Mr. Adnan Oktar's live talk with Prof. Charles Asher Small, Director of Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy on A9 TV (29 December 2011; 11:00)
Excerpt from Mr. Adnan Oktar's Live Interview on A9 TV dated December 29th, 2011
ADNAN OKTAR:Who are we going live to? Tell me a bit about Professor Small?
MS. CEYLAN:You will be establishing a live connection with Professor Charles Asher Small. He is a world-renowned expert on the subject of anti-Semitism, and has addressed the parliaments of Australia, Great Britain and Canada, the German Parliament, the United Nations and a great many universities. The press frequently cite his opinions. He is a policy adviser in North America, Europe, South America, South Africa and the Middle East. He is head of the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy (ISGAP). The institute provides academic information for governments and leaders of society, teachers and academics. He is also the president of the International Association for the Study of Antisemitism (IASA), and he is the founder and director of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism.
ADNAN OKTAR:Yes, right, you can patch me through. How are you, Professor Small?
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: I am well. Thank you very much for hosting me; I'm honored to be your guest.
ADNAN OKTAR:You're welcome.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: Thank you.
ADNAN OKTAR:Please, go ahead.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: So, I guess my first question would be from a religious perspective, as well as from a philosophical, moral and ethical perspective, the treatment of the other is an important aspect of religion, if not civilization. So, from a political/moral perspective, I'm influenced by the work -for example- of Emmanuel Levinas, and the treatment of the other and he argues that when we see ourselves, we see ourselves in the face of the other, that this is the moment we become human; this is the moment when we realize the godliness in the other person, that we're all created in the image of God. And can you speak please, I guess from an Islamic perspective, from your teachings and from your perspective, the importance of acknowledging and respecting the other vis-a-vis, in the case that I'm interested in, anti-Semitism or other forms of discrimination; how does that affect the morality of the individual from an Islamic perspective?
ADNAN OKTAR:Anti-Semitism is impossible in our age, at a time when we have the internet and television and when people can easily access information of all kinds. It is a system that applied during the Middle Ages, when cruel and ruthless ideas predominated. But we are now a society of love. The world is heading in the direction of love. Of union, unity and brotherhood. We are in the age of the Messiah, the King Messiah, the Mahdi. There is no room for such primitive and oppressive ideas as anti-Semitism in such an age, and we will never permit it. Islam is a religion of love and peace. All the religions demand love, peace and brotherhood. It is the same in Judaism and Christianity and Islam. The name 'Islam' means 'peace', as befits it. It's origin comes from the Arabic root word meaning peace, and it can thus be best understood from this as well. Allah wants us to be forgiving, affectionate, compassionate, loving and sincere. And the Qur'an tells us to learn about science and research. It wants art, beauty and goodness to reign over the world. And that is the age we have now entered. There will be no more oppressive systems from now on.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: I pray to God that he is right, and I appreciate his answer, but I would argue that through the use of the internet, through globalization at the one hand, globalization is bringing people together as never before, perhaps in the history of humanity and, at the same time it's separating and segregating people through all sorts of economic, social and cultural processes. And in fact the internet and globalization, a part of it is a rise in hatred. I would say for example that internet websites are preaching hatred, even though sometimes people are preaching love and togetherness; there is a movement that's preaching hatred. For example, the lies of European anti-Semitism, the anti-Semitism which existed before the internet which was basically a European issue more so than any other part of the world, but this European anti-Semitism is actually infiltrating into the Islamic world at a very alarming rate; and for example, the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" which was a forged document, a fake document.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: So, we were speaking earlier about how Islam and Christianity and Judaism and other religions are religions of love, and this is essentially a time of love in Messianic times, but I was saying that the internet is also a conveyor of hate that's bringing people together to hate, and in some countries like Turkey, the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" which is a lie, which is a European genocidal anti-Semitic discourse, is now entering into the Islamic world. I was wondering what he thinks about this phenomenon.
