I saw on some websites that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke about me using the following words: “Some immoral person has dared to describe this as a divine calamity, and he lacks any honor, humanity and dignity to argue that the miners and the nation deserved it.
Why? Because he sees the leader of the organization in Pennsylvania [Fethullah Gülen] not as a chieftain, but as a — God forbid — Mahdi or Messiah. ‘Bring fire to their houses!’ this man had cursed. So this poor guy is thankful. He believes that God accepted the curse of his leader and that this curse struck the innocent miners in Soma. Woe to you! Leave this nation, this country alone. Woe to you for the indecent assault on this religion [Islam].” I have received similar accusations by email, apparently provoked by the prime minister’s remarks.
It is not my habit to follow comments made about me or respond to them or engage in unnecessary and useless discussions or conduct debate about the truth of my comments. I tend to learn what is said about me from other people. This was exactly the way I learned about the prime minister’s aforementioned remarks. Unfortunately, I have to respond to these remarks because the prime minister voiced totally unfair charges and he made these accusations in his capacity as prime minister. His accusations are completely distorted and more importantly, there are public perceptions about my connection to the Hizmet movement, and therefore the prime minister’s remarks also target the Hizmet movement and the venerable Fethullah Gülen.
First of all, I must note that a person’s behavior or style or wording represents who he or she is.
Second, the prime minister calls me “immoral.” What is the definition of immoral? In Islam, thieves, robbers, corrupt people, those who accept bribes, those who freely engage in sexual intercourse in breach of the religion’s rules, liars, those who don’t keep their promises, those who do not practice what they preach, slanderers, cheater, deceivers, those who don’t honor what is entrusted to them and so on are described as “immoral.” Thankfully, since my birth, no one who has ever known me or with whom I have worked in various organizations for the last 37 years has attributed one of these bad qualities to me; rather, they have described me with the opposite terms. Yes, whoever has one or more or all of these attributes is immoral to the extent he or she has them.
Yes, the deaths of 301 miners in a mine in Soma is certainly a calamity that concerns the entire country, isn’t it?
The prime minister claims that I wrote: “The miners and the nation deserved it.” Either the prime minister has not read my article or he just recites the texts his advisers give to him, or he does not understand what he reads or distorts it at will. Such a calamity has not only obvious causes, but also causes that are associated with divine will. I touched on the obvious causes, errors or omissions by those who are in charge and the failure to take the necessary precautions. The causes that are associated with divine will are taught by Holy Quran in the story of the Prophet Moses and al-Khidr. I had listed these causes as follows: (1) The punishments and calamities that concern the general public fall within the responsibility of the majority of the nation (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, 26th Gleam, “A Sermon in a Dream”). Those who voted for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) do not represent the majority of the nation. Therefore, to say — as some pro-government figures have done — that I argued that this calamity happened because the miners voted for the AKP, is an obvious lie. (2) Errors made by those who represent others (Quran, 2:55 and 7:155). (3) Treachery unlawfully committed by those who are in charge or who have authority (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Emirdağ Addendum). Regarding the errors made by those who represent others, I provided examples about what the AKP did. Why is no response given to my comments? Why is my article distorted instead? I had argued that those who voted for the AKP, by justifying such errors — saying, “They are stealing, but they are providing services to the country at the same time” — are among those who caused the calamity within the framework of divine will. I had further suggested that this choice would mean preferring the bodily self to the soul or material earnings to conscience or bodily health to spiritual values or money to morality, and that the nations the Quran says were destroyed deserved total destruction, not because of poverty but because of attitudes and behaviors such as deception, fraudulent deals, tyranny, blind obedience to oppressors, indulging in welfare, wrongdoing and failure to heed warnings. “And do not incline towards those who do wrong [against God, by associating partners with Him or transgressing against His commands, or against people, by violating their rights], or the Fire will touch you” (Quran, 11:113). If this is not true, then it is — God forbid — the Quran which does not tell the truth. Should I say such a claim can be expected from the chairman of a party one of whose ministers mocked the Quran and had to resign from office due to accusations of bribery?
As for those who died in the Soma tragedy, I noted that this calamity concerns not only the victims of the disaster but the entire nation. Referring to the victims, I wrote exactly the opposite of what the prime minister has suggested: “‘When such a calamity befalls, it does not discriminate between the guilty or the innocent’ (Quran, 8:25). This is what divine will entails. Yet, it should be noted that the innocent people who die in such calamities will be treated as martyrs and the property that is destroyed will be deemed to be alms or charity. God willing, the poor victims of the Soma disaster are martyrs and we pray to God that He treat them as martyrs and give patience and strength to their mourning relatives.”
In short, the prime minister’s claims are the reverse and distortions of what I wrote. So who is the “immoral” one who “lacks any honor, humanity and dignity”? The prime minister readily uttered the following remarks as the cause of my article: “Because he sees the leader of the organization in Pennsylvania not as a chieftain, but as a — God forbid — Mahdi or Messiah. ‘Bring fire to their houses!’ this man had cursed. So this poor guy is thankful. He believes that God accepted the curse of his leader and that this curse hit the innocent miners in Soma.” To describe Mr. Gülen’s words as a curse is another distortion and invention. His words were clearly a conditional curse or a committing of his affair to God in total submission in the face of horrendous lies. “If your accusations are true, may God destroy us. But if your accusations are wrong, then may God destroy you,” he had said. Amen. Those who don’t have the courage to join in this curse have been disseminating another lie for months, saying that it was a curse against the nation. This conditional curse clearly does not target the nation, but the leaders of the ruling party. Accordingly, it is another untruth to associate the conditional curse with the victims of the Soma disaster. Referring to those who voice slanders about innocent people, the Quran says that they will be “cursed in this world and in the Hereafter” (Qur’an, 24:23) and that they are “evildoers whose testimonies will not be accepted” (Qur’an, 24:4).
Is the prime minister trying to put the responsibility for the grave errors and unlawful accusations belonging directly to himself on the shoulders of others, as he has been doing repeatedly since Dec. 17, 2013? May his last words be the outcome of his slander and distortions: “Woe to you! Leave this nation, this country alone. Woe to you for the indecent assault on this religion [Islam].”