing. That is what needs to be eradicated. That belief needs to be done away with. Because the Mahdi who will come, will not shed one drop of blood nor waken the sleeper. Our Prophet (saas) even says that nobody's nose will bleed when the Mahdi comes. He will do away with all weaponry. Peace, justice, love and beauty will enfold the whole world. When someone looks at the perfect, wondrous way of the Mahdi through the eyes of satan he may seek to change it into the way of the dajjal [anti-christ]. The view we are now dealing with is that which is seeking to portray the way of the Mahdi as the way of the dajjal. But I believe this can be eliminated through scientific activity, explanation and winning people over. This cannot be done through war.
PROF. ROBERT S. WISTRICH: I'm very encouraged to hear that point of view, which I think is a courageous and important statement that needs really to be widely known across the region, and I think especially in the Arab world, where unfortunately there are too many people who tend to deny the existence of the Holocaust, so I do think that's a very important statement which I just heard, and I hope that will be more widely circulated in the Middle East. I would like to ask whether, or how, things could be improved in the current tensions which exist between the government of Israel and Turkey, because as you know, Turkey and Israel were for some time strong allies, and if we go back into history, we see there have been many positive episodes in the relationship between the Jewish people and Turkey, going back to the time of the Spanish Inquisition and the Jews who were given shelter and asylum in Turkey and they contributed very much in the days of the Ottoman Empire. And now we have these tensions, we have even threats, we have a lot of misunderstandings, some bad feelings, we have accusations and counter-accusations, and I wonder what is the cause of this? And what can be done on both sides to improve the situation?
ADNAN OKTAR:Reciprocal visits, and particularly the former Chief Rabbi's visit to Turkey, have had a very positive effect. We are expecting visits from further high-level posts. These have a very positive effect. The general tension has fallen, if you notice. Things are not as they were. The tension was very high at first, but there has been a huge decrease with these recent visits, with the recent several visits. We are now expecting some very important people. I think the tension will drop away entirely with their visit. This has a very positive impact. We have always protected and watched over the Israeli people, the land of Israel and the children of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh), the line of Israel. Israelis and Jews have always been a loved and respected community in Turkey. They have always been cared for. I think the same care will continue in the future. They are exceedingly free in Turkey. Their security is total, as they themselves see when they come. They can live as freely as in their own country. So the recent escalation of tension is artificial. There is no such thing. Our people and nation, the Turkish nation, have always been compassionate towards Israel. Israel is also an admirer of Turkey. They love Turkey, they have a strong affection towards Turkey. The Israelis regard Turkey as their second homeland. Consequently we have eliminated this artificial tension, and will continue to do so. We will altogether see the positive effects of the visits over the next few days, insha'Allah.
PROF. ROBERT S. WISTRICH: Yes. I think that's a very positive point of view, and I certainly hope that this is the direction in which we will move, because the last thing that we need as Israelis is to have Turkey as an enemy, and nobody in this country wants that. But I want to ask something that goes more to heart of the problem that is often referred to as the "Palestinian Question", and which is, I know, an issue for millions of Muslims. And I want to ask why is it that it seems that for many Muslims around the world it is so difficult to understand the historical and the religious and certainly the physical and spiritual connection of Jews to the land of Israel? Because our Holy Books, the Bible, the Hebrew Bible, also the Christian New Testament and in the Qur'an itself, it seems to me that it should be clear that the Jewish people, when they began to return in large numbers to Zion, to the land of Israel, which is also Palestine for the Palestinian people, that they were not foreign invaders, they were not strangers, they were coming to the place which their culture, their religion, everything in our history originates; it's the birthplace, it's the Holy Land, and it was originally associated with the Jewish people and as children of Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob and of course the land to which Moses lead the children of Israel after they left Egypt, the bondage of Egypt. So I ask myself, why is it so difficult for so many Muslims, of course I understand it's not the case with Mr. Oktar, but why is it so difficult? That is my question.
ADNAN OKTAR:Yes.. In verse 104 of Surat al-Isra', Almighty Allah says, I seek refuge with Allah from the satan, "We said to the tribe of Israel after that, 'Inhabit the land and, when the promise of the Hereafter comes, We will produce you as a motley crowd'."
In other words, according to the Qur'an, it is necessary and normal for the Israeli people to live on those lands, and it is something ordained by Allah in destiny. But the purpose in the people of Israel being there is not so that they can eat and drink and live at ease. Allah wants Israel to be devout, He wants them to be faithful and -this is a very important point- He wants them to follow Moshe, the King Messiah. When they follow Moshe, or Siloh, the King Messiah, Allah says He will bestow peace, plenty and abundance in that region. Otherwise, He says He will take revenge and inflict terrible trials and tribulations. In other words, if Israel tries to live as a Darwinist and materialist in the region, Allah says in the Torah that He will give it no peace. He describes at length how He will inflict great suffering and disasters. He says He will put fear in their hearts and wreak terrible vengeance. But if they follow the King Messiah, Moshe, and are truly religious, then He says He will allow them to live in plenty and abundance in the region. This hugely important point clearly needs to be made clear to state officials and everyone in Israel. Otherwise, Allah says He will do what He sets out in the Torah.