ADNAN OKTAR: Such ideas have long existed in the Islamic world and in Europe. But love, rational thinking and common sense have always emerged victorious. We cannot abandon the world to psychopaths, of course. The world has now entered the Golden Age under the leadership of the Mahdi, the King Messiah. And that development is still continuing. Tyrants and the supporters of satan encourage ruthlessness, bloodshed, psychopathic behavior and persecution. But the supporters of Allah, those who love Allah, espouse love, peace, brotherhood, art, science and democracy. The supporters of Allah will be victorious. That is explicitly set out in the Torah and the Qur'an. Look, it is vital that we know that there is an urgent need for the way of the Mahdi, the King Messiah, the Mahdi, and to seek these individuals who have been foretold and praised. That is so important, the key to solution.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: Okay, so I agree on that level, but now that we're living in the physical world, at this moment of history, where people are using religion to preach hatred and not love, how do we, from an Islamic perspective, how are people in power to counteract, to confront those for example who speak of the Jews in the narrative of the "Protocols", from Indonesia to Tehran to Gaza, people are using these European anti-Semitic narratives and infusing it as true Islam. How do true believers in Islam react or confront this evil?
ADNAN OKTAR: These are of no scientific value of these. They need not be taken seriously because our criterion is the Qur'an. And the Qur'an teaches love and compassion. Almighty Allah says we may marry the People of the Book, a Jewish woman, for instance. That provision is sufficient all by itself. How does a person regard his wife? As his beloved, the jewel in his crown. His wife is the person he trusts most of all. She is the mother of his children. I mean, should he look at her in the light of that document, or of the ruling in the Qur'an? Therefore, documents of no scientific worth or faith, devoid of any Qur'anic values, are not valid for any rational Muslim. I think you are wrong to be uneasy over this. Relax, trust in Allah, and never forget we are in the age of the King Messiah. Ask Allah to show the King Messiah and pray for the immediate building of the Temple of Solomon. This century will be a glorious one for Jews. Their finest years. The years when Islam comes to reign. The Jews will enjoy a Golden Age under the leadership of the person known as the Mahdi, or the King Messiah. They will enter a time of peace and happiness. The age they have been waiting for over the last 3,000 years is this century. There is no other appropriate time according to the Torah and other Judaic sources. That age will start in 2012. All Judaic scholars and sages know. It is also in the Zohar. A known fact.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: Okay. So we were speaking earlier about love and how Islam will rise, and this will be the century of Islam. But, as Islam is arising through the region, the Middle East, and other parts of the world, the Islam that is controlling more and more societies is an Islam, in my opinion, that does not accept the other. The portrayal of Jews, the rights of women, the rights of religious minorities, the Bahi'a and the Christian Copts in Islamic societies, the situation is deteriorating for them as Islam is rising. Could he please explain why this taking place and how will this be remedied?
ADNAN OKTAR:Without the Mahdi, the dajjal [antichrist] will enter the equation. The world has to choose between them. They must either follow the Mahdi or the dajjal. If they choose the dajjal [antichrist], there will be ever more such conflicts, and ever more bloodshed. And it will spare neither Jews, nor Christians nor Muslims. Nobody will know any peace. It will produce a climate of pain and terror. But if they submit to the Mahdi, the King Messiah, then that will bring with it peace, brotherhood, democracy, love, beauty, goodness, art and science. That is why it is essential to have a good knowledge of the belief in the King Messiah, set out with such importance in the Torah, and the signs and portents thereof. And we must investigate and research in order to know when the time has come. All Jews are agreed on the date 2012. There is no other belief. If that is ignored, it means people have gone along with the system of dajjal [antichrist]. And in that event the way of the dajjal will demonstrate its ruthlessness and barbarity to the whole world.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: So is he arguing that the rise of so-called Islamic leaders in the region, does he think that they're following the way of the antichrist?
ADNAN OKTAR:Of course. If people, be they Christian or Jew, are not on the path of the King Messiah, then they have knowingly or unknowingly gone along with the dajjal.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: Okay. So, interesting. So, how do I put this? I think some of the concepts, the concept of God, the concept of the Messiah, Moshiach, these are concepts that are rooted in Jewish thought, a Jewish world view that perhaps Judaism brought these ideas to the world, and I was wondering from an Islamic perspective if the Islamic way of love which is found in other religions, is the essence of the religion, the essence of reaching oneness with God is the acknowledgment of people who are different, the other. The Jewish people in the region are the only others who have self-determination. There's no other group in the region, in the Muslim region that has self-determination. From an Islamic perspective, is there a way to acknowledge the self-determination of the Jewish people in their homeland?
ADNAN OKTAR:The Messiah of the future who I believe has already come… The King Messiah, the Mahdi, is already here, in my view. And when he comes, he will come to the Christians with the original of the Gospel and to the Jews with the original of the Torah. He will be very useful to them in that regard. Our Prophet (pbuh) says this in the hadiths. So there will be an age of complete liberty, ease, security, warmth and love. There will be a system in which science and democracy are firmly rooted. War will completely disappear. Bloodshed will completely cease. Our Prophet (pbuh) says that nobody's nose will even be made to bleed. He says in the hadiths that not a drop of blood will be spilled, and the sleeping man will not be awakened. We see the same statements in the Torah. The Mahdi in the Torah, the Mahdi described by our Prophet (pbuh), is the same person as the King Messiah.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: Okay. And this age will come about, he thinks, in 2012? And how will it come about? Given all the turmoil in this period that we live in?
ADNAN OKTAR:Our Prophet (pbuh) refers to 2012. It is 2012 in the Zohar. All scholars of the Torah and senior rabbinical scholars know that. It is a well-known fact. It is explicitly set out in the hadiths of our Prophet (pbuh). Bediuzzaman Said Nursi also explicitly refers to these dates. We can see it from all the portents. We can see it from the course of events. So this is an absolutely true fact.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: And in this period everybody will be equal, or people will have to live according to the Prophet Muhammad's way, or according to the ways of the Torah, or the Gospel in which there are differences; how will things be organized?
ADNAN OKTAR:The hadiths of our Prophet (pbuh) on this are perfectly clear. It will be an age of liberty. Allah says in the Qur'an that "there is no compulsion in religion." What does that mean? Everyone will be free in their beliefs. The Mahdi will serve and tell Christians things through the Gospel in the time of the Mahdi. And we are explicitly told that he will govern the Jews with the originals of their own books, the original Torah. So it can be seen that there will be an age of total freedom and love.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: But there will be no distinctions in law; in practices people can do as they wish and be equal in this system?
ADNAN OKTAR:That is a distinguishing feature of the King Messiah. The Torah says that no state will be under pressure. So that also appears in Judaic belief. The absence of pressure and compulsion, every state and nation having freedom of belief, is in any case a feature of the age of the Mahdi. Compulsion and despotism are features of [the followers of the] dajjal.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: Okay. So until this moment arrives, if I can go back to my original question, in the period leading up to this Messianic age is there an Islamic perspective or an Islamic argument that could be made that permits the self-determination of the Jewish people in their homeland until this Messianic age arrives? Is there a way to tolerate or accept the other in this context? In the current contemporary context?
ADNAN OKTAR:According to the Qur'an, the Jews must live there, and that is explicitly set out in verses. It is their own homeland. The lands of their ancestors. The Prophets Abraham and Isaac and Jacob (pbut) are buried there. They have lived there for thousands of years. Of course the Jews must live there. What could be more normal than that?
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: Okay. Do you have any questions for me, or should I ask him another question?
ADNAN OKTAR:Your questions are excellent.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: Thank you. It's an honor to speak to him. I have one more question, I guess. There are Islamic scholars who teach that Jews are not from the land of Israel, they're not from their homeland, that they're colonizers and they're part of the antichrist, that sort of thing. There are even arguments that are becoming more popular; and things like this. That the Jews are not salvageable from God, from Allah. What does he think about these, sort of, I guess these political forms of Islamic teachings?