PROF. ROBERT S. WISTRICH: Yes. That's very interesting. I would like to follow that up by asking whether the interpretations we find today regarding the Jewish people and Israel in the fundamentalist Islamic movements including the Muslim Brotherhood, including Hamas also the Saudi Arabian interpretation of Islam, Wahhabism, or the different kinds of Salafist movements which very often have, I would say, a very hostile image of the Jews as being egoistic, racist, vindictive, even devilish; whether Mr. Oktar sees this as a complete misreading, which I think it is; actually not just anti-Semitic, but it is a very destructive vision of the Jewish people which is harmful not just to us, but also to those who believe it.
ADNAN OKTAR:If the people of Israel follow the King Messiah whose time has come and who appeared, then they will enjoy that peaceful, happy and prosperous age promised by Allah that they have been awaiting for 3000 years. And they will live in peace, plenty and happiness and honor in the entire region. But if they disregard the coming of the King Messiah, if they look at events through a Darwinist and materialist perspective, then Allah may inflict troubles on Israel that it never expected. Almighty Allah may create events and corruption even inside it, even among itself. He may give rise to collapse inside it, and He may also inflict people upon them from the outside. Their names might be this or that; it may vary. But all power is in Allah's Hands. Salvation and peace for Israel lies in their fully following the King Messiah. When we examine the Torah, when the experts on the Torah, scholars study the Torah we clearly see that we are entering the time of the King Messiah. Everyone knows this. Everyone who reads the Torah knows. And the end of the world has come. The Prophet Moses (pbuh) described this age in great detail in the Torah, through revelation. We can clearly see that in the commandments of Allahand in the hadiths. The time has come. If the Jews seek the King Messiah, Allah will show them the King Messiah. If they obey him, they will enjoy this happy, joyous and fine life they have been awaiting for thousands of years. Otherwise, Allah threatens Israel in many verses of the Torah and says that He will ruin it in any other way. In other words, an irreligious Israel will be ruined. But a religious Israel that loves Allah will be one of the happiest states in the region. And it will have one of the happiest people. That is the Promise of Allah, as set out in the Torah. It is very important to tell this to everybody in Israel and everyone.
PROF. ROBERT S. WISTRICH: You know, in my experience, let us say over the last thirty years of living in this country, in Israel, I would say that the Jewish people have become much more religious then they used to be. In fact, I see a revival of belief in the Torah, and in the Divine Word and promises and in the observance of the law. So this, however is not accepted by many people, so there is a conflict within in the society between the more secular and the more religious elements. Now it seems to me that there's something similar happening in Turkey and I would like to draw a parallel and ask whether Mr. Oktar agrees with this. Turkey and Israel are the two exceptions in the Middle East, because they are two countries which have been able to combine modernity and a high level of economic, technical and scientific development with the preservation of an identity which is religious at its core. And most of the other countries in the region have not been able to combine these two things. Nevertheless, I would imagine there is a conflict in Turkey as well over the same issue which preoccupies us here in Israel between the right balance, between secular life and between recognizing the importance of civil society and respecting human rights and living according to civic law and an identity which is ultimately based on a religious and monotheistic belief. I wonder if Mr. Oktar would agree with this; that we have a similar dilemma, we have a similar problem to face here?
ADNAN OKTAR:Turkey has grown stronger so long as it has been religious. It established power and dominion in the region by being religious. The reason for Turkey's present prestige is also that it is religious. The government is a devout one. The Prime Minister is also devout, so is our government. The President himself is devout as well. And this has brought prosperity to Turkey. There is an economic crisis in the whole region, but not in Turkey. Turkey has none of the anarchy, terror, civil conflict and uprisings in the rest of the region. It just has the problem of the PKK. And the whole nation is united against that. That comes from faith. Turkey would already have been fragmented if it had no religious faith. The economic crisis would have brought it down, and civil conflict would have devastated it. The reason why the alleged terror organization has been crushed is again the devout nation. What dominates the state is again the religious morality. The state has a religious morality; that is how it is in its structure. We can see that. We can see that kind of language everywhere. We can see that piety is prevalent among the state officials. If Israel also follows the King Messiah, that miracle which have been expected in the last three thousand years will be realized and Israel will be as happy and at peace as can be. Otherwise, what will happen in any other way is made clear in the Torah; pain and suffering and nothing else. I can say that in summary on the subject.