ADNAN OKTAR:Our criterion on this is the Qur'an. According to the Qur'an, the Jews will live on those lands and will die in those lands. They are in their homeland. People who assert such things are speaking from superstition. Their statements are not grounded or based in anything reasonable. They are therefore the statements of the way of the dajjal [antimessiah]. The way of the dajjal wants to eliminate the line of the prophets from the world. It wants to eliminate the children of the Prophets Abraham, Solomon, Isaac and Joseph (pbut) from history and the face of the earth. We will not allow it. We will make the dajjal's blind eye normal again and neutralize him.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: So this is reassuring and nice to hear. I appreciate his words very much and I'm wondering, I guess from my perspective, as to the regime in Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and sort of in the Shi'ite world, and now I think in the Sunni world, we see the rise of Salafists and parts of the Muslim Brotherhood which reject not only the Jews, but reject the other. How does he situate himself in this discourse? Are there people who follow his teachings of love and respecting the Jews and other people, and is it becoming more difficult for him, in a way, to preach this perspective against the rising popularity of these groups that reject the other?
ADNAN OKTAR:I have few friends. My means are limited, but my global impact is very, very powerful indeed. I mean, I am at home, but my ideas are in power. Many world views and systems have collapsed. Darwinism, for instance. I am here, but my being here has changed nothing. Darwinism has been removed from the world. And that means that atheism and materialism has also been eradicated. It is important to be small but strong. It is a great blessing for a small group or community to be strong. The people around the Prophet Moses (pbuh) were few in number but Allah gave them power. The Prophet David (pbuh) was also a young man, yet despite his youth, he defeated the dajjal [antichrist] of his time. A minority usually gains victory against a majority; what is important is that the minority is of the highest quality. In verse 104 of Surat al-Isra', Almighty Allah says, "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'." That verse shows the Jews must be in Israel. Let me put that on record. Yes, you can translate now.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: Thank you… I guess one question which is related. Can he speak about the notion of jihad? I'm aware that jihad, there's sort of an internal struggle that we all have of people who believe in God or something higher, that there's an internal struggle to perfect ourselves and I understand that this is jihad; and then there's the sort of political exterior notion of jihad. Can he speak about what he feels is more important? Is the internal struggle as great as the external struggle, and can he speak about that and I guess at a philosophical or religious level, and how does this translate into political reality?
ADNAN OKTAR: Jihad, as you know, means to strive. To tell people about Islam with knowledge, culture, love, affection, compassion and a clear way of speaking. To tell people the truth, to treat them well, to respect people who hold other beliefs, to respect their ideas, not to be ruthless toward them, to treat them warmly and to regard them as servants of Allah. These things all lie at the root of Islam. In order to realize this, there needs to be diligence and willpower. Jihad is the word used to describe the determination for this endeavor; jihad means to 'show effort' or to 'strive'. And that is what Allah wants from us. It must not be interpreted in the sense of shedding blood, killing or hurting people or killing oneself.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL:Well, I'll pray to God that his understanding of Islam prevails in many places.
ADNAN OKTAR: Insha'Allah. One of the glad tidings of the Qur'an, in verse 55 of Surat an-Nur, is that Islam will prevail in the world. That is also stated in the Torah, and in the hadiths of our Prophet (pbuh). We will all see that beauty together. So long as we act together, in alliance, and with love. Let us act with friendship and brotherhood, and with art and science. And we will achieve most excellent ve prompt results, insha'Allah.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: But does Islam have to dominate for everything to be amazing?
ADNAN OKTAR: According to the Torah, yes. And according to the Qur'an. Otherwise it is not possible. Otherwise, all that is possible is pain and suffering. Either the Mahdi will be chosen, or the dajjal [antichrist]. There is no other option.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: Where does it say in the Torah that Muslims must dominate?
ADNAN OKTAR: Give him the address of the web site with the provisions of the Torah in it. It would take too long to describe them one by one. He can look them up on that web site.
INTERPRETER: There you can find the verses about this dominion. There you can find the verses on Torah about this dominion. Because it will take a lot of time if we were to read it here.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: I would argue from an ethical perspective, both a philosophical and religious perspective if one group needs to dominate another group, and it's justified in a belief system, it would seem to me logically that it will result in tremendous conflict. And why would one group, on a moral and ethical level, have the right to dominate others?
ADNAN OKTAR: Muslims and Jews and Christians there will be all following the Mahdi. When you do that, you will be obeying the commandment in the Torah. There is no other option for a Jew, if he is a follower of Judaism. He has a responsibility to believe in, and follow, the King Messiah. Our Prophet (pbuh) also tells Muslims to follow the Mahdi. It is something that must be accepted in both faiths. That is how it is according to the belief of both faiths. In addition, everyone respects the belief in the Mahdi, the King Messiah, his state. There is nothing about it that interferes in anyone's foreign or domestic affairs. So we are not talking about any repressive or despotic regime. It is a school of love and moral virtue. One feature of the Mahdi is that his is a school of love and friendship. That he encourages art and science. That he brings about peace and brotherhood. That he puts an end to terror and anarchy. There will be nothing about him that damages or shapes the states. This aspect of the King Messiah is described in detail in the Torah.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: Okay. So aside from the promise of the Messianic age, how is it possible if one religion, Islam in this case, or any other religion, if there is a domination, how can it result potentially in peace? We can look historically, and we know that when a belief system takes this perspective it can result in forced conversion, it can result in slavery, it can even result in annihilation and genocide. How is it possible for a belief system that believes in domination to succeed with peace and love? It would seem almost contradictory.
TRANSLATOR:Can I first correct my translation about the word "domination"? Because he is asking the same question.
TRANSLATOR:With domination we don't… Maybe I use the wrong word. It is not domination, it is coexisting. It will be the just leading of King Moshiach. It is not a domination in the sense you understand it.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: Okay. Maybe that could be the problem.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: Maybe if you could ask him what he means by when he speaks often of Islam dominating, the domination of Islam during the Messianic age, if he could, maybe it's a problem of translation, I don't know, if he could clarify what he means after the Messianic age, what will the role of Islam be?
ADNAN OKTAR: He can think of it like this. There is the United Nations, for example. But it does not tyrannize anyone. Every state is independent in its domestic and foreign policy. We are a member of NATO, but Turkey is completely independent. It can do as it likes in domestic and foreign policy. But a power grows up within a united structure. And there is someone at its head. This is even more reasonable than that. Imagine a more humane system, a system full of love. Imagine a system that respects the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur'an. It is that.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: Okay. So I think, I can't imagine a system, no matter how benevolent and just and kind, if it needs to be dominant or be over the others, I can't imagine it to be peaceful, co-existence or a Messianic age. Can he elaborate why this system will be different, because it's never worked in the history of humanity?
ADNAN OKTAR: This is the first time it has happened in history. The first time. The Jews have been waiting for 3,000 years. The King Messiah will have come about because it is an original and extraordinary state of affairs. The coming of the Messiah is no ordinary event. Jews pray twice every day for the coming of the King Messiah. If it were, people would not have been praying for it day and night for the last 3,000 years. It is a marvelous state of affairs. Muslims have been awaiting the coming of the Mahdi every day for 1,400 years. They have been waiting every day for around 1,300 years. The coming of the way of the Mahdi, the King Messiah, is one of the greatest events in the world. So there will be an age of democracy, peace and brotherhood, the like of which has never been seen before. That is why it is called the Golden Age. So it is not something ordinary. It is a wondrous event.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL: They say in English that patience is a virtue, so I hope that this will come true.
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL:It is a good note to end.
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes, masha'Allah. I hope to see you in Turkey. We love you all very much. The children of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) are our brothers. You are entrusted to us. You should be at ease. You are in the age of the King Messiah. You will see most excellent times. You will live as freely as possible in a wide expanse of territory in the Golden Age. It is a great happiness for you, Christians, Jews, Muslims and the people of the entire region that Allah has created us in the time of the King Messiah, the Mahdi. We will all see these excellent days together, insha'Allah.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL:I say, Be'ezrat Hashem and insha'Allah, and I wish him well and he should go in peace. Thank you.
ADNAN OKTAR: I thank you too. I hope to see you in Turkey.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL:Insha'Allah. I hope.
ADNAN OKTAR: Insha'Allah, salam.
CHARLES ASHER SMALL:Salam.