PROF. ROBERT S. WISTRICH: If I understand this analysis correctly, the best thing for our country, for Israel, and the best thing for achieving a better understanding and a dialogue and eventually some kind of peace in the Middle East would be for Israel to become more, rather than less religious, if it would adopt the Jewish law and the way of life of the Mosaic faith and in fact, this would be the best solution for us in order to fully integrate into the region, and also in order for us to fulfill our destiny? Have I understood this correctly?
ADNAN OKTAR: Look, 3000 years ago the Prophet Moses (pbuh) described, with Allah's commandments, how his people, the people of Israel could be happy and prosperous. Moshe, the King Messiah, is someone who is prayed for and expected every day. Every day, the Jews pray for Moshe, the King Messiah. But if this turns into a myth and they abandon this; that would bring about a disaster. But if they sincerely believe that, according to the Torah, the King Messiah has come.. and we can clearly see the proofs of that. And our Prophet (saas) sets it out quite explicitly in the hadiths. We call him the Mahdi, the Jews call him the King Messiah. When they follow that person they will attain an enormous prestige, wealth, peace and beauty. They will build and live in a free and glorious civilization in all the lands of their forefathers. But if not, the Torah says that they will suffer pain and torment. I mean, that is the command of Allah. Of course, Jews have always suffered when they have not believed this, but have always attained happiness when they believed in this. In other words, heeding the command of Allah means salvation for the Jewish people.
PROF. ROBERT S. WISTRICH: Does Mr. Oktar think that the God of Abraham, of Issac and Jacob is the same God, Allah, that he and millions of Muslims around the world worship? Are we speaking about the same God that makes the same demands on the believers, on those who believe in Him, or does he think perhaps that there are certain special obligations, special demands which are made on the Jewish people, or does he think they are the same demands made on Jews, as they are made on Muslims, and as they are made on all those who believe in one God?
ADNAN OKTAR: Look, Allah has shown the Jewish people the quickest path. That is a very easy and practical path. "Obey the King Messiah, He says. Act on what he says and I will give you prosperity, plenty and happiness," Allah says. What a Jew must do is to seek the King Messiah (pbuh), find him and obey him. Otherwise we can go nowhere by debates, researches and meetings. Holding the views, beliefs and the sincerity of the King Messiah, that is Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) in high esteem, the Jewish people should surrender to him, leave themselves to him. And he will do the most beautiful and the best that could be done for them. That is my word.
Of course, we all believe in the same Allah. There is only One Allah. Allah is One and Only for Christians and Jews and Muslims as well. There is only One Allah in the universe. One and none other.
PROF. ROBERT S. WISTRICH: I was very interested in the reference which was made previously to the fact that we are living in the End Times; that we are living in a special time, the time of the Messiah as we would say in the Jewish faith. And I wonder, when you look around at what is happening in the real world, whether for instance the revolutions that took place now in some parts of the Arab world, for example, in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, the overthrow of tyrants, whether this is a sign of the End Times?
ADNAN OKTAR: Of course, the founding and presence of a state of Israel, Israel becoming a state in the region is one of the clearest signs of the coming of this King Messiah. It is one of the greatest portents. The state of war in the whole world, the destruction of regimes and systems and dajjals [anti-christ], the overthrown of the tyrants, the elimination of tyranny and perversion and the huge awakening in the Islamic world are all explicit signs of the coming of the King Messiah, of the Mahdi. And we shall be looking at those portents. We see that all the signs in the Torah have come about. All the hadiths described by our Prophet (saas) have come true. The King Messiah is the same person as he who is known as the Mahdi.
PROF. ROBERT S. WISTRICH: I think I'm now beginning to see the broader picture, and it certainly is a fascinating one. I want to ask something that really preoccupies me a great deal in my own work, which is how do we overcome, what I call, the culture of hatred which has developed in so many parts of the world? And I have dealt with it in regard to the Jews, the hatred against the Jews, but there is a broader culture of hatred; there is a hatred towards Muslims, there's hatred toward Christians, there's hatred toward many different ethnic groups and nationalities and we live in a world of the media, where much of this hatred is amplified, it's increased by the modern means of communications. And, if we're living in the time of the Messiah, then obviously it doesn't go together with this culture of hatred; indeed we have to break this kind of propaganda, of indoctrination, of intoxication of people with hateful ideas and this is a tremendous challenge, and I think in the Muslim world it's just as big a challenge as anywhere else, and it's important to me as to how we're going to achieve it.
ADNAN OKTAR: This culture of hatred is another portent that the Messiah has come. This culture of hatred is everywhere in the world. There is hatred for Muslims and there are people who hate me. Some people hate Jews and Christians and our Fethullah Hodja and the Iskenderpasha community or there are people who hate our Prime Minister. I mean a spirit of hatred enfolds the world. This shows that the way of the dajjal has appeared. And the coming of the dajjal, or antichrist, also shows that the King Messiah has come.
PROF. ROBERT S. WISTRICH:Thank you very much. I appreciate it.